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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.

Dundee

Dundonians offer hundreds of ideas for a city of culture

August 12 2013

A website asking people what they would like to see in Dundee in 2017 is quickly gathering pace. We Dundee was set up to support the city’s bid to be shortlisted for the City of Culture award by collecting people’s thoughts on what surprises them about Dundee. At the start of last week the site relaunched, asking backers to complete the phrase “In 2017 (the year of City of Culture) I would love to see.....” And, with more than 400 entries so far organisers have not been disappointed. Lyall Bruce, one of the team behind the site, said: “It’s been really good, really heartening. “Again we’re really super-excited about how well the public have taken to it, contributing their thoughts about the City of Culture.” This time round the team provided loose categories for the people to base their wishlist around and Lyall said there have been many wishing to do more with the Tay. The suggestions vary from the simple to the more obscure. Lyall said: “Some people have very easy to implement ideas whereas others would require new structures to be built.” Lyall said the very title of City of Culture brings a sort of kudos to attract money into the city. “There’s also some humorous contributions, like a 25-hour bakery. That’s the Dundee humour coming through.” Entries have been flooding into We Dundee. One participant wrote: “In 2017 I would love to see the remaining pontoons of the old Tay Bridge reconnected with light and laser, as an art installation central to a water-based pageant reflecting why Dundee is where it is, what it has achieved and what it will achieve, combining interactive theatre, music, community involvement, industry, technology, education and good will. “A range of events city-wide and further, into North Fife, Angus and Perthshire that promotes this region with Dundee UK City of Culture as its hub looking outward to the wider world with open arms.” Another backer wrote: “I would like to see the creation of a world-class therapeutic garden for people of all abilities, similar to that at Chicago. “This would create a new business and meaningful jobs, and permit individuals to gain tangible skills and qualifications. “It would offer on- and off-site educational and skill sessions, and have the ability to provide a large number of organised volunteering opportunities for individuals with differing levels. “It would also provide a world-class garden and tourism magnet, which would be a unique attraction.” The wishes can be viewed at www.wedundee.com.

Angus & The Mearns

Historian seeks backing for Glen Doll dream

February 3 2015

While most academics spend years saving for a pile of urban bricks and mortar to call their own, Eleanor Harris had slightly different ideas. With sweeping views, a spacious garden and no noisy neighbours, Blair House in Angus sounds like an impossible dream for any first-time buyer. But the 35-year-old historian has set about turning the former Glen Doll outdoor centre, at the head of Glen Clova, into a “house for Scotland to come and visit”. The former 20-bed field centre was home to two generations of Edinburgh Academy staff and pupils from 1970 until it closed in 2013. The house is in rambling distance of Forestry Commission woods, a dozen Cairngorm Munros, habitats for eagles and red squirrels, and six sites of scientific interest like Corrie Fee. Eleanor’s father was one of a new generation of teachers who saw thousands of children use the base to camp, orienteer, botanise, and derive artistic inspiration. The post-doctorate fellow was moved to buy the property with money intended for her first house in Edinburgh, with hopes of rekindling “the spirit of Glen Doll”. She said: “To the sorrow of the biologists and geographers, staff and their families, and of generations of alumni, the school decided to sell the beloved Blair House and develop a more diverse outdoor education programme. “I decided to buy it and make it the educational field centre Blair House again. I hadn’t expected the torrent of support from the wider Blair House diaspora.” Scottish Wildlife Trust’s chief executive Jonathan Hughes described the house as “one of those rare magical places with the capacity to transform lives by reconnecting people with nature and landscape”. Edinburgh Academy rector Marco Longmore said: “The project will give many the chance to visit and experience this marvellous setting and keeps a long-standing association with this beautiful area alive.” Before the centre can open it requires massive renovation to comply with modern fire and safety legislation, and Eleanor has launched a crowd-funding appeal towards the £200,000 needed to complete work by the summer. Around £20,000 has been received in private loans from supporters, and Eleanor expects up to £80,000 in sustainability loans leaving around £100,000 to find. The effort at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/blair-house needs to hit £5,000 by March 24 to receive any money at all.

Dundee

Four generations come together for Fife veteran’s 100th birthday charity celebration

April 7 2017

Four family generations will celebrate a D-Day veteran's  100th birthday year by raising money for charity. Dedicated Christian Aid supporter, the Reverend Douglas Tucker will be turning 100 this year. So to mark the occasion, three generations of his family are going to join him when he takes part in the charity’s annual sponsored walk across the Tay Bridge on April 29. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpLXZ1zaAQI The D-Day landings veteran, who lives in St Andrews and is a member of Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, has taken part in the Tay Bridge Cross for the past 16 years, raising thousands of pounds for Christian Aid. However, in recent years he has only been able to complete the sponsored cross in a wheelchair, so a member of his family has always been on hand to help. This year, however, he will be joined not only by his son Peter, 55, who lives in Edinburgh, but by granddaughter Katherine Chilvers, 47, and eldest great granddaughter Eleanor Chilvers, 17. They will be travelling up from Worcestershire to lend their support to ensure the day is a memorable one. The retired minister, originally from Swansea, is one of Christian Aid’s oldest and longest serving supporters, having been involved with the charity since its beginnings in 1945 when it was created to help refugees in Europe after the war. He collected for the charity during the very first Christian Aid week. Eleanor, who is currently studying for her A levels, said: “This year will be very special for my family, celebrating our great-grandpa turning 100. “Christian Aid means so much to him having been involved with the charity for an incredible 72 years. “In one way or another, he has dedicated his life to helping others so it will be a great honour for me to help him take part in the sponsored cross raising funds for those less privileged than ourselves”. Christian Aid’s events coordinator Amy Menzies added: “It has been fantastic to see Douglas take part in the sponsored bridge cross for the past 16 years and what an achievement to still be taking part just short of his 100th birthday. “It will be great to see four generations of the Tucker family crossing the bridge this year, it will make the event that extra bit special”. Douglas’s and Eleanor’s sponsorship page is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GreatgrandpaandEllie. To sign up for the walk, which runs from 2pm, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk/scotland/whats-happening-near-you/events.aspx for more information.

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

Obituaries

St Andrews accountant David Lyall

April 28 2010

David Lyall has died in his home in St Andrews at the age of 56. Born and raised in the town, Mr Lyall attended Madras College and joined accountancy firm James Murray and Company in Cupar as a teenager. He took up an appointment with the Clydesdale Bank before joining St Andrews University in 1974 as a salaries clerk and was promoted to deputy payroll and pensions manager in the mid-1990s. Mr Lyall retired early in 2001, following which he took up a post as secretary and golf administrator with the St Andrews Hotels and Guesthouses Association. He was a member of St Andrews Golf Club and the St Andrews United Juniors FC Social Club and was also treasurer of the St Andrews Colts Football Club which operated several teams in the Dundee and District League for over 20 years. Mr Lyall is survived by his wife, Hannah, daughter, Emma, and son, Calum.

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.

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