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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

UK & World

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Fife

Missing Allan Bryant: No ‘dead end’ in investigation, say police

November 4 2014

The officer leading the inquiry into missing Glenrothes man Allan Bryant has said that police have not hit a “dead end”. Chief Inspector Nicola Shepherd said lines of inquiry are continuing to be followed up on the first anniversary of Allan’s disappearance. Despite the largest missing person investigation ever undertaken in Fife, no trace of the 24-year-old has been found since he left Styx nightclub in Caskieberran Road a year ago. On Monday, as Police Scotland released enhanced CCTV footage of Alan’s last known movements, Chief Inspector Shepherd underlined the scale of the task facing her officers. Asked if the investigation had ground to a halt, she replied: “We’re definitely not at a dead end. We’re pursuing a number of lines that we can’t speak openly about. “It’s been absolutely massive from day one. I can honestly say that a Fife force would have struggled to take this forward. “The search has been huge from airborne to water searches. Hundreds of statements have been noted and it’s a major, major inquiry.” Police are hoping that the nightclub footage will help to jog memories of those who may have seen Allan on November 3 2013. Although the footage has been released before, it has been enhanced in the hope that it will be shared on social media, a platform which the Bryant family has successfully utilised to publicise the search for their son. The family also displayed a teddy bear made out of articles of Allan’s clothing, an item they poignantly held on to throughout a press conference at police headquarters in Glenrothes. It came just hours after a candlelit vigil at Caskieberran Road, the location of Styx where Allan was last seen. However, Allan’s father, Allan Snr, once again took the opportunity to criticise the earlier police investigation, before stating that he had every faith in the current set-up to establish what has happened to his son. “The police were a joke since day one,” he said. “But now we have new faces. “I believe they have to go back and re-evaluate everyone who has made a statement. The answer is there in the police files.”

News

Angry spat over future of Fife base RAF Leuchars

April 11 2011

A furious war of words has broken out in North East Fife, after Liberal Democrat candidate Iain Smith was accused of "blatant double standards." His SNP rival Rod Campbell hit out as the emotive issue of RAF Leuchars' future began to dominate the local campaign trail. Mr Campbell insisted the Lib Dem candidate had been "less than straight" with voters in a new campaign leaflet. "The latest Lib Dem leaflet tries to take credit for changes in taxation by reminding voters that the UK Government is a Tory/Lib Dem coalition," Mr Campbell said. "The changes in question were introduced by George Osborne in his recent Budget and Iain Smith seems happy in this case to be associated with the Conservatives in London. "However, right next to the article on taxation is one about the threat to RAF Leuchars. It posts Mr Smith as champion of the campaign to save the airbase. "Nowhere does this article recognise that it is the Lib Dem/Tory coalition that threatens Scottish defence facilities, not least RAF Leuchars. "When Iain Smith likes the actions of the London coalition, he claims credit for his party. "When it comes to RAF Leuchars, he pretends that he has nothing to do with Nick Clegg and the actions of the London government. However, Mr Smith was happy to laugh off the SNP missive. "This is typically laughable bluster from the SNP," he said. "Yes, thanks to the Liberal Democrats thousands of Fifers will pay no tax from this month and around 180,000 will have a tax cut and, yes, Sir Menzies Campbell MP and Ialong with members of the local community and the RAF Leuchars task forceare campaigning vigorously to save the base. "I am a campaigner for my community and RAF Leuchars is vital to our social fabric, local economy and defence of the UK. "The MoD have repeatedly said that no decisions have been made on the future of RAF bases, but that does not stop us from making the case for its retention. "Sadly, the SNP candidate has yet again undermined the efforts of those fighting hard to save the base."

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.

Readers' letters

Dundee Airport comments “misguided”

February 24 2015

Sir, I was surprised and disappointed to read the misguided and irresponsible comments of prominent businessman and current President of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, Tim Allan, regarding Dundee Airport (February 20). I am the founding President of Dundee and Angus Chamber and our declared policy and philosophy was to represent all businesses in the area and promote the best economic environment in which the universities and businesses of all types could flourish. It is extremely well recorded in many studies that transport links are key to any area’s economic development prospects and airport links are critical in this regard. It is true that Stansted is not the best airport to serve London and I would support Mr Allan’s view about continuing to press for better rail links from Dundee to Edinburgh airport but not at the expense of this local facility. Mr Allan should remember that Stansted, as a hub, serves more than 100 destinations mainly into Europe including all the main European countries which, from a business exporting perspective, is very important to many businesses and to the economic prospects for this region. I would also point out that Tayside Aviation based at Dundee Airport is a hugely important organisation for this area, training pilots for the RAF and for commercial organisations such as Loganair. The importance of a working commercial airport to Tayside Aviation should not be lost. It is true that smaller aircraft which use Dundee Airport are more expensive to run, so the ticket price is never going to match Easy Jet from Edinburgh but when an executive’s time is costed into the three- hour round trip from Dundee to Edinburgh departure gate, Mr Allan may find there are little savings to be made. Of course, as Mr Allan does not live in Dundee or Angus but resides in Clackmannanshire, it is easier and quicker for him to travel to Edinburgh airport. He should remember that as President of the Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce he has a duty of care to the wider business community to be responsible in his public opinions. Gary Langlands. Past President, Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce. Safeguards for themselves Sir, Following the MPs’ expenses scandal the political rhetoric we hear now about a mansion tax should be treated with contempt, apathy and indifference. The reason I say that is because we all know that the politicians of today will devise any such tax in a way that will safeguard them-selves and future elected members, by some means or other. Every day we see instances whereby those who can put anything and everything on expenses claims forms and charge it to the taxpayers. So should we be surprised, if a mansion tax was brought in, to find that MPs, MSPs and MEPs who are, or became, eligible to pay such a tax on large £2 million properties, simply put it into their respective expenses claims offices and get the money back? When we see a culture that allows those who can to claim for everything from attending funerals to the milk in their tea, no we shouldn’t be. Nothing surprises me now. Colin Cookson. Glenrothes. No solution, but part of future Sir, One of your correspondents complains about the planning process for wind turbines (February 19) and then goes on to say that turbines are loathed. I agree that the planning process is not working satisfactorily and that we should protect the wild areas of Scotland. However, this is not the same as saying that all wind turbines are inefficient, expensive and loathsome. It appears that companies like Michelin in Dundee regard wind turbines as a helpful way to reduce their energy costs. Wind turbines are not the solution to all Scotland’s energy needs and never will be but they are part of the renewable future. It is true that there are subsidies for renewable energy but this is not just in relation to wind turbines. There are also subsidies for solar and biomass and no energy company was willing to build a nuclear power plant in England unless the UK Government guaranteed a minimum price for their outputs. Robert Potter. Menzieshill Road, Dundee. When it fails its own children . . . Sir, The Department of Work and Pensions last week withdrew the disability living allowance from an eight-year-old girl in Lancashire. She is blind, deaf, mute and has a rare life-limiting neurological disorder (BVVL). In my city a group of shameless Tory Party supporters canvass to be re-elected so that they can continue dishing out even more cruel punishments to those who cannot defend themselves. When a government neglects and fails its own children then it is time for a change. Kenneth Bruce. 21 Wallace Crescent, Perth. What about the ones who paid? Sir, With reference to your recent article Legislation to end poll tax collection (February 20), the legislation passed by the SNP Government, writing off the £425 million pounds of unpaid tax, is unacceptable. Surely the SNP Government should now pass legislation to the effect that all those who paid the tax should be reimbursed in full? Roy Moffat. Gilmerton, Crieff.

