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“Electric mobility is the future”

Ken Block is a rally driver and an Internet superstar. At the home of Audi Sport in Neuburg an der Donau, Germany, he took the Audi RS e-tron GT¹ for a spin and talked about electric mobility, progress and how his collaboration with the Four Rings has resulted in the spectacular Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron².

12/15/2021 Text: Patrick Morda and Nadia Riaz-Ahmed – Photo: Julian Rausche, Patrick Runte, Philipp Rupprecht – Film: AUDI AG Reading Time: 5 min

Audi RS e-tron GT: Power consumption, combined*: 20.2–19.3 kWh/100km (NEDC); 22.6–20.6 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

¹ The Audi RS e-tron GT is a production vehicle that is not designed or suitable for use on the racetrack or in a rally.
² The vehicle shown is intended for professional use on closed circuits only and not available as production model.

Audi RS e-tron GT: Power consumption, combined*: 20.2–19.3 kWh/100km (NEDC); 22.6–20.6 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

¹ The Audi RS e-tron GT is a production vehicle that is not designed or suitable for use on the racetrack or in a rally.
² The vehicle shown is intended for professional use on closed circuits only and not available as production model.

Ken Block stands with his back to the camera in front of two Audi models.
The past and the future: Rally sensation Ken Block gets up close and personal with the legendary Audi quattro S1 E2 and the fully electric Audi RS e-tron GT at Audi Sport in Neuburg an der Donau in Germany.

Audi RS e-tron GT: Power consumption, combined*: 20.2–19.3 kWh/100km (NEDC); 22.6–20.6 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

The Audi RS e-tron GT is a production vehicle that is not designed or suitable for use on the racetrack or in a rally.

Audi RS e-tron GT: Power consumption, combined*: 20.2–19.3 kWh/100km (NEDC); 22.6–20.6 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

The Audi RS e-tron GT is a production vehicle that is not designed or suitable for use on the racetrack or in a rally.

Ken, many people think of you as a petrol head. Now you had the opportunity to drive the fully electric Audi RS e-tron GT. What was going through your mind when you got into the car?

The Audi RS e-tron GT really surprised me. Obviously, Audi has created an exquisite design with careful attention to detail on all the finishes. That makes it a real eye-catcher. And once you get into the car and drive it, the experience is truly amazing. It’s exceedingly fast, handles very well and the centre of gravity is very low so you can change direction very quickly. I really enjoyed my time with the Audi RS e-tron GT.

 

 

What do you think about electric cars in general?

I embrace technology and anything that improves our future. I see the electric car as a leap forward for us as a society because it not only partially reduces emissions but also delivers high functionality and performance. I used to drive a truck but I’m looking forward to having an electric car. Electric mobility is the future. It’s really an evolution in the way we move around in the world. I’m fascinated by cars like the Audi RS e-tron GT, which boasts not only an absolutely beautiful design but also a lot of performance.

Audi RS e-tron GT: Power consumption, combined*: 20.2–19.3 kWh/100km (NEDC); 22.6–20.6 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

The Audi RS e-tron GT is a production vehicle that is not designed or suitable for use on the racetrack or in a rally.

Audi RS e-tron GT: Power consumption, combined*: 20.2–19.3 kWh/100km (NEDC); 22.6–20.6 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

The Audi RS e-tron GT is a production vehicle that is not designed or suitable for use on the racetrack or in a rally.

“We want to package mobility and electrification in a fun way”

Ken Block

What is the key to performance for a professional racing driver like yourself?

When it comes to racing, there’s one thing you should know about me: I want to get around the track fast! To do that, I need more than just a powerplant – whether it’s a combustion engine or electric motor. I also need a high-performance chassis and well-tuned tires. It’s about the whole nine yards for me. I really embrace the idea of tomorrow’s electric motors giving me everything that I enjoy, be it rallycross or gymkhana. If I can drive fast and have fun with it, I’m in.

 

Wouldn’t you miss the sound of a combustion engine?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the sound of combustion engines, especially the five-cylinder that Audi is so famous for. That’s what I grew up with. Even so, I welcome change and whatever might make me go faster. The view that combustion engines are the answer because something would be missing without that growl is wrong. I have kids who don’t care about that. They’re used to the idea that there are combustion engines and electric motors, each with their own sounds. To them, both are cool. We need to change our attitude and learn that the lack of a sound can also be very cool.

“The Audi S1 Hoonitron² takes our gymkhana story into the future”

Ken Block

 

² The vehicle shown is intended for professional use on closed circuits only and not available as production model.

² The vehicle shown is intended for professional use on closed circuits only and not available as production model.

Speaking of your needs as a driver, how does the e-drive compare to a conventional one?

I have been driving cars with combustion engines and gearboxes for so long. All that is now changing because of electric motors. I’m always looking for ways to do things better. Electrifying cars is the next step. After all, it’s a cutting-edge, technology-driven solution to what I enjoy – driving on and off the racetrack. Having seen and been involved in the development of some of the advances, I’m looking forward to continuing with the process and seeing how far we can push things.

 

You worked together with the Four Rings on one of those developments, the Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron². What is the project about?

By testing electric cars in different contexts, we want to package mobility and electrification in new and entertaining ways. Audi has done an incredible job of driving their vehicles into the future. Hopefully, I can pick up on that and have a lot of fun with it at the same time. I I wanted the vehicle to drift fast, be agile and – despite electrification – drift perfectly. All that I can reveal after the first test drives is that I am thrilled.

² The vehicle shown is intended for professional use on closed circuits only and not available as production model.

² The vehicle shown is intended for professional use on closed circuits only and not available as production model.

So, this name doesn’t only remind of the famous Audi Sport quattro S1 Pikes Peak.

Audi has always had a huge impact on me with their innovations. In the 1980s, the brand used to dominate one of my all-time favourite sports events – the World Rally Championship – in a way that truly inspired me. Thanks to the Four Rings’ success in the Race to the Clouds on Pikes Peak, the brand finally earned a place for itself and the S1 in the history books. Even today, I’m still speechless when I see videos of Walter Röhrl conquering the mountain back then. I think it’s truly impressive that Audi has kept the spirit of this legendary car and its design alive into the present day.

A zoom shot of the Audi RS e-tron GT where Ken Block is sitting in it, looking out of the window.

Experience the Audi RS e-tron GT in your country

The all-electric Audi RS e-tron GT heralds a new era for Audi. Learn more about this supercar’s powerful performance.

Learn more

Audi RS e-tron GT: Power consumption, combined*: 20.2–19.3 kWh/100km (NEDC); 22.6–20.6 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

The Audi RS e-tron GT is a production vehicle that is not designed or suitable for use on the racetrack or in a rally.

Audi RS e-tron GT: Power consumption, combined*: 20.2–19.3 kWh/100km (NEDC); 22.6–20.6 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

The Audi RS e-tron GT is a production vehicle that is not designed or suitable for use on the racetrack or in a rally.

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