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See Ken Block's Badass Electric Audi S1 Hoonitron in 'Electrikhana'

Sep 09, 2023

The all-electric S1 Hoonitron is the first electric Gymkhana car and is featured in drifting virtuoso Ken Block's newest film, which commandeers the Las Vegas Strip.

Ken Block needs no introduction to Car and Driver readers: He's the mastermind behind the Hoonigan brand and the driver behind the otherworldly Gymkhana videos. Historically, his Gymkhana videos include at least one brutish and boisterous creation like this 1400-hp Mustang from 2016. He left Ford in 2021 after 11 years with Ford Performance, and now he's in a new partnership with Audi. That partnership is now taking shape with the Audi S1 Hoonitron and the newest Gymkhana installment: Electrikhana.

The S1 Hoonitron is a one-of-one bespoke creation built by Audi as the first electric Gymkhana car specifically for Electrikhana. It also serves as the only factory-built Gymkhana vehicle. The looks of the Hoonitron are based on the Pikes Peak–dominating Audi Sport Quattro S1 of the 1980s, and the resemblance is striking. According to a recent video posted on the Hoonigan YouTube channel, creating the new S1 Hoonitron cost Audi somewhere from $10 million to $12 million.

The current film was a natural evolution, Block explained. "Over the past decade, we have continually pushed to do something new and different with my Gymkhana series," he said. "While I may love the sound of a turbo engine, or the grunt of a V-8, we have done that all before." Making the switch to an all-electric platform allowed Block and Hoonigan to try new things. Four-wheel launches filled with tire smoke, reverse entries, and high-speed 360s were all in play with the new platform. The e-tron performance was designed for Formula E racing, and the all-wheel-drive bi-motor setup creates roughly 4400 pound-feet of torque. According to Hoonigan, all that torque resulted in the car destroying three times the tires it normally requires for filming.

Taking place under the famous neon lights of Las Vegas and—if the teaser clip from YouTube is to be believed—within a casino, Electrikhana looks to maintain the same spirit that catapulted Block and Gymkhana to fame. Even so, we are going to miss the snargling V-8 and flame-spitting exhaust.

Jack Fitzgerald's love for cars stems from his as yet unshakable addiction to Formula 1. After a brief stint as a detailer for a local dealership group in college, he knew he needed a more permanent way to drive all the new cars he couldn't afford and decided to pursue a career in auto writing. By hounding his college professors at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he was able to travel Wisconsin seeking out stories in the auto world before landing his dream job at Car and Driver. His new goal is to delay the inevitable demise of his 2010 Volkswagen Golf.

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Ken Block, the mad scientist behind Hoonigan and Gymkhana, is back again with his first electric drift machine, the Audi S1 Hoonitron. The S1 Hoonitron is a bespoke electric drift car designed and built by Audi specifically for Block's new Electrikhana video. The Las Vegas Strip was shut down for the making of this video, which is now live on Block's YouTube channel. It features Block destroying vast amounts of Toyo tires with the new Hoonitron under the famous neon lights of Sin City.