Rugby

Youth rugby Perthshire boost

March 11 2016

Youth rugby across Perthshire will be boosted by the Bill McLaren Voice of Rugby Dinner being held at Crieff Hydro next month. Perthshire RFC’s award-winning youth policy will be supported by the black tie fundraiser on April 29, sponsored by local businesses Tan International and Campbell Dallas, which features Australian legend David Campese and former Scotland captains Rob Wainwright and Andy Nicol. Grassroots rugby will benefit, with the Eagles working closely with local schools to nurture young talent. Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance and Morrison’s Academy are also being supported. Three years ago, Perthshire RFC became a Positive Coaching Scotland accredited club, with the Foundation’s grant helping towards the cost of installing floodlights at the North Inch. The award also recognised the club’s strategy to foster key rugby union values of pride, respect and sportsmanship. The Eagles’ development blueprint includes enhancing facilities at their strength and conditioning gym to enhance the physical development of youth players. The impressive Perthshire set-up includes two senior teams, five teams at secondary school level and 10 mini rugby sides, under the guidance of director of rugby Andy Cummins and development officer Rory Mackay. “We have made a big push on the coaching side and building a centre of excellence in Perth,” said Eagles president Allan Brown. “Strength and conditioning is playing an ever increasing role in the development of young players and we are fortunate to be able to call upon experienced coaches. “There is a pathway in place from the minis up to the first XV. But events like the Beer Festival and support from the Bill McLaren Foundation is vital because there are significant overheads.” Alan Lawson, chief executive of the Foundation established in memory of the legendary commentator, said: “The Foundation has enjoyed great support from the Perthshire area and we are keen to continuing supporting local rugby. “We are now looking to rolling out the second phase of Winning Scotland’s excellent positive coaching strategy, with the objective of introducing it to state schools. “It is good to see the Scottish Rugby Union and Scottish Football Association working together, with SportScotland, encouraging kids to be the best they can be.” Voice of Rugby dinner tickets, priced £75, are available from Andrew Ritchie at Cambell Dallas (tel 01738 441888) and John Thorburn (tel 07929 655132).

Motoring news

Audi showcases raft of new cars

June 29 2016

Audi threw everything it had at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend, with no fewer than nine upcoming models making their UK debuts. One of the most interesting – and affordable – was the new Q2. Audi’s smallest crossover yet, it’ll sit underneath the Q3, Q5 and big ole Q7. It will be available as a front wheel drive or with Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system. Under the skin there’s a choice of three TFSI petrol and three TDI diesels, with Audi’s 1.0 litre three-cylinder petrol offering 114bhp, the 1.4 litre four-cylinder sitting below the 187bhp 2,.0 litre TFSI. Diesel options are the 1.6 litre TDI with 114bhp and a pair of 2.0 litre TDIs with 148bhp or 187bhp. It goes on sale later this summer with a starting price expected to be in the region of £20,000. At the other end of the price scale is the R8 V10 Spyder. The 553bhp supercar comes a year after the second generation coupe R8 was released. Audi reckons the new Spyder is 50 per cent stiffer than the last Spyder, and its canvas roof stows beneath a massive rear deck, able to open or close at speeds up to 31mph in 20 seconds. Fuel economy “improves” to just over 24mpg thanks to a new coasting function that idles the engine when it’s not needed. Expect it to cost around £130,000. In between those two extremes are a plethora of other upcoming Audis, including the new S5 Coupe, and the Audi TT RS which first revealed a year ago is hardly new but apparently it had never been seen in the UK before. A couple of Q7s were also at Goodwood, including the Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrid, which returns a claimed 156mpg, and the SQ7 – a diesel with 429bhp. There was also the refreshed A3 range. Audi’s upmarket Golf rival has been given a styling refresh along with a few new engine options. Following a trend for downsizing, there’s a 1.0 litre three -cylinder petrol unit, while a powerful 2.0 petrol engine also joins the range.

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