Ken Block is just as famous for his exploits as a rally racer as he is for his influence in fashion. As the co-founder of DC Shoes, Ken Block made an indelible mark on skateboard culture. When Ken Block made his public foray into motorsports, it increased his popularity exponentially.
His move to rally instantly caused fans of skateboarding and action sports to take an interest in racing. His partnerships with Subaru and Ford helped those automakers gain immeasurable brand cache among the coveted youth demographic. We can probably think of at least one person who wanted to buy a Subaru WRX or Ford Focus RS because of Ken Block and his viral Gymkhana videos.
At the beginning of 2021, Ken Block announced that he would be parting ways with Ford after an 11-year relationship. Since then, fans have wondered what automaker the rally racing influencer would partner with next. Now we know.
Ken Block announces partnership with Audi
After nine months of wondering who Block would partner with next, the racer and marketing maven revealed that he has started a partnership with Audi.
With Block being 52 years old, his teenage years coincided with Audi’s dominance in WRC and watched the legendary Audi Quattro S1 set a Pikes Peak record. It was those moments that attracted Block to rally racing in the first place. In a way, this new partnership is a “full circle” moment for him.
While partnering with a brand with such a storied history in rally racing is not unexpected for someone like Ken Block, what may catch some people off guard is that the crux of the partnership is the development of electric cars.
“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.”
What will Block and Audi come up with together?
The announcement did not detail the exact nature of the partnership. We only know that the focus of the partnership will focus on electric vehicles. Given Block’s background, we would assume that the scope of the arrangement will deal primarily with racing.
It is always possible that Ken Block may consult on future Audi road EVs, but that seems unlikely. Audi has a forward-looking approach for electric vehicle racing, and someone like Ken Block is a great person to help them get the eyes of the valuable youth demographic turned toward their EV racing efforts.
Perhaps, Block and Audi may be the first driver and team to bring an electric rally car to the WRC? We’ll just have to wait and see.