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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 FC

Dundee striker A-Jay Leitch-Smith insists Partick penalty hero should have been sent off

October 23 2017

Dundee frontman A-Jay Leitch-Smith insists Tomas Cerny should not have stayed on the park to save his penalty. Leitch-Smith had already opened the scoring for the dominant Dark Blues when he was fouled by the Jags goalie on 23 minutes. Instead of handing the ball to nominated taker Sofien Moussa, Leitch-Smith took the spotkick himself and looked on in horror as Cerny stuck out a leg to save his shot. That was just one of many golden chances missed by Dundee and they were made to suffer for their poor finishing as Thistle grabbed an injury-time goal through substitute Miles Storey to secure a highly-unlikely 2-1 victory. The decision by referee Euan Anderson to merely book Cerny rather than send him off angered both Dens boss Neil McCann and Leitch-Smith himself. The on-loan Shrewsbury Town player said:  "The keeper should have been sent off as I was clean through on goal. "I was expecting him to go off as I had gone round him and all I would have had to do was tap it into an empty net. "So I was expecting a red card. "I knocked it to the side of him and he has brought me to the floor and that is a clear goalscoring opportunity.” Manager McCann agreed, saying: "That's the defining moment (the penalty save). “I saw the Partick Thistle players going over to him at the end because it was the defining moment. "I don't think Cerny makes any attempt to get the ball. “Now the rules are, if you make a genuine attempt to get the ball it's a booking. “There is no attempt there to win the ball - he has cleaned out the player. "Without doubt I am absolutely fizzing inside because it takes me all my control at the side of the pitch not to lose my rag and get sent to the stand. "That's a disgraceful decision. “There is no attempt (to win the ball), I don't care what anyone says. “He should have walked." As for the decision to take it himself rather than hand the ball to Moussa, Leitch-Smith added: "If you win the penalty then you want to take it - don't you? "The manager mentioned that Moussa should have taken it after the game. "I tried to wait for the keeper to move and he left his leg there. "Unfortunately, I missed when I should have scored.”

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.

Angus & The Mearns

Arbroath man who acted aggressively towards his wife sentenced to 180 hours of unpaid work

March 9 2017

A 46-year-old man who acted aggressively towards his wife after returning from the pub to their Arbroath home has been sentenced to unpaid work as an alternative to custody. Robert Leitch had previously admitted two offences of shouting and swearing at his wife and slamming doors at their house  in November and December last year. Forfar Sheriff Court heard that Leitch had subsequently undergone marriage counselling at the Jehovah’s Witness church he and his wife attend, and that the marriage was improving. Sentence was initially deferred for good behaviour in relation to the November 11 offence. However, a similar offence subsequently came to light on December 27. Referring to this incident, depute fiscal Jill Drummond said: “The accused went to the pub which his wife wasn’t happy with. “The accused later returned to the locus and went into the living room and gave the complainer a fright as he had opened the door causing it to bang. “He began to rant as he opened a beer. She was worried but sat listening. He then spilt the beer and became angrier. “The complainer realised that he wasn’t going to calm down and believed the situation would only be escalated thereafter, and so contacted police.” Ms Drummond said that Leitch’s wife had written to the crown office outlining a “change of feeling”. She added: “The complainer and the accused are Jehovah’s Witness and have been receiving marriage counselling at their church and assistance in that way.” Defence agent Angela McLardy said: “It was a very stressful time for the couple throughout that period. He would be willing to comply with a community payback order. “He understands the seriousness of these matters.” Sheriff Di Emidio noted that Leitch had a previous conviction for a domestic offence. He told Leitch: “I note the testimony I’ve received in relation to the engagement you’ve had within the context of the church. I note that as a very positive step taken. “For the older offence I will impose a community payback order. Had you not pled guilty at an early stage I would have required 90 hours of unpaid work, that will be reduced to 60 hours. “For the second offence I will impose a more comprehensive order as an alternative to imprisonment. “There will be unpaid work to follow on from the first order and there will be a supervision requirement lasting 18 months. “The unpaid work in this case will be 160 hours, with 30 attributable to the bail aggravation, which will be disqualified because you pled guilty, to 120 hours. “What I am saying to you very clearly is that this is in effect your third analogous offence and the seriousness is increasing.” The sheriff also required Leitch to undertake the Fergus programme for domestic abusers.

