Audi brought, among other vehicles, the Audi S1 Hoonitron to Goodwood. The vast majority of visitors will never have seen it performing before. How would you describe the car?
The car is very much inspired by the universe of drifting, particularly with the input from Ken Block. I believe it’s probably the most powerful all-electric drifting car. It was also influenced by the Audi Sport quattro S1 rally car, the famous Pikes Peak model. To me, it is virtually a futuristic electrified version of it.
You took it up the legendary Hillclimb. How does it drive?
Obviously, it’s very agile, has high torque, and incredibly peaky right from the start. You have a very efficient handbrake to turn the car, and soft suspension to absorb all the bumps and jumps. In that sense, it’s certainly a very ‘mean’ machine (he says with a smile), and that’s really cool to experience. It was supposed to be Ken’s car and he was involved in the development. I’m obviously very, very privileged that Audi asked me to drive it at the Festival of Speed.
What do you find most impressive about the car?
With just a flick of your finger, you can switch from all-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive. And when you flick it a bit more, you can have a huge amount of electric power taking you backwards very fast. It was very spooky doing that the first time. But clearly, the most impressive feature is the instant acceleration. The gigantic initial torque when you use the four-wheel drive. I never came across such a car during my career.