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...
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
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.
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. email@example.com
Sir, - Trade unionist Bill Ramsay recently published an article on Common Space regarding how an independent Scotland might address its deficit. The article reasoned that the Scotch Whisky industry generated excessive profits and should, therefore, be subject to additional tax. Mr Ramsay misunderstands the important difference between cash flow and profit. Scotch Whisky does generate attractive profit margins, but this ignores that the distiller needs, from day one, to finance the production of the spirit (labour, barley, energy and so on) and then wait 12, 15 or 21 years for it to mature. Bank interest on the funds used to produce the spirit needs to be paid as well as annual storage charges for the barrels. He suggests that based on industry figures the average price received by the distiller is £3.33 per bottle, however, he suggests the consumer pays on average £25 per bottle, meaning there is substantial “extra” profit squirrelled away. This “extra” profit is not made by the distiller but by other parties in the chain, such as distributors, retailers and bars and there is also the small matter of duty as well as freight. The other nationalist myth to debunk is that Westminster takes all the duty. I am sorry to say that more than 90% of sales are exported on which there is no UK duty payable. My own view is that the best way for the Scottish Government to generate extra tax is not to levy additional taxes on a successful industry, but to encourage entrepreneurship and new business starts in Scotland. Let us hope the government uses its new powers. William Wemyss. Managing director, Kingsbarns Company of Distillers Limited. Broxden needs traffic controls Sir, - Does anyone else agree that there should be, at the very least, part-time traffic lights installed at the Broxden roundabout in Perth? The tailbacks in both morning and afternoon reached unacceptable levels a staggering 20 years ago. The traffic flow at the Inveralmond roundabout was improved greatly by traffic lights. It is now time Broxden-reliant commuters received the same courtesy. Edward Burns. Westbank Farm, St David’s, Madderty. Strong case for licensing cyclists Sir, - George White, Hugh Wylie and Dave Brimmer have orchestrated their replies to my recent letter (July 22). To borrow Denis Healey’s phrase on being attacked by Geoffrey Howe “it was like being savaged by a dead sheep”. If these gentlemen care to re-read my letters I am against the rogue cyclist and believe cyclists do not pay a fair share of the cycle lanes and other infrastructure specifically for them. Recently I was walking on the pavement with my five-year-old granddaughter when a cyclist on the road swerved on to the pavement, since the pedestrian lights were against him, narrowly missing her. I shouted at him and he stopped to hurl abuse but when I angrily approached he said that he was trying to get ahead of the cars as though that excused his actions. That is the mentality of the rogue cyclist and their supporters. In addition, his chain had come off with his abrupt stop. If 500,000 air weapons can be licensed then it should not be too difficult to do the same with cyclists and catch the rogues. Clark Cross. 138 Springfield Road, Linlithgow. Airport rail link problem Sir, - I was pleased to see The Courier report (July 22) on rail service expansion for Fife. It may not come quickly but I would hope local and national government will make progress rather than think up reasons why not to do it. In the same edition Mr C Wilson proposed a train service to serve Edinburgh Airport. Just over 10 years ago a full design was made for an Edinburgh Airport station serving lines from Fife, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The additional stop added a few minutes to the Fife to Edinburgh travel time but the proposal would have given Fife a good train service to Glasgow. The project was expensive but had a good business case. When the SNP won power they scrapped the project and it is difficult to see how it could be revived. Ralph Barker. 90 Carlisle Road, Crawford, Biggar. Where is Mr Yousaf? Sir, - As the current rail strike gathers pace and ever more commuters and travellers are inconvenienced, I have to ask the whereabouts of our transport minister, Humza Yousaf? His silence has been deafening. Any responsible and caring government would be highly visible in the representation of the affected population against vested interests, but this principle appears not to be appropriate in present-day Scotland. In this case, a working- behind-the-scenes response is totally inadequate. Where are you, Mr Yousaf? GM Lindsay. Whinfield Gardens, Kinross. Levenmouth needs boost Sir, - Your article, Political row erupts over backing for Levenmouth rail link (July 22) highlights the fact that unless the long-running injustice and running sore of Levenmouth’s lack of rail services is addressed, the issue will