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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.


Munro crossed off bagging list after being reclassified

August 13 2011

Scotland's tally of Munros could drop by one to 282, following the release of new satellite data. The Munro Society of Scotland met in Perth on Tuesay and revealed that Beinn a'Chlaidheimh in Fisherfield Forest, near Ullapool, misses the cut-off by just 44 centimetres the height of an Ordnance Survey map. Members of the society, who have each climbed every Munro, used the latest satellite equipment to accurately measure the mountain and two other summits in the remote forest. Beinn a'Chlaidheimh, previously mapped at 916 metres, was recorded at 913.96 metres. Scotland's Munros must exceed 914.4 metres (3000 feet). Beinn Dearg Mor, a Corbett, was recorded at 906.28m while the previous Ordnance Survey map height was 910m. The third mountain, Ruadh Stac Mor, was measured by the society at 918.67m. The OS map measurement was a slightly smaller 918.65m. The society set about re-recording the heights of mountains just below and just above the Munro threshold back in 2007, resulting in Sgurr nan Ceannaichean in Wester Ross being re-classified as a Corbett in 2009. The official decision must be taken by the Scottish Mountaineering Club, after the results are verified by Ordnance Survey. Iain Robertson (75) from Perth led the recent survey expedition. Mr Robertson, who "bagged" all the country's Munros between 1953 and 1963, encouraged aspiring mountaineers to try and complete the feat saying it was his proudest achievement.Will not diminish experienceThere are 250 members of the exclusive climbing club, reaching from the far Highlands to Bristol and the Netherlands. Mr Robertson said, "In measuring the heights of mountains just below and just above 3000ft, 914.4m, we believe we are following in the tradition of accurate measurement established by Sir Hugh Munro who first produced the Munro's Tables in 1891. "Munro and his friends relied on aneroid barometers, the technology of the time. "In 2011 we use satellite technology to achieve yet greater accuracy, but we seek the same objective. "Munro never set down complete criteria for Munro status before his death in 1919, but it has always been accepted that 3000ft was the primary requirement." He added, "It seems unlikely that the thousands who enjoy the Scottish mountains every year will stop climbing them if and when their status in the tables changes. "All remain fine mountains in their own right and the experience enjoyed in ascending their slopes is in no way diminished." It is believed that any changes recorded are a result of better equipment rather than geographic alterations. Mr Robertson said, "Perthshire is surrounded by a number of impressive Munros and from an early age I was always eager to summit them. "After climbing a few I got the bug and decided I wanted to complete them all, which took me just under 10 years."

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

Mountain bikers urged to take care during Pitmedden Forest works

September 17 2013

Mountain bikers are posing an unusual challenge to foresters working in Pitmedden Forest, near Abernethy. Forestry Commission Scotland is soon to start forest-thinning operations and will also be clearing a small number of trees. The proposed works could take up to three months to complete and will mean that access to some parts of the woodland will be restricted. Complicating matters, however, is the forest’s popularity with mountain biking enthusiasts. “Pitmedden Forest is a popular place for walking and horse riding but is best known by mountain bikers for its natural, single-track trails, which crisscross large areas of the forest,” said forester Robin Lofthouse. “This makes our job very challenging as while we want to try and avoid damaging these trails, many of them are routed down the same rides which our machinery use to gain access. “In consultation with local riders we have identified some key trails which will be marked to avoid and we will do our best to minimise damage to others wherever possible.” Mr Lofthouse said thinning the woodland was vital as creating more space would improve the health and quality of the remaining trees and the timber they produce. By letting light reach the woodland floor, the work will also stimulate the growth of ground flora and a new generation of trees. He is confident that the forest will recover quickly and that there will even be opportunities for new routes to emerge in what was previously inaccessible woodland. In addition to some of the main routes, a number of the small informal paths will also be closed, either because machinery needs to cross them or because they will become blocked with cut timber and branch wood. Mr Lofthouse added: “Members of the public are still welcome to visit the forest but we urge everyone to be mindful of any warning notices on the site.” For more information, contact Tay Forest District on 01350 727284, or email tay.fd@forestry.gsi.gov.uk.


Scotland interim boss Malky Mackay rings changes for Holland clash

October 30 2017

Scotland interim manager Malky Mackay has named a much-changed squad for the friendly against the Netherlands. The Scots take on the Dutch at Pittodrie a week on Thursday in the first match of the post-Gordon Strachan era. Mackay has chosen to freshen things up against Holland, with Dons trio Graeme Shinnie, Kenny McLean and on-loan Ryan Christie all included. Also given the nod by Mackay are former Hibs frontman Jason Cummings, now at Nottingham Fiorest, Easter Road defender Paul Hanlon and midfielder Ryan Jack of Rangers. Embarrassingly, Scotland and Celtic captain Scott Brown’s name was left off the initial list Tweeted out by the SFA but included in later versions. Squad: Archer (Millwall), Gordon (Celtic), Marshall (Hull); Berra (Hearts), Cooper (Leeds), Hanlon (Hibs), Mulgrew (Blackburn), Paterson (Cardiff), Robertson (Liverpool), Tierney (Celtic); Armstrong (Celtic), Brown (Celtic), Fletcher (Stoke), Forrest (Celtic), Fraser (Bournemouth), Jack (Rangers), McGinn (Hibs), McGregor (Celtic), McLean (Aberdeen), Phillips (West Brom), Shinnie (Aberdeen), Christie (Aberdeen, on loan from Celtic); Cummings (Nottingham Forest), Griffiths (Celtic).

Perth & Kinross

Rogue sheep in Highland Perthshire forest could be culled

November 15 2017

A flock of lost sheep spotted wandering through a Highland Perthshire forest face being culled. Around 20 unmarked strays were discovered living together in remote woodlands around Drumnakyle, near Tummel Bridge. And now the Forestry Commission has launched an urgent appeal to track down their owner. The Perth-based authority says the rogue sheep need to be removed within the coming weeks to make way for a major tree replacement operation. And because the sheep are regarded as a "biosecurity risk" and are highly unlikely to be marketable, they will be culled if they go unclaimed. A spokesman for Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES), the government agency responsible for managing the country's forest estate, said: "The sheep are still in the forest and although none of them are marked, we are liaising with seven local neighbours, tenants and landowners to try and determine whose sheep they are." He added: "We’re due to carry out some restocking in that area soon but sheep would make short work of anything we plant. That’s why we’d like to see them removed as soon as possible. “If no one comes forward to claim them by the end of next week, we will write out again advising that we will take steps to remove them, ideally by the end of December.” The appeal follows the launch of a new Forest Enterprise strategy, which encourages a better dialogue with farmers to manage stray sheep. FES worked with Police Scotland and the Scottish Government to produce guidance with industry bodies including the National Farmers Union of Scotland. In a statement issued at this year's strategy launch, FES agricultural advisor Robin Waddell said: "For the vast majority of cases we work very well with our neighbours and can resolve sheep trespass issues pretty quickly. "This is how we would like to continue - keeping an open dialogue throughout and working together to get the animals back to their owners. Unfortunately, it doesn't always go that way and the guidance will help our staff manage the times when action is needed." In recent times, the FES has dealt with 190 cases involving 1,500 animals, mostly in the Borders, Galloway and Dumfries areas. The new guidance offers a consistent approach to recording incidents. The NFUS has warned that feral or stray sheep can pose a health risk and could spread diseases like sheep scab. The sheep at Drumnakyle have no identifying tags or markings. Anyone with information is urged to call the Forestry Commission's Tay office on 0300 067 6380.