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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.

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.

Scottish League 1

Brechin boss expecting better news on Callum Tapping

October 1 2014

The knee injury Brechin midfielder Callum Tapping suffered against Stirling Albion last month does not look to be as first feared. Nevertheless, manager Ray McKinnon is sending him for a scan just to check. The 21-year-old had established himself in the Glebe Park starting XI following his summer move and there were fears that he faced several months out. McKinnon reckons that may just now be weeks. He said: “Callum’s injury has improved quite a bit and that has been great news. “He is booked in for a scan and we will still get that carried out but it could well be that he is only missing for another four weeks and not two or three months and hopefully the scan will confirm that.”

St Johnstone

St Johnstone assistant boss Callum Davidson hopes ‘Macca magic’ rubs off on young striker

August 17 2017

St Johnstone assistant boss Callum Davidson can see teenage striker Callum Hendry going from strength to strength – especially if some “Macca mentor magic” rubs off on him. The 19-year-old, who is the son of former Scotland legend Colin, made his competitive debut for Saints from the bench against Motherwell at McDiarmid on Saturday. Hendry Junior, who started his career at Blackburn, has bounced back from a couple of serious injuries and Davidson admits he has already exceeded expectations. However, he envisages further improvement if he heeds the advice from senior striker Steven MacLean. Davidson said: “Callum had a couple of bad cruciate injuries when he was younger. That put back his development so he has been unfortunate. “We had him up here for a week towards the end of last season when Blackburn indicated he would be released. “We liked what we saw and thought we’d give him a chance. “We planned to use him as an over-age player for the Under-20s as he is over the limit by a month or so. “But since coming in at the start of this season he has been brilliant and exceeded our expectations and hopefully his own. “You can see Callum has got ability, awareness of other people, he can link the play and he scores goals out of nothing. He also has the workrate which is so important in our team. “He has been working hard and he still has a bit to learn. But he has already graduated into the first-team squad and got his debut against Motherwell off the bench.” Davidson added: “Coming out of an academy system Callum probably wasn’t used to the intensity of our training. It’s tough for our own lads. I don’t think you can replicate it. “If he doesn’t track runners here someone will be onto him. “He has to learn and Steven MacLean isn’t a bad player to model himself on. “Macca will take him under his wing. He is brilliant at that, as we saw with Stevie May. It is such a key role in the team and Macca will help with Callum’s runs and his movement. “He knows the game, he is so knowledgeable. Callum should certainly listen and learn from him if he wants to get better.” Davidson knows Hendry’s dad well and he sees similar qualities between the father and son. However, the McDiarmid assistant admits he does not see Hendry Junior following in his father’s footsteps and making a move into defence. He added: “I played with Colin at Blackburn and for Scotland. That was a long time ago. “Callum has the same spring as his dad and that takes people by surprise. “Colin actually started his career as a striker but I don’t see Callum dropping back into central defence. He has too much ability for that! “But seriously, his dad was an outstanding defender who loved a tackle and head the ball away. “Callum has a different make-up to his game and he is very good technically. “These are an important six months for him coming up.”

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.


Callum’s a true royal romantic

March 29 2013

A romantic Fife lad who sent the Queen a Valentine’s card has received a reply. Seven-year-old Callum Alexander from Newton of Falkland sent Valentines to 20 girls in his class at Falkland Primary and one to the monarch. In it, he wrote: “To the Queen, I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s day. You are doing a good job. Love from Callum Alexander, aged seven.” The young Romeo was astonished when a month later a reply to the card dropped through his letterbox, complete with the message he had sent. The letter from Buckingham Palace, complete with the royal coat of arms at the top, was signed by the Queen’s lady in waiting. She told him Her Majesty was very busy and unable to reply in person but that she sent her regards. Callum, who lives with mum Yvonne, dad Mike and older brother Euan (10), said he was really excited to receive a reply. “I was screaming like a girl,” he said. “I was screaming so much I could have died.”

St Johnstone

Callum Hendry hat-trick impressed St Johnstone assistant Callum Davidson

November 29 2017

Callum Hendry’s hat-trick in an under-20 derby against Dundee was one of the best St Johnstone assistant manager Callum Davidson has seen. And it was confirmation that the young forward is on the right track for first team football at McDiarmid Park. Hendry, son of Scotland legend Colin, caught the eye of the Saints coaching staff when he arrived from Blackburn Rovers in the summer. And after a “little dip" the youngster is re-emerging as a more rounded player. “Callum came in and was excellent to start with,” said Davidson. “Then he had a little dip and he would probably say that himself. “But there are parts to his game that a lot of players don’t have. His finishing is impressive, with both feet, and he has excellent movement. But he is still learning moving up to a higher level. “We are trying to find the right position for Callum in terms of the first team. He has been playing recently as a number 10 in a 4-4-2 and he is working hard to improve. “We certainly hope he will be involved with the first team this season.” He added: “Callum scored three against Dundee and could have had a couple more. It was the best and most spectacular hat-trick I have seen for a long time. “He showed great ability for all three goals. They weren’t just tap-ins. But that is one aspect of his game that has to get better. He has to work on being a poacher and sniffing out the half-chances in the box. “But if he keeps improving he will definitely be putting pressure on the strikers this season.” Meanwhile, Davidson believes the next couple of months will shape Saints’ season. “November was a very unusual month for us with just two games,” he said. “The lads got their Christmas party out of the way but we are back to the serious stuff and going into a very intensive period. “The next few weeks will set up our season. Even when I played I used to think the games in and around Christmas and the New Year would impact on the way your season shapes up, although we had more matches down south. “The league is going to be tight and we always knew that would be the case. Look at Dundee beating Rangers the other night. There are no easy games.” The Hibs win ended a worrying run of form for Saints and Davidson is hoping that it will set in motion a more positive one. “Getting the win against Hibs gave everyone lift,” he said. “I can’t remember a game where my emotions were so down and then up in a matter of minutes, although Scotland-England over the summer was the same in reverse. “We set out a plan for Hibs and the boys implemented it very well.  Everyone got a lift from the win and we will be ready to go against Kilmarnock. “They have a new manager who is excellent and they will be set up differently from the start of the season. We enjoy that fresh challenge and so do the players.”