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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...


Fish supper fan putting wheels in motion for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance

May 12 2015

An avid cyclist and self-confessed “fat lad at the back” hopes to raise more than £5,000 for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance this month. James Aitken from Bridge of Earn began cycling eight years ago following concerns his weight had crept up over the years from 16 to 25 stone. Since then the former Howe of Fife rugby player has been a frequent contributor to charity by cycling. Mr Aitken says he “loves his fish suppers too much to see the benefit” but has vowed to help a charity that supports “vulnerable” cyclists who go out over arduous terrain. On May 30 the 57-year-old undertakes the Cairn o’ Mount Challenge with Moira Walls, cycling to the famous viewpoint from Edzell, towards Banchory, down to Stonehaven, Inverbervie and then over the hills back to Edzell. There is a collection bucket on the counter of his favourite chippy The Fish and Chip Company in Craigie cross, Perth, and Mr Aitken has a fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/Jim-Aitken6. “It’s a local charity and the money doesn’t go into a black hole,” he said of SCAA. “As cyclists we are very vulnerable and any one of us may require their assistance one day to save our lives. “I appealed through the Masonic network in Fife, Perthshire east and Angus and so far I’ve had £2600 returned in cheques.” Mr Aitken is an active Lodge member and is well known as a Burns scholar and performer. He plays fiddle and compres at Newburgh Accordion and Fiddle Club. He has previously taken on the Kinross Sportive raising £5,000 for CHAS, and wants to cycle to John o’ Groats for Cancer Research with friends from Lomond Ceilidh Band next year. He raised £1,700 for Marie Curie during his second Etape Caledonia last year and £1,800 for Prostate Scotland with fellow Abdie Cycling Club member Moira Walls. See @jimaitkenabdie on Twitter to follow Mr Aitken’s progress.

Dundee United

Dundee United close in on signing of Celtic’s Sam Wardrop

May 19 2018

Dundee United are closing in on the signing of young Celtic full-back Sam Wardrop, Courier Sport understands. The 20-year-old right-back has been capped four times at youth level for Scotland and spent last season on loan at Dumbarton. He was part of a Sons team that drew 1-1 at Tannadice in September. Wardrop featured in 27 games for Stephen Aitken’s side before an ankle injury ended his campaign in March. Ironically, the skipper of the Celtic under-20 team would replace another Parkhead youngster, Anthony Ralston, who spent the second half of last season on loan with United.

Scottish Premiership

Nicky Weaver extends stay at Aberdeen

January 8 2014

Goalkeeper Nicky Weaver has extended his contract at Aberdeen until the end of the season, the Pittodrie club have confirmed on their official website. The 34-year-old former Manchester City, Charlton and Dundee United player was released by Sheffield Wednesday last summer before being signed by Dons boss Derek McInnes on a short-term deal as cover for Jamie Langfield. The former England Under-21 international has featured twice for Aberdeen, coming on as a substitute against Celtic and starting against Hearts at Tynecastle at the beginning of the season. * Reports are linking the Dons with a move for Blackburn striker David Goodwillie, who is due to complete a loan at Dundee United next week. The 24-year-old scored the sixth goal of his loan spell in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Hibs after returning to the club he left in the summer of 2011. * Stranraer hope to tie up Aberdeen defender Scott Rumsby on loan for the rest of the season after an impressive five-month spell at the League 1 promotion chasers. The full-back, who turns 20 this month, joined the Blues back in August and has played 13 times as Stevie Aitken’s side have put in an unexpected promotion push.

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

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

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

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.


Driver who stole £1,500 from Dryburgh Boys Football Club is banned from driving buses

January 24 2013

A man who stole £1,500 from club in Dundee has lost his licence to drive buses and coaches. Kevin Freeston, of Kinneff Crescent, was called before the traffic commissioner after being found guilty of theft at the sheriff court in June 2012. He had originally been charged with embezzling more than £3,000 from the club. Sheriff Jamie Gilmour ordered him to pay back the money and to carry out 160 hours community service. Freeston, who first appeared before a deputy traffic commissioner in August 2012, failed to attend the second hearing before Miss Joan Aitken this month. The August hearing had been adjourned after Mr Freeston indicated he would appeal against the original conviction. Miss Aitken’s office could find no record of this appeal being lodged, and Freeston also failed to provide evidence that he had submitted an appeal. She concluded Freeston had been willing to mislead or lie about the appeal and failed to attend the hearing without good cause. “I find that Mr Freeston is not fit by reason of his conduct the conduct being that leading to the conviction by the sheriff and the subsequent conduct in relation to attending before me or a deputy,” she stated. Miss Aitken also ordered that he would be disqualified from driving coaches and buses for three years.


Dunfermline paedophile ‘likely to reoffend’ gets four years off sentence

November 20 2015

A man who subjected two girls to months of sexual abuse has had his jail sentenced slashed by four years. William Aitken, 42, of Dunfermline, raped and sexually assaulted the girls from the ages of 13 and 14. When he was jailed in April for 16 years at the High Court in Edinburgh, Police Scotland said the two vulnerable teenagers had suffered horrendous abuse. Jurors heard how Aitken would give his victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, money and cigarettes before preying on them. Law Lords reduced the sentence to 12 years on appeal. Aitken’s victims suffered repeatedly at his hands, one over the course of two years and the other over 10 months. The sentence imposed on Aitken, of Keir Hardie Terrace, included concurrent periods of five and 10 years for the two charges in relation to the younger girl. He was also sentenced to five and six years concurrently for his offences against the other girl, but with these terms consecutive to the first two. Aitken was considered likely to reoffend and trial judge Lady Wolffe said the initial sentence reflected the fact Aitken was a “calculating and predatory” individual. Following Aitken’s appeal Lord Bracadale said Lady Wolffe had not taken sufficient account of the “significant and unexplained” delay in bringing Aitken to trial after he was charged in September 2010. He also said: “We consider that in this case, in addition to the issue of delay, the cumulative effect of the consecutive sentences has produced an overall sentence which is excessive, particularly in the case of a first offender.” Jailing Aitken, Lady Wolffe had told him he was guilty of “calculated and predatory sexual abuse for your own sexual gratification of two vulnerable girls in their early teens in respect of whom you were in a position of trust”. She said: “Sexual crimes involving children are particularly odious. “Such abuse is not acceptable in a modern society and it is the responsibility of the court to reflect that understanding.”