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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

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.

Scotland

Glasgow bin lorry inquiry may last five weeks

May 18 2015

An inquiry into a bin lorry crash which killed six people could last up to five weeks, a court has heard. The tragedy happened when a Glasgow City Council truck collided with pedestrians in the city centre days before Christmas last year. A fatal accident inquiry will look at the driver's medical background and technical aspects relating to the lorry. Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC, who will lead the inquiry, told a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court that it is likely to last three weeks. Peter Gray, the solicitor acting for the council, said that could be optimistic and four is more realistic, but he "wouldn't be surprised" if it lasts five weeks. Sheriff Principal Craig Scott today agreed to a further preliminary hearing before the inquiry begins on July 22. Erin McQuade, 18, her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and his 69-year-old wife Lorraine, all from Dumbarton, died when the truck lost control on Queen Street on December 22. Stephenie Tait, 29, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, were also killed when it mounted the pavement before crashing into the side of the Millennium Hotel in George Square. Relatives of those who died will be represented at the inquiry, as will thecouncil, the DVLA and the bin lorry driver. Today’s hearing was also attended by a lawyer for the driver’s two co-workers, who were on the truck at the time of the accident, and a representative for a GP who saw the driver in 2010. Ms Thomson said a technical report had been completed ahead of the inquiry but the Crown is still awaiting a report relating to the “human factors” and information on the internal conversion of the lorry cab. Lawyers for Ms Morton’s family said they had further records and statements to assess following the granting of legal aid two weeks ago. Representatives for relatives of Ms Ewing, Mr and Mrs Sweeney and Ms McQuade also told the court of difficulties in the process of accessing full legal aid. A further preliminary hearing was set for June 18 at Glasgow Sheriff Court. The inquiry will focus on the driver’s medical background, his fitness to hold a licence and his employment record and training. It will examine whether anything could have been done to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop and explore the route taken by the truck.

Perth & Kinross

Major search for missing Perthshire man James Morton

January 31 2017

Police, the fire service and a Coastguard river rescue team were involved in a major search operation for an elderly Perthshire man on Tuesday night after he had been missing since Tuesday morning. James Morton, 88, was last seen at 8.30am at Oakbank Place in Guildtown. As darkness fell concern grew for Mr Morton’s safety and the major search operation was launched. Mr Morton is described as 5ft 10in tall, with receding grey hair. He was wearing grey trousers, a navy blue jumper, red and white checked shirt, brown anorak and boots. He walks with the aid of a walking stick and is believed to have had this with him. Police initially refused to give out any details of the search operation when asked by The Courier, but late on Tuesday night they issued an appeal for information. It said: “Any sightings of James or his vehicle, a silver Peugeot 207 registration KN62VML, please contact Police Scotland on 101 and quote incident number 2240.” The focus of the search on Wednesday was the Campsie area of the River Tay near to Guildtown.

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.

Dundee United

Morton 0 Dundee United 2: Tangerines with deserved win at Cappielow

December 9 2017

Dundee United maintained their lead at the top of the Championship table with this comfortable win over Morton at Cappielow. Billy King was the Tangerines’ two-goal hero, scoring an early Christmas cracker and then putting the icing on the cake with a stoppage-time second. Dundee United boss Csaba Laszlo made two changes from the side that beat Dunfermline last week with Tam Scobbie returning from suspension at the expense of Paul Quinn while Paul McMullan came in for Willo Flood after the Irishman dislocated his shoulder against the Pars. There was a place in the Morton line-up for former Dundee midfielder Gary Harkins. United started brightly and had their first opportunity in just the fifth minute when Fraser Fyvie burst into the home box but he dragged his shot wide. Scott McDonald was next to try his luck but his attempt flew straight into the arms of home keeper Derek Gaston. Fyvie then gave the ball away with Morton’s Robert Thomson playing in Gary Oliver but he sent his low, angled shot just wide of United goalie Harry Lewis’s right-hand post. After the promising opening, both sides then struggled to fashion clear-cut opportunities with neither team being able to build up a head of steam. However, the Tangerines did manage to finish the half with a flourish with Fyvie testing Gaston with a shot from the edge of the home box. The impressive Scott Fraser then teed up McDonald but the Morton keeper again came to his side’s rescue, blocking the Australian striker’s close-range shot to ensure the teams headed down the tunnel with the game still scoreless. Just two minutes after the restart, Morton came close to breaking that deadlock. Ross Forbes whipped in a delightful cross from the right with Thomson’s goalbound header superbly saved by Lewis. United then felt they had a strong case for a penalty when Fraser went down in the Morton box under a defender’s challenge but referee Gavin Duncan was not convinced. However, that was quickly forgotten in the 61st minute when King opened the scoring. After some neat, patient interplay, the United man took his time just inside the Morton box, teeing himself up to arrow a sensational left-foot shot past the helpless Gaston. Shortly after though, United hearts were in their mouths when Jai Quitongo latched on to a slack back-pass from Jamie Robson but as Lewis raced out, the Morton player’s composure deserted him, with his heavy touch sending the ball wide of goal. The Tangerines had a great double opportunity to put the game to bed in the 89th minute. McDonald’s initial shot was blocked with McMullan looking certain to score from the rebound but Gaston pulled off a vital block with his foot. However, in the 94th minute, United did finally make it two. Harkins was dispossessed by sub Patrick N'Koyi with Fyvie then squaring the ball to King to calmly slot low past Gaston to send the 435 Tangerines fans home happy. For full report, reaction and analysis, see Monday’s Courier.

