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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.


Glens stay top after fightback against Strathie

September 29 2014

Glenrothes have consolidated their position at the top of BT Caledonia Division 1 after squeezing past a spirited Strathmore side at Inchmacoble. The Fifers staged a second half fightback to edge out the Forfar side 23-20. Strathie led 13-11 at half time and stretched that advantage to 20-11 before the visitors mounted a comeback that culminated in a solo effort by Willie Maxwell, who raced over from half way to snatch the lead, with Shaun Gray’s conversion completing the job. Elsewhere, Morgan Academy had a bad day, losing 62-0 at home to Gordonians, who now sit second in the table, two points behind Glenrothes. Alloa maintained their immaculate start in Division 2 (Midlands) with a 93-0 win away to Blairgowrie. Carnoustie posted a fourth successive win when they squeezed past Stirling University 20-19. Danny Van Wyk was star man for Carnoustie, bagging all of the points with two converted tries and two penalties. Harris Academy chalked up a third successive bonus point win, seeing off Madras Rugby 45-3. Mike Devlin touched down twice for Harris and there was a try apiece for Joe Abbott, Owen McDonald, Niall Quinton, Graeme Merry and Stewart Walker, who also booted five conversions. Kinross bounced back from a hefty defeat the previous week to see off Panmure 55-22, while Howe of Fife seconds were 57-20 winners at home to Grangeouth Stags. Perthshire seconds drew level at the summit of Division 3 Midlands (West) with a 30-7 win away to their counterparts at Alloa. Arbroath took a fourth successive bonus point win, seeing off Falkirk seconds 57-12 to remain top of Division 3 Midlands (East). Fife Southern are still second after returning from the trip to meet Montrose & District with a 27-5 success. Stobswell eased to a 43-0 win away to Glenrothes seconds, while Dundee University Medics squeezed home 34-33 over Waid FP.

Angus & The Mearns

Gingerbread tribute to the Wee Red Town

October 14 2013

When Libby Jones was invited by Bank Street Gallery owner Susie Clark to exhibit at her gallery in Kirriemuir, she became intrigued by the history of the town. As well as Kirriemuir’s most famous son and Peter Pan author JM Barrie, she discovered the town had also been home for a time to AC/DC singer Bon Scott, Victorian mountaineer Hugh Munro, and 19th century writer Violet Jacob. She found the town had been a hotbed of witchcraft in the 16th century and is also world famous for its gingerbread and decided to combine all these elements. Ms Jones went on to craft a boxed set of prints, which also doubles as a card game. She said: “This tongue-in-cheek edition of 10 boxes, of 20 cards per box, features Kirriemuir characters presented on a slice of gingerbread on a plate. I have also made a poster featuring all the 10 characters in the game.” Visitors can see images of Edinburgh Castle with fireworks, wildlife such as gannets, and artwork made after a visit to Antarctica. Londoner and master printmaker Ms Jones exhibited work from her sub-zero stay at a Discovery Point exhibition in Dundee last year. Children can see her work Cooking the Climate, a comment on global warming, which consists of a microwave oven and slideshow with rotating polar animals. There is also a fossilised mobile phone in a second installation, Fossils of the Anthropocene an exploration of the traces that might remain of civilisation in 50 million years’ time. She is also exhibiting a selection of her woodcuts, linocuts, collagraphs and screenprints at the gallery. The exhibition runs until November 8 and opening hours can be found on www.bankstreetgallery.org, or by telephoning 01575 570070.

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.


Rugby round-up: Alloa setting pace after convincing bonus-point win

January 12 2015

Alloa continued to set the pace in BT Caledonia League Division 2 (Midlands) with a 35-7 win against league strugglers Blairgowrie. The defeat, combined with results elsewhere, left Blairgowrie in the basement slot. Panmure moved up one place with a 31-19 win at home to Kinross. It was only the second win of the league campaign for the Broughty Ferry men. The bonus-point success puts Alloa three points clear of nearest challengers Harris Academy, who have two games in hand. Harris faced Madras FP at Station Park, and took all five league points with a 22-5 win. With a strong wind behind them, the Elliot Road men enjoyed the bulk of the possession in the first half. A solid defensive effort by the St Andrews side and the absence of a clinical edge in the visitors’ attack restricted the Harris to tries by Owen McDonald, Joe Abbott and Mike Devlin, with Niall Quinton converting the second of that trio, as they reached the interval with a 17-5 lead. A second touchdown by McDonald, the only score in the second period, bagged the four-try bonus for Harris. With Kinross going down at Panmure, Grangemouth Stags tightened their grip on fourth with a 63-0 success at home to Howe of Fife seconds in the day’s other game. Arbroath extended their unbeaten run in Division 3 when they had an untroubled 44-5 win at home to Waid Academy. The sides immediately behind the current leaders both posted bonus point wins, second-placed Grangemouth Stags seconds emerging as 35-10 winners at home to Crieff and Strathearn; while Perthshire remain third, albeit with a game in hand, after a 32-12 win at Sunnyside against a Falkirk seconds side propping up the table. Meanwhile, Dundee University Medics enjoyed a winning start to the year, returning from Bluebellwood Park with a 33-0 victory over Bannockburn to their credit. Stobswell took all five league points after being awarded a 28-0 win over Montrose and District in Division 4 (Midlands). Meanwhile, Glenrothes seconds were also given a win over Strathmore seconds, who conceded the match because of a player shortage. The Fife club’s top side still sits at the top of Division 1, despite the match at home to Strathmore being postponed after the pitches at both Carleton Park and Buckhaven High School were deemed unplayable. Hillfoots recorded a third win of the season when they saw off Mackie Academy with a 31-22 scoreline. That moved the Tillicoultry men a further five points clear of second-bottom Morgan Academy, who were on the wrong end of a 32-17 result at Gordonians.


