Ice Block: Ken Block Hoons Audi Group B Rally Cars

Audi Group B

Want to know how much fun can Ken Block have with a Audi Group B car and a frozen track? Watch and see!

In September of last year, gymkhana legend Ken Block announced that he was partnering with Audi to assist in electric vehicle development. For enthusiasts, this was obviously amazing news, as nobody expected Block to be tapped to help with boring stuff like, say, range or practicality. No way. The Hoonigan-in-Chief is all about performance, going sideways, and having fun. So his input is going to help optimize the driving dynamics of Ingolstadt’s new green machines. For proof, look no further than his new Elektrikhana hero car.

As you’d expect, since Block joined the Four Rings team, we’ve seen loads of great video content. From getting airborne in the history-making RS Q e-tron, to flogging the RS e-tron GT on a runway, to ascending the Knife’s Edge in Swing Arm City, Utah, the ace pilot has been busy delivering the goods. Now, there’s a new clip of him driving some of Audi’s iconic Group B rally machines, and if it doesn’t get your blood pumping? You should probably go to a doctor — because you might be dead.

Here, we get to see Block preparing for the GP Ice Race in Austria, which involves a frozen track, a quattro A2 Group B-spec rally car, and boatloads of oversteer. We also get a peak at all the dazzling cache of hot hardware on display at Munich’s GP Performance, which includes gems like an RS2 Avant, a tuned Toyota Supra, a Ferrari 355, and — almost unbelievably — an R18 Le Mans racer. Talk about a kid in a candy store moment!

After that all-too-brief walk through, Block and GP Performance founder GP Kraemer hop into a custom RS e-tron GT and make their way north to the icy circuit, where the real fun begins. Apparently, the Ice Race used to be held on a frozen lake, but after a competitor plunged through the ice into the frigid water, the organizers wisely decidedly to move it to terra firma. Watch the video to check out all the action, and stay tuned for an updates on the forthcoming Elektrikhana video. It’s certain to be mind blowing!

Photos: YouTube

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Playing on the Knife Edge: Ken Block in the Audi e-tron

Ken Block Audi e-tron

See what happens when Ken Block takes the Audi e-tron to what he calls a “skatepark for dirt bikes.”

Last month, Ken Block unveiled his custom Audi RS e-tron GT, and along with getting a tour of the vehicle, we got to watch him hoon it on a runway with members of his production team riding shotgun. And to be sure, that was loads of fun. But one thing about runways? They’re flat, meaning there’s only so much abject terror the gymkhana master can inflict on his occupants. So for his latest video, Block took the team to Swing Arm City in Utah, which he describes as a “skatepark for dirt bikes” — and it’s about the furthest thing from flat.

The weapon of choice here is an Audi e-tron, and aside from Rotiform wheels, Toyo all-terrain tires, and a roof rack, the green machine is essentially stock. Of course, that doesn’t stop Block from tackling some of the most gnarly obstacles this gorgeous piece of desert has to offer, and the visuals are absolutely stunning. This time, producer Neil Cole is the only one riding along, and from some of the expressions he makes in the various parts of the clip? He’s as excited as he is terrified, so it seems like the Hoonigan-in-Chief is earning his money.

The highlight of the clip is when Block drives the Audi up Knife Edge, a 40-degree incline that punctuates at a razor-thin summit. Allegedly, the inspiration for this stunt was the original ski jump ad which, back in the 1980s, Ingolstadt used to demonstrate just how amazing its nascent quattro all-wheel drive system was.  But if you asked me? I think Block would have tried this even if he’d never seen that — incredibly effective — bit of promotional material. Just what was is George Mallory said about Mount Everest?

So check out the video below, and if you haven’t watched any of the other videos Block and his crew have done with Audi, make sure to circle back on them. In my opinion, they’re getting more and more intense, which can only suggest that the forthcoming Electrikana video is going to be absolutely bonkers. After all, we haven’t even see Block put on a helmet yet, which means all this hoonage has barely been a warm up!

Photos: YouTube

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Track Time: Ken Block Unleashes Custom Audi RS e-tron GT

Ken Block and his Audi RS e-tron GT

Along with some “scientific tests” Ken Block takes a few members of his video production team for a ride in his new daily driver.

Last week, we got our first look at Ken Block’s new daily driver, a custom Audi RS e-tron GT with 637 horsepower and 830 lb-ft of torque on tap. During the walk-around video with producer Neil Cole, we got a great look the the Rotiform Aerodisc wheels and other details of the flat-white green machine. But what we didn’t see was how the car actually performs — and that’s exactly what the latest video from the gymkhana master shows. Spoiler alert: it’s wicked quick.

To demonstrate how regular folks — and not champion rally drivers — respond to the Audi’s insane level of performance, Block takes a few members of his video production team for a ride. And as you’d expect, the results are hilarious. Because since the e-tron is essentially silent, the folks in the passenger seat are caught completely off guard. There isn’t even a whisper of warning before they’re  hurtling down the track.  So if you weren’t already convinced? It looks like working with Ken Block is a blast.

