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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...

Fife

Missing Allan Bryant: No ‘dead end’ in investigation, say police

November 4 2014

The officer leading the inquiry into missing Glenrothes man Allan Bryant has said that police have not hit a “dead end”. Chief Inspector Nicola Shepherd said lines of inquiry are continuing to be followed up on the first anniversary of Allan’s disappearance. Despite the largest missing person investigation ever undertaken in Fife, no trace of the 24-year-old has been found since he left Styx nightclub in Caskieberran Road a year ago. On Monday, as Police Scotland released enhanced CCTV footage of Alan’s last known movements, Chief Inspector Shepherd underlined the scale of the task facing her officers. Asked if the investigation had ground to a halt, she replied: “We’re definitely not at a dead end. We’re pursuing a number of lines that we can’t speak openly about. “It’s been absolutely massive from day one. I can honestly say that a Fife force would have struggled to take this forward. “The search has been huge from airborne to water searches. Hundreds of statements have been noted and it’s a major, major inquiry.” Police are hoping that the nightclub footage will help to jog memories of those who may have seen Allan on November 3 2013. Although the footage has been released before, it has been enhanced in the hope that it will be shared on social media, a platform which the Bryant family has successfully utilised to publicise the search for their son. The family also displayed a teddy bear made out of articles of Allan’s clothing, an item they poignantly held on to throughout a press conference at police headquarters in Glenrothes. It came just hours after a candlelit vigil at Caskieberran Road, the location of Styx where Allan was last seen. However, Allan’s father, Allan Snr, once again took the opportunity to criticise the earlier police investigation, before stating that he had every faith in the current set-up to establish what has happened to his son. “The police were a joke since day one,” he said. “But now we have new faces. “I believe they have to go back and re-evaluate everyone who has made a statement. The answer is there in the police files.”

News

Angry spat over future of Fife base RAF Leuchars

April 11 2011

A furious war of words has broken out in North East Fife, after Liberal Democrat candidate Iain Smith was accused of "blatant double standards." His SNP rival Rod Campbell hit out as the emotive issue of RAF Leuchars' future began to dominate the local campaign trail. Mr Campbell insisted the Lib Dem candidate had been "less than straight" with voters in a new campaign leaflet. "The latest Lib Dem leaflet tries to take credit for changes in taxation by reminding voters that the UK Government is a Tory/Lib Dem coalition," Mr Campbell said. "The changes in question were introduced by George Osborne in his recent Budget and Iain Smith seems happy in this case to be associated with the Conservatives in London. "However, right next to the article on taxation is one about the threat to RAF Leuchars. It posts Mr Smith as champion of the campaign to save the airbase. "Nowhere does this article recognise that it is the Lib Dem/Tory coalition that threatens Scottish defence facilities, not least RAF Leuchars. "When Iain Smith likes the actions of the London coalition, he claims credit for his party. "When it comes to RAF Leuchars, he pretends that he has nothing to do with Nick Clegg and the actions of the London government. However, Mr Smith was happy to laugh off the SNP missive. "This is typically laughable bluster from the SNP," he said. "Yes, thanks to the Liberal Democrats thousands of Fifers will pay no tax from this month and around 180,000 will have a tax cut and, yes, Sir Menzies Campbell MP and Ialong with members of the local community and the RAF Leuchars task forceare campaigning vigorously to save the base. "I am a campaigner for my community and RAF Leuchars is vital to our social fabric, local economy and defence of the UK. "The MoD have repeatedly said that no decisions have been made on the future of RAF bases, but that does not stop us from making the case for its retention. "Sadly, the SNP candidate has yet again undermined the efforts of those fighting hard to save the base."

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

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.

