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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...

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

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.

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.

Readers' letters

Port prospered despite railways and conflicts

February 16 2014

Sir, Regarding Tuesday’s article featuring David Littlejohn, head of planning and regeneration at Perth and Kinross Council, I would point out the port of Perth did not go into “continual decline” when the railways reached Perth. What they put paid to was the full implementation of Stevenson’s masterplan for the expansion of the harbour facilities and an improved navigation channel in the Tay. The latter part of the 19th century then saw the demise of local shipbuilding in wood and sail. Later, despite the disruption created by two world conflicts in the first half of the 20th century, which severely curtailed Perth’s maritime trade, the former Perth Town Council set about rebuilding its maritime trade. By the mid-fifties, the harbour showed the green shoots of growth and from there until comparatively recently there was prosperous shipping activity along the Tay, to and from Perth, both in coastwise and Europeantraffic across the North Sea and often beyond. Having been interested in Perth Harbour and the River Tay for more than 60 years, since being a schoolboy at Perth Academy, I havewitnessed at first hand the growth of trade across the quays at Friarton. The fact that the lower harbour can still handle many of the river sea ships currently engaged in European trading is a tribute to the skill of the river pilots, whose dedication is often underestimated. Perth’s location, in the heartland of Scotland, is one of its advantages. John Aitken. 7 Graham Crescent, Montrose. Pupils’ actions are a problem Sir, I am one of the objectors you refer to in the article headlined “Speed hump about to slow drivers at danger crossing”, which was in Thursday’s Courier. While I am disappointed this speed hump has been approved, I am happy to accept the matter has gone through the democraticprocess and the public given the chance to object. I use Grange Road on a regular basis. I travelled this road on Tuesday at around 3.20pm on my way to a dental appointment. I returned about 30 minutes later, around the time Dunfermline High School was coming out. I estimate there were in the region of 30-50 teenage boys and girls walking in the vicinity. Many of them were conducting themselves in a disorderly manner and were pushing and shoving each other into the roadway. It does not matter what the speed limit is or how many speed humps and warning signs Fife Council puts up. If the students conduct themselves in this manner next to a roadway, it is very likely one of them is going to get very seriously hurt by apassing vehicle. What are the school, the police and the council doing to prevent this type of behaviour? And why should drivers face more restrictions when, perhaps, the students should be taking responsibility for their own behaviour? Alastair Macintyre. 18 Webster Place, Rosyth. Hardly march of progress Sir, Perth and Kinross Council plans to introduce a road hump on a Kinross street and has asked for residents to submit their views in writing (Thursday’s Courier). The march of the traffic-calming brigade seems unstoppable. Our councils are reportedly cash-strapped and cannot afford to provide many services, yet they all seem to find money to make drivers’, pedestrians’ and cyclists’ lives more difficult and, strange to say, more dangerous. Meanwhile, potholes proliferate and councils fall further and further behind with vital road repairs. They can find money for often unnecessary traffic calming on quiet side streets, as here on Kinnoull Hill, Perth, but allow our streets to become downright dangerous as more and more potholes appear and road surfaces crumble, pavements likewise. Councils are also paying out thousands of pounds in compensation to motorists whose cars have fallen victim to potholes. Would it not be more sensible to keep the roads properly repaired in the first place? George K. McMillan. 5 Mount Tabor Avenue, Perth. Give accused anonymity Sir, I fully agree with Dave Lee Travis’s summary of what he has experienced as two different trials, one by court and the other by media. The recent examples of high-profile celebrities being prosecuted for historic sex crimes being found not guilty causes me serious concern. Many celebrities, although vindicated, will have to live with the effects of their reputation being tarnished forever, as many people will apply the unhelpful cliche “no smoke without fire” and that is very unfair. There needs to be a change in the law so people accused of this type of crime should remain anonymous until after the jury has reached a verdict, to ensure a fair trial for everyone and to stop the accused feeling vilified by the media. Gordon Kennedy. 117 Simpson Square, Perth. A US state of mind needed Sir, Regarding a Scottish currency, surely the answer is obvious: we get in touch with that nice man Barack Obama, to have us adopted into the US as its 51st state and become dollar partners with them. Then, we can thumb our noses at George Osborne. Problem solved! J. R. Smith. Morar, 44 Glamis Road, Kirriemuir.


