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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...

News

Arbuthnott marks author connection

March 31 2010

The life and times of Lewis Grassic Gibbon, the celebrated pen-name of James Leslie Mitchell, were recalled when a plaque was unveiled at his childhood home in Arbuthnott. Bloomfield, now a modernised cottage high on the Reisk Road, north of Arbuthnott Church in the heart of the Mearns, was Mitchell's home during his formative years. Born in 1901, Mitchell's background and upbringing were steeped in the traditional crofting life of the north-east of Scotland and as an adult he looked back proudly on his roots. While his early years were spent at his birthplace, the Aberdeenshire croft of Hillhead of Seggat, the following nine years when he lived at Bloomfield were profoundly influential. Among those at the unveiling of the simple plaque were Mitchell's daughter Rhea Martin and her son Alasdair. The idea of the plaque came from William and Dorothy Clark, who bought Bloomfield two years ago.Little-known connectionMr Clark said, "When we came to Bloomfield I picked up a copy of an article which referred to the unknown connection between the house and Lewis Grassic Gibbon. "From time to time we had visitors stopping and asking if this was the house, so we decided to put up a plaque to recognise the fact that a great author had lived here as a boy. "It seemed odd that there was nothing here to mark the author's time in this house. After all, the Grassic Gibbon Centre is just down the road." Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson, who attended the ceremony, said, "This is a fitting and dignified commemoration of the link between Bloomfield and one of Scotland's greatest writers who wrote so powerfully about the Mearns and its landscape and people." The annual supper of the Friends of the Grassic Gibbon Centre was held last week. Guest speaker was Dr David Northcroft from the Elphinstone Institute and musical entertainment was by Tich Frier.

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.

Football

Airdrie United 2 Dundee United 6: Ruthless Rankin sets Tangerines on road to victory

January 9 2012

John Rankin admitted he would take a few pelters if seen out in Airdrie on Saturday after making such a major contribution to Dundee United's fourth-round William Hill Scottish Cup success over his home-town club. The midfielder, who was an Airdrie ballboy, calmed Tangerine nerves by scoring the opening goal and helped orchestrate his side's eventual 6-2 success at New Broomfield Park. But early on this was a very different Diamonds side to the one Peter Houston's side had overcome, despite the modest 2-0 scoreline, comparatively easily in the League Cup back in September. Indeed, as Rankin confessed, ''We are just happy to get through because obviously coming here was a tricky tie. ''For the first 20 minutes or so we kind of struggled. They were right up for it, playing at quite a tempo, but we knew that couldn't last. ''It was a case of us getting a goal and, once we did, I think with the composure and experience we have we went on to kill the tie off.'' There was double delight for the former Hibs player as it was his goal that broke the deadlock. ''It was great to get my first goal for the club and the all-important opener,'' he said. ''You are always desperate to get on the scoresheet, especially as having gone close a few times with hitting the bar and the post in previous matches. ''Hopefully I can go on wee run now and get a few between now and the end of the season.'' His Airdrie allegiance only made him all the more determined to prevent a repeat of Diamonds' cup runs of his youth. ''I had great memories of the old Airdrieonians and can remember them getting to the Scottish Cup final when a Pierre Van Hooijdonk scored Celtic's winner. ''It was a great cup experience and there were others in the past too, so today we were determined that there wasn't going to be a repeat." Although not an avid fan of New Broomfield's 3G surface, the midfielder sees its benefits for the community as a whole. ''We're not complaining because we would have taken a 6-2 victory before the game. But it is good facility with a lot of kids getting the benefit of coaching on a decent surface,'' he said. The Division Two side threatened first when a Jamie Stevenson's volley bounced up and hit the bar and Kevin Green's follow-up header was deflected just over. Shortly afterwards, Gary Mackay-Steven fed Rankin who wriggled along the bye-line before finding the far post with a neat low finish from eight yards. Crucially, United bagged a second just a couple of minutes from the break following a sweeping flowing move. Again man-of-the-match Mackay-Steven was involved, playing the ball into the path of Johnny Russell, who cleverly teed up Scott Robertson and the midfielder opened up his body to curl the ball into the top corner from 12 yards for his second goal of the season. United's clinical finishing continued in the second half. On the hour mark, Johnny Russell lashed home a third to put the outcome beyond doubt. Six minutes later, Russell stooped to head home another inviting Paul Dixon Cross. Mackay-Steven capped his fine display with the goal he deserved, drilling in the fifth 19 minutes from time. Russell completed his first hat-trick for the club and the visitors scoring, slotting home at the third attempt with six minutes left. The only grey mark of United's afternoon was easing off to allow Diamonds top scorer Ryan Donnelly to take his impressive season's tally to 24 with a quick-fire double in the last five minutes. But the celebrations of the 1,344 travelling Arabs in the 2,434 crowd were in full swing long before those goals arrived.