continue burning. No political party can maintain credibility in relation to connectivity or economic regeneration unless major urban areas continue to be marginalised and Levenmouth is by far the largest of such communities in Scotland with a present catchment of 45,000. Fife Council has stepped up its support for the project in the context of the Fairer Fife Commission recommendations recognising no other single measure could deliver similar positive benefits for a deprived area with economic potential. The new transport minister’s “willingness to consider proposals” is encouraging but will now be put to the test as preparations for the new Scottish budget get under way. What Levenmouth needs is for our elected representatives at all levels and from all parties to put aside any differences for the common good and create such a combined pressure at national level that this project proceeds. Levenmouth is watching and waiting. Neil Stewart. 62 Omar Crescent, Buckhaven. Real Scottish voting figures Sir, - George White claimed on Friday that “every man and his dog on the street knows that Scotland voted 62% in favour of remaining in Europe”. The fact is that 35% of the Scottish electorate did not bother voting at all. So the true figures are, 35% did not vote, 25% voted Leave and 40% voted Remain. The reason “every man and his dog” believes that 62% voted to Remain is because Nicola Sturgeon keeps trotting out the same old figure and no one has bothered to pull her up about it. Horton RT Canale. 50 Rossie Street, Arbroath. Second vote inevitable Sir, - As one European country after another rejects Nicola Sturgeon’s protestations that Scotland should remain in the EU when the UK leaves, it seems SNP politicking is proceeding perfectly to plan. European leaders unsurprisingly tell Ms Sturgeon that Scotland must first become an independent country and then reapply to join the EU. This is music to the nationalist leader’s ears. Next Ms Sturgeon will, with an inevitable combination of faux regret and grievance politics, find Westminster’s Brexit terms unfavourable to Scotland. Indeed, expect her to maintain they’re slanted against Scotland. This will be despite, as a minimum, agriculture and fisheries responsibility being devolved from Brussels through Westminster to Holyrood. Then finally Ms Sturgeon will demand a second independence referendum from Westminster, claiming she has done everything to avoid another divisive referendum and maintaining Westminster’s actions leave her with no option. In a rapidly-changing political world, at least the SNP is reassuringly predictable. Martin Redfern. 4 Royal Circus, Edinburgh.
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.
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.
For more than 150 years Perth Show has been a popular, once a year meeting point for the people of the city and the farming community. The show - now the third largest of its type in Scotland – remains as always a showcase for champion livestock but this year holds a much wider appeal for visitors. To be held on Friday and Saturday August 5 and 6 on the South Inch, throughout the two days, trade stands, sideshows, entertainment, activities, music and parades all add to the vibrancy of the show along with a new culinary direction. “For the first time, Perth Show is set to feature a cookery theatre and food and drink marquee,” said show secretary Neil Forbes. “This will bring a new and popular dimension to the visitor attraction. “Perth Show 2016 is also delighted to welcome Perthshire On A Plate (POAP) - a major food festival, celebrating the very best in local produce and culinary talent. “Organised by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, the two-day festival will run as part of the show and feature celebrity and local chefs, demonstrations and tastings, book signings, food and drink related trade stands, fun-filled activities for ‘kitchen kids’ and a large dining area and pop-up restaurants in a double celebration of food and farming.” Heading the celebrity chef line-up are television favourite Rosemary Shrager (Friday) and spice king Tony Singh (Saturday), backed by a host of talented local chefs including Graeme Pallister (63 Tay Street) and Grant MacNicol (Fonab Castle). The cookery theatre, supported by Quality Meat Scotland, will also stage a fun cookery challenge between students from Perth College and the ladies of the SWI. A range of pop-up restaurants featuring taster dishes from some of the area’s best known eating places will allow visitors to sample local produce as they relax in the show’s new POAP dining area. “We’re trying to create a wide and varied programme of entertainment,” said Mr Forbes. “Late afternoon on Friday will see the It’s A Knockout challenge with teams from businesses throughout Perth and Perthshire competing against each other. “And the first day’s programme will end with a beer, wine and spirit festival where teams can celebrate their achievements and visitors can sample a wide range of locally produced drinks.” This year will also see the reintroduction of showjumping at Perth Show on the Saturday afternoon.
