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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

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.

Scottish League 1

Brechin boss expecting better news on Callum Tapping

October 1 2014

The knee injury Brechin midfielder Callum Tapping suffered against Stirling Albion last month does not look to be as first feared. Nevertheless, manager Ray McKinnon is sending him for a scan just to check. The 21-year-old had established himself in the Glebe Park starting XI following his summer move and there were fears that he faced several months out. McKinnon reckons that may just now be weeks. He said: “Callum’s injury has improved quite a bit and that has been great news. “He is booked in for a scan and we will still get that carried out but it could well be that he is only missing for another four weeks and not two or three months and hopefully the scan will confirm that.”


Callum’s a true royal romantic

March 29 2013

A romantic Fife lad who sent the Queen a Valentine’s card has received a reply. Seven-year-old Callum Alexander from Newton of Falkland sent Valentines to 20 girls in his class at Falkland Primary and one to the monarch. In it, he wrote: “To the Queen, I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s day. You are doing a good job. Love from Callum Alexander, aged seven.” The young Romeo was astonished when a month later a reply to the card dropped through his letterbox, complete with the message he had sent. The letter from Buckingham Palace, complete with the royal coat of arms at the top, was signed by the Queen’s lady in waiting. She told him Her Majesty was very busy and unable to reply in person but that she sent her regards. Callum, who lives with mum Yvonne, dad Mike and older brother Euan (10), said he was really excited to receive a reply. “I was screaming like a girl,” he said. “I was screaming so much I could have died.”

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


Bogus workman jailed for fraud on 84-year-old

February 12 2016

A bogus workman, who preyed on an 84-year-old woman in Dunfermline, has been jailed for 12 months. Edward McCallum was caught in the act by police after they were alerted by suspicious bank staff. The victim had gone to the bank to withdraw £680 for repairs to her kitchen ceiling, which were not required. McCallum, 24, of The Hallows, Kirkcaldy, had denied any wrong-doing but was found guilty of attempted fraud after a trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court last month. McCallum had taken Jean Semple to Dunfermline town centre to withdraw the cash but his scam failed because of the quick actions of bank staff. He had denied that on December 15 at Rose Crescent, Dunfermline, while acting with others, he pretended to Miss Semple that remedial work was required to her ceiling, the truth being the work was unnecessary, he pretended to carry out work that was unnecessary, drove her to the bank to withdraw cash and attempted to induce her to pay £680 by fraud. The court heard Miss Semple, returned home from a night at the theatre on Sunday December 13 at around 10pm to find McCallum on her roof. She already knew him as he had previously done work for her, after repeatedly turning up on the doorstep. Miss Semple, now 85, said McCallum told her he wanted to look at her kitchen and came back the next day. He got up on a stool, knocked on the ceiling a few times and told her one corner “needed attention” costing £680. When McCallum returned, he had a young man with him and claimed there was a delivery of building materials which would have to be paid for. Miss Semple gave McCallum £40 and offered to pay the rest by cheque but he said he would take her to the bank.


Bank staff snare bogus workman trying to con cash from Fife pensioner

January 20 2016

A bogus workman, who preyed on an elderly woman, was caught in the act by police after they were alerted by worried bank staff. The victim had gone to the Clydesdale Bank in Dunfermline to withdraw £680 for repairs to her kitchen ceiling, which were not required. Edward McCallum had taken retired teacher Jean Semple to the town centre to withdraw the cash but the scam failed because of the quick actions of bank staff. McCallum, 24, of The Hallows, Kirkcaldy, was found guilty of attempted fraud after a trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court. The court heard Miss Semple, 85, returned home from a night at the theatre on December 13 at around 10pm and discovered McCallum was on her roof. She already knew him as he had previously done work for her, after repeatedly turning up on the doorstep. On this occasion he claimed he was checking to see if there was any wind damage to the roof. Miss Semple said: “He said he’d come back to check even though it was 10 o’clock at night and dark. “I thought it was very strange and an unlikely excuse to make.” The pensioner said McCallum told her he wanted to look at her kitchen and came back the next day. He got up on a stool, knocked on the ceiling a few times and told her one corner “needed attention” costing £680, even though he did not specify what the work was. “He didn’t say exactly what needed to be done. I must have said ‘yes’ anyway,” said Miss Semple. When McCallum came back to do the work, he had a young man with him and claimed there was a delivery of building materials which would have to be paid for. Miss Semple gave McCallum £40 and offered to pay the rest by cheque but he turned this down, saying he would take her to the bank. Miss Semple said she thought she asked for around £800 including some for day-to-day expenses. “The girl at the bank was not happy with this money I asked for. “She asked what it was for. When she heard, she said she thought the police should know about it.” Miss Semple said: “I think there was a bit of relief that somebody was going to help me in this matter. “At that time I was a bit upset about the whole thing. I felt angry with myself for being taken in. “We’re always being warned about doorstep callers and I had allowed myself to be taken in. “It wasn’t a one-off. They had money for previous jobs, as they called them. “I felt this wasn’t right somehow. He felt he’d found an easy touch here because of being paid previously.” Clydesdale Bank worker Elizabeth Williamson, 54, said: “I took her into a private room and asked her a few questions. She was a little distressed, a little bit confused.” Sentence was deferred until February 10 for reports and McCallum, who appeared from custody, was refused bail.


