After spending the last few years under Ford sponsorship, drift and rally legend Ken Block has jumped ship for Audi, which will be preparing Block’s forthcoming competition rally cars and Gymkhana machines. And we’re now beeing treated to the first images of Audi’s inaugural build for the YouTube-famous wheelman with what’s been christened the S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron Gymkhana Prototype.
Designed and built over the course of just six months, the prototype represents the first-ever Gymkhana car built entirely by a factory itself, rather than being modified by the Hoonigan crew. Block had initially reached out to Audi and requested that the German marque electrify one of its S1 racers, though the firm opted to do him one better by tasking its design center in Ingolstadt, Germany with delivering a thoroughly modernized take on the famous Group B race car. The S1 Hoonitron borrows cutting-edge mechanical equipment and a fully-electric powertrain from Audi’s race and R&D departments. This ultra-streamlined interpretation of the S1 features modernized takes on the rally racer’s thoroughly boxed and flared fenders complemented via a full aero kit. In addition to borrowing some visual elements from Audi’s ongoing electric Dakar racer project, the S1 Hoonitron also includes a myriad of nods to the original S1 Pikes Peak racer, such as the rear wing and rear fenders’ surfaces being connected. Riding on a custom set of aero disc-equipped wheels, Block’s next Gymkhana car has been cloaked in a livery similar to that of Audi’s Le Mans, Dakar, and Formula E racers.
Block will make his debut behind the wheel of the Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron prototype in the upcoming Gymkhana YouTube video appropriately titled “Elektrikhana.”