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Turbo-charged Bilodeau's a motoring mogul

Gold medalist Alexandre Bilodeau and his 2011 Audi S4.

Christinne Muschi/christinne muschi The Globe and Mail

Alexandre Bilodeau

Profession: Olympic gold-medal freestyle skier

Age: 23

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Hometown: Montreal

Notable achievements: Won silver in the men's moguls at the 2011 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships in Utah; won gold medal in men's moguls at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics; two-time Olympian; seven World Cup Gold medals, 22 World Cup Podiums; joined the national freestyle moguls ski team at 17; active in charitable organizations such as Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres, Three to Be, In Support of Treatment & Therapy of Children's Neurological Disorders, and Quaker Oats charity event to benefit the Food Bank Canada

Upcoming: Ongoing speaking engagements and charitable events

Alexandre Bilodeau captured Canadian hearts after winning Canada's first gold medal in men's moguls at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

He also made history as the first Canadian to win gold at an Olympics held on home soil. This month, he won silver in the men's moguls world championship.

Bilodeau is a speed-demon at heart; he loves speed on the slopes and on the road. That's why he drives a 2011 Audi S4 sedan.

Why did you buy an Audi?

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I just got a new partnership deal with Audi Canada. The S4 sticks to the road. It has the new Audi sport differential.

Instead of having the power from the front wheel to the rear wheel, they changed the differential of the power. When you're getting in a curve or sliding they changed it per wheel now. So the power change per wheel can go all the way up to 100 per cent of the power on only one wheel if you're on a very heavy turn.

It really sticks to the road and its pretty fuel-efficient, too.

I'm really impressed with it. It even has detectors for when you're turning and someone is in your angle [blind spot]- the car warns someone is there. It has everything - it's pretty crazy.

Are you a car guy - do you know what's under the hood?

Yes. I'm a car guy definitely. I love cars. I like anything that gives me an adrenaline rush.

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It's a V-6 supercharged. It's called a super turbo, supercharged, or something like that. It's closer to a supercharged than a turbo.

Does it have the speed of an Olympic medalist?

Definitely! It definitely gives me goose bumps. It's a pretty fast car.

From the start, zero to 100 in less than five seconds. It's 342 horsepower, I think, so it's pretty powerful.

What does an S4 say about you?

It says drive me faster and faster, but I'm trying to hold myself back!

Have you had any speeding tickets with it?

No. No. I've had it for three weeks only. I try to stay safe.

What was your first car?

My first car was a Subaru Impreza, the basic one.

But my second car I bought about a year and a half ago. It was a Subaru WRX STI. It wasn't a sponsorship. But now I sold the STI because I got the sponsorship with Audi.

It's a bit more expensive car and I definitely see the difference with the Subaru.

What's your best driving memory?

My best driving memory was last summer driving a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Ferrari F430 and an Audi R8 V-10. I got friends in Montreal that got those cars. They're pretty amazing cars.

The V-10 on the Audi is the same V-10 on the Lamborghini Gallardo. It's a pretty impressive car and the sound of it is amazing, too.

What's your worst driving memory?

I'm travelling so much and there's a lot of time when we're in rentals. Some are really bad.

Probably the worst car to rent was the Chevrolet Cobalt. It's one of the worst rental cars I've ever had. It's boring to drive. There's nothing in it - it comes so basic it didn't even have electric windows.

Who taught you how to drive?

My parents. My mom taught me how to drive automatic and my dad manual.

The S4 is automatic with paddle shifts. It's my first experience with it other than my experience with the Ferrari and Lamborghini. I like it. It's fun to drive. It's way faster to shift. When you need to downshift in a corner it's really fast, under 0.04 per second to shift so it's really fast, really responsive.

What do you listen to on the road?

It depends how I feel. But I'm more of a rock guy.

What's your favourite driving road?

I travel a lot for skiing and we often have rental cars for driving.

I really like the hills when it's snowing up north. I love driving 4WD, obviously with the Subaru and the Quattro with the Audi. It's pretty amazing.

This weekend, it was snowing in Montreal and the roads were pretty slide-y and when I go up north to my parents place there's a nice hill. When the hills are slippery it's pretty fun to drive.

Any accidents with any of your cars?

I had one accident with my first car - that was it.

I was 18 years old and really young. It was with the Impreza. I left for two months for skiing and I came back and it was winter. My car was outside at my parents and there was rust on the brakes. I came back and I was all stoked. I didn't think about it and I left. Obviously when I hit the brake it was a bit rough; it took a while before it stopped.

If I could bring you the keys to any car, what would it be?

Right now, even in winter I would drive the Audi R8.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

READ MORE: Click here for full coverage of the Canadian International Auto Show

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About the Author

Petrina Gentile is an award-winning automotive journalist - one of the few women who cover cars in Canada. Her life revolves around wheels. She has been writing for the Drive section since 2004. Besides auto reviews, she also interviews celebrities like Norman Jewison, Patrick Dempsey, Rick Hansen, Dean McDermott, Russell Peters, and Ron MacLean for her My Car column. More

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