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...
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.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
Sir, - Has WWF Scotland stopped looking after wildlife in favour of supporting wind turbines and protesting about climate change? There are enough people, organisations, pressure groups and propaganda machines already doing this. Lang Banks, since he took over as director of WWF Scotland, has been firing off press releases and newspaper articles on a monotonous basis. The latest of many was that wind power output in January was 48% of Scotland’s total electricity consumption (February 8). What he is not saying is that on wind-free days, no homes would be supplied from wind generation. What he is not saying is that the rest was supported by coal, gas and nuclear which is needed when the wind does not blow. What he is not saying is that wind electricity is much more expensive. What he is not saying is that Scotland has a miniscule 0.13% of global emissions and the whole point of expensive, intermittent turbines was to reduce CO2 but this has not happened. Does WWF now stand for world wind fantasy? Clark Cross. 138 Springfield Road, Linlithgow. Skills gap holds back Scotland Sir, - According to Scottish Secretary David Mundell, the final Scotland Bill negotiations concern the SNP’s ability to bring in immigrants, because, in essence, every person resident in the country attracts more per capita revenue and it seems while our own people can’t be trained to do the jobs, the UK government will still pick up the tab for their benefits. What a poverty of ideas. In Scotland the 160,000 on unemployment benefit, that is, fit and available to work, will soon be joined by council, steel and oil workers. This equates to 2.2 people per vacancy. We don’t need more workers, we need workers who have the skills, brains and motivation to do the jobs on offer and an ambitious combination of welfare reform, training, life coaching and housing reform to help them. Our education systems should produce fewer event managers and media graduates and more plumbers, nurses, engineers, doctors and teachers. A quick-fix immigration option will make the cost and lack of housing worse. Birthrates will lower because couples cannot afford a family home. A recent government report estimated that one in every two new houses will be required for immigrants. I am not against immigration and supported a Kenyan family to stay in Scotland. We are not “too wee, too poor”, we’re “too untrained, too unimaginative and too entitled”. Allan Sutherland. 1 Willow Row, Stonehaven. Handouts pay for tax freeze Sir, - No matter how many sums our councils do, they cannot continue to cope with the council tax freeze or worse, a reduction, without services suffering. The SNP claims the freeze/reduction is fully funded or costed as are free prescriptions for all and university education. The reality is someone somewhere is suffering for this populist strategy. Just look at the state of the NHS, the exodus of GPs and the slump in student numbers. Angus Councillor Iain Gaul claims the “brouhaha” over the council tax freeze is down to politics. I sincerely hope that his own stance is also down to politics. The thought that our leader believes fairy stories is actually quite frightening. Alan Shepherd. 38 Manor Street, Forfar. Audacity of Labour Party Sir, - As one of the former Labour voters who now back the SNP mentioned by Dr Arthur (February 5), I have to admire his cheek when he applauds Scottish Labour’s plan to raise income tax while condemning the SNP for passing on Tory austerity cuts. Remind me again, is this the same Labour which abstained in Westminster when the Tory austerity cuts were debated? The same Labour that worked with other unionist parties in the Smith Commission to ensure that any Scottish Government would have their tax-raising powers severely curtailed? These restricted powers now mean that any tax rise must apply across all tax payers even the poorest, while the HMRC would charge for collection and the block grant would be reduced. Oh yes, and the so-called £100 rebate would be subject to tax. When the SNP put forward a similar penny on income tax plan which was subsequently withdrawn, Gordon Brown said: “There is hardly a nurse, teacher, policeman or council worker in Scotland who won’t be paying this tax increase. These are the people the SNP claimed it wanted to help and instead they will be hit the hardest.” Heaven help Labour when they are reduced to this kind of dishonest posturing and if this the best they can come up with in order to win an election. George White. 