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 FC

Dominant Dundee left in state of shock as missed chances come back to haunt them

October 23 2017

Dundee striker A-Jay Leitch-Smith was left in a state of shock as Dundee left Firhill with nothing. In what must have been the unlikeliest win of any kind in Scottish football this season, Partick Thistle went from being dismal no-hopers to dramatic winners as they scored in stoppage-time to beat the Dark Blues 2-1. It was a remarkable result – Thistle’s first league success of the season - considering how dominant the Dens men had been for much of the match. In normal circumstances, Leitch-Smith's claim that a side than ended up losing should have been four goals up at half-time would be dismissed as blethers. However, on this occasion, he was absolutely right. Leitch-Smith had leapt to head home to make it 1-0 for the Dark Blues on eight minutes after Kevin Holt's cross-cum-shot spun his way. That didn't tell the story of the visitors' dominance, however, particularly before the break. They should have been well clear of the jittery Jags but profligacy in front of goal, including a squandered penalty from Leitch-Smith, cost them as the hosts equalised through Ryan Edwards on 75 minutes then grabbed an injury-time winner through substitute Miles Storey. The Dark Blues looked dazed at the full-time whistle as they were left wondering just how they could have chucked this game away. Leitch-Smith said: "We've got a lot of disappointed boys in there. "I don't know why we didn't win the game, never mind not even get anything from it. "Now we have to put things right. 'We should have put it to bed in the first half as we should have been 4-0 by half-time but it didn't happen. "I don't think I have ever been in a game where we were so dominant and lost. "We played some good football and created a lot of chances. "We can't let it get us down too much as we have a big game on Wednesday against Motherwell and we need to try and pick up three points.” Dundee boss Neil McCann rued his side's wastefulness in front of goal, especially the penalty that was missed by Leitch-Smith, which should have been taken by Sofien Moussa. A clearly riled McCann said: "We've got a chance to bury a team with the penalty and we've got a designated penalty taker (Moussa) and for some reason we decided to change that. "We miss the penalty and at half-time it's not such a big story but it's a big story now because that buries Partick Thistle in my opinion. "We played some beautiful stuff and it's very attractive to watch but without a gloss and shine on your play it just looks nice on the stats and nice on the eye because it gets you nothing." The visitors started like an express train and, on two minutes, Leitch-Smith found himself in space inside the box but his cross was cut out. Just a minute later, Leitch-Smith was in bags of space just eight yards but his shot was saved by Cerny. The ball spun back to Lewis Spence, who sclaffed his effort wide of the post. The chances kept coming for the Dark Blues and, with just four minutes gone, Moussa got on the end of a cross from Jesse Curran but nodded over the bar. Up at the other end, Dens goalkeeper Scott Bain produced a brilliant save to keep out a Danny Devine header before the Dark Blues took a predictable lead on eight minutes. A great run from Glen Kamara saw him move deep into the Thistle box before squaring to Moussa, whose shot was cleared off the line. Holt pounced on the loose ball, though, and his deflected cross-shot reached Leitch-Smith, who found the net with a diving header. There was almost a spectacular leveller for the hosts just four minutes later when Steven Lawless spotted Bain off his line and sent a chip from 35 yards on to the roof of the Dundee net. Bain then saved a low strike from Edwards as Partick began to get forward but it was Dundee who threatened next, a sweeping move ending when Moussa slid the ball wide at the far post after Spence had tried a shot. The visitors then squandered an absolutely glorious chance to make it 2-0 on 23 minutes. Leitch-Smith was sent through on goal thanks to a hash of a clearance from the Jags and when he rounded keeper Cerny he was brought down. It was a clear spotkick and Cerny was booked for the foul. However, the goalie became the home hero when he stuck out a boot to save Leitch-Smith's penalty. With 28 minutes on the clock, Moussa headed over again after being picked out by Curran before the young Australian midfielder fired a shot of his own past the post. Moussa blasted another strike past at the back post on 37 minutes as the Dark Blues continued to attack. Leitch-Smith crashed a shot into a group of Thistle players after the break and there were loud claims for another penalty for handball - ignored by ref Anderson. Sub Roarie Deacon sent a 20-yard strike over the Jags bar, while Leitch-Smith was a whisker away just seconds later as the Dundee attacks kept raining down on the home goal. Thistle brought on Storey, Blair Spittal and Kris Doolan as they went in search of a leveller, while the visitors replaced the impressive Leitch-Smith with Mark O'Hara on 67 minutes. There was a serious scare for McCann's men on 71 minutes when Jack Hendry clipped the ball away from Storey and it went just a little too close to his own goal for comfort. Dundee were still dangerous, though, and Curran fired over when in space inside the area. However, all those missed chances came back to haunt the Dark Blues when Thistle equalised with the scrappiest of goals. The scorer was Edwards, who finally fired home from six yards out after Bain had saved superbly from Doolan. Dundee's Moussa was at fault when he shot straight at Cerny, who gathered the ball at the second attempt. Both sides still felt they could clinch it in the closing stages and it was Partick who managed it, with Doolan beating the offside trap and squaring for Storey to smash the ball into the net.

Angus & The Mearns

Gingerbread tribute to the Wee Red Town

October 14 2013

When Libby Jones was invited by Bank Street Gallery owner Susie Clark to exhibit at her gallery in Kirriemuir, she became intrigued by the history of the town. As well as Kirriemuir’s most famous son and Peter Pan author JM Barrie, she discovered the town had also been home for a time to AC/DC singer Bon Scott, Victorian mountaineer Hugh Munro, and 19th century writer Violet Jacob. She found the town had been a hotbed of witchcraft in the 16th century and is also world famous for its gingerbread and decided to combine all these elements. Ms Jones went on to craft a boxed set of prints, which also doubles as a card game. She said: “This tongue-in-cheek edition of 10 boxes, of 20 cards per box, features Kirriemuir characters presented on a slice of gingerbread on a plate. I have also made a poster featuring all the 10 characters in the game.” Visitors can see images of Edinburgh Castle with fireworks, wildlife such as gannets, and artwork made after a visit to Antarctica. Londoner and master printmaker Ms Jones exhibited work from her sub-zero stay at a Discovery Point exhibition in Dundee last year. Children can see her work Cooking the Climate, a comment on global warming, which consists of a microwave oven and slideshow with rotating polar animals. There is also a fossilised mobile phone in a second installation, Fossils of the Anthropocene an exploration of the traces that might remain of civilisation in 50 million years’ time. She is also exhibiting a selection of her woodcuts, linocuts, collagraphs and screenprints at the gallery. The exhibition runs until November 8 and opening hours can be found on www.bankstreetgallery.org, or by telephoning 01575 570070.

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