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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...

Angus & The Mearns

Argentine family ‘deeply grateful’ after Arbroath marine sends Battle of Two Sisters relic back where it belongs

October 30 2015

The identity tag of a fallen Argentine soldier that lay in a former Angus Marine’s drawer for 33 years has been returned to his family. Graham Ellis, from Kirkton of Auchterhouse, removed the tag from the body of Assistant Sergeant Ramon Gumersindo Acosta on the battlefield in the Falkland Islands in 1982. Acosta was killed by a mortar blast following the Battle of Two Sisters, which took place over two days in June as British forces advanced toward Port Stanley. A 20-year-old member of Arbroath-based 45 Commando at the time, Mr Ellis and his unit were ordered to remove the tags from the dead bodies for identification by the Red Cross. Mr Ellis placed the tag in his pocket and only discovered it on his return to Britain. It remained in a drawer until a comrade of Mr Acosta’s saw an article on this website about Mr Ellis’s attempts to return it to the fallen soldier’s family. It was sent back to Argentina and is now with his daughter, with plans for a formal presentation by the Argentine government to take place in the near future. Mr Ellis said he was “very pleased”, while a former comrade of Mr Acosta said the family were “deeply grateful” to Mr Ellis and The Courier. Acosta was a national hero and a street bears his name in his native town of Jess Mara. He had written a letter to his five-year-old son, Diego, eight days before he died. It read: “I write from my position to tell you that two days ago we were in a helicopter which was bombed, the helicopter fell and caught fire, killing several colleagues of mine but I was saved and am now awaiting the final attack. “I saved three comrades from the flames. I tell you so you know you have a father you can be proud of and want you to keep this letter as a document if I do not return: and if I go back tomorrow, when we’re together I will read it at home.”

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

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

Golf

Kelly snatches second Scottish title in play-off

May 6 2015

Three weeks on the greens staff at Gleneagles this winter working on drainage of course gave Chris Kelly the lift to his second Scottish PGA Championship victory. The 38-year-old produced a brilliant eagle on the 18th yesterday morning to win a play-off against Paul McKechnie after the championship was reduced to 36 holes by constant rain over the four days. Kelly’s tee shot in the play-off was his first hit in 40 hours, his second round 66 finishing on Monday night. After a second day lost to rain, he was left with McKechnie atop the leaderboard once the second round was finally completed yesterday morning. Former champion Paul Lawrie missed his chance to get alongside the leaders finishing with a two-over 73, leaving Kelly to take the title from McKechnie. Both were on in two at the famous par five - Kelly 20 feet away and McKechnie inside eight feet - but the St Andrews-based 2003 champion rolled in his putt dead weight while the Braid Hills man missed. Kelly worked on the greens staff finishing the drainage improvements on the King’s and Queen’s last winter and paid tribute to the work of the team in his winner’s speech. “I was brilliant, I loved it,” he said. “I learned so much, and I was only helping out because they needed more guys. “It’s massive for me. I’ve been working on my game for 80 hours a week for the last month, and I’ve lost a lot of weight to try and get stronger. “Of course I would like to have played another round at least, but there is nothing you can do about the weather. “Paul and I got the better side of the draw, but you still have to go out and hit the shots to take advantage of it.” Lawrie still had a chance when re-starting yesterday, but he four-putted the 14th with lying water still an issue. “Tee to green it was magnificent,” he said. “I had two four-putts and any number of three-putts, but that’s early season greens, and I’m still encouraged for Spain next week.” Leading final scores (par 71) 139 C Kelly (unatt) 73 66; P McKechnie (Braid Hills GC) 70 69 (Kelly won play-off at first extra hole) 140 G Wright (West Linton) 71 69 141 J Lomas (Caprington) 71 70; D Orr (Eastwood) 67 74 142 A Oldcorn (Kings Acre) 71 71; G Fox (Clydeway Golf) 69 73; C Currie (Caldwell) 76 66 143 M Hillson (Tandridge) 75 68; G McBain (Paul Lawrie GC) 73 70; C Sutherland (Cherry Lodge) 70 73; P Lawrie (Carnegie Club) 70 73; P Robinson (Largs) 71 72; G Brown (Montrose Links) 72 71 144 M Kerr (Marriott Dalmahoy) 72 72; S Binning (Mearns Castle) 67 77; K McNicoll (Gullane) 70 74; C Ronald (Carluke) 71 73

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.

