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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...

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.

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


Veteran Dundee rambler recovers after air rescue

July 30 2013

Veteran Dundee rambler Jeanette Wilson thought taking a shortcut across a fallen tree trunk over a gully was a bit of fun. What happened next to the 73-year-old was no laughing matter. She lost her footing and plunged 10 feet on to rocks at Seaton Den, near Arbroath, breaking both wrists, bruising an ankle and gashing her head. The spot where it happened was so inaccessible that she had to be rescued by Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance emergency response team. After a week in Ninewells Hospital following the drama that happened on a walk with the Gilfillan Church Ramblers, she was back in her Downfield home. Her next outing with the ramblers will be on much safer ground when they are holding a cream tea in aid of the air ambulance. “I was laughing when I had the accident and then the shock hit me,” said the grandmother-of-four. “I think back on it now and still laugh at myself for being so stupid. “The SCAA team was amazing. SCAA paramedics managed to reach me and got me off to hospital. ” Organiser Ken Dick said the group wanted to give something back to the charity which rescued Jeanette. “When she fell people went off in different directions to try and get help,” he said. “Others scrambled down into the gully to assist Jeannette who was obviously badly hurt.” SCAA paramedics Alex Holden and Bruce Rumgay were flown to the scene, landing in a field clear of the heavily wooded area. “It was probably one of our most difficult extractions to date,” said Alex. “We had to scramble down the steep wooded sides of Seaton Den with our medical kit bags and then into the gully itself where Jeannette lay. She was conscious and in good heart despite her injuries. The main problem was getting her out of the gully and fast.” Police officers and land ambulance crew helped hoist the stretcher out of the gully and up through the wooded slopes to the air ambulance helicopter. The thank you fundraiser takes place at Gilfillan Church, Whitehall Crescent, between 1.30 and 3.30pm.

Other sports

Greens urge voters to ‘vote big, vote brave’

April 13 2015

The Green Party is urging voters to "vote big, vote brave" in a national billboard campaign launched by its England and Wales party leader. Natalie Bennett joined Brighton Pavilion parliamentary candidate Caroline Lucas - Britain's first Green MP - to present the billboard in the East Sussex city. Ms Bennett said: "The time for half measures is over. This country desperately needs bold changes to take us away from business-as-usual politics. "More people than ever will have a chance to vote Green at this election. Our message is clear: don't vote for second best, vote for what you believe in." She said a Green vote would ensure big firms and rich individuals would pay their "fair share" and wages would be enough to build a life on. Ms Lucas said: "We have a bold message that will resonate with the people of Brighton and Hove, and across the country. "Only the Green Party is willing to stand up to the establishment parties on issues like climate change, a resilient economy and protecting the NHS." The Green Party have vowed to put up the top rate of tax to 60p in the pound, which Ms Bennett said would bring in an extra £2 billion a year for public services while acting as a disincentive to firms paying "excessively high salaries". And Ms Bennett has said her party wanted to call for a review of all "commercial animal racing", saying there were animal protection issues which need to be addressed. Later, Queen rocker Brian May will join Ms Lucas in Brighton to talk about democracy and the importance of voting.

Angus & The Mearns

‘Why should anyone else have to do it?’ Local girl promotes dog fouling crackdown

September 8 2015

New disposal bags are on offer to help keep Angus clear of dog fouling. Junior rangers and a young environmental campaigner launched the bags at Forfar Loch, following concern over the amount of mess left in the Millennium woodland next to the Turfbeg area of town. Sophie Ann Robson is Keep Scotland Beautiful Hero of the Month, and earned plaudits for her determination in campaigning for the problem of dog fouling around her school to be tackled. The Whitehills Primary School pupil said: “I know I have responsibilities as a dog owner a very simple one being to pick up after my pet. Why should anybody else have to do it? “These bags make it very simple for people to clean up after their dogs, but don’t just bag it, make sure you bin it too.” https://www.youtube.com/embed/s9fI3kbVWAQ?rel=0 The bags were redesigned to help spread the Clean Up Angus message, linked to a video that Sophie Ann played a key role in. They were produced by Angus Council, and communities vice-convener Jeanette Gaul came to help the launch. She said: “We try to make it easy for people to pick up after their dogs and dispose of the bagged waste. “We have around 1,600 dual litter and dog waste bins across Angus, so there really is no excuse for not being a responsible dog owner.” Dog bags are now available for sale at Access offices, libraries, leisure centres and at Ranger’s Centres across Angus at a price of 20p for 25 bags.


High Court to review release of man found with drugs and air rifle at Broughty Ferry crash scene

October 29 2014

A man involved in a collision near the Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry was found in possession of heroin and diazepam and was unfit to drive through drink or drugs, a court has heard. An air rifle was also found in the Audi TT belonging to Ross James Ramsay, 32, of Ballumbie Gardens, Dundee, who admitted possessing the rifle while not permitted to do so. After hearing that Ramsay was out on licence from a previous High Court jail sentence at the time of the offences, Sheriff Charles Macnair remitted him back to the High Court for consideration of the release order. He also deferred sentence on the new offences until December 2 and remanded him in custody. Depute fiscal Donna Brown told the court Ramsay was seen driving erratically at noon on July 28 in West Queen Street and Dundee Road when an incident took place outside the Royal Tay Yacht Club and he was seen to be staggering on the road there. She said he was also seen to dispose of a plastic bag from his car. Ms Brown told the court a search was carried out and 462 diazepam tablets, with a street value of £462, and heroin worth around £900 was recovered. Solicitor Ross Bennett said he would keep his plea in mitigation for Ramsay’s next appearance. Sheriff Macnair told Ramsay: “I will remit this to the High Court for consideration of the Section 16 order (release from prison on licence) and sentence in this court will be deferred until after that.” The sheriff also imposed interim disqualification from driving and the Crown moved an application for forfeiture of the air rifle. Ramsay was released early from his previous jail sentence of three years and nine months, imposed in July 2012, after admitting seriously assaulting Alexander McLennan, of Longtown Place. Mr McLennan, 56, died after being stabbed through the heart in a street brawl on Kingsway on January 7 that year. Ramsay and co-accused John Cassidy and Steven Batchelor were originally accused of murdering Mr McLennan, who was also punched and kicked in the attack and hit on the head with an iron bar.