Modernized, electrified, and inspired by the iconic design of the 1985 Audi Sport quattro S1, the S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron will be revealed in North America for the first time at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion hosted at Laguna Seca during Monterey Car Week Aug. 17 – Aug. 21. The one-of-a-kind vehicle was developed exclusively for American drift artist Ken Block, and will be featured in the next installment of his famous Gymkhana series, “Electrikhana”.
The Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron brings electrification directly to the performance car enthusiast’s doorstep. Featuring dual electric motors, all-wheel drive, a carbon fiber chassis, and incorporation of the full suite of safety standards as dictated by motorsports’ top governing body, the FIA – the S1 Hoonitron dispels any doubts that an electrified car cannot be engaging and synonymous with modern performance. The S1 Hoonitron will be displayed at the Laguna Seca racetrack, as part of the historic Monterey Car Week from Aug. 17 – Aug. 21. This will be the first time that the North American public will have a chance to view the electric car that Ken Block will drive in person. Furthermore, fans will also witness the original Audi Sport quattro S1 that was driven by Walter Röhrl when he set his record of 10 minutes and 48 seconds on gravel at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in 1987. It still stands as the fastest time on the unpaved stretch of road into the sky as it has since been paved.
In December 2021, plans to create an electrified version of an Audi design icon were rapidly set into motion. Typically for a project of this magnitude, designers and engineers would allot upwards of one year to produce such an ambitious concept. However, in the case of the S1 Hoonitron, an accelerated timeline of four weeks was accepted by the minds and hands occupying the Audi Sport facility at Neckarslm. After an approximately one-month-long labor-intensive pursuit toward the future, the S1 Hoonitron was finalized. While Audi Design in Ingolstadt, Germany was responsible for the styling, the entire development, including the advanced technologies which brought the car to life, took place in Audi Sport’s Neckarsulm location. This location is fitting for the development of a future-forward electrified performance car, as this same location is also where the commercially available Audi RS e-tron GT is produced.
From 1984 to 1987, Audi rally driver Walter Röhrl drove the original Audi Sport quattro S1 during the Group B era of rally racing. The “unfair advantage” brought to the road via the unique quattro all-wheel drive system propelled the success of the brand in off-road, pavement, and track competitions alike, with performance benefits reaching beyond snow-covered roads and off-road driving. Today, the Audi quattro system has evolved with the latest technologies and credentials adapted from the world of motorsports. The modern interpretation, the S1 Hoonitron, serves as a nod to this significant period, while remaining laser-focused on the commitment toward electrification. The e-tron, e-tron Sportback, and e-tron GT will be joined by the Q4 e-tron SUV and Q4 Sportback e-tron, increasing the size of the e-tron portfolio to five unique models offered in the U.S. market. The S1 Hoonitron serves as a glimpse into the electrified future that is exciting and sustainable, which is pretty thrilling in itself.