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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.

Dundee

Dundee BMX bandit jailed for two years

April 21 2015

A drug addict who robbed a Dundee pharmacy brandishing a hammer and fled the scene on a BMX bike has been jailed for two years. “Desperate and shaking” Nicholas Ovenstone apologised to shocked employees at the Arbroath Road chemist before fleeing with ten boxes of drugs including diazepam and temazapam. Dundee Sheriff Court heard that the 35-year-old had enjoyed a privileged upbringing but a “downward spiral” of drug abuse had culminated in the robbery last November. Ovenstone, 35, of Soapwork Lane, appeared for sentencing after he previously admitted robbing a staff member at the MacFarlane’s Pharmacy in Arbroath Road of prescribed medication and presenting a hammer at her on November 4. He also admitted placing employees there in a state of fear and alarm. Sheriff Tom Hughes sentenced Ovenstone to 20 months for the robbery and four months for separate shoplifting charges. For more, see Wednesday’s Courier.

Scottish League 2

John Ovenstone determined to make his mark at Cowdenbeath

November 11 2017

Cowdenbeath’s interim manager John Ovenstone will take the Blue Brazil for a second time when Elgin City come to town today. Ovenstone is determined to end his time in charge with a win that could mark a turning point in the club’s season. He explained: “We are looking to get things moving in a forward direction by defeating Elgin. It will not be easy as they had won three games in a row before facing Peterhead last weekend and there is no disgrace in losing to them. “We will give it a go and be positive again as we were against Montrose last weekend.” Ovenstone added: “It was an improved performance last weekend and I was delighted for the players that we scored a goal from open play. "We set up with an attacking formation to go at Montrose who like to play with three at the back and that worked well for good parts of the game. “However being better in attack is only half the story as some silly defending cost us especially in the first half. We lost goals from set-pieces and they were bread and butter situations that we should not have lost one goal from let alone two. "However there was plenty to be positive about and we can look forward to facing Elgin.” Goalkeeper Joe McGovern remains out with a knee injury with Jamie Pyper not yet ready to return after three months on the sidelines.  

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

Dundee

Pharmacy raid addict fled scene on BMX

March 25 2015

A “desperate and shaking” drug addict who robbed a Dundee pharmacy brandishing a hammer fled the scene on a BMX bike, a court has heard. Nicholas Ovenstone apologised to shocked employees at the Arbroath Road chemist before fleeing with 10 boxes of drugs including diazepam and temazapam. Depute fiscal Vicki Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court: “The pharmacy assistant was working at the customer desk when the accused walked in and approached her whilst carrying a black-coloured bag. “He was wearing a dark-coloured hooded top with the hood up and a light-coloured piece of clothing around the lower half of his face. As he approached her he said ‘I’m here to rob you’. “Initially she thought it was a joke and simply laughed at him. “The accused again stated ‘I’m here to rob you’ and began to rustle the black bag in his hands. “She stared at him and he removed a hammer from the bag and stated ‘I want diazepam, temazepam, Pre Gabalin 300s, methadone and all the cash from the till.’ “He held up the hammer in a threatening manner towards her and stated ‘I mean it, I really mean it’.” Other employees heard his comments and a member of staff went to the dispensary and placed 10 boxes of prescription medicines into his bag. Miss Bell said: “The accused apologised to the staff stating that he was sorry but that he was desperate and was shaking at the time. “He then pointed the hammer at the staff member and asked for the cash from the till, but she did not answer him or move. “She told the accused that she thought he had had enough and wanted him to leave. “The accused turned round and walked out of the locus. He was seen to get on to a small BMX type bicycle and ride off eastwards.” Ovenstone was later traced on Kemnay Place on a bicycle and holding a black bag and claw hammer. The officer pulled alongside him and instructed him to stop. He was asked if he knew why he had been stopped and he replied: “Because of what’s in the bag.” Ovenstone, 35, of Soapwork Lane, admitted robbing a member of staff at the MacFarlane’s Pharmacy on Arbroath Road of prescribed medication and presenting a hammer at her with his face partially covered on November 4. He also admitted placing employees there in a state of fear and alarm. Pamela Dobson, defending, said: “Mr Ovenstone would prefer to be remanded in custody from this date. He understands that he will be given a custodial sentence.” Sentence was deferred until April 21.

Football

Three players commit to East Fife’s cause

May 6 2011

East Fife manager John Robertson has continued to build his squad ahead of next season by retaining the services of three more players. While the league the Fifers will be competing in remains up in the air, veteran striker Stevie Hislop and midfielders Lloyd Young and Robert Sloan have all signed new deals with the club. The confirmation brings the total number of players re-signed for 2011-12 by Robertson to 11 after Bobby Linn, John Ovenstone, Michael Brown, Scott Durie, David Muir, Craig Johnstone, Ryan Wallace and Stevie Campbell committed themselves to the club last month. Rumours around New Bayview suggest defender Jonathan Smart may well leave East Fife at the end of the season, but there has been no confirmation on that score from the Methil club.

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