2 Cupar Road, Auchtermuchty. Evolution a flawed theory Sir, - Keith Lawrie (February 4) in stating that 65 million years ago an asteroid strike on Earth destroyed 80% of animal and plant life is engaging in the logical fallacy of begging the question. Presumably Keith is of the opinion that dinosaurs were wiped out in that asteroid strike. Perhaps he can explain how DNA, red blood cells, and soft tissue which according to scientists can survive less than one million years, have been discovered by Dr Mary Schweitzer in a dinosaur unearthed in 2000 in Montana, USA? In trying to solve this dilemma, Ms Schweitzer proposed that iron might help preserve dinosaur soft tissue, both by helping to cross-link and stabilise the proteins, as well as by acting as an antioxidant. However, her idea that iron generated free hydroxyl (OH) radicals (called the Fenton Reaction) caused preservation of the proteins is unscientific, as free radicals are far more likely to help degrade proteins and other organic matter. Indeed, the reaction is used to destroy organic compounds. Perhaps Keith has a better answer? Keith clearly denies the existence of the creator but even evolutionary scientists admit the self-replicating ribonucleic acid hypothesis, their best explanation of creation, doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Does Keith recognise that unless he can offer sound explanations for the origin of the fine-tuned for life universe and life in its diversity that his worldview is based on faith? Will Brooks. 162 Largo Road Leven. Social value of Christianity Sir, - Kevin Lawrie must really get with it. Most Christians these days do not take the story of creation in the Old Testament literally. We believe in a creator God, as do the Muslims and Jews, but after the creation which, as Kevin Lawrie says, happened long before the date mooted in scripture, modern Christians go along quite happily with Darwin and his theory of evolution. In general, Christians have always devoted more of their attention to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ than to the Old Testament. It is more important to us to live our lives according to these high principles than to argue the wheres and wherefores of Biblical history. Nobody could possibly say that Christ’s teachings are bad and not worth following. As to our children’s education, we cannot give equal weighting to the teachings of other religions with that of Christianity. Christianity is a fundamental part of our Western civilisation. Its teachings underpin much of our culture, our laws, our courts, our sense of social responsibility and caring for others. Our schools cannot ignore Christianity without depriving our children of their heritage and the chance to understand how our society developed into what it is today. Science has played an increasing role in this development, but it is by no means the whole story. George K. McMillan. 5 Mount Tabor Avenue, Perth. Education needs tax cash Sir, - Scottish Labour’s tax proposal of one penny extra per pound of annual incomes above £20,000, and coupled with a £100 rebate for people with lower incomes seems fair to me. This pensioner is willing to pay the extra tax so that we can avoid lowering Scotland’s education standards. This is just the sort of choice the Holyrood parliament was set up to debate. Andrew Dundas. 34 Ross Avenue, Perth.
Concerns, I have a few. After what Malcolm Tucker could only describe as an omnishambles of an election, Theresa May and her acolytes are trying their damndest to cling on to power. But whether that is in the country’s best interests or their own is very much a subject for debate. From a business perspective, the political machinations at Westminster are much more than a distracting sideshow. Make no mistake, instability at the highest levels of government and uncertainty about our future economic path will be the dominant subject in boardrooms up and down the country right now. And when that’s the case, a period of lower investment, slower growth, fewer new jobs and economic morass often follows. Only time will tell if that is the case here, but with the Brexit negotiations so close at hand it is hard to imagine our large corporates being happy to dispense with their largesse right now. If I were them, I too would be looking at the rainy days ahead and putting aside some pennies, especially when the UK’s negotiating strategy is so ill-defined and our hand so weak. The Brexit vote left the UK economically isolated and I accept that Theresa May has had to play the cards as they were dealt. But by calling a disastrous election, she let her guard down and handed the other high stakes poker players round the EU negotiating table an unintended advantage at a crucial moment. It was a spectacular own goal and one I fear the UK may rue long after Theresa May, David Davis and Michael Gove are consigned to being names in modern studies textbooks. Away from the Brexit negotiations, there are other domestic priorities I hope don’t get lost in this political whirlwind. The key one for this part of the world is the Tay Cities Deal, the UK and Scottish Government-backed investment package that is so vital to the long-term prosperity of Dundee, Perth, Angus and north-east Fife. City deals are already providing investment and jobs in other areas of Scotland but until the ink is dry on the Tay Cities package then none of us should rest easy. The economic health of this region depends on it. email@example.com
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.
