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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.

Scottish League 1

Albion Rovers 3 Brechin City 1: Dods’ men still pointless after defeat in Coatbridge

August 31 2015

Brechin City boss Darren Dods was left to rue defensive frailties as his side lost 3-1 to Albion Rovers at Cliftonhill on Saturday. The former St Johnstone, Dundee United and Forfar defender, whose side has now lost six straight games, claimed afterwards that all three goals “should have been avoided.” The Glebe Park boss would not have been happy as Rovers started the game brighter and had the ball in the net in the 10th minute, but John Gemmell’s effort was chalked off for offside. The Rovers faithful did not have long to wait to see them take the lead though with Ross Dunlop diverting the ball into the net after Brechin had failed to clear a corner in the 23rd minute. The lead was only to last two minutes though as Andy Jackson was bundled over in the box with Craig Johnson slotting home the resulting penalty. Seven minutes later it was Albion who had a spot-kick after Jonathan Tiffoney brought down Paul Willis, with Gemmell restoring Albion’s lead. Rovers then doubled their lead within 90 seconds of the restart after a Willis cross was misjudged by Dods and sub Andy Barrowman was at the back post to nod in. Albion looked to be seeing the game out comfortably until the 74th minute when Kyle Turnbull brought down Craig Malloy in the box. Turnbull earned his second booking for the foul but City could not take advantage as Robert Thomson’s penalty was saved by Ross Stewart in the Albion goal. Dods said: “You can see the heads going down. It’s my job to lift them and make sure they are up for it next week.”

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

Breachin 2 Albion Rovers 1: City preparing for six more cup finals

March 21 2016

Brechin boss Darren Dods says his side have six cup finals still to play this season, after the Glebe Park men hit back from the loss of an early goal to beat League One play-off hopefuls Albion Rovers. Brechin showed the never-say-die attitude which has typified their play in recent weeks as they made it a marvellous four wins in a row in March to further boost their hopes of avoiding relegation. City are now a point above Cowdenbeath and level on points with Forfar in joint second-bottom spot. Dods said: “Three weeks ago when we lost to Peterhead we were 10 points behind Cowdenbeath and seven behind Forfar. Now, after four wins we are level with Forfar and ahead of Cowdenbeath. “Coming off the bottom will give us a boost. Albion have beaten us three times this season and they caught us with a sucker-punch early on, scoring with their first shot. “Earlier in the season, 1-0 might have been game over but we now have a belief and some firepower up front. “Our spirit never goes down and we now have people who can come off the bench and change things for us. We face a massive challenge at Dunfermline next week, but having laid our Albion Rovers hoodoo our confidence is high. We will go there and give it a go.” Albion opened the scoring on 12 minutes. Spas Georgiev raced clear on the right and crossed for Alistair Coull to score with a low drive. On 33 minutes, Andy Jackson did brilliantly to get to the line and his cutback was fired over by Lewis Spence. Brechin went close again on 52 minutes when a first-time volley from Spence went wide. The pace of Georgiev was Albion’s biggest weapon and he shot into the side-netting on 67 minutes. Two minutes later, a header from Paul McLean forced a save from visiting keeper Ross Stewart. Brechin got the equaliser they deserved on 80 minutes when Robert Thomson shot home after a spot of pinball inside the box. City went for glory and on 85 minutes a pass from Thomson was fired home by ex-Airdrie and Huddersfield striker Liam Coogans for a dramatic winner.


Award-winning Tayside song writer Eddie Cairney immortalises Queensferry Crossing in tune

