Ken Block’s Final Chariot, And The Tyres He Rode In On

Ken Block’s Final Chariot, And The Tyres He Rode In On

A surreal feeling to be standing face-to-face with one of the world’s most influential cars in recent history. 

2023’s rendition of the Tokyo Auto Salon hosted an absolute treasure trove of automotive fanfare. Three full days of non-stop action, with almost a thousand booths showcasing their latest and greatest products. Whether you were someone who craved new exotics, fancy lowriders or just enjoy the new production cars, there was something for everyone here.

The show can be overwhelming for someone to attend on the first day, with so much to see and do in such a short time. The onslaught of brochures and freebies didn’t help either, but of course, who can say no to cool automotive merch?

You are spoilt for choice when you are on the ground, and it can be extremely hard to pick a favourite car, if you can even do so. But, when I first laid my eyes on this car, I knew it was something truly special.

The car in question is this: Ken Block’s legendary Audi S1 Hoonitron. The same Hoonitron that lit up the streets of Vegas, in the 12th instalment of the Gymkhana series, aptly titled Electrikhana.

Audi only made one, and boy did they go to town with it. Of course, being a one-off special, not much is known about it. Apparently, it hosts four 17.3kWh batteries derived from a Q7 plug-in hybrid (PHEV), runs on an 800V electrical system, and is powered by a Formula E electric motor on each axle, which are said to produce 3,000Nm of torque each.

It’s no wonder the tyres on the car quickly vaporised out of existence.

With so much torque to plant to the ground, some beefy tyres are in order to keep the Hoonitron entertained. Luckily, Toyo Tyres has just the set for Ken Block. Toyo Tyres were pretty hush-hush on what tyres were fitted to the car when it was filming, but with the car on full display during the motor show, I managed to get a sneak peek.

The Hoonitron sits on top-of-the-line Proxes R888R threads, with 245/40ZR18 dimensions catered to fit the custom Rotiform tyres. The crew behind Electrikhana also revealed that Ken Block’s Hoonitron managed to shred through more than 100 tyres, setting a new record in the process. Must have been a wild ride in that special thing.

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Being someone who watched and idolised Ken Block growing up, it was heartbreaking when I first heard the news. He was also due to appear at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, sharing the stage with other world personalities like Mad Mike and Masato Kawabata. With the sad news of his death, Toyo Tyres dedicated a section of their booth to Ken Block, to honour his legacy.

Wherever you are Mr Block, may you rest in peace. Thank you for making the car world a better place, and teaching us the intricate ways of turning tyres into smoke and fun.


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  • Carol Humphrey
    January 17, 2023, 6:50 am

    Ken Block was one of those people that you felt you knew just from watching him on TV. He was such a positive influence on so many people. He had a way of making people feel like they knew him, without ever meeting him. He will be missed tremendously by all of his fans. This world would be a much better place if we had more Ken Blocks in it. RIP Ken. You will never be forgotten.

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