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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.


A-maze-ing fun behind the scenes at the museum

May 10 2017

Young ambassadors got a sneak peek of the new £12 million Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries today. Staff at the new cultural hub, in the heart of Dunfermline’s heritage quarter, decided to invite all the local school children who have volunteered and acted as ambassadors for the building over recent years. Project team member Lesley MacNaughton gave the youngsters a short talk and slide show about the many ways they have helped during the massive building task. The work involved marrying the town’s existing library, which was the world’s first Carnegie public library, with an empty listed building next door. It was linked and expanded via a contemporary building making full use of its unique setting next to Dunfermline Abbey and the town’s oldest building, Abbot House. Although it has yet to open its doors, the building has already won major architectural awards. The Richard Murphy Architects-designed building won the title of building of the year in the Edinburgh Architectural Association’s annual awards. It has also picked up the accolade of large project of the year. As thanks, youngsters were free to explore the entire building, including the children’s library, the main library, galleries, museum and reading room, getting the chance to enjoy the interactive displays. On show are segments from Dunfermline’s past, from its royal roots, to its sporting and entertainment stars, telling the story of its wartime efforts, its proud industrial past and conveying the stories of its people, and how they lived, worked and played. In total more than 100 primary school pupils, with their teachers and adult helpers, converged on the new hub and its gardens, which will open on Thursday May 18. Joining in were 21 volunteers from Lynburn, 22 from Carnock, 64 from McLean and 26 from Cairneyhill primary schools. Meanwhile 20 ambassadors joined in the fun from Townhill, Lynburn, Pitreavie, Crossford, Carnegie, Duloch, McLean, St Margaret’s Bellyeoman, Torryburn, Tulliallan and Blairhall primary schools.  

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.

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.

Perth & Kinross

“Despicable” handbag thief targets elderly woman in Perth

August 15 2016

Police in Perth are hunting a "despicable" thief who stole an elderly woman's handbag. The 73-year-old was outside the AK Bell Library in York Place at about 1.10pm on Sunday when a man approached and stole her bag. Detective Sergeant Marshall McKay said: “The woman was walking outside the library yesterday afternoon, when she was approached by a man who stole her handbag from her. The man then ran off in the direction of the car park at the corner of Leonard Street and County Place. “He is described as being in his early 20s, about 5ft 9in tall, of slim build. He had short dark hair, was clean shaven and was wearing a dark casual jacket, dark coloured trousers and shoes.” The woman was wearing a light brown jacket and a floral skirt, with white shoes. She was also carrying a black carrier bag. DS McKay added: "This is a despicable crime, targeting an older person in our community. "I appeal to anyone, who may have witnessed the incident, may have seen the man responsible or has information that may help, to come forward." Anyone with information should phone police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


Dunfermline businesses targeted with counterfeit cash

October 19 2011

Four Dunfermline businesses were targeted with counterfeit cash at the weekend. Three McDonald's premises in the High Street, at Duloch Leisure Park and within Asda and the Pound Shop in the High Street, were all hit in the false notes scam. It is the second time Dunfermline firms have fallen victim to fraudsters handing over fake money in recent times, and police have issued a warning to people to be on their guard. The notes being circulated are Clydesdale Bank £20 notes and bear the serial number A/CF846390, but officers say all currency should be carefully examined. Detective Sergeant Ross Davidson said: ''Fraudsters often target small independent businesses where notes are used to buy inexpensive items such as crisps or sweets. ''They then get the maximum amount of change they can from the transaction.''

Angus & The Mearns

‘Why should anyone else have to do it?’ Local girl promotes dog fouling crackdown

September 8 2015

New disposal bags are on offer to help keep Angus clear of dog fouling. Junior rangers and a young environmental campaigner launched the bags at Forfar Loch, following concern over the amount of mess left in the Millennium woodland next to the Turfbeg area of town. Sophie Ann Robson is Keep Scotland Beautiful Hero of the Month, and earned plaudits for her determination in campaigning for the problem of dog fouling around her school to be tackled. The Whitehills Primary School pupil said: “I know I have responsibilities as a dog owner a very simple one being to pick up after my pet. Why should anybody else have to do it? “These bags make it very simple for people to clean up after their dogs, but don’t just bag it, make sure you bin it too.” https://www.youtube.com/embed/s9fI3kbVWAQ?rel=0 The bags were redesigned to help spread the Clean Up Angus message, linked to a video that Sophie Ann played a key role in. They were produced by Angus Council, and communities vice-convener Jeanette Gaul came to help the launch. She said: “We try to make it easy for people to pick up after their dogs and dispose of the bagged waste. “We have around 1,600 dual litter and dog waste bins across Angus, so there really is no excuse for not being a responsible dog owner.” Dog bags are now available for sale at Access offices, libraries, leisure centres and at Ranger’s Centres across Angus at a price of 20p for 25 bags.