Perth electrical infrastructure expert and engineering consultant Kelvin Power has been acquired by global power firm VINCI Energies. Established in 1993, Kelvin Power provides advice and design solutions to the power industry and renewable energy sector. It employs 20 staff at the Inveralmond Business Estate in Perth and also has an office in Warrington and its headquarters in Leicester. The acquisition was completed on February 2 through VINCI Energies’ electrical engineering brand Omexom, which provides generation, transmission, transformation and distribution services across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. VINCI’s chief executive officer Rochdi Ziyat said the acquisition strengthened its electrical infrastructure offer. He said: “Kelvin Power is a great addition to the VINCI Energies group and marks another big milestone in our ambitious plan. “VINCI Energies entered the UK’s electrical infrastructure market in 2010 and this latest acquisition will bolster the strengths of our Omexom brand and bring us new capabilities, enabling us to make even greater strides in accelerating the transition to a low carbon future.” Kelvin Power’s staff have been told their jobs and offices are not at risk from the takeover. Kelvin Power’s managing director John Brennan said: “We are really excited to be setting out on the next stage of our journey and thrilled to have become a part of the VINCI Energies group. “The group’s business model was a real attraction for us, giving us the ability to grow our company and use the strength of the Omexom network of business units. “At the same time, we will be able to keep the qualities that make us unique and remain a close partner to our long term customers.” Kelvin Power operates through two business units. Kelvin Power Structures designs and supplies buildings, enclosures and steel and aluminum structures for HV substations and transmission lines. Kelvin Power Consultants provides specialist engineering consultancy services for substation and HV cable projects. The firm has an annual turnover of £7 million and employs a total of 35 staff. firstname.lastname@example.org
An award-winning Tayside song writer who immortalised the 50th anniversary of the Tay Road Bridge in music last year has released an EP which pays tribute to the newly opened Queensferry Crossing over the Forth. Perth-born Eddie Cairney, 65, who now lives in Arbroath, has released an album called ‘Sketches o' the QC’ which includes songs dedicated to the “isolated” workers who were employed during construction and contrasts the old Forth Road Bridge to the new crossing with its wind shields designed to keep traffic flowing during storms. Eddie, who delayed the release of the album due to family illness and bereavement, said: “It's just another quirky album like I did for the Tay Road Bridge. https://youtu.be/Z6BblA_Zev4 “As you can probably imagine, how do you write six songs about a bridge? “I usually end up using a process of creative journalism. I get a few facts or even just a single fact and then I let my imagination take over. “With each album early on in the writing process I draw a blank and think there's nothing here I can write about but there's always something to write about. “You just have to hang around long enough and it comes eventually. https://youtu.be/a9NyQAFjDsY “I just took threads from here and there. I was going to call the album The Queensferry Crossing but thought that was a bit boring so I went for Sketches o' the Q.C. “It introduces a bit of ambiguity. If you Google the name you get lots of drawings of court scenes!” Eddie was inspired to write Columba Cannon after reading an article about the general foreman for the foundations and towers. https://youtu.be/y_y1y8oV7vo Eddie said: “It was the name that got me and that gave me the first line of the song "He is a bridge builder wi a missionary zeal" Has to be with a name like Columba!” Fishnet bridge was set in a meditative light, describing the bridge as a “thing of beauty that looks like a big fish net glistening high above the Forth but it is a symbolic fishnet with the song taking the form of an imaginary conversation with the bridge.” https://youtu.be/dJgsl2WQ5G0 “Midday starvation came from an article which highlighted the isolation of the workers working high up on the bridge,” he added. https://youtu.be/Dme-bfCXHRI “If you forget your piece you've had it and you starve for there's no nipping round to the corner shop for a pie. The article also said that a local pizza delivery firm regularly delivered a pallet load of warm pizzas to the bridge so that was "midday salvation"! Meanwhile, The boys frae the cheese is a play on words. https://youtu.be/phtQ2-Xx1I0 He added: “I read an article that said The Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) could have acted sooner and avoided the costly closure of the bridge at the end of 2015.” Eddie is no stranger to music and song influenced by Dundee and wider Scottish history. In 2015 he featured in The Courier for his efforts to put the complete works of Robert Burns to music. With a piano style influenced by Albert Ammons, Champion Jack Dupree and Memphis Slim, and a song-writing style influenced by Matt McGinn, Michael Marra and Randy Newman, the former Perth High School pupil, who wrote the 1984 New Zealand Olympic anthem, has organised a number of projects over the years including the McGonagall Centenary Festival for Dundee City Council in 2002. Last year’s Tay Road Bridge album included a tribute to 19th century poet William Topas McGonagall and also honoured Hugh Pincott – the first member of the public to cross the Tay Road Bridge in 1966. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y51tixl9GEs Thanks to The Courier, he also became one of the first to cross the Queensferry Crossing when it opened to the public in the early hours of August 30.