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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…

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

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

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.

Forget Liverpool v Everton, the Vardy derby is the potential cup tie everyone’s talking about

December 4 2017

The magic of the FA Cup might seem a bit of a cliche, but the possibility of Jamie Vardy returning to former club Fleetwood Town in the third round does nothing to undermine the wizardry of the tournament. After the Cod Army were held 1-1 by non-league Hereford FC in the second round, the third-round draw paired 2015/16 Premier League champions Leicester with the winner of the replay. And while Fleetwood must travel to Hereford for that rematch, the League One side remain the favourites to progress against their seventh-tier opponents. 🙌 | So… if we win our #EmiratesFACup replay with @HerefordFC, a certain @vardy7 will return to Highbury… 😬 pic.twitter.com/N6Lva8vSPT— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) December 4, 2017 That’s an exciting prospect for fans of Fleetwood, Leicester and Vardy himself – the now-England striker spent the 2011/12 season at Fleetwood, scoring 31 times to become the National League’s top scorer and help the Cod Army win promotion back to the Football League. An away trip to either Fleetwood Town or Hereford FC beckons for the Foxes in the third round of the FA Cup. Surely we’d like to see @vardy7 come up against his former club? #lcfc #FACup— Blue Army TV 🦊 (@bluearmy) December 4, 2017Jamie Vardy could be set for a return to Fleetwood Town.#LCFC face a trip to either Fleetwood or Hereford in the FA Cup third round.(PS. Good draw, that.)— James Sharpe (@TheSharpeEnd) December 4, 2017 Fleetwood then sold Vardy to Leicester in the summer of 2012 – he now has six England goals and a Premier League winners’ medal to his name. Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester! Hope it’s Fleetwood for @vardy7 !!! And a weekend in Blackpool !!— 100% LCFC (@100Lcfc) December 4, 2017If it's Fleetwood v Leicester then Jamie Vardy will be returning to Highbury what a story that will be.— Richard Scott (@richscottmedia) December 4, 2017Hopefully it’s Fleetwood away, Vardy going back to his old club!— Daryn (@Daryn_Forster) December 4, 2017 However, while the potential for a Vardy derby is no doubt romantic, Hereford have a huge part to play before that game can be written into the diary. Fleetwood or HEREFORD v Leicester City— The Non-League Paper (@NonLeaguePaper) December 4, 2017Buzzing with that draw! Let’s just hope we beat Hereford! So we get to see @vardy7 grace Highbury 1 more time! @ftfc #codarmy #FACupDraw #vardyarmy— Curtis Sandercock (@Curt_1992) December 4, 2017So the winners of the replay vs Fleetwood will entertain Premier League Leicester City on 5th/6th/7th/8th January. What do you think Bulls fans?— Hereford FC (@HerefordFC) December 4, 2017 Is Jamie Vardy having a derby? (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Max McLean'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b6c2ac49-894d-44f1-b09f-504e201140a7'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:viral,paservice:viral:sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Forget Liverpool v Everton, the Vardy derby is the potential cup tie everyoneu2019s talking about'});


Alan Partridge: royal baby upstaged me

July 25 2013

Fictional DJ Alan Partridge booed the royal baby for stealing his thunder as he premiered his new film Alpha Papa. Comedian Steve Coogan, appearing in character as his comedy creation, arrived in London’s Leicester Square in a bright yellow Radio Norwich road bus. Partridge thanked the crowd for coming and said: “There would have been more people but we got gazumped by royal baby. Boo!” The big screen spin-off of the hit TV show sees Partridge called in by police to help negotiate with his colleague Pat Farrell, played by Colm Meaney, who stages a siege after he is sacked from North Norfolk Digital radio station. Partridge said: “It’s a great film. It’s not going to win any Oscars, let’s be frank, because it’s not about the Holocaust or mental illness. But I hope the film reaches out and touches people. Stars of comedy series I’m Alan Partridge Felicity Montagu, who plays his PA Lynn, Simon Greenall, aka Geordie BP garage worker and Phil Cornwell, who plays DJ Dave Clifton, all make an appearance in the film and also appeared on the red carpet. Other celebrity guests included Hugh Grant, Al Murray and Rebecca Front. Alpha Papa earlier had its world premiere in Partridge’s hometown of Norwich. The Norfolk screening was the result of a Twitter campaign dubbed Anglia Square Not Leicester Square. Partridge said: “This is the real premiere. The Norwich thing was just me throwing a bone to the dogs. “That was just a tin pot sideshow, frankly. But they won’t mind me saying that because they don’t watch national news.”

UK & World

Three in court charged with kidnap and robbery after jeweller found dead

January 31 2018

Three men have been appeared in court charged with kidnap and robbery after a jeweller was abducted and killed as he made his way home from work. Ramniklal Jogiya, 74, is believed to have been bundled into a vehicle in Leicester on Wednesday night in the Belgrave Road area of the city. The businessman’s body was found on Thursday morning in Stoughton, near Leicester, after he was reported missing. Leicestershire Police said the investigation is continuing, and three people remain in custody after being arrested on suspicion of kidnap and murder. Officers said Thomas Jervis, 23, of Enderby Road, Whetstone, Charles Frances Mcauley, 20, of Gooding Avenue, Leicester, and Callan Reeve, 19, of Aylmer Road, Leicester, have all been charged with the kidnap and robbery of Mr Jogiya. The three men appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday and will appear at the city’s crown court on February 28, court staff said. A £10,000 reward has been offered by Crimestoppers for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Mr Jogiya’s murder. His family said in a statement: “Ramniklal was a loyal, gentle man who was passionate about his family. “He was a doting husband, father, grandad, brother and uncle, who loved nothing more than spending time with his family.” (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Josh Payne, Press Association'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '1afc114e-481a-49ec-9e35-52af484a102f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:news,paservice:news:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Three in court charged with kidnap and robbery after jeweller found dead'});

