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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...


Broughty Ferry Victoria Cross hero honoured in new book by Lord Ashcroft

November 9 2016

A Second World War hero from Dundee is featured in a new book about Britain’s Victoria Cross heroes. Wing Commander Hugh Gordon Malcolm, of Broughty Ferry, died aged 25 while leading a raid on the Chougui airfield in Tunisia on December 4, 1942. He was posthumously awarded the honour for his actions on a mission that he knew would lead to disaster. Malcolm’s exploits are featured in the new book Victoria Cross Heroes Volume II, launched yesterday by Biteback Publishing. The author of the book is Tory donor Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, the businessman, philanthropist, author and pollster. This is the sixth book in his “Heroes” series and his new book is based on his personal collection of Victoria Crosses, now totalling 200, which includes Malcolm’s. Lord Ashcroft is donating royalties from the book to military charities. Born in Broughty Ferry on May 2, 1917, Hugh Malcom was the son of Kenneth Malcolm, a Dundee jute merchant, and his wife Majorie (née Smith). The young Malcolm was educated at Craigflower Preparatory School, Dunfermline, and Trinity College, Glenalmond, Perthshire (now Glenalmond College). After completing his schooling, he entered RAF College Cranwell, Lincolnshire, as a cadet in January 1936, where he graduated as a commissioned pilot in December 1937. On the day of his death in 1942, he and his colleagues from 326 Wing spent the morning bombing an airstrip used by the Germans. When they returned to refuel the crew received word that aerial support was needed in the area that had just been attacked. The Dundee man instructed 10 Blenheim bombers to get into the air but they were spotted by the Germans, who despatched 50 aircraft. The Allied planes were nearly all destroyed. Wing Cdr Malcolm’s was one of the last left flying before it too was shot down 15 miles from the target. Only the body of the navigator James Robb was recovered from the wreckage. The heat and risk from detonating ammunition meant that the remains of the others were never removed. Wing Cdr Malcolm was awarded the VC in 1943 for his decision to proceed with the attack despite knowing it would “court almost certain disaster.” *Victoria Cross Heroes Volume II by Michael Ashcroft is published by Biteback Publishing. For more information on the new book, visit: www.victoriacrossheroes2.com.  For more information on Lord Ashcroft’s work, visit: www.lordashcroft.com. Follow him on Twitter @LordAshcroft

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.


Net closing on brutal killers of Monifieth grandmother Sandra Malcolm

May 7 2015

The net is closing on the brutal killers of a Tayside woman hacked to death in her South African home. Western Cape Police have confirmed that progress is being made on the sensitive case but no suspects are yet in custody. Police opened a murder case after Sandra Malcolm, originally from Monifieth, was found in her Lakeside home on April 20. Last week an autopsy revealed multiple stab wounds as the cause of death and South African media reported her body had been mutilated by her attackers. Her family were in Cape Town for a memorial service to the grandmother, who had lived in South Africa for the last 35 years. Members of Mrs Malcolm’s family were too distraught to speak when contacted by The Courier. Police had initially reported the killing as a robbery gone wrong but sources confirmed nothing had been taken from the house and the motive remains a mystery. The 74-year-old had reportedly been planning a visit to Dundee to see family before the tragic incident. Western Cape Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said: “The investigation is ongoing and progress is being made. “Please note that no arrests have been affected as yet. “A murder case was opened for investigation. The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage. “The autopsy reveals multiple stab wounds as the cause of death. Nothing was taken from the home.” Mrs Malcom’s grandson is believed to have climbed through a bathroom window to investigate after she failed to answer her door. Forensic experts and detectives combed the scene for hours, with neighbours and relatives looking on. South Africa is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, with 16,259 intentional killings in a single year equating to more than 40 a day in contrast to the UK’s 600 per year. Middle-class South Africans live in gated communities like the one Mrs Malcolm lived in at Lakeside. Private security is a large industry in the country, with almost half a million people employed as private security guards more than the South African police force and military combined.

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

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

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

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.

Angus & The Mearns

Those about to rock should visit Kirriemuir museum

April 29 2015

Extremely rare AC/DC memorabilia has gone on on display in Angus ahead of this weekend’s festival to celebrate the band’s legendary frontman. The Kirriemuir Gateway to the Glens Museum’s annual free exhibition for Bonfest features items belonging to Neil McDonald, who has the biggest AC/DC collection in the UK. Bon Scott 40 Years of High Voltage & TNT commemorates the fact that 40 years have passed since the release, in Australia, of the AC/DC albums High Voltage and TNT. Neil told The Courier: “As well as the original Australian LPs and singles, there are also three original flyers from 1975 and 1976 for Dingwalls in London, where AC/DC played when they first came to the UK. “They list the names of the various bands and the dates they appeared at the club at the time. “Also, there is an extremely rare Atlantic Records promotional poster advertising the release of the UK LP High Voltage in 1976, which was a compilation of songs from their first two Australia-only-released albums, High Voltage and TNT, the year before.” Bon Fest has been organised by local group DD8 Music every year since 2006 and pays homage to the former lead singer of the iconic rock band. Bon Scott was born Ronald Belford Scott in Forfar in 1946 and lived in Kirriemuir until the age of six, when his family moved to Western Australia. Neil added: “In another case we are displaying a mixture of AC/DC items spanning their long career, which include an official Australian gold record award for the album Flick Of The Switch that was presented to Malcom Young for sales of the album. Malcolm also signed the back of this award. “Another item I have loaned for the first time is a promotional AC/DC swag bag, which was issued to radio stations and record executives to promote the single Money Talks in the USA. “These are only some of the many items that visitors to the Gateway To The Glens will be able to view this year and I look forward to chatting to fans at the museum on Saturday.” Neil will be in the museum on Saturday from 1 to 4pm to discuss his collection. The exhibition is free to view during the museum’s opening hours, 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday.


Jail for double-jointed woman who slipped cuffs and bit PC on the bum

September 17 2015

A blind double-jointed woman, who escaped from handcuffs and attacked police officers, biting one of them on the backside, has been jailed. Georgina Malcolm had been celebrating her birthday at a party before trouble erupted. She spat on police telling them she had hepatitis C. The officer she bit had to go to hospital for health checks. Depute fiscal Jenny Hamilton told Dunfermline Sheriff Court there had been a fight at the party and police attended. Malcolm “took umbrage” at the way officers were dealing with matters and was placed in handcuffs. “She was placed in a police van with handcuffs but she is double-jointed and so was able to release the cuffs,” said Ms Hamilton. She spat on one of the officers and when he opened the van door she hit his hands with the cuffs, leaving a six-inch scratch which also required hospital treatment because of risk of infection. When another officer was trying to secure Malcolm’s legs he “felt a pinch on his left buttock and found she had bitten him” added the depute fiscal. “All this time she was claiming she had hepatitis C. The officer had teeth marks requiring hospital treatment.” Malcolm, 47, of Whyte Street, Lochgelly, had previously admitted that on 30th September at Adamson Road, Lochgelly, she assaulted PC James Graham to his injury, struck him on the arm with a pair of handcuffs and spat on his face saying she had hepatitis C. She also admitted assaulting PC Kay Rose by spitting on her and assaulting PC Adrian Harmes to his injury by spitting on his face, biting him on the body and again claiming she had hepatitis C. Defence solicitor Larry Flynn said his client had “lost the plot” after drinking too much at her own birthday party. He added it had been Malcolm who had initially phoned the police after a “fracas” broke out at the party. He said his client was registered blind, having lost the sight in one eye and with the condition of other deteriorating. Sheriff Craig McSherry jailed Malcolm for nine months. She was led from the dock in handcuffs.