Home » Ken Block’s ‘Electrikhana Two’ Closes The Book On 15 Years Of Automotive Mayhem

Ken Block’s ‘Electrikhana Two’ Closes The Book On 15 Years Of Automotive Mayhem

Electrikhana 2
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Here’s something many people didn’t expect: The dearly departed Ken Block is back on YouTube one last time, with “Electrikhana Two” capping off fifteen years of automotive mayhem. Hell, it’s more than just that, “Gymkhana” is an automotive cultural icon, an inspiration to millions. For this posthumous Gymkhana film, Block tears up the streets of Mexico City, and his Audi S1 Hoonitron received a raft of upgrades to hoon even better.

Traditionally, electric vehicles can’t just be locked into a gear to limit wheel speed since a fixed gear ratio takes them from rest to V-max. However, for Electrikhana Two, the Audi S1 Hoonitron features torque-limiting steps to simulate gears, much like you’d find in the incoming Hyundai Ioniq 5 N. While simulating gears may offer a disadvantage in speed over a single fixed ratio, it should add control, something that Block put to good use in the filming of this hoonage.

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Of course, limiting wheel speed via simulated ratios isn’t the only crazy trick EVs can pull. Because reverse gear in an electric vehicle is just reverse polarity on the motors, you can theoretically throw an EV into reverse at any speed. Oh, and in an EV with dual electric motors, it’s technically feasible to vary torque split electronically, or even have one motor turn forward and another turn in reverse for epic four-wheel standing burnouts.

The addition of simulated gears offers an excuse for more in-car shots, which have the happy effect of putting more focus on the banshee wail of the electric motors. Sure, it’s not a V8, but an uninsulated high-torque electric motor sounds like God’s own Cuisinart, offering up a frequency similar to supercharger whine but all the time. Once you get down to the raw elements, electric cars can sound exciting, and Electrikhana Two offers a glimpse of that.

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Electrikhana Two 1

Sound design isn’t the only part of Electrikhana Two that feels improved over its predecessor. The proximity-induced sketch-factor that felt somewhat limited by the wide streets and inky cloak of Las Vegas at night is more prominent in Electrikhana Two, particularly in this use-all-the-road, eyes-closed, oh-shit slide around YouTuber JUCA’s Volkswagen Beetle. This is what Gymkhana’s all about — dirty, smoky, tight sideways driving on the absolute edge. This moment gave me flashbacks to dropping a wheel off the dock, and is perhaps one of the most promising sign of a future that never was.

Electrikhana Two 2

Speaking of highlights, who hasn’t wanted to slide a car around a major airport? It was cool when Top Gear did it with a BMW M5 Touring and a Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG wagon, and it’s still cool when Block tore up the Benito Juarez International Airport. This shot of a massive slide right outside the terminal is nothing short of epic, and perfectly fitting for this final installment.

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Throughout the antics of Electrikhana Two, I can’t help but feel a sense of loss shadowing awe. This is Block’s final Gymkhana film. The car world lost one of its heroes, and there’s no respawn point where he’s at. These landmark films that pushed boundaries and ignited desire will no longer be helmed by the same visionary. It’s possible that Travis Pastrana could take up the mantle as his Gymkhana films have been consistently excellent, but with Block no longer drifting this Earth, and major Hoonigan talent like Brian Scotto and Eugene Hertrech Jr. moving on to other ventures, something tells me the future of Hoonigan, and indeed the future of automotive media, isn’t going to feel familiar.

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Whatever the future brings, we’re glad Ken Block strapped into the Audi S1 Hoonitron for one last ride. None of us expected there to be another Electrikhana, so this ultimate installation is a pleasant surprise to say the least. Thanks for an incredible era, Ken. Rest easy.

(Photo credits: Audi, Hoonigan)

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PL71 Enthusiast
PL71 Enthusiast
2 months ago

I hope they keep making these with Pastrana.

He seems very willing to try crazy stuff.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
2 months ago

Just watched Lia Block’s HooniPig run up Pikes Peak earlier today. Man, that kid can drive: first time in it she didn’t hold back at all. When they said something about a slow introductory lap, she’s like, “You put me in a racecar with a thousand horsepower—I’m gonna use it”. Also loved the bit where this kid who’s about to rip up PP goes “Mo-om!” like any regular teenager. Worth a watch imo.

damn I miss him

Electrified05ViggenFeverDream
Electrified05ViggenFeverDream
2 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

That was a great video–thanks for sharing.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
2 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Having slept on it, I’ll add that, for me at least, that video of Lia’s tribute run was good closure. But, the interior shots where they switched between her & Ken at the exact same section were wrenching.

Hoonigan videos got so jumpy & jaggy I stopped watching after while, but there’s no denying the man was a legend. He strode upon this earth and his kind will not soon pass this way again

-not my words, but definitely my sentiments

Last edited 2 months ago by TOSSABL
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
2 months ago

A true nonpareil hoonigan.

Michael Park
Michael Park
2 months ago

“ an uninsulated high-torque electric motor sounds like God’s own Cuisinart” is my new favorite quote about how wonderful electric motors can sound when they are allowed to do so.
I see no reason why auto manufacturers shouldn’t let their hot EVs make noise. Imagine how much more fun the Ionic N would be with 1/4 of this noise (don’t want another Veloster N exhaust noise scandal ????). I think the potential is there to help attract the folks holding out because they miss the noise.
Ken has left a huge impression on today’s car community, and getting to see his skills on display one final time is cathartic. I know I will take inspiration from him forever.

PL71 Enthusiast
PL71 Enthusiast
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Park

I’ve always thought they should just be loud but with active noise cancelling. Performance ones at least. Gimme some straight-cut gear whine.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
2 months ago

I am so gutted by this, and inspired, and defeated, and uplifted. Fuck. I still don’t want to believe what happened, happened. It’s just such BS that my mind sort of ignores it.

I feel fortunate enough to have met Ken once at LSPR when he was still driving a Subaru, and I realize I didn’t spend much time with him but he was just so nice, and stoked to be there, and excited that everyone else was excited. Fucking legend.

Life is short. Ditch the lease. Buy something weird and throw parts at it, have fun, make memories. Tomorrow is not a guarantee.

Voeltzwagen
Voeltzwagen
2 months ago

Anyone who thinks electric race cars are boring or don’t have soul because they lack engine and exhaust sounds, need to watch this video. Good lord, that car sounds intense!

Toecutter
Toecutter
2 months ago

His creations were nothing short of radical. I love his batshit insane vehicles. Gone too soon. I’ve always wondered what a Ken Block designed Hoonigans electric velomobile would be like, but we won’t get that chance now.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
2 months ago

Definitely gone way too soon, his first few Gymkhana videos had a massive impact on me like many others. Excited to watch this last one and pour out a green Monster for KB.

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