As the former publisher of Style & Design magazine, Kris Menon said that words, pictures and design are his favorite things. He moved back to the Toronto area 14 years ago from New York City and started Your Brand Integrated Marketing Communications Inc., an award-winning agency.
Menon is a big Audi fan. Over the past two decades he has owned several different models, including the A4, Q5, and SQ5. The Etobicoke resident drives to commute to meetings at his Liberty Village office and to care for his parents, who live in North York.
His role as a caregiver was one of the factors in his recent decision to buy a 2021 Audi RS Q8. With the vehicle unavailable in the Toronto area, Menon ordered his online from Audi Anjou in Montreal. He tells us why he loves his vehicle.
“I’ve loved Audis since I was young. It always had an appeal to me,” said Menon. “I love words, design and art. I collect a lot of Canadian art, especially from the modern Quebec scene. Some of my favorite artists play with different textures, colors and use mixed mediums.
“I always felt that Audi was design focused — their vehicles feel like pieces of art. The pattern Audi used on the front grill is unreal. The sleekness of the side mirrors, the indentations on the panels, it’s very thoughtful. It is something I love looking at.
“I remember when the R8 (the company’s high-performance coupe) came out in 2006. It was the car of my dreams. I just loved the design,” he said. “My RS Q8 is the closest that I felt to owning an R8. It’s like an R8 in terms of styling, horsepower, speed, and all that kind of stuff. It’s incredibly sleek and has all those elements of a beautiful performance sports car, but it also has the practicality of being good in the winter, to transport things in and to take people around — like my parents.
“The vehicle is a great blend of form and function. It is super safe, very intuitive, and yet it’s a piece of art,” said Menon. “Eventually, I think I will switch over to electric — I think we’ll all switch over to electric at some point.
“I thought the RS Q8 would be the perfect final gas car for me. It’s funny, because it really did come down to an Audi e-Tron (an electric vehicle) or this car when I made my decision.”
A closer look 2021 Audi RS Q8
A sleek look
“I love the design,” Menon said about his RS Q8. “It’s much sleeker and is lower to the ground than my previous Audi. I think it’s cooler to drive and much more beautiful to look at. I think it’s because I’m such a fan of the brand — it’s hard to make an unbiased comparison to a lot of the mass-produced stuff that we consume that I find is very formulaic.”
“There is the design of the cockpit, which, compared to pretty much anything I’ve ever driven, is very different,” said Manon. “The cockpit is really built for a driver. It’s also built to really allow you to keep focused on the road. It’s got a heads-up display. The touchscreen is very intuitive with the HVAC controls, the heating and the cooling. There are controls on the steering wheel for the radio and you can move to RS Performance mode by just pressing a button on the right side.”
Focus and handling
“I’m sort of a conservative driver and am a big proponent of keeping your focus on the road, so the car gives you all the tools to be really focused and not playing with toys,” said Menon. “It handles like a sports car. I’ve never driven an SUV like this. It handles like a much smaller car on turns, when it merges on the highway and over long distances.”
- Body styleFour-door hatchback
- Drive methodAll-wheel drive
- Engine4.0-liter turbo Quattro, 591 hp; 590 lb.-ft. Torque
- Fuel economy (city/highway)18.1/12.4 liters per 100 kilometers
- PriceStarting at $115,595 (US)
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