Inspired by the brand’s past but featuring the very latest technology, the Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron is another one-off and a favourite of Audi Sport’s Mattias Ekström.
17 November, 2023
Rounding out the ‘e-tron on track’ series is, fittingly, the Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron – the first choice of multiple motorsport champion, Mattias Ekström. This one-of-a-kind extreme race vehicle was of course built by Audi Sport especially for the late Ken Block and was featured in his Electrikhana film from last year.
Block and Ekström were friends, sharing a love of motorsport in general and rallying in particular, and since Block’s untimely passing, Ekström has driven the e-tron Hooinitron on several occasions – though never before on tarmac.
The inspiration for the S1 Hoonitron was the Audi Sport quattro S1, an iconic rally monster and one of Block’s personal favourites. The shape of the Audi Sport quattro S1 is immediately evident in the Hoonitron despite its very contemporary design and the Audi e-tron livery, and the extraordinary performance and acceleration of the all-electric Hoonitron is very much in keeping with the record-breaking performance of the Sport quattro S1 that made such an impression on world motorsport.
For Ekström, choosing the S1 Hoonitron for the ‘e-tron on track’ series was the obvious choice, not only because of his friendship with Block but also because of his own heavily rally-oriented past, having won the World Rallycross Championship in his own Audi S1 race car, and his early days in Sweden where rally is practically a religion.
He had also had the opportunity of driving the car earlier in the year on snow and ice where he was impressed with its composure and instantaneous acceleration. This made the decision an easy one, that should the chance arise to try the S1 Hoonitron on tarmac, he would leap at the opportunity.
With its almost perfect 52:48 balance between the front and rear axles and its 500kW of power and 640Nm of instant torque, the S1 Hoonitron is a weapon regardless of what surface it’s driven on.
With it very short wheelbase of just 2.4 metres, it is extraordinarily agile (an Audi A1 Sportback has a longer wheelbase), and with an electric motor on each axle weighing just 55kg each and generating 250kW and 320Nm each, the electric power distribution between the front and rear axles is fully variable and can be perfectly adapted to suit the driver’s wishes.
Given that the electric motors reach maximum speeds of 28,000rpm, the engineering team which developed the car came up with a gear ratio of about 12:1 for the drifts. Taking losses into account, this results in around 3000Nm of torque on each axle, or 6000Nm in total!
Translated into the real world, that system enables the spectacular drifts and and reduce tyres to smoke as we as giving the car the ability to wheelspin at speeds of more than 200km/h. Extreme performance by any measure and more than enough to keep even a rally-crazed driver from Sweden happy.
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