Angus youth has point to prove after U18s call-up

December 21 2012

FORFAR’S SCOTT Fullerton has waited longer than most for his chance to shine on the international stage and he admits he’s not willing to let it slip this time. Fullerton was one of 18 to earn selection for the Lloyds TSB Scotland U18s squad for the 2013 Centenary Shield after a successful final trial at Toryglen Regional Football Centre on Friday. The 17-year-old, who plays on the right side of midfield, fell short at the same stage this time last year and revealed the devastation he felt drove him on to succeed 12 months on. Opening their campaign away to Northern Ireland on February 22, followed by a trip to Wales, the Scottish U18s welcome the Republic of Ireland in March before the clash with England on April 12. And with a point to prove, Forfar Academy pupil Fullerton, who plays for Arbroath under-19s, cannot wait to finally don the famous blue jersey in just over two months time. “I got to this stage last year at the final trials and I didn’t get in, so I was a little bit more nervous and desperate to get in this year,” said Fullerton. “I think missing out last year helped. I knew what to expect and what the process involves. I was devastated after missing out last year, I remember coming off the pitch and being upset but I think that helps you and it’s about how you react. “I’ve reacted well with my club side and I’ve done well to get in now. This is the biggest moment of my career so far, without a doubt. “I took a bit of a knock to the confidence last year but it’s all coming together now, and hopefully this can help me get that first-team contract at the end of the season with Arbroath. “I can’t wait to pull on that Scotland jersey. It is every schoolboy’s dream, since I was a boy at about four-years-old and it’s finally happened.” enicolson@thecourier.co.uk

Scottish League 1

Peterhead 3 Forfar 2: McIntosh breaks Loons’ hearts

February 15 2016

Forfar Athletic are still looking for their first victory under Gary Bollan as their League One winless streak extended to 16 games with a narrow loss to high-flying Peterhead at Balmoor Stadium. The Loons are now six points adrift of third-bottom Cowdenbeath whom they still have to play twice and just one in front of Angus rivals Brechin City. Jim McInally’s Blue Toon got off to a flying start with the opener after just four minutes. It was a nightmare for Forfar keeper Darren Hill who should have turned a 20-yarder from Nicky Riley out for a corner but instead fumbled the ball towards the back post where Rory McAllister pounced to score from a tight angle, his 27th of the season and his 100th in a Peterhead shirt. The visitors were back in the game after a quarter of an hour. Former Hamilton Accies striker Andy Ryan chased what appeared to be a lost cause and managed to get in a low cross that was missed by the entire Blue Toon defence and Steven Craig tapped in fron six yards. The Loons then took the lead three minutes later. A Gavin Swankie free-kick just outside the penalty area was spilled by keeper Graeme Smith and Ryan was on hand to tap the ball over the line from a yard out. The home side’s task was made even harder four minutes later with a straight red for defender Steven Noble for what was seen as a stamp on Ryan. It was all square in the 42nd minute thanks to a simple goal from Shane Sutherland, who fired home a shot low into the far corner. Despite being a man down, it was the Blue Toon that dominated from the re-start and after going close through Sutherland, sub Leighton McIntosh was on hand to sidefoot home the winner after 75 minutes. Bollan said: “Playing against 10 men we never passed the ball or kept it well enough and we played into Peterhead’s hands by just launching the ball forward and that was massively disappointing. “It may be a confidence thing. We have a good squad of players and when we bring the ball down and play we are a decent side and we seem to be able to do for short spells in a game and we need to learn to do that more”

Scottish Championship

Raith Rovers ask SFA to investigate Rangers player’s recall

September 3 2015

Raith Rovers have requested that the SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan investigates whether Rangers broke the governing body’s rules by bringing Ryan Hardie back early from Scotland Under-19 duty ahead of Saturday’s clash between the two Championship sides at Ibrox. The Kirkcaldy club say that Rangers assistant manager David Weir helped secure the player’s release before the Under-19s face Bulgaria tomorrow night. While Hardie will now be available to play at Ibrox, Raith will be without on-loan Dundee striker Craig Wighton who has remained with the squad. In a statement, the club said: “Ahead of Saturday’s Ladbrokes Championship match versus Rangers at Ibrox, Raith Rovers FC has today asked the Scottish FA’s Compliance Officer to consider whether he agrees that Rangers FC, through David Weir, have breached SFA Articles and Rules by requesting and securing the early release of its player Ryan Hardie from international duty with Scotland Under-19s in Bulgaria, for the sole reason that he is then available to play against Raith Rovers. “Raith Rovers FC also has an important player in the same Under-19 squad, 1st team regular Craig Wighton. Craig remains in Bulgaria and available for selection for Friday evening’s national representative match. “He will fly home with the rest of the squad on Saturday afternoon. We are delighted that Craig is receiving international recognition, and whilst we are without his services for the crucial match with Rangers, our loss is Scotland’s gain. “Naturally we are concerned that if there is any breach of Article 82.1 and Rules 56 & 57, this would in these circumstances result in an unfairness in terms of players available for selection for Saturday’s match, which is to our disadvantage.” Scottish FA Article 82.1 states: “If any player selected to attend any international or other match arranged by the Scottish FA refuses without good and sufficient cause to comply with the arrangements for playing in such match or fails to attend such match, the Judicial Panel may find him to have been in breach of this Article 82.1, and any club or official or Team Official or other member of Team Staff who may be found to have encouraged or instigated or caused such player so to refuse shall likewise be deemed to be in breach of this Article 82.1 and the provisions of Article 95 shall apply.”