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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.

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.

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.”

Dundee United

Greenock Morton 1 Dundee United 1: Tangerines finish third to book return trip to Cappielow

May 6 2017

Dundee United had to settle for third spot in the Championship and a return trip to Cappielow after this draw with Morton. The result, combined with Falkirk's win at Dumbarton, meant the Tangerines will head back to Greenock on Tuesday night for the first leg of the quarter-final against fourth-placed Ton. After completely dominating the first half, they fell behind to a header from former United man Kudus Oyenuga seven minutes into the second period. Blair Spittal dragged them level with a shot from 10 yards on 63 minutes and the fightback was on. However, they just couldn't find the winner they wanted, albeit the Bairns took care of business across the Clyde anyway. The Tangerines made only one change to the line-up that started against Dumbarton last week. Out went the suspended Simon Murray and in came Ali Coote, with William Edjenguele still banned. On a beautiful, sunny day by the Clyde, Tony Andreu go the match under way for the Tangerines. The visitors made a confident start, stroking the ball about well in the first few minutes. Andreu had a pop at goal from 20 yards on seven minutes but the strike was blocked by Tom O’Ware. On 14 minutes, the Tangerines came close to getting the opener when a Blair Spittal corner from the right was nodded goalwards by Mark Durnan. The ball reached Durnan’s fellow defender Coll Donaldson just a couple of yards out but his header was saved by Ton keeper Bryn Halliwell. It was then the turn of Wato Kuate to have a go for United but his low drive was saved by Halliwell. With 23 minutes on the clock, Kuate gave the ball away in the middle of the park and Morton’s break upfield ended with keeper Cammy Bell saving well from ex-Tannadice player Oyenuga. Five minutes later and it was United’s turn to attack, with striker Thomas Mikkelsen’s glancing header going just wide after he was found by Stewart Murdoch’s cross. The Dane was looking dangerous and on the half-hour he received the ball with his back to goal, spun around and his shot struck the base of the post after wriggling through Halliwell’s arms. Andreu then broke clear for the Tangerines but ballooned his shot over then the French almost got a toe to Murdoch’s cross to the near post. With 39 minutes and United continuing to press, they hit the woodwork for a second time. This time the unlucky man was Andreu, who smacked a 25-yard shot off the crossbar. Good work from Coote helped cut open the home defence and first Andreu had a close-range shot blocked then Jamie Robson blasted over. Andreu, who seemed to be everywhere for the Tangerines, spun and sent a left-foot strike over just seconds before the half-time whistle blew. All that was missing from a fine first-half display from United was a goal and they had to find at least one in the second period. However, they were hit by a classic sucker punch as Morton took the lead on 52 minutes. The ball was swung over from the left by Mark Russel and Oyenuga sent a looping header beyond the reach of Bell. United tried to fight back and Robson's header on 61 minutes wasn't too far away. Just two minutes later, they were level. It was Andreu who was the creator, cutting the ball back to an unmarked Spittal to find the net with a shot from 10 yards. On 67 minutes, Mikkelsen sent a diving header wide of the Morton post then the striker was through on goal but he took a poor first touch and Halliwell was bale to save. The hosts changed their goalkeeper, with Jamie McGowan replacing Halliwell, while United brought on Charlie Telfer for Coote on 71 minutes. There was yet another golden opportunity for the visitors when Spittal raced into the box from the left but his shot was saved by replacement goalie McGowan. Scott Allardice came on for Kuate, who had just been booked, while United pushed defender Durnan up front for the closing stages. Andreu volleyed over with five minutes left before sub Allardice blasted wide. It was all in for United now and Andreu sent his shot over after the ball bobbled about the Morton box. They brought on Alex Nicholls for Willo Flood but it was Morton who broke forward and sub Nesbitt saw his shot pushed on to the post by Bell. McGowan had to push away a Nicholls chip as United continued to press but news came through from Dumbarton and it was game over anyway. Attendance: 2,158. Greenock Morton: Halliwell (McGowan 70), Lamie, O’Ware, Doyle, Forbes (Tidser 58), Oyenuga (Nesbitt 86), Scullion, Russell, McDonagh, A. Murdoch, Strapp. Subs not used: McGowan, Lindsay, Donnelly, Langan, Tiffoney. Dundee United: Bell, Durnan, Donaldson, Spittal, S. Murdoch, Flood (Nicholls 89), Kuate (Allardice 80), Mikkelsen, Andreu, Coote (Telfer 71), Robson. Subs not used: Long, Dillon, Dixon. Referee:  John Beaton.  