Angus & The Mearns

Remains found in sea off Arbroath belonged to Aberdeen woman Kelli Ferris

April 18 2015

Human remains found off the Angus coast belonged to Aberdeen woman Kelli Ferris. The 40-year-old was last seen in her home city last September. A Kirkcaldy-registered fishing vessel made the grim discovery of an undisclosed body part while netting in the North Sea, around seven miles from Arbroath, earlier this month. Police today confirmed the remains belonged to Ms Ferris. A spokesman said: “Kelli Ferris was reported missing on September 17 2014 after last being seen at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary by a family member on September 9. “Following Kelli’s disappearance an extensive investigation and search operation was conducted over a number of weeks which included the use of specialist police dogs and search teams.” Detective Chief Inspector David Hadden said: “We have now been able to identify the remains found off the coast of Arbroath on Monday 6 April 2015 as Kelli Ferris. “A major search operation was carried out following Kelli’s disappearance and enquiries have not revealed any suspicious circumstances. “We hope this identification gives Kelli’s family some form of closure and our thoughts are with her family at this time.” Kelli's mother Catherine Sandison had already said she feared the worst, and described her daughter's disappearance as like "a nightmare".

Music

Woman accuses R Kelly of sexual abuse and giving her herpes

May 22 2018

A woman has filed a lawsuit against R Kelly, accusing the singer of sexual battery, knowingly infecting her with herpes and locking her in rooms for punishment.Faith Rodgers said in the suit filed on Monday in New York that she met Kelly about a year ago after a concert in San Antonio, Texas.The 20-year-old said during their relationship Kelly “mentally, sexually and verbally” abused her.R Kelly is one of pop music’s best-selling artists, with hits including Ignition, I Believe I Can Fly, and Bump N’ Grind.Ms Rodgers, who appeared on Tuesday on CBS This Morning, said Kelly instructed her to call him “daddy” and told her his goal was to teach her how to have sex like a “mature woman”.She said Kelly visited her hotel room after he flew her to New York to attend a show and she “submitted” to sex.“I didn’t really say anything. I kinda just froze up,” she said.“I definitely was uncomfortable. But he has this type of, like, intimidation right off the bat. You know? So I was just waiting for it to be over.”Rodgers said situations like that occurred “multiple times”.The lawsuit says Kelly “disregarded specific statements made by plaintiff that she was ‘not ready to have sex'” with him.“After initiating non-permissive, painful and abusive sex with plaintiff, defendant, R Kelly, immediately insulted and criticised” Rodgers “concerning her ‘lack of participation’ and physical inadequacies.”Earlier this month, Spotify, citing its new policy on hate content and hateful conduct, removed the R&B singer’s music from its promoted playlists following a campaign from #MuteRKelly and others to sanction him.The Time’s Up campaign took aim at R Kelly late last month over allegations that he has sexually abused women.The organisation urged further investigation into the singer’s behaviour, which has come under closer scrutiny over the last year in wake of the #MeToo movement, as women have come forward to accuse him of everything from sexual coercion to physical abuse.“Unfortunately, the facts and background of this case are not unique,” said Rodgers’ lawsuit.“This is a run-of-the-mill R Kelly sexual abuse case. For over 20 years, women across America have been victimised by defendant R Kelly, and have filed eerily similar claims.”Kelly has denied wrongdoing.The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter-producer was acquitted in 2008 of child pornography after a video circulated appearing to show him having sex with a teenage girl. Despite that, he continued to score hits and sell out arenas.It has been five years since any of his songs have charted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.Kelly’s management team has declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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.

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