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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...

Dundee

Dundee FC ‘standing by’ Paul McGowan after he is spared jail for police assault

April 15 2015

Dundee FC officials have pledged to stand by midfielder Paul McGowan in the wake of his third conviction for police assault. The 27-year-old was spared jail during an appearance at Airdrie Sheriff Court, instead being subjected to a restriction of liberty order that confines him to his home between 7pm and 7am for 16 weeks. McGowan had previously admitted assaulting a police officer and breach of the peace. He will have to wear a tag and hispunishment will rule him out of evening fixtures including next week’s midweek clash with his former club Celtic. The court heard McGowan “charged toward” two police officers who attended a disturbance at Wheatholm Street in Airdrie in the early hours of November 23 last year, and later threatened to kill them. He subsequently kicked another officer on the body as his arrest was beingprocessed at Coatbridge Police Station. It was McGowan’s third such conviction for assaulting a police officer. While a St Mirren player he wassentenced to 130 hours of unpaid work and handed a one-year supervision order after he admitted kicking two officers. But Sheriff Derek O’Carroll spared him jail after hearing he had instigated regular counselling through PFA Scotland, the players’ union, in addition to social work sessions. His solicitor Liam O’Donnell told the court that social work reports “finally give some indication that the accused is getting it in terms of his offending”. Mr O’Donnell added: “He was not in any trouble from the age of 16 to 23. At age 23 he separated from his partner. The reasonhe separated has been attributed to an underlying gambling problem. “This gambling problem seems to be the root of his offending.When he takes alcohol his anger about the gambling problem seems to come out through aggression.” Mr O’Donnell revealed the player was undergoing voluntary counselling each week through the Paisley-based RCA Trust, which helps people with alcohol andgambling addictions. “He is fully supported by his club,” he added.“The managing director of DundeeFootball Club (John Nelms) is present in court to indicate his support because he is addressing matters.” After listening to the address, Sheriff O’Carroll reminded McGowan of theprevious occasions he had been convicted of offences. “And here you are again facing similar charges,” the sheriff said.“It’s quite correct to say that you are on the cusp of custody and certainly that’s in the thoughts of the court.” However, he proceeded to sentence McGowan to the tagging order, provided he continues with the counselling. “If you breach the order you will be brought back here and I have already advised you what the outcome will be,” the sheriff added. Mr Nelms, who was accompanied in court by players including captain James McPake, declined to answer questionsoutside court. McGowan also declined to comment but Mr O’Donnell said: “He is relieved with the outcome and he knows he needs to modify his behaviour. He appreciates the support of his club and others.” A statement from Dundee FC outlined the club’s support for the popular player. It read: “The club does not condone the behaviour which has led to this and wouldn’t from any member of our staff. We fully respect the decision made by the court and Dundee FC will be standing by the player. “Paul is an integral part of the club and we will be working alongside the PFA with him as he bids to positively resolve hisoff-the-field issues. “With the support of the manager, his team-mates and club staff, we hope Paul will be able to move forward and be part of another successful season next year at Dens Park. The club will be making no further comment on the matter.”

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.

Fife

Man tried to smuggle cocaine into music festival

March 25 2015

A drug dealer has been jailed for more than two years after being caught trying to smuggle cocaine into T in the Park using Brylcreem tubs. Ryan O’Donnell, 23, Toll Road, Kincardine, was found in possession of 67 grammes of cocaine, worth up to £3,350, as he tried to enter last year’s festival. Perth Sheriff Court heard that O’Donnell, who was a health and safety adviser at the time, had a weekend camping ticket. When searched by the police, he was asked if he was in possession of drugs. Depute fiscal Gavin Letford said: “He stated he had been given two tubs of Brylcreem from two unknown males in the queue leading to the entrance to T in the Park.” Officers found 60 1g bags and 14 0.5g bags of cocaine in his possession. They also recovered 28 diazepam tablets from the accused’s holdall. O’Donnell admitted that on July 10 at T in the Park, Balado, Kinross, he was concerned in the supply of cocaine and had in his possession diazepam. Sheriff Lindsay Foulis jailed him for 27 months.

