Ken Block’s latest video, Electrikhana: High Stakes Playground, has been released, and the star of the show is his Audi S1 Hoonitron EV. We first heard about the S1 Hoonitron at the start of the year before we knew anything about the video at all – now it’s here and as ‘High Stakes Playground’ might suggest, it’s set in Las Vegas.
The video features plenty of cameo appearances from Audi’s history, including the 90 IMSA GTO (1989), the 200 Trans Am (1988), the Sport quattro S1 Pikes Peak (1987), the quattro Gruppe B A2 (1984), the R8 LMP and R18 e-tron quattro from Le Mans.
The intro starts with Block’s Audi S1 Hoonitron sitting in the underground car park of the Paris Hotel before popping out the top, drifting round the replica Arc de Triomphe and making his way down the strip.
Block tears up the Vegas strip - which was closed specifically for the video - in the usual style, with plenty of burnt rubber and manoeuvres which seem to defy the laws of physics. At one point he even performs an incredibly tight donut in the foyer of one of the hotels before taking off out the front doors again.
He then drifts round a boxing ring on the top of a car park and precisely clips a load of punching bags with the car’s tail – this part made us wince for the S1 Hoonitron, but we’d imagine the bags were unweighted. Block also makes an epic rally-style jump off the car park’s ramps, with sparks flying everywhere.
Tom Kristensen, former driver for Audi and nine-time winner of Le Mans also makes a brief appearance waiting at a traffic light as Block spins past in a cloud of smoke, and the video finishes with Block spinning on the spot and whipping up a massive cloud under a sign reading ‘City of Las Vegas’.
We have to say, one of the coolest things about the video is the quietness of the S1 Hoonitron’s motors. They’re not completely silent, but the scream from the two electric motors is very different to the usual burble from the WRX STI’s boxer engine or roaring Mustang ‘Hoonicorn’ V8. Plus, it makes way for even more prominent squeal coming from the tyres.
It’s the first electric car built for Ken Block specifically for Electrikhana and the only car built for Gymkhana from-factory. It features two electric motors with ‘power galore’, a carbon fibre chassis, and fully complies with FIA racing regulations. The resemblance between it and the Pikes Peak rally monster Sport Quattro S1 is uncanny, and we have to applaud Audi for the homage to the iconic 80s hero while still making the car look sleek and futuristic.