The car: 2012 Audi S4
Profession: TV host
- Has a BA from Duke University and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Laval University
- Appointed national ambassador for UNICEF Canada
- Got his start as the Quebec City Correspondent for talktv's The Chatroom in 2000, but his big break came in 2001 as an entertainment reporter for CTV’s Canada AM before becoming co-host of etalk in 2002
- Co-hosted the U.S. morning talk show Live! With Kelly twice
- Host on on CTV’s etalk, weekdays at 7 p.m. EST
- Contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America, weekend edition
- Host of etalk 20, a weekly two-hour radio show on several CHUM radio stations across Canada
He’s the son of former prime minister Brian Mulroney. But Ben Mulroney as celebrated in his own right. His is a lifestyle of entertainment, covering lavish red-carpet affairs such as the Oscars, the Golden Globes and the Toronto International Film Festival.
And the co-host of CTV’s top-rated entertainment series, etalk, just landed a new gig south of the border, contributing to ABC’s Good Morning America weekend edition.
Like his dad, the 36-year-old is no stranger to the spotlight, even when it comes to the road. Mulroney drives a 2012 Audi S4 sedan.
Why did you buy an Audi S4?
Years ago when I graduated from law school I got a 2001 Audi S4 and just loved it.
So I looked at it. It’s even a better car than I remembered in 2001.
I’ve never had a car that had satellite radio or a camera for when you back up – sensors that beep when you’re getting close to something. It makes it so much easier to drive a beautiful car knowing it’s less likely you’re going to hit anything.
Mechanically do you know what’s under the hood?
I’d like to say I do, but I don’t.
It takes me where I need to go. And there’s something about the sound of an S4 – it’s got a tinny, turbo sound that I just love. When I’m parking in a garage I always roll down the window so I can hear it as I’m driving.
Is it always red-carpet ready?
I try to keep it clean.
I take it to the car wash once a week. When the weather is nice, I’ll do it myself.
I decided there will be no eating in this car, no spilling drinks in this car, no stopping at a drive-thru.
I want to keep that fresh, new-car scent as long as possible.
What does an Audi say about you?
It’s true when you see cars driving down the road you project an opinion of who you think the driver is.
When I see a Mercedes-Benz I find that’s too old for me. When I see a BMW, as beautiful as it is, I find it a little more showy than an Audi in my opinion.
I think there’s something understated yet extremely tasteful about an Audi. The lines are intricate and creative, but at the same time a little more muted than cars in its class.
I don’t know if that says anything about me, but that’s what I like about it.
What was your first car?
I bought a Mustang when they reinvented it in the early 90s.
I had gone to work in a gold mine in Nevada after my first year of university. Its not the safest job in the world so you’re paid for the danger of the job. I came home with a significant pay cheque at the end of the summer and my parents matched it. They helped me buy my first car.
It had no air conditioning, it had no CDs, a tape deck, no power windows, no power seats. It was red and I loved it, except on the hotter days. I asked my parents, what I am going to do with no air conditioning? They said, drive faster. It’ll let the air come in the car a little faster.
Did you get any speeding tickets driving the Mustang?
I took it down to North Carolina for school and I did get a speeding ticket. I’m not a speed freak, but some of the cops are sticklers who stick exactly to the speed limit. Because it was in kilometres and I was driving down there in miles I’m sure I overcompensated a few times.
The guy who gave me the ticket told me he reduced the penalty on it because he had a satellite dish back home and watched CPAC and saw my dad on the Canadian Parliament channel and thought that he was a fine man so for that reason he was going to give me a break.
What’s your best and worst driving story?
My worst was on the very day I got my driver’s licence.
I had to help my sister with a charity project she was working on in Ottawa. My mother had an old Jeep Cherokee and it was parked inside our garage. I don’t know how the heck I did it, but I got the front flare of the tire wedged into the frame of the garage as I was backing her out. I have no idea how I did it. I would not be able to recreate it if you gave me 10 tries. I got stuck in there and I was shell shocked for the rest of the day.
I literally went upstairs and threw the keys at my dad and said I’m never driving again! ‘Look,’ he said, ‘You’ve got a job to do, we’ll fix it later.’ I couldn’t wait. At the time we were in Ottawa and we had RCMP driving around with us and they said we have a company we go to that work for cheap and are quick. So in between errands we went to see what he could do. Somehow he replaced the flare over the tire by the end of the day.
I can’t remember how much it cost. I was 16 and had a little bit of money. I believe I paid for the whole thing myself. That’s the best and the worst memory because as a 16-year-old I never thought of myself as resourceful, but I did take care of it.
Did your dad teach you to drive?
Oh no. I took Young Driver’s.
He would be in the car with me when we’d go around the block every now and then.
If I could bring you the keys to any car what would it be?
I want to drive a Fisker. It looks like a shark from the front. It harkens back to classic old lines. And from what I’ve been told it performs very well. I’d love to give that a whirl.
This interview has been edited and condensed