If you are reading this website there is a very good chance you already know who Ken Block is. The American rally driver made his name through his series of gymkhana videos (some of which you can see by clicking here). In recent times he stepped back from the smoke-filled tyre-shredding clips and sold off his collection of Ford machines. And now we know why… it was announced today that Ken Block joins Audi.

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The partnership with Audi closes a circle for Block: “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.”

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It was the Audi Sport quattro S1 that stormed Pikes Peak in the USA which made Block dream of becoming a rally driver. Block is considered a petrolhead because of his history. But the chief Hoonigan has recently been testing and racing various electric racecars. He won the inaugural race of the “Projekt E” rallycross series at Höljes in Sweden. And he was the first to drive the Extreme E electric off-road racer at the Dakar Rally.

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“Electric mobility is the future”, says Block. “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.”

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Ken Block joins Audi to work together in the field of electric mobility. “Audi stands for ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’,” says Oliver Hoffmann, board member for technical development at Audi. “Every day we are trying to push boundaries to create the future of mobility. Our goal is to fascinate our customers with progressive design, innovative technology and a broad digital ecosystem. I am delighted that we were able to attract Ken Block and his team to Audi.”

Walk down memory lane

During his first visit to Audi the American racer was allowed to drive several historic race and rally cars from Audi’s past motorsport successes (pictured above). These included the Audi Sport quattro S1, the Audi V8 quattro from the DTM (view a gallery of Audi DTM racecars at this link) and the futuristic Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo.

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“The Audi RS e-tron GT really surprised me,” says Block. “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 centre of gravity is very low so you can change direction quickly.”