Dundee United

Festive fun for Billy King and Dundee United team-mates after taking care of serious league business

December 11 2017

Billy King celebrated breaking his league-scoring duck by dressing up in Dublin as the most-wanted Christmas toy of 1997. The Dundee United winger had his Teletubbies outfit packed for the team’s festive bash in Ireland with three points also in the bag thanks to the well-deserved win over Morton at Cappielow. King was cast as Laa-Laa in the Dublin fancy-dress fun but he was deadly serious as his clinical double strike helped the Tangerines maintain their place at the top of the Championship table. He said: “The boys are all delighted. It was all about getting the three points. “We are going to Dublin and it is fancy dress on the Sunday. Sam Stanton, Paul McMullan, Cammy Ballantyne and myself are all going as the Teletubbies. “I’m going as the yellow one. The outfits are all a secret with the boys. “So we will just wake up and see what everyone is wearing which will be a laugh.” King, though admitted that his long wait for a league goal was no laughing matter. The 23-year-old said: “I knew I was creating chances for myself but it just wasn’t happening. I’ve been playing well and today I just managed to finish them off. “It was a bit frustrating for me not getting off the mark in the league. This was a massive game for us and tough place to come. It was a must-win for us to keep the pressure up. I thought we played well.” King’s first goal was a superb drilled finish and he admitted that his boss Csaba Laszlo’s half-time words of wisdom were still ringing in his ears when he decided to hit it. He smiled and said: “It was OK, eh? The gaffer said at half-time that we were getting into good areas but just not striking it. “We were trying to over pass perhaps at times so that was on my mind when we came back out. If I got into the area I’d just have a shot and that’s what I managed to do. “We have a good bunch with a great mix of experience and young ones. That helps you come through games like this, tough away fixtures you have to win. The experienced boys help the younger ones.” United had their first opportunity at Cappielow in just the fifth minute when Fraser Fyvie burst into the home box but he dragged his shot wide. Scott McDonald was next to try his luck but his attempt flew straight into the arms of home keeper Derek Gaston. Fyvie then gave the ball away with Morton’s Robert Thomson playing in Gary Oliver but he sent his low, angled shot just wide of United goalie Harry Lewis’s right-hand post. The Tangerines finished the half with a flourish with Fyvie testing Gaston with a shot from the edge of the home box. The impressive Scott Fraser then teed up McDonald but the Morton keeper again came to his side’s rescue. Just two minutes after the restart, Morton came close to breaking the deadlock. Ross Forbes whipped in a delightful cross from the right with Thomson’s header superbly saved by Lewis. United then felt they had a strong case for a penalty when Fraser went down in the Morton box but referee Gavin Duncan was not convinced. However, that was quickly forgotten in the 61st minute when King opened the scoring. After some neat, patient interplay, the United man took his time just inside the Morton box, teeing himself up to arrow a sensational left-foot shot past the helpless Gaston. Shortly after though, United hearts were in their mouths when Jai Quitongo latched on to a slack back-pass from Jamie Robson but as Lewis raced out, the Morton player’s composure deserted him, with his heavy touch sending the ball wide of goal. The Tangerines had a great double opportunity to put the game to bed in the 89th minute. McDonald’s initial shot was blocked with McMullan looking certain to score from the rebound but Gaston pulled off a vital block with his foot. However, in the fourth minute of stoppage time, United did finally make it two. Morton’s Gary Harkins was dispossessed by sub Patrick N'Koyi with Fyvie then squaring the ball to King to calmly slot low past Gaston to send the 435 Tangerines fans home happy. Laszlo said: “The most important thing for me to see was that we came out in the second half and we began to dominate the game. “The three points was very vital for us but we will now look to the next game.”

Scottish League 1

Brechin boss to adopt cautious approach with on-loan Dundee youngster

December 20 2014

Craig Wighton may be one of the highest-rated youngsters in the Scottish game but Brechin boss Ray McKinnon is determined to ease him in gradually at the club and not throw him in at the deep end. City pulled off a major coup by securing the teenage Dundee striker on loan on Thursday night. The Scotland Under-17 front man played for the Dark Blues in the Premiership last week, coming on as a substitute at Hamilton but McKinnon has cautioned not to expect too much too soon from the youngster. He said: “We would never put too much pressure on Craig. “He has only just returned from injury and he won’t start at Stenny. We will introduce him to the rest of the lads and bring him in gradually. “He is a great prospect but is not the finished article and he is here to continue his development.” While delighted to have secured Wighton, McKinnon was still fuming that his side were denied a deserved victory last week at Morton when referee Stephen Finnie awarded a controversial penalty at the death which the home side duly converted to snatch a point. City have drawn seven league games in total this season and the Glebe gaffer is looking for his players to start turning their superiority in matches into victories. He said: “I have looked back at the DVD of the Morton game again and I still think the penalty was a ludicrous decision. “The referee was 25 to 30 yards away and I cannot believe he awarded a spot-kick. “It was a real blow especially as we had been two goals up. “It might look like a problem but to lose a goal in the last second in those circumstances was very disappointing. “We have drawn a lot of games and if we had won them we would be right at the top of the league. “So that’s the priority, to turn draws into victories. “We have a fully-fit squad with the exception of Callum Tapping and I feel we are playing well. “We just need to ensure we keep our concentration levels high for the full 90 minutes.”

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