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

Politics

Jeremy Corbyn’s absence from Scottish Labour conference played down

March 18 2016

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has insisted it is a "new age" for the party as she was quizzed on Jeremy Corbyn not addressing its spring conference this weekend. Ms Dugdale's comments come as it emerged neither the UK party leader would be speaking nor shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who is in Glasgow at a business conference on Friday. She said she leads the party in Scotland and was in charge of what happens. "He (Mr Corbyn) didn't need an invite and he didn't decline to come," Ms Dugdale told BBC Radio Scotland. "This is the last Scottish Labour Party conference before the elections. I'm the leader of the party, I lead an autonomous Scottish Labour Party, I'm in charge. "I work very closely with Jeremy Corbyn - we are good friends. He doesn't need to be there to offer support to me, or indeed to the Scottish Labour campaign." Last week, the party confirmed Mr Corbyn will be campaigning in Scotland ahead of May's Holyrood election but would not be attending the conference. She was also asked about Mr McDonnell's attendance at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) conference and whether he had declined to go to the party's Glasgow conference which gets under way on Saturday. Ms Dugdale replied: "No, John McDonnell will be speaking at the FSB conference today and he will also be launching a couple of different MSPs' campaigns over the weekend. "This is a new age in the Scottish Labour Party, where the Scottish Labour leader is in charge of what happens in Scotland. "I'm incredibly supportive of Jeremy Corbyn and very loyal to him. "We are a good team and part of being a good team is knowing when to take your place and this weekend I'm going to lead the Scottish Labour Party towards the Scottish Parliament elections. It's really that simple." Mr Corbyn did address the Scottish Labour conference in Perth in October. Speaking on the Good Morning Scotland programme, Ms Dugdale also discussed the party's proposal for a 1p rise in the basic rate of income tax which she said would generate around £475 million. Four times during First Minister's Questions at Holyrood on Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon condemned Chancellor George Osborne's Budget decision to raise the threshold for the top rate to £45,000 as the "wrong choice". Ms Dugdale added: "We have also argued, like the SNP, that we would oppose that increase in the threshold for middle income earners." The First Minister was pressed on how she would use new powers over the charge, which are coming to Scotland from 2017 and she said the party will outline its tax plans early next week, Ms Dugdale added: "All of these tax powers have one common theme and that is about using the powers of our parliament to stop Tory cuts. "That's the whole point of the Scottish Parliament - to take different choices, different decisions than the Tories in Westminster and it is high time we did that."

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.

Dundee

Countdown begins to opening of Dundee’s Museum of Transport

March 26 2014

The countdown has begun to the opening of Dundee’s Museum of Transport one month from now. The museum will showcase its impressive collection of vintage vehicles, memorabilia and transport-related items when it opens it doors to the public on the weekend of April 26-27. The city’s newest visitor attraction aims to display and preserve the transport heritage of the local area. With one month to go, National Express Dundee has announced its support for the museum, which contains some items relating to the bus company when it was owned by Dundee Corporation. Led by chairman Jimmy McDonnell, the museum is getting ready to welcome the public to its Market Mews premises for a weekend of festivities. The celebrations will include National Drive It Day, organised by the Scottish Vintage Vehicle Federation, on April 27 between 11am and 4pm. There will be more than 160 vehicles present throughout the day at this event. Mr McDonnell said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming the public through our doors. I’m sure people will be delighted to see some of the displays we have for them, and we can’t wait to show them off. “The whole team has been working extremely hard to establish it as a home for some of the area’s most important heritage and to remember those local pioneers who may have been forgotten over time.” Managing director of National Express Dundee, Phil Smith, said: “This new attraction is an excellent boost for the city of Dundee and we are very much looking forward to supporting Jimmy and his team on their opening weekend and beyond.” Doors open to the public to the public on the weekend of April 26-27.

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