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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

Angus & The Mearns

Arbroath pay tribute to Lichties fan Colin Mayes, who died aged 42

February 14 2013

Arbroath FC have paid tribute to a popular fan who died at the age of 42. Colin Mayes was a well-known face at Gayfield who often acted as a steward and helped out behind the scenes. He moved to Wales two years ago after finding love and marrying Christine. He passed away in hospital in Port Talbot after being diagnosed with a brain tumour and kidney problems. An Arbroath spokesman said: “It was with great sadness that Arbroath FC heard the news that Colin Mayes had passed away at the age of 42. “Colin became a well-known and popular face around Gayfield a few years ago as he helped out with whatever needed done behind the scenes. Our thoughts are with Christine and family and friends at this sad time.” Born in Sutton, Colin moved to Harrogate and later Dundee before living in Carnoustie and then Arbroath. Colin’s brother Bob described Colin as “one of the good guys”. He said his wedding day was the best day of Colin’s life.

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.

Fife

‘Overwhelming’ backing for McRae Rally Challenge at Knockhill

March 4 2015

The McRae Rally Challenge at Knockhill is shaping up to be one of the biggest rally themed events in Scotland, if not the UK. Originally designed to be a celebration of Colin McRae’s world rally championship title win 20 years ago, the idea has gained momentum over recent months, with rally fans and motoring enthusiasts the length and breadth of the UK getting excited by the prospect of the May 16 and 17 festival. A highlight will be the largest gathering of Colin’s competition cars ever seen in Scotland, ranging from his original Mini and Talbot Sunbeam to the Subaru Impreza that carried him and Derek Ringer to world victory in 1995. Over the years enthusiasts have snapped up McRae competition cars as mementoes of their hero, many of them locked away from public view until now. “Since we went public on this event, we have been approached by a number of these fans to supply ex-McRae cars for the gathering,” said Knockhill’s events director Stuart Gray. “Support from the general public has been amazing too. “The idea of a 20th anniversary commemorative event just seems to have struck a chord with the fans but it has also given us the opportunity to create a major event for Scotland.” Colin’s father Jimmy McRae, who is working on having some rallying greats make an appearance, added: “The fans’ desire to celebrate Colin’s achievements is overwhelming at times.” One star name already committed to the event is Alister McRae, Colin’s younger brother and former British Rally Champion as well as FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Champion, who now lives in Australia. “There’s no way I’m going to miss this,” said Alister. “I’ll be coming ‘home’ for that weekend. I have no idea what I’ll be driving when I get there but, whatever it is, it will be fun.”

Fife

Knockhill rally festival will celebrate 20th anniversary of Colin McRae’s championship win

October 10 2014

Knockhill will stage a special rally festival to mark the 20th anniversary of the late Colin McRae’s world championship win. The Fife track is working with the motorsport legend’s family on the special tribute weekend on May 16 and 17 next year. The new event will celebrate the world of rallying, both old and new, as well as McRae’s achievement. It will feature an invitational competitive rally for three classes, bringing together competitors in their latest machinery, competitors in classic rally cars and the next breed of rally stars. The event will use a combination of tracks including the racing circuit, the Knockhill rally stage and perimeter roads. Knockhill events director Stuart Gray said: “We are proud and privileged to be working with the McRae family to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Colin’s world title. “He competed here so many times in rally events, raced here in the British Touring Car Championship and a Porsche Carrera Cup car, he tested here often and came for some fun too. “We knew him very well and think that this tribute event will be something special for the thousands of Colin’s fans and rallying fans across the UK and beyond.” He added he hoped it would become an annual event. Jimmy McRae, father of Colin, said: “We are pleased to be working with Knockhill and their working group to put together this special event to mark Colin’s 20th anniversary. “It seems only like yesterday that we all shared in his success and believe that this event will relive his achievements and showcase rallying in Scotland at a great venue. “I have competed recently at Knockhill and know it is a real test for the crews and all the show elements off track will be a real treat for rally fans too.”

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.

Scottish Championship

Raith Rovers 1 Cowdenbeath 3: Blue Brazil’s Nish sinks Rovers

April 9 2015

Former Raith boss Jimmy Nicholl used his knowledge of the opposition to inspire Cowdenbeath to a local derby victory at Stark’s Park. A hat-trick from Colin Nish gave the Blue Brazil their second win in four days and sent them five points clear of relegation rivals Alloa, who lost last night at Tynecastle. Cowdenbeath know how that feels after conceding 10 there themselves, so they deserve credit for the way they have responded to that defeat. “It was a really difficult March, but we kept some belief,” said Nicholl. “We’re coming good at the right time, but all I’m thinking about now is Livingston on Saturday. “I was thrilled to bits for big Nishy. I’ve always liked him even though he’s scored enough against us in the past.” Nish added modestly: “I was just there in the right place at the right time.” The Raith board and fans paid an emotional pre-match tribute to former chairman Turnbull Hutton, who died on Sunday, and the home team seemed to have difficulty getting up to speed once the game kicked-off. The realisation they were out of the promotion race also left them looking flat. Nish failed to capitalise on an early half-chance and then fired wide from a tricky angle when Sean Higgins appeared better-placed. Moments later, Higgins stretched the Rovers defence, but his left-foot finish was blocked on the edge of the penalty area. The Kirkcaldy club finally began to enjoy some possession, although Cowden comfortably dealt with a series of high balls slung into the box. A 28th-minute corner offered Ross Callachan two shots at the Blue Brazil’s goal but both were off-target. The pressure was building, but Raith were vulnerable to a counter-attack, and Nish made them suffer in the 33rd minute with a cute dinked finish over goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert. Rovers were rattled and fortunate not to be penalised shortly after half time when Nish collapsed like a giraffe. Urgent action was required from the home team, and Rory McKeown provided it with a long-range drive that keeper Robbie Thomson palmed over the bar. On the hour mark, ex-Cowden defender Dougie Hill nearly scored, but his left-foot effort was headed off the line by skipper Colin Marshall. The reprieved visitors promptly doubled their advantage, Nish rounding off a fine four-man move with a simple tap-in from six yards. He completed his hat-trick 11 minutes from time before Mark Stewart pulled one back near the end.

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