October 25 2017

An award-winning Tayside song writer who immortalised the 50th anniversary of the Tay Road Bridge in music last year has released an EP which pays tribute to the newly opened Queensferry Crossing over the Forth. Perth-born Eddie Cairney, 65, who now lives in Arbroath, has released an album called ‘Sketches o' the QC’ which includes songs dedicated to the “isolated” workers who were employed during construction and contrasts the old Forth Road Bridge to the new crossing with its wind shields designed to keep traffic flowing during storms. Eddie, who delayed the release of the album due to family illness and bereavement, said: “It's just another quirky album like I did for the Tay Road Bridge. https://youtu.be/Z6BblA_Zev4 “As you can probably imagine, how do you write six songs about a bridge? “I usually end up using a process of creative journalism. I get a few facts or even just a single fact and then I let my imagination take over. “With each album early on in the writing process I draw a blank and think there's nothing here I can write about but there's always something to write about. “You just have to hang around long enough and it comes eventually. https://youtu.be/a9NyQAFjDsY “I just took threads from here and there. I was going to call the album The Queensferry Crossing but thought that was a bit boring so I went for Sketches o' the Q.C. “It introduces a bit of ambiguity. If you Google the name you get lots of drawings of court scenes!” Eddie was inspired to write Columba Cannon after reading an article about the general foreman for the foundations and towers. https://youtu.be/y_y1y8oV7vo Eddie said: “It was the name that got me and that gave me the first line of the song "He is a bridge builder wi a missionary zeal" Has to be with a name like Columba!” Fishnet bridge was set in a meditative light, describing the bridge as a “thing of beauty that looks like a big fish net glistening high above the Forth but it is a symbolic fishnet with the song taking the form of an imaginary conversation with the bridge.” https://youtu.be/dJgsl2WQ5G0   “Midday starvation came from an article which highlighted the isolation of the workers working high up on the bridge,” he added. https://youtu.be/Dme-bfCXHRI “If you forget your piece you've had it and you starve for there's no nipping round to the corner shop for a pie. The article also said that a local pizza delivery firm regularly delivered a pallet load of warm pizzas to the bridge so that was "midday salvation"! Meanwhile, The boys frae the cheese is a play on words. https://youtu.be/phtQ2-Xx1I0 He added: “I read an article that said The Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) could have acted sooner and avoided the costly closure of the bridge at the end of 2015.” Eddie is no stranger to music and song influenced by Dundee and wider Scottish history. In 2015 he featured in The Courier for his efforts to put the complete works of Robert Burns to music. With a piano style influenced by Albert Ammons, Champion Jack Dupree and Memphis Slim, and a song-writing style influenced by Matt McGinn, Michael Marra and Randy Newman, the former Perth High School pupil, who wrote the 1984 New Zealand Olympic anthem, has organised a number of projects over the years including the McGonagall Centenary Festival  for Dundee City Council in 2002. Last year’s Tay Road Bridge album included a tribute to 19th century poet William Topas McGonagall and also honoured Hugh Pincott – the first member of the public to cross the Tay Road Bridge in 1966. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y51tixl9GEs Thanks to The Courier, he also became one of the first to cross the Queensferry Crossing  when it opened to the public in the early hours of August 30.

Scottish League 2

Arbroath looking to move on from turbulent week

April 18 2015

Injury hit Arbroath will look to put a turbulent week, that included the sacking of manager Allan Moore, behind them and finally get over the finishing line for a play-off place by defeating visitors Queen’s Park today. Under the former Stirling Albion and Morton boss Arbroath had sprinted out of the League Two starting blocks, however 2015 saw Albion Rovers and the Hampden side overtake the Red Lichties. And as results failed to pick up, he was sacked on Sunday. Moore’s assistant Todd Lumsden has been placed in interim charge as the hunt for a new boss continues. Lumsden said: “Training was a bit subdued as you can imagine however the players and I had a good conversation about moving forward. “We have to move on, it is as simple as that, and this game and the two others that we have left are all about getting into the play-offs. “That is the target that we have to hit now and one win should do it.” The former Albion Rovers boss added: “Queen’s Park are in good form and they also still have an outside chance of winning the league so we will need to play well to get the win that we need.” Lumsden’s resources will be stretched as Jordon Lowdon and Simon Murray look set to miss out due to knocks picked up at Elgin, and they will join the already injured Liam Gordon, Adam Hunter, Ryan McGeever, Jonny Lindsay, Kieran Stewart, Dylan Carreiro and Paul McManus. The stand-in boss said: “We are very short of bodies so I will need to do a bit of juggling but hopefully we can get a performance out of the boys.” Queen’s who trail Albion Rovers by five points need just a draw to be sure of second place. * Arbroath chairman John Christison will sift through the applications for the manager’s job this weekend, and take things on from there next week.

Scottish League 1

Arbroath 1 Albion Rovers 4: Doris injury setback adds to Lichties’ woes

September 11 2017

Arbroath manager Dick Campbell fears he will be without striker Steven Doris for a considerable period after the striker sustained a serious leg injury in Saturday’s heavy defeat at Gayfield. Doris fell awkwardly after avoiding a challenge late in the first half and was stretchered off the field and taken to hospital for treatment and further assessment. Campbell said: “He has a suspected broken leg but it might actually be a cruciate ligament injury. We’ll have to see. I just hope he is all right and it’s not going to be a long-term problem. “It hasn’t been a good fortnight for us. The international break came at a bad time as we played as well as I’ve seen during my time here when we beat Ayr United. “Then we arranged two bounce games to keep the players ticking over but Josh Skelly and Bryan Prunty got injured and both will be out for three to four weeks. “We have a squad of 16 players and that’s three now injured.” Arbroath dominated possession for the opening 38 minutes, until Doris’s accident, but the loss of such a key player seemed to knock the stuffing out of the home side. Within two minutes of his departure Rovers took the lead through Alan Trouten and, just 90 seconds after the restart, they added another when Gary Fisher volleyed home. Danny Denholm wasted a golden opportunity to reduce the deficit before the interval but sent his effort well wide when through on goal. The Lichties regrouped and began the second half on the front foot with David Gold stinging the hands of Graham Bowman with a powerful volley before the Rovers keeper safely gathered a Denholm overhead kick. Connor Shields should, however, have made it 3-0 on the hour mark after rounding David Hutton but his final effort trundled onto a post and was cleared. The next Rovers goal was only delayed a couple of mins as Ross Perry hooked home from a corner. Substitute Kane Hester, who had earlier hit the post, pulled one back in the 66th minute when stooping low to head home from close range. Any hopes of a Lichties fightback were extinguished nine minutes later when Shields restored Albion’s three-goal advantage.