But my favorite part of the video is where the ace driver explains just how different the power delivery of a conventional powertrain and an electric one actually is. In describing the launch of an R8, Block touches on just how trained we are to take cues from the engine and the gearbox, and that even split-second shifts provide an opportunity to catch your breath, so to speak. In an electric car, however, it’s all thrust, all the time, and constant silent progress can make it hard to understand how fast you’re going.

As someone who’s just starting to dip my toes into the world of fast electric cars, I can attest it’s a weird, weird feeling. That said? It’s also novel enough that even if you love the sound of a high-performance engine wailing like a scorned banshee, you’re likely to find the linear power delivery completely captivating. Watch the video to see the results of the “scientific tests,” and stay tuned for Electrikana — it’s sure to be one hell of a video.

Photos: YouTube

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Dakar on Ice: Ken Block Drives the Audi RS Q e-tron

Audi quattro A2

The first exhibit featured in the Audi Tradition app will be will be “Der fünfte Ring,” and it will focus on NSU.

Earlier this year, the Audi RS Q e-tron made history at the Dakar Rally, when it became the first hybrid vehicle to take a stage victory. Unfortunately, the overall crown wasn’t in the cards, as both mechanical issues and navigational miscalculations conspired to keep Audi Sport off the podium. But Dakar was just the beginning of the story for the RS Q e-tron, and after getting behind the wheel at Austria’s GP Ice Race, ace pilot Ken Block had great things to say about the next-gen competitor. Here’s the relevant bit from the Audi press release:

The laps in the Audi RS Q e-tron were a phenomenal experience – even though the car probably feels more comfortable in the desert than in the snow, said Ken Block. Thanks to Mattias Ekström, who patiently explained all the special features of his car to me. A few minutes behind the wheel was enough to understand the fascination of this car.

Swedish driver Ekström, who brought his RS Q e-tron to a ninth place finish at Dakar, also had kind words for Block, stating “It only took three turns for Ken to get fully up to speed.” Now, at this point, it’s a given that Audi Sport’s hybrid racer will return to Dakar next year, and given his experience with the desert race, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Block could claim a driver’s slot.

In Austria, however, the focus was more on fun, as Audi also brought out some historic hardware to hoon on the icy circuit. For Block, the highlight was clearly driving the 1983 quattro A2, which he’s previously credited with inspiring his interest in motorsport. But the open cockpit the DKW Hartmann Formula V was even more of a throwback, and when parked next to the newer Audis, it highlighted just how much racing has changed over the last 60 years.

Though there are some great pictures from the GP Ice Race, there’s precious little video. That said, Block and Audi are currently working on the next installment in Block’s Gymkhana series. Dubbed Elektrikhana, the forthcoming video will feature an electric vehicle inspired by the legendary Audi Sport quattro S1, and knowing Block, it will push the boundaries of what’s possible in an earth-based vehicle.

Photos: Audi

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Ken Block Reveals Elektrikhana Hero Car

Elektrikhana Hero Car Hoonitron

This reimagined version of the quattro S1 isn’t just the star of the forthcoming Elektrikhana video — it also meets FIA safety standards.

When Ken Block and Audi announced a partnership to develop electric vehicles back in September, there weren’t a lot of details on what to expect. But as I wrote at the time, anyone with a wisp of automotive awareness and more than two brain cells to rub together could predict the endeavor would produce some killer videos. That speculation, as un-wild as it might have been, was confirmed roughly a week later, when Block teased Electrickhanaa electrified version of his internet-breaking Gymkhana videos.

Now, we’ve gotten a look at the hero car — and it’s reimagined version of the legendary Audi Sport quattro S1. Dubbed the Hooniteron, this beast will sport a carbon fiber chassis, an electric motor at each axel, and lust-inspiring bodywork that looks at once both evolutionary and futuristic.  The name is a mash-up of Hoonigan and e-tron, and as Audi design chief Marc Lichte describes,  “the project was about about creating a modern, all-electric interpretation of the S1 Pikes Peak.”

If that doesn’t sound challenging enough? There was almost no time allotted to get it done. “While our design process normally takes one to one-and-a-half years, we only had four weeks from the first drawing to the final design,” said Lichte.

At this point, there aren’t a lot of details on the performance metrics, but according to the press release, the Hoonitron meets FIA safety standards, and is described as having “power galore.” Fortunately, Block was able to translate what that intriguing bit of info about the thrust level means when you’re behind the wheel:

Audi gave me the opportunity to test it for a few days in Germany. I’m familiar with a wide variety of cars using internal combustion engines and transmissions, but there were a lot of new things for me to learn here. Spinning into a donut at 150 km/h directly from standstill — just using my right foot — is an all-new experience for me. Our work was focused on getting the car and I used to each other.

How long it took Hoonigan-in-Chief Block to adapt to the instant torque of the electric powertrain is something we’ll likely learn in the future. In the meantime, the announcement says that fans can expect to see the new Elektrikhana video “shortly,” and released a teaser video to whet our appetites. Personally, I’m thrilled that this machine is up to snuff for the FIA, as after Block uses it to make the donuts, it’d be amazing to see it tackle Pikes Peak. Since the electric powertrain is immune to the challenges of high elevation hooning, it sure would prove advantageous in a record run…

Image Source: Audi

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