Scottish League 1

Dunfermline 0 Morton 4: Pars defence was murder for Scully

March 30 2015

The classic US sci-fi series the X-Files is due to return to our TV screens soon, so it was perhaps appropriate that a character named Scully should play a starring role at East End Park on Saturday. Ryan Scully is no flame-haired government agent, but the Dunfermline goalkeeper performed heroics for his team, producing a string of top-class saves to prevent an already-embarrassing defeat from turning into something even more grisly. The stats show that 10 of Morton’s 13 goal attempts were on target, only for Scully to repeatedly deny them. His first-half save from Michael Miller was breathtaking yet he somehow managed to better that with a one-handed stop from Peter McDonald’s long-range piledriver. The previous Saturday, Scully’s late penalty save at Stenhousemuir kept the Pars in the hunt for a play-off spot, but their heaviest home loss of the season now leaves them five points behind Brechin with just five games remaining. Scully said: “It’s a team game, so my performance doesn’t really matter now. “It was a terrible, terrible day at the office, really embarrassing. We looked very weak today and there are no excuses. We played OK in the first 20 minutes, but then we let them dictate the game and Morton fully deserved the three points. “The first two goals killed us. You don’t like to say it, but we almost gave up and never caused their goalkeeper any problems. “We heard a few home truths in the dressing room after the game, but all season we’ve been asking ourselves what the problem is. We obviously don’t have the best squad in the league. “I hate to think that we’ll be in the same league again next season, so the next five games are huge for this club. We need to see what we’re made of now and we have to find some fight from somewhere to get the five wins that we need.” Morton also require victories as they battle Stranraer and Forfar for the title. The previous week, two injury-time goals had prevented a third straight defeat, but they appear to be back on track now after beating Dunfermline for the fourth time this season. Goals either side of half-time from Stefan McCluskey and Lee Kilday, plus late strikes from Declan McManus and Mark Russell left Ton boss Jim Duffy purring: “It was a comprehensive victory.”

Angus & The Mearns

New Year’s party fight left man missing chunk of his ear

December 17 2016

An Angus man was left with a “chunk” missing from his ear after a New Year party fight went “too far”. Douglas Morton left Barry Taylor bleeding and bruised after their brawl at Muirhead and Birkhill Millennium Hall’s annual event last year. The 46-year-old, from Muirhead, appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court on indictment and pled guilty to an assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement. The court heard the pair fell out over smoking inside the family-friendly event. Mr Taylor, 34, was left with a 5p-sized chunk missing from his ear, and bruises to his head and neck which looked to be ring-shaped or similar. Although he received a skin graft from his chest at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, he was told the missing cartilage could not be replaced. Depute fiscal Kirsten Letford said: “The parties were unknown to each other but words had been exchanged earlier in the evening. “Mr Taylor had sat next to the accused and his wife inside, to light up a cigarette. “Both the accused and Mr Taylor had agreed to go outside for a fight. “During the struggle on the ground, Mr Taylor ended up laying partly on top of the accused Morton, who wrapped his arm around Mr Taylor’s neck in a headlock. “The accused tightened his arm around Mr Taylor’s throat which caused him difficulty breathing. “Mr Taylor began to panic as he was unable to release the accused’s grip. “During the course of the struggle, a chunk of Mr Taylor’s ear came off.” Defence agent Nick Whelan said Morton and his wife were helping out at the event, and Mrs Morton had remonstrated with Mr Taylor about lighting a cigarette inside the hall. He said Mr Taylor then blew smoke in Morton’s face before the two men agreed to fight. “During the course of the fight, Mr Morton went too far,” he added. “Mr Morton clearly regrets this and should have walked away. “He’s embarrassed to appear in court - he’s a family man.” Sheriff Gregor Murray imposed the maximum number of hours of unpaid work with discount for an early plea, and gave Morton 15 months to complete the 250 hours. He told Morton, of Dronley Terrace: “You’re a 46-year-old man. “You allowed yourself to become embroiled in an argument at a New Year’s Party and were stupid enough to go outside for a fight. “That’s bad enough. “Judging from the extent and the number of injuries to the complainer, you must have used considerable force. “That on its own merits a custodial sentence.”

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.