The sentence of a motorist convicted of killing a cyclist was “unduly lenient”, a court has been told. Prosecutors are appealing the sentence of Gary McCourt, who was found guilty in April of causing the death of Audrey Fyfe by driving carelessly. The 75-year-old died two days after McCourt clipped the back wheel of her bike in Edinburgh in August 2011. McCourt, who was 49 when sentenced in April, was banned from driving for five years and ordered to carry out 300 hours of community service by Sheriff James Scott. At the end of his trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, it emerged that he was jailed for two years after being convicted in 1986 of causing another cyclist’s death by reckless driving. George Dalgity, 22, was killed as he cycled along Regent Road in Edinburgh on October 18 1985. Cycling groups and Mrs Fyfe’s family criticised Sheriff Scott’s sentencing and the Crown lodged an appeal on the grounds it was not tough enough. A hearing took place before three judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh on Tuesday. The trial sheriff had erred in applying the sentencing guidelines, resulting in an unduly lenient sentence, Solicitor General Lesley Thomson said. He had been wrong to reach the conclusion that the accident had been the result of “momentary inattention” on the part of McCourt, the court was told. McCourt had admitted he had manoeuvred before looking and his failure to carry out the most basic principle of driving had directly resulted in the accident, Ms Thomson said. She also told the court that insufficient weight had also been placed on McCourt’s previous conviction for killing another cyclist. Judges Lord Menzies, Lord Glennie and Lady Dorrian said they wanted time to consider their decision and would issue it in a written judgment in the immediate future.
The adoption of a new DNA test to authenticate the pedigree of all Aberdeen-Angus calves will put the breed in the vanguard of genomic technology, retiring Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society president, Victor Wallace, told a packed annual at Stirling. The society has decided to collect blood samples using special ear tags which incorporate a small uniquely identified receptacle. As the tag is inserted soon after birth the small amount of displaced tissue and blood is captured ready for future DNA testing. Responding to criticism of the society’s decision to use only one company, Caisley, for the collection of samples, Mr Wallace insisted Caisley was the only ear tag company which had the technology to meet the society’s required specification. “We invited a number of ear tag companies to tender and some didn’t bother to reply while others couldn’t meet the spec,” said Mr Wallace. “It is a simple and inexpensive system which most breeders are finding easy to use.” The aim is to collect blood samples from all bull calves to enable the sire of all calves to be verified in the case of any uncertainty or dispute and to authenticate beef being sold as Aberdeen-Angus.” The move by the society has been welcomed by major supermarkets selling Aberdeen-Angus beef. Mr Wallace added: “This process was extensively and rigorously tested with management and council visits to the manufacturers in Germany and the completion of field trials. After this process it was brought back to council and unanimously approved. “Like all changes, there has been some resistance but I am convinced that putting the society in a position to be leading in genomic testing can only be a good one. “We should be leaders, not followers.” Mr Wallace admitted that a £34,000 re-branding exercise carried out over the past year, which included the dropping of the society’s long-established black, green and yellow colours, left room for “significant improvement”. The issue, particularly improvement to the website, would, he said, be addressed in the coming year. The decision to prop up the pension fund of chief executive, Ron McHattie, by £120,000 in four tranches was defended by new president, David Evans, who explained that it was a “catching up” operation as the funding of the pension had not been addressed for 11 years and annuity rates had halved in that time. Mr Evans, who works as a financial adviser, runs a 60-cow pedigree herd in Cleveland with his wife, Penny, and has been chairman of the society’s breed promotion committee. He is planning a series of open days throughout the country this year to promote the commercial attributes of the Aberdeen-Angus breed. “There is a huge and growing demand for certified Aberdeen-Angus beef with the active involvement of most of the leading supermarkets in the UK and registrations in the Herd Book are at a record level and continuing to increase,” said Mr Evans. “But we can’t stand still and it is important that the breed adopts all the latest technology to take the breed forward in the future.” New senior vice-president is Tom Arnott, Haymount, Kelso, while Alex Sanger, Prettycur, Montrose, was appointed junior vice-president.