Ken Block has become famous for the videos in which he drives high-performance vehicles at the limit in iconic locations. But the 53-year-old rally driver has had a sort of epiphany.
“Electric mobility is the future,” Block is quoted in a news release from Audi, with which he’s launching a new project.
“I see the electric car as a leap forward for us as a society in order to create something that cannot only reduce emissions and hopefully make the planet a better place,” he continued. “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.”
Audi noted in its announcement that its new partnership brings the American stunt driver full circle.
“Audi is the brand that ignited my passion for motorsport,” Block said, referring to being a teenager when Audi introduced the quattro to the World Rally Championship and the Pikes Peak hill climb.
“I am extremely excited to start this new chapter,” Block said. “Together, we will develop innovative projects and push the boundaries of electric mobility.”
Block recently visited Audi facilities in Germany, where he got to drive several historic Audi race and rally cars as well as the new electric Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo.
“The Audi RS e-tron GT really surprised me,” Block is quoted. “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.”
The Audi wasn’t Block’s first time in an EV. In 2020, he recorded the third-fastest time on the final stage of the Dakar Rally in an electric-powered prototype and that same year won the first race in the Projekt E rallycross series in Sweden.
“Ken Block shares our love of performance,” said Henrik Wenders, head of the Audi brand.“He has the ability to inspire people.”
“Electrification is a game changer, just like quattro drive once was,” added Julius Seebach, managing director of Audi Sport. “With Ken Block, we’ve got exciting things in store that go perfectly with our strategy.”