Ken Block’s next Gymkhana – renamed Electrikhana for the electric Audi S1 he will pilot – debuts on October 25. A new video from YouTube channel TheHoonigans shows us our first look at the show’s teaser, but also provides an in-depth dive into a custom-built Audi race car.
The car, officially named the Audi S1 E-Tron Quattro Hoonitron, looks like no other Audi. It took the automaker four weeks to develop the design and six months to turn it into a reality. In comparison, it took two years to design and build the Mustang Hoonicorn.
The custom EV has four battery packs from the Audi Q7 and a dual motor configuration – one motor for each axle, providing all-wheel drive. Audi took motors from Formula E. Switching from cars with internal combustion engines to cars with electric motors was a shift for Block. The lack of a gearbox and third pedal changed the way he controlled the car, often relying on the clutch to modulate power in ICE vehicles. That’s not possible in an electric Audi, but the car’s available instant torque presents new possibilities we’ll see next week, and lays the seeds for future ideas.
Specific powertrain details remain a mystery, including the car’s official output figures. However, we do know that Hoonitron chewed up more than 100 tires during filming, more than double the usual number.
Inside, Block sat deep in the back of the cabin with his legs raised – much like a Formula 1 race car driver. It was one of the most bizarre sitting positions Block had ever experienced. This car has two cooling systems. One is used for normal operation, while the other assists during charging, which is a concern for filming. The crew didn’t want to waste valuable time waiting for the car to be refilled.
Audi designed the S1 E-Tron Quattro Hoonitron from the ground up, taking its design inspiration from the iconic Sport Quattro S1 Pikes Peak racer. We’ll soon see it in action when the Electrikhana Block video releases next Tuesday. Be sure to tune in to see all the action.