While the automotive unobtanium on parade at this year’s Rolex Motorsport Reunion will celebrate a century of Le Mans contenders—from scrappy 1920s air racers to wild mid-aughts prototypes—the Audi paddock will feature a race machine that’s aimed squarely at the future: the Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron.
Ingolstadt’s comically named EV was inspired by the 1985 Audi Sport quattro S1, a wild-eyed Group B racer that’s been piloted by a who’s who of rally legends, from Michèle Mouton to Walter Röhrl, who was the first to break the 11-minute barrier at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 1987 with a time of 10:47.85, a record for the unpaved course that remains uncontested since the route has been paved.
While the glorious fuel-burning S1 was reported to produce 750 horsepower in its unfettered form, the new racer packs its performance in a most tidy electron-spewing package. Built in an accelerated one-month frenzy at Audi Sport’s facility in Neckarsulm, the boxy racer features a carbon fiber chassis, dual electric motors, a slew of FIA-mandated safety features, and of course Audi’s signature all-wheel drive configuration. Severely flared, scooped and spoilered, the new S1 is a slightly sleeker, lower-to-the-ground iteration than the more upright original. While the OG S1’s charm lies in its improbable proportions (and legendary track record), the new version is like a design student’s concept drawing executed solely through straight lines with the promise of great things ahead.
The US debut of the Hoonitron prefigures the 11th installment of Ken Block’s slide-tastic series, Gymkhana. While the contents of the forthcoming video have yet to be seen, it’s fair to assume there will be a cornucopia of lurid powerslides and millimeter-close stunts exhibiting peak achievements of an adrenaline junky driver and a highly tuned electric race weapon. Our only regret about this stateside appearance? The unlikelihood of these fantastical machines leaving the paddock and hitting the track.
Check out more photos of the Hoonitron below: