Audi wants to inject a bit of ‘hoon’ into its new electric cars – and it’s gone straight to the internet’s favourite hooligan, Ken Block, to do it.
Block is best known for his elaborately produced Gymkhana videos and being the “Head Hoonigan In Charge” at Hoonigan Industries.
After 11 years, Block left his partnership with Ford earlier in 2021. During this partnership, Block helped develop many high-performance Ford drift vehicles, such as the AWD Mustang Hoonicorn and F-150 Hoonitruck.
Block re-signed with his original partner, Subaru, in April 2021, and is now adding Audi to his list of partners.
It is currently uncertain what this Audi/Ken Block partnership will achieve as the partners have only said they’re working on “electric mobility”.
In the press release and imagery though there are a number of references to Dakar, which potentially hints at Block helping develop the brand’s all-electric prototype for the 2022 Dakar rally.
The Audi RS Q e-tron concept was released by Audi in July 2021.
This concept has a 50kWh battery pack supported by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine from Audi’s current DTM car.
The drivers for this prototype at the 2022 Dakar Rally are 14-time Dakar winner Stéphanie Peterhansel, two-time WRC champion Carlos Sainz Sr, and two-time DTM champion (and World RallyCross driver) Mattias Ekström.
This driver list may change to include Ken Block leading up to the event in January 2022.
Block is familiar with electric vehicles, having worked on projects such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400 drift car. He also won the inaugural race of the “Projekt E” RallyCross series in Sweden in 2020.
This is all speculation though at this stage, as Block may also be lending his expertise to the further development of the Audi RS E-Tron GT.
Whatever happens, Audi and Block’s team will be documenting the process.