Just months after signing with Subaru, Ken Block is adding another automaker to his resume. This time, he’s gone German, partnering with Audi for development of electric vehicles.
In a statement, Block claimed that Audi’s Group B Quattro “ignited [his] passion for motorsport” in his youth, and set him on the path to his all-wheel-driven lifestyle. Audi released a video showing Block touring a garage of their historic motorsports cars, and (when the cameras stopped rolling) even let Block drive that Sport Quattro S1 he’d seen at Pikes Peak as a kid.
Block went on to talk about electrification, summing up the appeal of race-ready EVs as succinctly as anyone can: “I love anything that makes me go faster. Electric cars can do that.”
While the partners have only said they’re working on “electric mobility”, consistent references to Dakar in the press release and video hashtags imply there may be a specific goal in store for the team. Audi has already announced they’re bringing an electric prototype to the 2022 Dakar Rally, and Block is is no stranger to going all-electric himself.
With only hints and teases to work from, it’s unclear what a Block/Audi team for Dakar might look like. Whether it would mean Block driving for the four rings, or simply lending his experience to refining the RS Q e-tron prototype is yet to be seen.
While the news didn’t address Block’s existing Subaru partnership, the focus on EVs appears to draw a line through the playground: Audi’s EVs on one side, Subaru’s ARA and Gymkhana cars on the other, and Block free to hop between.
Either way, one thing’s for sure: if Block is involved, there will be cameras and content aplenty. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the Head Hoonigan In Charge rip an Audi silently through the desert. Whether that happens for Dakar, or simply on Audi’s YouTube channel, only time will tell.
Correction: Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 4:03 p.m. ET: A previous version of this story incorrectly mentioned Block competing for Subaru in WRC. Block competes in ARA with Subaru. This error has been corrected.