Gymkhana was massively popularized by Ken Block’s remarkable series of videos, where he took various highly modified monster rally cars around creative courses designed to test driving skill to the absolute limit. But after more than a decade and several very different gas-burning cars used, it looks like even Gymkhana is going electric…
For the eleventh installment in the series, Ken Block took to the streets of Las Vegas behind the wheel of a one-of-a-kind Audi S1 Hoonitron. The vehicle is regarded as a prototype and is worth an estimated $12-million.
It draws power from four Audi Q7 PHEV battery packs, which combined give it just under 54 kWh of combined capacity. We don’t know how much power it makes, although we would estimate that its two electric motors probably provide in excess of 1,500 horsepower to all four wheels.
It’s worth noting that the S1 Hoonitron was actually first shown by Audi in 2021, and back then it had no connection to Block or Gymkhana. However, in the meantime, the two sides have teamed up and Audi’s engineers have turned what was essentially a show car into an actual electric oversteer monster, the perfect vehicle for Elelectrikhana, which is what they are calling Gymkhana now that the star car only feeds on electrons.
In terms of looks, the S1 Hoonitron looks like a cross between a Group B rally car and a DTM circuit racer, just like the original study, with its blend of crazy aero and swept-back coupe silhouette. And it certainly looks good going around corners in Las Vegas sideways and at night, with all of the city’s famed illuminated signs providing a very unique backdrop.
Ken Block notes that
Over the past decade, we have continually pushed to do something new and different with my Gymkhana series. When Audi approached us with the idea of doing a film in a special electric vehicle, that they would construct solely for the film, we jumped at the challenge. While I may love the sound of a turbo engine, or the grunt of a V8, we have done that all before. The instant torque and shiftless nature of an electric motor allowed for us to push certain tricks to a whole new realm.
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