Perth & Kinross

Culinary dimension added to Perth Show

July 28 2016

For more than 150 years Perth Show has been a popular, once a year meeting point for the people of the city and the farming community. The show – now the third largest of its type in Scotland – remains as always a showcase for champion livestock but this year holds a much wider appeal for visitors. To be held on Friday and Saturday August 5 and 6 on the South Inch, throughout the two days, trade stands, sideshows, entertainment, activities, music and parades all add to the vibrancy of the show along with a new culinary direction. “For the first time, Perth Show is set to feature a cookery theatre and food and drink marquee,” said show secretary Neil Forbes. “This will bring a new and popular dimension to the visitor attraction. “Perth Show 2016 is also delighted to welcome Perthshire On A Plate (POAP) – a major food festival, celebrating the very best in local produce and culinary talent. “Organised by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, the two-day festival will run as part of the show and feature celebrity and local chefs, demonstrations and tastings, book signings, food and drink related trade stands, fun-filled activities for ‘kitchen kids’ and a large dining area and pop-up restaurants in a double celebration of food and farming.” Heading the celebrity chef line-up are television favourite Rosemary Shrager (Friday) and spice king Tony Singh (Saturday), backed by a host of talented local chefs including Graeme Pallister (63 Tay Street) and Grant MacNicol (Fonab Castle). The cookery theatre, supported by Quality Meat Scotland, will also stage a fun cookery challenge between students from Perth College and the ladies of the SWI. A range of pop-up restaurants featuring taster dishes from some of the area’s best known eating places will allow visitors to sample local produce as they relax in the show’s new POAP dining area. “We’re trying to create a wide and varied programme of entertainment,” said Mr Forbes. “Late afternoon on Friday will see the It’s A Knockout  challenge with teams from businesses throughout Perth and Perthshire competing against each other. “And the first day’s programme will end with a beer, wine and spirit festival where teams can celebrate their achievements and visitors can sample a wide range of locally produced drinks.” This year will also see the reintroduction of showjumping at Perth Show on the Saturday afternoon.

Exeter overwhelm Leicester to stretch Premiership lead

December 31 2017

Exeter extended their lead at the top of the Aviva Premiership to 10 points with a bonus-point victory over Leicester at Sandy Park. The home side were nowhere near their best but had more than enough to condemn an ordinary Leicester to their sixth consecutive defeat. That run of losses is the Tigers’ worst since 1965 and leaves them in ninth place in the table and virtually certain to be out of Europe next season. FULL TIME: @ExeterChiefs 30 @LeicesterTigers 6Report and Reaction to follow shortly pic.twitter.com/QqFaDONBZr— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) December 31, 2017 Dom Armand, Henry Slade, Jack Yeandle and Jonny Hill scored Exeter’s tries with Gareth Steenson converting two and kicking a penalty. Slade also added a penalty. Two penalties from George Ford provided Leicester’s insubstantial response. Leicester made a late change to their starting line-up as Mathew Tait’s back problem saw him drop to the bench with Nick Malouf coming in on the wing and Jonny May switching to full-back. The visitors then began badly as Luke Hamilton dropped the kick-off to concede early territory to the hosts. Steenson, making his 150th Premiership appearance, declined to take two kickable penalties in favour of attacking line-outs but it proved to be the wrong option as Chiefs bungled both opportunities. FULL TIME | #EXEvLEI The whistle is blown on this one and a disappointing second-half showing from our lads, including conceding a try in the final play of the game, sees Exeter walk away with the Premiership points after a 30-6 win. pic.twitter.com/1G5cg4cOTz— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) December 31, 2017 After seven minutes, Exeter suffered an injury blow when hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie hobbled off but they overcame the setback to dominate an error-ridden scoreless first quarter. Ball retention was poor as both sides made frequent handling errors, with possession being regularly given way with fruitless kicking. After 24 minutes, Exeter changed their tactics to take the lead when Slade fired over a 50-metre penalty before Chiefs full-back Lachie Turner attempted to raise the standard with a couple of lively bursts to at least provide some entertainment for the sell-out crowd. The game continued to meander before Ford and Steenson exchanged penalties to leave Exeter 6-3 ahead at the interval. Just had a message from Mrs Tweeter "Those pesky Chiefs – they've forced me to open a bottle of fizz"!— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) December 31, 2017 Leicester would have been the happier at that stage as their opponents had the advantage of a stiff breeze in the first half but had failed to capitalise on their territory and possession. Within two minutes of the restart, Leicester drew level with a second Ford penalty before the hosts at last put some continuity into their play. A flowing 45-metre movement ended with Armand forcing his way over from close range. FT: @ExeterChiefs 30-6 @LeicesterTigers What a performance from the hosts as they secure the bonus point in the final play of the game 🏉#AvivaPrem #EXEvLEI pic.twitter.com/yeQoheQzZU— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) December 31, 2017 Exeter brought on Nic White, Sam Simmonds and Tomas Francis to provide fresh impetus and with 16 minutes remaining, the hosts effectively guaranteed victory with their second try. A box kick from White was held up in the wind which left May in two minds. First he allowed the ball to bounce before tapping the ball back straight into the path of Slade, who raced 45 metres to score. Leicester never looked like clawing back the advantage and they conceded further tries to Hill and Yeandle in the last 10 minutes. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '7a0678ff-cfe5-4d1f-8acb-e004a1256945'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:rugby-union'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Exeter overwhelm Leicester to stretch Premiership lead'});