Perthshire chalk up six tries in opening win at Gordonians

September 9 2013

Perthshire launched their RBS Caledonia Division One campaign with a trip to face Gordonians. It proved to be an enjoyable outing, with James Wade touching down twice, while there was a try apiece for Lewis Johns, Ed Salter, Adam Pattinson and Sam Brand, with Dominic O’Connor kicking the rest of the points in a 45-5 win. Morgan Academy chalked up a 17-15 win in their match at home to St Andrews University, and Dunfermline, the third team to return to the regional leagues this season, battled back from a slow start to see off Caithness 26-18 at McKane Park. The points came from tries by Giles Boland, Maurice Pinkerton, Graeme Low and Neil Donald, plus three conversions by Gregor McNeish. Dunfermline president Andy Morgan, said, “It was a pleasing response from the team after going 13-0 down early on and going on to secure a bonus point.” There was also a successful start to the season for Strathmore who beat Orkney 40-24. Recently-appointed Hillfoots coach Stuart McGee saw his men start with a century of points as they swatted aside Panmure 112-0 in RBS Caledonia Division Two (Midlands). There was a much closer encounter at Stirling University where four penalties by Steven Dean saw Glenrothes home to a 12-10 win over the students, who battled back from a 9-3 half-time deficit to lead 10-9. Harris Academy bounced back from a disappointing RBS Bowl performance to chalk up a 32-7 win away to Grangemouth Stags. The Elliot Road men, inspired by a virtuoso performance from veteran scrum-half Jack Reavely, led 20-0 at the break, courtesy of tries by Greg Matthew, Tom Spowart and Mike McDonald, plus five points from the boot of Callum Leese. A converted score for Poloc Islam secured the bonus point and Roger McGill completed the job with try number five. Alloa won 25-14 at Kinross while Ryan Walker led the way with two of Blairgowrie’s eight tries as they kicked off their Division Three (Midlands) campaign with a home 48-12 win over Waid Academy. He was joined on the scoresheet by David Grieve, Fraser Maxwell, David Allan, Liam McLaren, Fraser Bissett and Stephen Souter, who slotted four conversions. Carnoustie saw off Fife Southern 57-7, Kirkcaldy seconds beat their Howe of Fife counterparts 62-19 and Bannockburn were 27-12 winners away to Glenrothes seconds. Crieff & Strathearn returned from their trip to face Grangemouth seconds with a 33-12 win. Andrew Tainsh touched down twice and Greg Coul bagged Crieff’s other try.


RBS Caledonia Championship: 66-point thriller ends all square

September 16 2013

Perthshire and Strathmore served up a cracking encounter in RBS Caledonia Division One, eventually sharing the spoils in a 33-33 draw. Tries by Keir Doe, Dominic O’Connor, Owen McDonald and Adam Pattinson sealed three league points for the hosts who lie second in the table behind early pacesetters Dunfermline. The Fifers were 31-20 home winners over Gordonians, their four-try bonus ensuring a perfect 10-point haul from the opening two matches. St Andrews University clocked up a half-century to see off Mackie Academy 53-29. However, Morgan Academy endured a dis-appointing trip to face Caithness, losing 60-14. In Division Two (Midlands), Panmure shrugged off a hefty opening day defeat to post a 33-15 win over Kinross. Tries from Ade Parker, Andy Barclay, Ben Strachan, Conor Bowen and a penalty award saw the Broughty Ferry men open their account. It was a good day for the students, with a pacy Dundee University side producing a mathematically well balanced performance to clock up five tries and 31 points in each half as they brushed aside Alloa 62-22, and their counterparts at Stirling University eased to a 38-12 win over Grangemouth Stags. Glenrothes had the bonus point secured by half-time in their home game with Madras, Ryan Douglas, Gary Linton, Gary Tipling and Daryl Warrender all touching down. Glens rubbed in their superiority against opponents who had travelled with only 15 players. The home side added further tries from Steven Bell, Kenny Christie, Sean Lynch, Colin Maxwell and Willie Maxwell, plus three conversions by Connor Baxter to post a 51-14 win. The result leaves Glenrothes a point behind Hillfoots who had a second bonus point win when they saw off Harris Academy 28-11 at Elliot Road, Greg Mathews scoring all the home side’s points with a try and two penalties. The fixtures in Division Three (Midlands) served up several high scores, the biggest coming at Cupar where Howe of Fife seconds won 104-24 against Carnoustie. Grangemouth seconds had a 62-17 win over Glenrothes II and Bannockburn were 20-14 winners at home to Kirkcaldy II. Crieff & Strathearn continued their fine start to the season with a five point haul from their 44-17 win at home to Blairgowrie, while Waid Academy beat Fife Southern 34-12. Perthshire seconds emerged as the early pacesetters in Division Four (Midlands) with a second successive bonus point win, this time a 24-17 success at Stobswell. Dundee University Medics eased to a 41-12 win at Falkirk seconds.