Hoonigan Chief and professional rallycross driver Ken Block have blown the world with his popular Gymkhana series and racked up millions of views on his YouTube videos. The legend has just joined forces with the German firm Audi, which Block claims to have “ignited his passion for motorsport” after watching an Audi Sport Quattro S1 in the ascent of Pikes Peak in the late 1980s. However, Ken’s job at Audi isn’t polishing cars in front of the camera to feast the eyes of drift-hungry souls. Instead, he will assist engineers in the development of future Audi electric vehicles for the road and motorsport.
At its peak, Block’s garage housed a total of 16 cars. The combination of all the powers of these internal combustion engines brings us to a grand total of 8,500 hp. That’s enough growl to move a small freighter over the Atlantic: assuming there are what are called small freighters. Do you remember that Ford Mustang Hoonicorn? He always seemed to be missing something. The small block engine built by Roush was not sufficient for the job. What’s the point of easing 845 hp when you can create a new variant, add two massive Garrett turbos on either side of the downpipes, and now you have 1400 hp as well as 1250 lb-ft of torque. When Block let go of this thing, it was sure to cause tiny earthquakes, which makes his move into the electric realm unusual.
Ken Block again with zero emissions
After years of destroying tires with bespoke, ridiculously motorized Fiestas and an RS200 rally car, and having started out with a Subaru WRX STI in the first Gymkhana movie, it’s unclear just how brash his future videos will remain. “Electric mobility is the future,” Block said. “I see the electric car as a leap forward for us as a society to create something that can not only cut emissions but hopefully make the planet a better place. But it’s not just that, it It’s also about performance. I like anything that helps m go faster. Electric cars can accomplish that. As for sound, I have kids who don’t care about the sound of electric cars. They think the sound produced by electric vehicles is also great, just like internal combustion engines.
Ken Block knows how to drift and drive a rally vehicle. However, he is also a smart marketer. Audi hopes to use all of its talent to bring electric vehicles to life. After parting ways with Ford earlier this year, Block drove several cars through 2021, including the Subaru WRX STI and an electric Trophy Truck. Block is now partnering with Audi to focus on the development of efficient electric vehicles. Audi is already active in the field of electric heating. He competed with Block in Formula E and is now developing his hybrid version of the RS Q etron for the Dakar rally. Block and Audi have not revealed any specific plans, however, both sides believe they could make EVs more exciting and appealing to the new generation of drivers.
“Audi stands for ‘Vorsprung durch Technik'”, explained Oliver Hoffmann, member of the board for technical development at Audi. “Every day we try to break down boundaries and create an innovative future for mobility. Our aim is to impress our customers with innovative design, cutting edge technology and a vast digital ecosystem. I am delighted that we were able to bring Ken Block and his team to Audi. ”
Block recently visited Audi’s headquarters in Germany to engage with their new partner company. He has taken the wheel of the brand’s legendary racing vehicles, including those that sparked his love for rally racing. He also drove the 1990s Audi V8 DTM, the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo, and the production-ready RS e-Tron GT. “The Audi RS e-tron GT really surprised me,” Block said in a statement. “The design of the car is breathtaking with great attention to detail for a flawless end result. The driving experience is amazing and the car is very light and behaves extremely well. Its center of gravity is quite low which is why allows you to change direction. ”
Rally star will help Audi win in Dakar
Driving Audi’s concept vehicles was not Ken Block’s first experience in an electric mobile. In 2020, he achieved the third fastest time of the last stage of the Dakar Rally with an electric prototype. The same year he won first place in the Projekt E rallycross series in Sweden. “Ken Block shares our love of performance,” said Henrik Wenders, Audi Brand Manager. “He is able to motivate the masses.” “Electrification is a game-changer, just like the Quattro approach once was,” said Julius Seebach, CEO of Audi Sport. “With Ken Block, we have some exciting things in store that fit our strategy perfectly.”
Block’s experience will be crucial for Audi when it returns to racing. His Gymkhana film series is already popular among motorsport enthusiasts on YouTube, and Ken has over 14 million followers on his social media. The only thing to be determined is whether the pro rally star will recreate Walter Rohrl’s victory in the Pikes Peak victory in 1987 or if Audi will take the victory in Dakar. According to Audi, Ken Block will work exclusively with the company in its electrical branch, from now on, and we suspect there is a Gymkhana RS e-Tron GT in the works.
Here is the first official look at the highly anticipated sports car.
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