Let's Take a Look at Ken Block's Journey of Partnering With Audi and Filming Electrikhana

Every car build is special in its own way, but today, we are going to check out the story behind one of the most interesting and unique projects with a great collaboration behind it. Of course, I am talking about Ken Block’s Audi S1 Hoonitron.
Ken Block's Audi S1 Hoonitron 13 photos
Photo: Audi AG
Ken Block's Audi S1 Hoonitron Electrikhana DriftingKen Block's Audi S1 HoonitronKen Block's Audi S1 Hoonitron PrrototypeKen Block's Audi S1 HoonitronKen Block's Audi S1 Hoonitron Next To 1985 Quattro S1Audi Sport Quattro S1 Pikes PeakKen Block's Audi S1 HoonitronKen Block's Audi S1 HoonitronKen Block's Audi S1 Hoonitron 3D Computer modelKen Block's Audi S1 Hoonitron 3D Computer modelKen Block's Audi S1 Hoonitron 3D Computer modelKen Block's Audi S1 Hoonitron
First things first, let’s talk about the guy in the middle of all of this. Ken Block has become a household name, and if his name does not ring any bells, you must have been living under a rock. Whether we are talking about rally racing, snowboarding, motocross, or skateboarding, he has dabbled in a little bit of everything. Granted, most of those endeavors were done out of passion and interest.

However, none of those things is what turned him into one of the most recognizable figures in the world of motorsport. That would be his Gymkhana series of videos, which remains hugely popular to this day. As a testament to his revolutionary enthusiasm for motorsport, the second video in the series was filmed as an infomercial for the DC Shoes brand, but it quickly became the most viral video in 2009.

The launch of Hoonigan followed, an automotive media and apparel brand he co-founded alongside Brian Scotto. With Block and his videos having previously attracted a brand-new generation of enthusiasts, the brand took off.

This did not mean that the crazy videos stopped. In fact, they got wilder and more complex, and dedicated car builds became a part of them. The most popular among those is probably his Hoonicorn 1965 Ford Mustang. The car was built from the ground up with all-wheel drive and started its life with a 5.8-liter small-block V8, heavily modified by Roush Mustang.

Over the years, the Hoonigans kept improving in every single aspect, from safety to power and reliability, until it evolved into the Hoonicorn Mustang RTR V2. The final version had a staggering 1,400 hp (1,420 ps) and 1,250 lb. ft. (1,625 Nm) of torque. But as is the case with all great things, it would not last forever.

Ken’s newest toy is the Audi S1 Hoonitron, built in close collaboration with the German luxury brand, as he has been part of their team for the last year. This is not so much of a surprise, considering Block has always had an appreciation for Audi. He was a teenager when the German brand revolutionized the World Rally Championship with their Audi Sport Quattro S1, which ignited his dream of becoming a rally driver.

Ken Block's Audi S1 Hoonitron
Photo: Augi AG
Block was quoted as saying “Audi is the brand that ignited my passion for motorsport. I am extremely excited to start this new chapter. Together, we will develop innovative projects and push the boundaries of electric mobility.”

After signing with Audi, work began on the brand-new electric project we now know as the Hoonitron and the creation of the Electrikhana video, and the end result is magnificent. It perfectly blends Ken’s signature style with Audi heritage underneath Las Vegas’ neon glow and pays homage to the original Audi Sport Quattro S1.

The entire project is focused on Audi’s “Vorsprung durch Technik” mantra and brings it to life, opening new pathways toward the future of mobility. However, this was a challenge, as Ken described the Hoonitron to be the most technologically advanced drift car he has ever driven.

Ken Block's Audi S1 Hoonitron 3D Computer model
Photo: Augi AG
The car had to look inspired by the original Quattro, but also encapsulate everything about Audi’s craftsmanship and love for performance. Not an easy job when you are building a highly capable drift car, as a lot of limitations arise. The Hoonitron has a short wheelbase mated to its narrow cabin and wide track. Along with a need to shift the center of gravity forward, this means that the position of the battery had to be carefully analyzed and the chassis design around that technical requirement.

Still, Audi has a lot of experience in electric racing and has managed to overcome them. The end result is a vehicle that combines the world of rally and circuit racing, exceeding Ken’s expectations.

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About the author: Bogdan Bebeselea
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As a kid, Bogdan grew up handing his dad the tools needed to work on his old Citroen and asking one too many questions about everything happening inside the engine bay. Naturally, this upbringing led Bogdan to become an engineer, but thanks to Top Gear, The Fast and the Furious series, and racing video games, a passion for automotive entertainment was ignited.
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