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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 United

Dundee United knock back Southampton interest in Jamie Robson

August 31 2017

Southampton are unlikely to give up on Jamie Robson, even though their late transfer window interest in the Dundee United full-back has been rebuffed. Courier Sport first revealed that the English Premier League club were tracking the teenager as far back as last December, and their scouts have continued to monitor his progress ever since. Saints previously took United youngster Kieran Freeman down south and were hoping to do the same with Robson. An offer has been knocked back by the Tangerines, however, with fellow left-back Tam Scobbie currently out of action. The relationship between the two clubs is a good one, with Harry Lewis and Archie Thomas coming to Tannadice from the south coast. Robson’s contract runs out in 2018.


Games jam played out well in Dundee

September 25 2016

Dundee  developers have come up with new virtual reality games in just 24 hours as part of a competition. A games jam took place from 4pm on Thursday until 4pm on Friday at Tag Games, resulting in games prototypes with names like Spider Spider, Mouse of Horrors and Terminal Station. The developers also created their own answer to the famous Boaty McBoatface, with a game titled Vanny McVanFace. Virtual reality, a form of technology that simulates a player's presence in a replica of a real environment, is said to be the future of games with some VR versions already present in many living rooms. Tag's marketing executive Gavin Moffat said: "At the games jam, staff split into four teams of four people - a designer, an artist and programmers. "They then had 24 hours to design a game prototype. "You would struggle to design a full game in that time, although it could be done if you're extremely good and the game is simple. "But with a prototype, you could then spend months perfecting and polishing it into a full game. "Some really great ideas can come out of these jam - you have to be creative and work fast. It was a great event. "This time the theme was virtual reality. Virtual reality headsets are already being used but it's difficult to say whether they'll become the default in gaming. "It could be the case that it's popular for a few years and then people get bored of it, or it could remain popular. "However, it certainly has great potential." Over the past 20 years Dundee has become an international hub for games developers with the world's biggest-selling video game - Grand Theft Auto - starting life in the city. Games jam are popular events where games developers get together to brainstorm ideas and create new prototypes within a short space of time.

Dundee United

Jamie Robson told he is better off gaining first-team experience at Dundee United

September 6 2017

Dundee United boss Ray McKinnon has told Jamie Robson he will be better off staying at Tannadice in order to get first-team experience. English Premier League side Southampton wanted Robson to join them on a loan basis last week before the transfer window closed. With Tam Scobbie out injured that would have left the Tangerines without a fit left-back to call upon. More importantly, though, McKinnon feels Robson’s career will be enhanced by playing in United’s senior side in the Championship in Scotland rather than heading south for under-23 football. McKinnon said: “There wasn’t an official bid for him and they wanted to take him on loan to have a look at him. “The thing is, though, that we needed him here because we would have been left without a left-back. “What I have done is tell him that he would be better off with us in the first team getting better experience than playing in an under-23s side. “I am not one for standing in people’s way, especially if there is interest from Premier League clubs in England, but I definitely think that would be best for him. “If an opportunity comes up in future then we won’t stand in his way but, as I said, there wasn’t an official bid for Jamie.” The Tangerines returned to training at St Andrews yesterday following the international break and the manager feels his squad is in better shape now than it was beforehand. “Last week was tough because we had nine players injured but people are starting to come back now,” he said. “It has been a bit stop-start for us because of injuries to the likes of James Keatings but we are getting there.” Meanwhile, McKinnon’s men will go up against Northern Irish side Linfield in the third round of the Irn-Bru Cup after the draw was made yesterday. “It is an interesting one and we will look forward to it,” said McKinnon.

UK & World

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.

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


This is how one Twitter user ‘does’ Dundee

December 19 2016

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this Twitter user from Dundee has surely written a hefty thesis. With five striking photographs that take account of its war veterans, complicated football history, fetes of construction and several of the stirring vistas to be found around the city, Broughty Ferry resident Andy Robson has presented his own personal take on Tayside via the social media platform. "I love the views from Dundee, especially when it involves a glimpse of the Tay," he said. "It's a gritty city in a majestic setting." You might assume from a couple of these images that Mr Robson was a professional, but he assures us he's an amateur shutterbug. "I'm in no way a photographer," he said. "I print Couriers for a living." https://twitter.com/arobson58/status/810838598488641537 https://twitter.com/arobson58/status/810838367852236800 https://twitter.com/arobson58/status/810838039647965184 https://twitter.com/arobson58/status/810838808044437504 https://twitter.com/arobson58/status/714118136761565184 This is where we invite you to show us your corner of Courier country, either by tweeting five photographs to us at The Courier or by emailing online@thecourier.co.uk.

Other sports

Wimbledon: Laura Robson loses to Kaia Kanepi

July 1 2013

Laura Robson’s dream run through Wimbledon came to an end as the British number one was overpowered by Estonian big-hitter Kaia Kanepi. She went a break ahead early on, but Kanepi’s power from the back of the court proved too much for the teenager and she took the first set on a tie-break. Robson lost her temper on a couple of occasions and it showed in her play as she succumbed to a 7-6 (8/6) 7-5 defeat, ending her hopes of becoming the first British woman to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 29 years.The was on the ropes early in the second set, handing Kanepi a break pointin the first game. The British number one responded perfectly though by hittinga 99mph ace before going on to hold. There was a brief glimmer of hope in the fourth game as Kanepi served, but Robson cleared the baseline at 30-30 when there was little pressure on her. Robson let out a huge squeal in frustration at losing the sixth game of the set to love. The tantrum made her lose her focus as Kanepi gained two break points, but Robson answered by sending down a pair of unreturnable serves. Robson continued to struggle to cope with Kanepi’s power. The Englishwoman changed her tactics in the eighth game, coming to the net, but she ploughed into the net at 40-30. The key blow came in the 11th game. Serving to move 6-5 ahead, Robson capitulated, offering Kanepi three break points. The Estonian needed just one as Robson again netted. That offered Kanepi the chance to serve out for the match. Robson saved two match points to take the game to deuce and Kanepi wasted two more chances to seal the match. The home crowd sensed a possible comeback, but Kanepi put paid to those hopes with a typically big forehand from the back of the court.

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.