Rugby

Youth rugby Perthshire boost

March 11 2016

Youth rugby across Perthshire will be boosted by the Bill McLaren Voice of Rugby Dinner being held at Crieff Hydro next month. Perthshire RFC’s award-winning youth policy will be supported by the black tie fundraiser on April 29, sponsored by local businesses Tan International and Campbell Dallas, which features Australian legend David Campese and former Scotland captains Rob Wainwright and Andy Nicol. Grassroots rugby will benefit, with the Eagles working closely with local schools to nurture young talent. Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance and Morrison’s Academy are also being supported. Three years ago, Perthshire RFC became a Positive Coaching Scotland accredited club, with the Foundation’s grant helping towards the cost of installing floodlights at the North Inch. The award also recognised the club’s strategy to foster key rugby union values of pride, respect and sportsmanship. The Eagles’ development blueprint includes enhancing facilities at their strength and conditioning gym to enhance the physical development of youth players. The impressive Perthshire set-up includes two senior teams, five teams at secondary school level and 10 mini rugby sides, under the guidance of director of rugby Andy Cummins and development officer Rory Mackay. “We have made a big push on the coaching side and building a centre of excellence in Perth,” said Eagles president Allan Brown. “Strength and conditioning is playing an ever increasing role in the development of young players and we are fortunate to be able to call upon experienced coaches. “There is a pathway in place from the minis up to the first XV. But events like the Beer Festival and support from the Bill McLaren Foundation is vital because there are significant overheads.” Alan Lawson, chief executive of the Foundation established in memory of the legendary commentator, said: “The Foundation has enjoyed great support from the Perthshire area and we are keen to continuing supporting local rugby. “We are now looking to rolling out the second phase of Winning Scotland’s excellent positive coaching strategy, with the objective of introducing it to state schools. “It is good to see the Scottish Rugby Union and Scottish Football Association working together, with SportScotland, encouraging kids to be the best they can be.” Voice of Rugby dinner tickets, priced £75, are available from Andrew Ritchie at Cambell Dallas (tel 01738 441888) and John Thorburn (tel 07929 655132).

Fife

Allan Bryant Sr accepts ‘troll’ apology from BBC

January 30 2016

The father of missing Fife man Allan Bryant Jr has received an apology from the BBC after it broadcast an interview with a man who was jailed for claiming to be Allan’s murderer. Allan Bryant Sr criticised the BBC for broadcasting the Troll Hunters programme on BBC Three on Wednesday which featured serial troll Stewart McInroy who previously claimed to have killed Allan Jr. McInroy was handed a 10-month sentence after posting on the Find Allan Bryant Jr Facebook page, claiming to have abducted him, held him hostage and tortured him. But Mr Bryant Sr was angry that the family had no input into the programme and criticised the BBC. However, the programme’s executive producer has now contacted Mr Bryant Sr to apologise. “They totally understand where we’re coming from as a family and they didn’t realise there would be so much to it than there really was,” Mr Bryant said. “This has caused us no end of grief and heartache since the start of the week. But we have to now move on from this it’s as simple as that.”

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

Dundee

Stun gun tip-off led police to find stash of bullets in Dundee man’s home

May 3 2018

Police uncovered a haul of live ammunition at a man’s house after being tipped off that he had an illegal stun gun. Paul Campbell has been jailed for a year after officers raided his home in Dundee’s Derwent Avenue last May. They had been tipped off that Campbell had bought an illicit stun gun weapon from the internet. When they turned up they found the weapon sitting openly on his coffee table. They then carried out a full search and found a total of 35 live .22 calibre rifle bullets. Fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie told Dundee Sheriff Court: “On being shown the search warrant the accused stated ‘it’s here’ and pointed over to a pouch containing a stun gun on his coffee table. “A search commenced and a quantity of ammunition was found. He said he had got it at a car boot sale. “The stun gun is said to be designed as a self-defence device with a torch as a secondary function. “Metal electrodes protrude from the top of the device. It was in good condition and working. “When pressed against the body it produces a high voltage pulse designed to temporarily incapacitate.” Campbell, 47, of Derwent Avenue, Dundee, pleaded guilty on indictment to charges of possessing a stun gun and possessing .22 calibre ammunition on May 13 last year at his home address. Solicitor advocate Jim Laverty, defending, said: “He’s aware this is a serious matter. There was a significant degree of naivety and stupidity on his part rather than anything nefarious. “The article was found in open view in his house and was immediately handed to police.” Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC jailed Campbell for a year and said: “These are charges so serious that the custodial threshold is passed. “The question is whether there is any alternative to a prison sentence. “My view is that the severity of these offences is such that the only realistic option is custody.”

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.

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