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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...

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.

Other sports

Ice hockey: Fife Flyers see off Cardiff Devils and Braehead Clan as they hit goal trail

February 17 2014

Jordan Fulton and Ned Lukacevic netted doubles as Fife Flyers collected their third straight win with a 7-2 home victory over Hull Stingrays. Disappointingly, Cardiff Devils also won 3-2 after a shootout with Sheffield Steelers, who dumped coach Doug Christiansen on Friday. Fife now have 36 points from 41 games while Devils have 43 from a game more. Earlier, Jordan Fulton opened the scoring after five minutes and skipper Justin DaCosta made it 2-0 six minutes later. Tim Hartung netted number three after 23 minutes before Guillaume Doucet pulled one back after 32 minutes. Ned Lukacevic’s double after 36 and 39 minutes made it 5-1 before Omar Pacha scored Hull’s second five minutes later. Fulton’s second after 48 minutes made it 6-2 and Stephen Gunn completed the scoring with less than six minutes left. Flyers enjoyed a sensational comeback at Kirkcaldy on Saturday against Braehead Clan. Clan lost 6-4 after a four-goal third period surge from Flyers, who looked down and out after going into the dressing-room 3-0 behind Clan went 4-0 ahead but Justin DaCosta and Derek Roehl sparked the comeback to make it 4-2. Stephen Gunn started Fife’s last-period goal blitz and his strikes were followed by a double from Kyle Haines and a single from Tim Hartung. * Curtis Leinweber claimed the game-winner less than six minutes from time as bottom club Edinburgh Capitals ended an 11-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over Dundee Stars on Sunday night. John Dolan hit a brace for Stars, with player-coach Jeff Hutchins also scoring. Picture by David Wardle

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

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

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.


Alex Salmond to bring his Unleashed live stage show to Dundee and Perth and expects “enthusiastic” response

October 17 2017

Alex Salmond is bringing his live show to Tayside, The Courier can reveal. The former first minister, who lost his Gordon seat in June, will take to the stage in Dundee or Perth in the spring. It follows his sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, which included a mix of chat, music and audience participation. Mr Salmond told The Courier that Unleashed on Tour will come to Tayside, probably around March. He said: “Dundee or Perth will certainly be one of the venues, no question. It will certainly come to Tayside without any question. “I’d be delighted because I know a Dundee audience will be enthusiastic and participative, because it is a big participation show.” Mr Salmond played The Tivoli in Aberdeen on Saturday, where he did a version of Rikki Fulton’s Rev IM Jolly. His Edinburgh show featured Brexit Secretary David Davis, former Celtic footballer Neil Lennon and comedian John Bishop. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXMZLsvfdIc The series was not without controversy, with the two-time SNP leader criticised for a sexual joke about female political leaders, including his successor Nicola Sturgeon. The former MSP is also down to perform in Glasgow, Dublin and London.

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.

Other sports

McLaren marvel Mitchell gunning for cracking British GT opener at Oulton

April 14 2017

Angus teenager Sandy Mitchell returns to British GT Championship action this weekend - targeting the GT4 title in his 180mph Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren 570S Twice a race winner in his 2016 debut season, Mitchell became the series’ youngest ever victor and shared Rookie of the Year honours with teammate and fellow Scot Ciaran Haggerty. Now 17 and legally able to get behind the wheel of a road car – with L-plates of course – Dundee High pupil Mitchell will again partner 20-year-old Haggerty and the pairing hope to hit the ground running at Oulton Park in Cheshire. “Pre-season testing has gone very well so we’re feeling positive heading into the first round,” he said. “We identified a couple of things we can improve in relation to the set-up, but overall the tests were excellent. “Our lap times were good too, but of course, we won’t know where we really stand until the first qualifying session. But we’re feeling quietly positive.” Mitchell has tested the McLaren at Oulton, Rockingham and Silverstone in the build-up to this weekend’s race. “It’s been a while since we won the final race of the season at Donington last year so I can’t wait for the race weekend buzz,” added Mitchell, who has added vital backing from worldwide outfits Christie Digital and Stampede Global to local companies Thorntons, Close Brothers, Stirfresh and SGM who continue their support from last season   “Primarily we’re focusing on challenging for race wins right from the start of the season. “If we manage to consistently push for wins and bag podiums, that will evolve into us challenging for the championship as we get towards the end of the season. “Obviously the GT4 title is the ultimate goal. “We’ve got the champions from last year back, so it’s going to be a tough grid, but we’re determined to do everything we can to push for the title.”

Other sports

Ice hockey: Revenge for Dundee Stars as late strike sinks Fife Flyers

September 22 2014

Ukranian Igor Gongalsky opened his account in Britain as he slotted the game-winner to end Dundee Stars’ disappointing early-season losing streak with a victory over ice hockey rivals Fife in the Challenge Cup Group A. The 27-year-old left wing from Kiev, who has played for 13 teams in five different leagues, scored with one minute 22 seconds remaining of the extra session. The goal came as a huge relief to Dundee’s player/coach Jeff Hutchins, who sat out the game through a suspension picked up in Saturday’s 4-2 defeat by Flyers at Kirkcaldy. Fife went ahead in the 17th minute last night through former Braehead Clan hit-man Bobby Chaumont after he was set up by Chris Auger and Jordan Fulton. Stars replied through another former Braehead star, Shane Lust, nine minutes later with home-bred defenceman Sam McCluskey supplying the ammunition. Both sides passed up power play chances in a tight game. Fife had five opportunities and Dundee four. The deadlock remained until the final whistle and the tense tussle went into overtime. That could still not separate the teams and the game went into sudden death overtime and with just over a minute to go Gongalsky netted to the delight of the home fans at Dundee Ice Arena. In Saturday’s game, Fulton claimed the game clinching goal in the dying minutes for injury-hit Flyers after a penalty-filled clash at Kirkcaldy. Flyers, roared on by nearly 2,300 fans, edged Stars 4-2 in a chippy game in which the sides collected 91 penalty minutes. Dundee’s tally of 50 minutes included 27 minutes for player/coach Hutchins, who was banned for last night’s game after an incident with seven seconds left. The Elite League’s department of player safety said the cross-check was a dangerous action with no regard for the opposition player’s safety and was reckless and directed at the opposition player’s head. Fife opened the scoring after six minutes when Auger netted on the power play only for experienced Martin Cingel to level just over a minute later for the visitors. Scott Fleming put the home side ahead again, also from a power play, after 18 minutes and Chaumont made it 3-1 after nine seconds of the middle session. Dundee replied through a Lust power play in the final period to make it 3-2. Fulton’s strike in the 57th minute ended the contest in which Dundee’s netminder Marc Cheverie dealt with 31 shots while his opposite number, Kevin Regan, saved 25. * New Yorker Greg Collins kept his cool to slot Edinburgh Capitals’ game-winning penalty shot to beat Cardiff Devils 3-2 after overtime last night. * In the Scottish National League’s Autumn Cup, Dundee Tigers maintained their unbeaten run when they twice came from behind to draw 4-4 with city rivals Dundee Comets. Daniel Topping netted the leveller with three minutes left in his first game against his former team-mates after switching clubs in the close season. Tigers were 2-0 down but bounced back to level at 2-2 before edging 3-2 ahead only three minutes into the third period. Comets refused to buckle and levelled before going ahead 4-3 in an exciting but towsy encounter which saw 125 penalty minutes collected by both sides. Topping’s late leveller keeps Tigers on course for the later stages and player/coach Ian Carstairs said: “I’m really happy with the battling performance. It was a character result.”