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

‘Opportunistic’ thief took pensioner’s handbag from cafe

July 10 2013

A drug addict stole an 89-year-old Angus woman’s handbag in an “opportunistic” theft. Mark Broomfield, 35, of Glenesk Avenue, Montrose, appeared at Arbroath Sheriff Court on Tuesday after the incident on June 11. He admitted stealing the handbag, containing more than £100 in cash, from the Arbroath Morrisons cafe. The court heard the elderly woman was a regular at the cafe and sat in the same seat every day. Depute fiscal Jill Drummond said: “She placed the bag on the table, removed her purse and made her way up to the counter. “Around 2.40pm, a witness sitting in the cafe saw a male approach the table where the complainer had been seated.” Broomfield picked up the handbag and exited the store. When the pensioner got back to her table she realised her bag had been taken and police were called. Officers reviewed CCTV footage of the incident and were able to identify Broomfield. Broomfield was arrested and taken to Arbroath police office, where he was also found to have a small amount of cannabis. Sheriff William Wood jailed Broomfield for 12 weeks, backdated to June 16, and ordered him to forfeit the stolen cash.

Football

St Johnstone looking forward to reaping benefit of Stevie May’s loan adventure

January 4 2012

St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas is thrilled that teenage striker Stevie May is making his mark with loan club Alloa. The youngster grabbed a hat-trick in the Wasps' 3-1 win over East Stirling at the weekend and Recreation Park manager Paul Hartley is keen to extend his stay. But Lomas, who is pressing Bulgarian outfit CSKA Sofia to let them keep Cillian Sheridan at McDiarmid Park through to the end of the campaign, admits he will have to assess his frontline options before giving Hartley the thumbs-up. When he does end his loan at Alloa be it this month or in the summer Lomas believes Saints will reap the benefits of May getting regular first-team football. He said: ''We're delighted for Stevie and the hat-trick will have sent his confidence soaring. We have already seen the benefits of his loan spell in training sessions. He is really buzzing. ''I'll have to sit down with coaches Tommy Wright and Alec Cleland to assess whether Stevie will be involved if he comes back, or whether it is better for him to be getting more first-team experience and getting goals at Alloa.'' The 19-year-old burst on to the SPL scene last season under previous boss Derek McInnes. He had a couple of man-of-the-match performances but slipped out of the top-team picture towards the end of the term. The local lad then dropped further down the pecking order with the arrival of Sheridan, Fran Sandaza and Marcus Haber in the summer. Lomas added: ''Kids are never the finished article when they come into the first team. The fear you have with youngsters is that they stagnate because of the under-21 rule. ''I know Paul Hartley and he has been good for Stevie. This is a young manager who has a wealth of experience at top clubs as a player and Stevie is learning all the time.'' Inverness have halved ticket prices for their rearranged SPL game against Saints as they apologised for the late postponement. The Perth club were well on the way to Inverness ahead of the 2pm kick-off and Lomas was left ''bamboozled'' over the change in circumstances.

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