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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...

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.


“This is what happens when everyone comes together”- Marie Low funeral fundraiser hits its target

September 13 2016

Taysiders have united to give tragic mum Marie Low "the send off she deserves". Marie, 36, died last week after an altercation in the Douglas area of Dundee. Emergency services rushed to the scene on Ballantrae Terrace but attempts to save the mother-of-four were unsuccessful. A 30-year-old woman has since appeared in court in connection with the death. Neighbours and people throughout the region expressed their horror at the violent incident which occurred in the middle of the afternoon as children played in the street. The Courier previously revealed a fundraiser had been launched in the aftermath of the tragedy to fund Marie's funeral costs. Family member Natalie Maclean was inspired to "give Marie the send off she deserves". More than £1000 has now been raised in just under a week by generous locals. Speaking after hitting her fundraising target, a delighted Natalie said: "It's really good because this should be able to the weight off everyone's shoulders. "Marie would be absolutely loving it — that people care this much. "A lot of people say Dundee is a horrible place, but it's not. "This is what happens when everyone comes together. "This will help a lot." 88 separate donations has helped raise £1020 towards giving "one in a million" Marie a memorable funeral. The generosity has delighted Natalie and members of Marie's family and friends. "We've managed to reach the target in under a week which is absolutely amazing," said Natalie. "Thanks to every single person who has donated to this. We're absolutely overwhelmed with all the support. "Marie will 100% get the most beautiful send off she deserves. "Her memory will shine on forever and not a day will go by where will she ever be forgotten. "Sleep tight you gorgeous angel and shine bright like the diamond you are." To view Natalie's fundraiser and to donate visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/natalie-maclean.        


Labour’s Alex Rowley wins Cowdenbeath by-election

January 23 2014

Labour's Alex Rowley has won the Cowdenbeath by-election, securing a much-increased majority for his party. Mr Rowley claimed 55.8% of the votes, in an election with a low turnout of under 35%. The new Labour MSP received 11,192 votes, and a majority of 5,488. The seat was contested following the death of sitting MSP Helen Eadie in November. Mr Rowley praised his team for running a “first class” and “positive” campaign and paid tribute to his predecessor as Labour secured an 11.25% swing from the SNP. He said: “Everyone in Cowdenbeath constituency knew someone who had been helped by Helen Eadie over the years.”For further coverage, see Friday's CourierMr Rowley added that people had made clear their priorities were jobs and opportunities for young people. He stressed fighting the "bedroom tax" would be high on his agenda at Holyrood. The current Fife Council leader had confirmed that he would stand down if elected to Parliament. His SNP rival Natalia McGarry came second with 5,704 votes, and the Conservatives' Dave Dempsey was third with 1,893. UKIP's Denise Baykalbeat the Lib Dem candidate Jade Holden to claim fourth position. Full result: Alex Rowley (Lab) 11,192 (share 55.79%, +9.33%) Natalie McGarry (SNP) 5,704 (28.43%, -13.17%) Dave Dempsey (C) 1,893 (9.44%, +2.45%) Denise Baykal (UKIP) 610 (3.04%) Jade Holden (LD) 425 (2.12%, -1.77%) Stuart Graham (Victims) 187 (0.93%) James Trolland (SDA) 51 (0.25%) Lab maj 5,488 (27.36%) 11.25% swing SNP to Lab Electorate 57,687; Turnout 20,062 (34.78%, -12.51%)

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.


SNP and Conservatives launch Cowdenbeath campaigns

January 10 2014

Leaders of the SNP and Scottish Conservatives will formally launch their Cowdenbeath by-election campaigns today. Alex Salmond will be in Inverkeithing to promote his candidate, Natalie McGarry. He said: "The introduction of free school meals, extending childcare for households across Fife, and the continuation of the council tax freeze - these are the issues at the forefront of this by-election, which people can support by voting for the SNP and Natalie McGarry." Tory leader Ruth Davidson will be in Cowdenbeath with candidate Dave Dempsey, a Fife councillor. Mr Dempsey wants to promote the revitalisation of Cowdenbeath town centre. He said: "Times are tough for retailers and the SNP should be seeking to help them. Instead, the Scottish Government has hit the sector with a number of damaging policies like the retail levy and empty property tax. "The least it could do is come up with a fresh Town Centre Regeneration Fund - the type of investment that could really change Cowdenbeath's fortunes. "It's an extremely straightforward way to encourage growth, and make residents feel good about their own town centre." The by-election is being contested on January 23. It was called after the death of Labour MSP Helen Eadie in November.


MP Natalie McGarry ‘absolutely fine’ after detention by Turkish special forces

February 25 2016

Fife-born MP Natalie McGarry was detained by Turkish special forces after “recording the sound of bombs falling”, her lawyer has claimed. Ms McGarry, who resigned the SNP whip at Westminster while police probe allegations about missing funds from the Women For Independence campaign group, was on a visit to the country with the GMB union when the drama unfolded. The Glasgow East representative was detained in the Sur district of Diyarbakir after security forces apparently spotted her with her mobile phone out. She later tweeted to confirm she had not come to any harm. She said: “Thank you for any concerns, but I am safe and absolutely fine.” Ms McGarry added: “I was not arrested, but answered some questions. I am absolutely fine and have no further comment.” The Inverkeithing born and raised politician is a pro-Kurdish campaigner who has been critical of the Turkish government. https://twitter.com/NatalieMcGarry/status/702871051613691904 Her solicitor, Aamer Anwar, said: “I can confirm that Natalie McGarry MP was questioned earlier on today, when she was recording the sound of bombs from the Turkish forces falling on the Kurdish area of Sur in Diyarbakir. "It appears that a member of the Turkish security forces became alarmed as Natalie had her mobile phone out near a security check point. "She was taken away for questioning and when it was explained that she was part of the GMB delegation and simply recording the sound of bombs falling, she was released. There will be no further statement and Natalie will be returning home soon." A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “A British national was briefly detained and released in Diyarbakir, Turkey. Our embassy staff were in close contact with local authorities.” GMB said the trip was part of a campaign calling on the Turkish Government to release Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan on the 17th anniversary of his imprisonment. https://twitter.com/NatalieMcGarry/status/702883585427173376 The union’s international officer, Bert Schouwenburg, said: “As Abdullah Ocalan endures another year in captivity, the Turkish government are engaged in a largely unreported dirty war against the Kurdish population in the south of the country. “Hundreds of men, women and children have been killed and thousands of dwellings destroyed. “In spite of the genocidal assault by the Turkish state, from his prison cell Ocalan continues to advocate a peaceful and democratic solution to the Kurdish question. His freedom is, therefore, an essential prerequisite to a negotiated settlement and we call for his immediate release.”