Audi has announced a new partnership with Ken Block, which will see the professional racing driver realise “exclusive joint projects in the field of electric mobility.” The 53-year-old is a prominent figure in the automotive world, as he not only competes in various rally and rallycross events, but is also the head Hoonigan in charge as well as the star of the Gymkhana video series.
While Block is mainly known for piloting petrol-powered, tyre-slaying machines, he is no stranger to electric vehicles. Last year, he won the first race in the FIA’s new World Rallycross Projekt E all-electric series with a Ford Fiesta ERX. He also set the third fastest time in the final stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally with Extreme E’s Odyssey 21 prototype.
Joining Audi, which is already a huge proponent of EVs, is a good match for Block, who previously concluded his long-term partnership with Ford back in January. The brand with the four rings also had an impact on Block becoming a rally driver, as when he was in his teens, the Audi quattro revolutionised the World Rally Championship and the Audi Sport quattro S1 stormed Pikes Peak in the United States in record time.
“Audi is the brand that ignited my passion for motorsport. I am extremely excited to start this new chapter. Together, we will develop innovative projects and push the boundaries of electric mobility,” said Block.
Block’s visit to Audi in Germany was made sweeter as he was allowed to drive several historic race and rally cars from his beloved brand. These included the car that ignited his passion, the Audi Sport quattro S1, as well as the the Audi V8 quattro from the DTM and the futuristic Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo.
He also had a chance to try out the RS e-tron GT, which is the most powerful EV currently in Audi’s model range. “The Audi RS e-tron GT really surprised me. The design is exquisite with great attention to detail and a perfect finish. The driving experience is amazing: the car is incredibly fast and handles very well. The center of gravity is very low so you can change direction quickly,” he said.
“Electric mobility is the future. I see the electric car as a leap forward for us as a society in order to create something that can not only reduce emissions and hopefully make the planet a better place. But not only that: it’s also about performance. I love anything that makes me go faster. Electric cars can do that. And as far as sound goes, I have kids who don’t care about that. They think that the sound of electric cars is just as cool as the sound of internal combustion engines,” he added.
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