Fife teenager Callum Copson recovering after stabbing in Marmaris

June 23 2014

The family of a Fife teenager stabbed in Turkey in a row over a faulty handbag say he has come out of a medical coma and "should be OK". Callum Copson, 19, of Kennoway, was stabbed in the stomach, with other tourists desperately trying to stem the flow of blood after he collapsed in front of his screaming girlfriend following the attack by a teenager in a leather goods shop in Marmaris. Callum needed two life-saving operations and, according to the Mirror newspaper, was in a stable condition. Speaking to The Courier on Monday, a family member said: "He’s going to be OK. We are just trying to deal with the situation just now. “He’s out of his induced coma. He’s awake and talking. It’s a very difficult time for the family.” According to reports, Callum was knifed as he tried to shield girlfriend Erin Brown, 18, when angry shop staff allegedly threw belts, bags and shoes at her. The couple had got into a row with them when they returned a faulty handbag. Witnesses said a teenage boy suddenly appeared with a fruit knife and plunged it into Callum’s stomach before fleeing. Erin told police: “Suddenly there was blood everywhere. I realised Callum was seriously hurt. He was shocked and kept saying ‘I don’t want to die’. It was awful.” Horrified eye-witness Sandra Dempsey, 54, said: “You could see his insides spewing out. It was shocking.” Another Brit who was in the shop on Wednesday night said: “I was with my young son when the couple came in and asked for a refund on a faulty bag. "Things seemed to spiral out of control very quickly and suddenly they were lobbing bags and belts at each other. “The next minute the lad collapsed in a pool of blood, clutching his stomach. It was a gruesome scene and I covered my son’s eyes.” The man, who did not want to be named, added: “Everyone was in shock. The injured lad was terrified. Fortunately paramedics arrived in minutes.” Callum was rushed to the private Ahu Hetman Hospital for emergency surgery. Hospital staff refused to comment on his condition. His parents, Eric and Lorraine, have flown out to join Erin at their son’s bedside. Following the attack a 14-year-old boy was taken to the police by his father who works in the bag shop. The youngster is understood to have mental health issues. He is said to have told his father and the police he could remember holding a bloodstained knife but nothing more. He was remanded in custody by a judge who has ordered a psychiatric evaluation. Family friend Nadir Koyunbakan said: “We are devastated for Callum Copson and his family. "They are guests in Turkey and this should never have happened. We are so very sorry.”

St Johnstone

Callum Hendry hat-trick impressed St Johnstone assistant Callum Davidson

November 29 2017

Callum Hendry’s hat-trick in an under-20 derby against Dundee was one of the best St Johnstone assistant manager Callum Davidson has seen. And it was confirmation that the young forward is on the right track for first team football at McDiarmid Park. Hendry, son of Scotland legend Colin, caught the eye of the Saints coaching staff when he arrived from Blackburn Rovers in the summer. And after a “little dip" the youngster is re-emerging as a more rounded player. “Callum came in and was excellent to start with,” said Davidson. “Then he had a little dip and he would probably say that himself. “But there are parts to his game that a lot of players don’t have. His finishing is impressive, with both feet, and he has excellent movement. But he is still learning moving up to a higher level. “We are trying to find the right position for Callum in terms of the first team. He has been playing recently as a number 10 in a 4-4-2 and he is working hard to improve. “We certainly hope he will be involved with the first team this season.” He added: “Callum scored three against Dundee and could have had a couple more. It was the best and most spectacular hat-trick I have seen for a long time. “He showed great ability for all three goals. They weren’t just tap-ins. But that is one aspect of his game that has to get better. He has to work on being a poacher and sniffing out the half-chances in the box. “But if he keeps improving he will definitely be putting pressure on the strikers this season.” Meanwhile, Davidson believes the next couple of months will shape Saints’ season. “November was a very unusual month for us with just two games,” he said. “The lads got their Christmas party out of the way but we are back to the serious stuff and going into a very intensive period. “The next few weeks will set up our season. Even when I played I used to think the games in and around Christmas and the New Year would impact on the way your season shapes up, although we had more matches down south. “The league is going to be tight and we always knew that would be the case. Look at Dundee beating Rangers the other night. There are no easy games.” The Hibs win ended a worrying run of form for Saints and Davidson is hoping that it will set in motion a more positive one. “Getting the win against Hibs gave everyone lift,” he said. “I can’t remember a game where my emotions were so down and then up in a matter of minutes, although Scotland-England over the summer was the same in reverse. “We set out a plan for Hibs and the boys implemented it very well.  Everyone got a lift from the win and we will be ready to go against Kilmarnock. “They have a new manager who is excellent and they will be set up differently from the start of the season. We enjoy that fresh challenge and so do the players.”