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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...


Runners limbering up for Dundee marathon

July 11 2015

Around 1,000 people are expected to converge on Dundee this weekend for the city’s full and half marathons. Athletes from across Tayside will gather outside Camperdown House tomorrow morning for the start of the annual DRAM (Dundee Running Adventure Marathon) and Half DRAM events. The runners will make their way to finish lines at Barnhill Rock Garden for the half marathon or back to Camperdown Park if they are running the full 26.2 miles. Organisers have warned motorists that the event will cause delays as runners cross a number of roads on the route. They cautioned drivers that they may be held up along Arbroath Road and at Maule Street in Monifieth. A total of 755 competitors completed the Half DRAM last year, which was again run from Camperdown Park to Barnhill Rock Garden. That race was won by Bryan Mackie in a time of one hour, 14 minutes, 26 seconds.


‘The garden’s just a garden’ the Dundee TripAdvisor reviews that deserve only one star

October 24 2015

There is simply no pleasing some people. Dundee’s top attractions have been subjected to some baffling criticism on TripAdvisor, where visitors have bemoaned everything from a lack of free wi-fi at the polar exploration ship RRS Discovery to a dearth of snacks at the city’s homage to its jute heritage. Barnhill Rock Garden even got it in the neck for being “just a garden”. A visitor from Aberdeenshire left a bizarre review of Discovery Point this month in which she suggested it was not worth going to because you can look at pictures on the internet and read books about it for free instead. Pleading with people not to waste their money, she even posted pictures of the ship, which carried Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton on their 1901 expedition to Antarctica, so others could be spared the £9 adult entry charge. She said: “The exhibition at the start is very informative, and interesting, but nothing you couldn’t learn by reading books or doing online searches.” She also complained of a lack of free wi-fi in the cafe. A reviewer of Verdant Works, the jute museum which charts how the industry became woven into Dundee life and the impact of its decline, may also have missed the point when dedicating his review almost entirely to the lack of suitable snacks for him and his son. He said: “We went there at 15.45 with the notion of having a snack. The menu was painfully inadequate. Soup and toasties were the only warm fare that was on offer.” Barnhill Rock Garden impressed Britain in Bloom judges this week when they crowned Dundee the best in the land but one Dundee reviewer was not so taken with it. Giving the attraction two out of five stars, she said: “It is genuinely just a garden. I had high expectations and in all honestly it is just a garden. Not for me and was disappointed.” Mark Munsie, operations director at Dundee Heritage Trust, said while you could simply look at pictures of the Discovery it does not compare with the experience of setting foot onboard and getting the waft of the Stockholm tar from the rigging. He said: “There are some people who do have views which might be considered strange or bizarre. I think some people like to swim against the tide, but it’s important that we do not dismiss them just because they come from a different viewpoint.” A spokesman for Dundee One City, Many Discoveries campaign said: “Dundee enjoys a high percentage of positive reviews on the TripAdvisor site for things to do in the city, which is great to see. “We encourage our businesses and attractions to respond quickly and positively to online questions and comments on sites such as TripAdvisor, as we recognise how important social media is for visitors seeking out new experiences in and around the city.”


PICTURES: Brilliant Broughty Ferry Gala Week comes to close

July 10 2017

Visitors to Broughty Ferry took part in a number of events across the weekend for the annual gala’s finale. A Secret Garden Trail touring the best-kept greens in the area took place yesterday, while on Saturday the Barnhill Rock Garden brought live music, storytelling and children’s entertainment to the suburb.


Gallery: Dundee full and half marathons

July 22 2013

More than 800 people took part in the Dundee Half and Full Dram runs in perfect conditions on July 21. A total of 755 people completed the Half Dram (Dundee Running Adventure Marathon), from Camperdown Park to Barnhill Rock Garden, and the Full Dram saw 73 runners complete the run back to Camperdown Park. To buy any DC Thomson photograph phone 01382 575002 or email webphotosales@dcthomson.co.uk.


Broughty Ferry Gala week drawing to a close

July 11 2015

Another hugely successful Broughty Gala Week draws to a close this weekend with the car boot sale and 60th anniversary gala at the Barnhill Rock Garden. Youngsters gathered on the Castle Green yesterday with some of their favourite toys for the best-dressed teddy competition. Evening brought a fiddlers’ rally to St Stephen’s Church Hall.

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


Broughty Gala Week draws to a close after ‘bumper year’

July 13 2015

A hugely successful Broughty Gala Week drew to a close at the weekend after eight days of family fun, sunshine and Minions. The fantastic Gala in the Garden to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Barnhill Rock Garden was a highlight of the final two days. Hundreds of residents of all ages made their way to the Esplanade for an afternoon of music, food and drink and games with a Shetland pony one of the top attractions for youngsters. Jan McTaggart from Broughty Ferry Traders Association said: “It has been a bumper year, with a real buzz about the place. I really do believe it has been a lot busier than in recent years certainly if the number of young people taking part in the window competition is anything to go by.” The annual gala week is organised by the traders association as a ‘thank you’ to the people of Broughty Ferry for their support of the community and businesses. “We are all part of the community and reap the rewards of living and working here,” Jan added. “It is a tremendous place.”


IN PHOTOS: Hundreds sweat it out at Dundee Half Marathon

July 17 2017

Hundreds of runners took part in the Dundee Half Marathon on July 16. The route started at Camperdown Park and followed the Green Circular, ending at Barnhill Rock Garden. Runners had to cope with hot temperatures and windy conditions. The race was won by Lucas Taylor in 1:12:43, followed Gregor Yates (1:15:07) and Mike Herron (1:17:03). First female was Clara Langley in 1:23:19. Click here (PDF) for full results.