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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.

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

News

Aberdeen FC supporters’ club chief says ‘New Firm’ rivalry with Dundee United is lively but friendly

July 18 2011

The animosity that supposedly exists between Aberdeen and Dundee United fans is not as bad as some may think, according to a Dons supporters’ club. Secretary and ticket convener of the Glenrothes branch of the Aberdeen Supporters Club, Craig Ewen, made the comment in response to an article in last week’s Courier in which a Dundee publican said proposed new measures to stamp out trouble at football grounds may be more appropriate for when Aberdeen fans visited Tannadice, instead of Glasgow’s big two. Chris Airlie, landlord of The Troll Inn, said Celtic and Rangers supporters were on the whole well behaved when in Tayside. But, he added, games involving Aberdeen are often seen as a more important fixture among fans and as such there was a greater chance of violence erupting. “I am surprised to hear that,” said Mr Ewen. “I go to Aberdeen games home and away but I have never seen any bother when we play united. Occasionally the Centenary Bar may get a bit boisterous but no trouble.” Both east coast teams have intensified their rivalry over the years. But Mr Ewen, who works in Dundee surrounded by United fans, said the tag of the New Firm is not something that concerns him. “They call it the New Firm but I think that is just United trying to catch up with us I mean, they were hanging on our coat tails throughout the 80s!” he joked. “But, to be honest, United away is a big fixture for us.” Details of the Scottish Government-backed joint action group (JAG) report have now been released and detail a series of recommendations to tackle sectarianism. No decision has yet been made on what measures will be implemented, but the government said all options will be considered after a full consultation.

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.

UK & World

Significant ash falls near erupting Philippine volcano

January 30 2018

A significant amount of ash has fallen on towns near the Philippines’ most active volcano after energetic eruptions of lava from the crater. Mount Mayon in northeastern Albay province has been erupting for more than two weeks, and 84,000 people who fled the danger zone are staying in schools and other crowded shelters. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said one large lava eruption lasted more than an hour and a half on Monday.A contingent of the country’s armed forces prepare to be deployed with their equipment as Mayon volcano continues its sporadic eruption (Bullit Marquez/AP) The ash plume reached 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) above the crater and caused significant ashfall in the towns of Camalig and Guinobatan. Mayon has been belching red-hot lava fountains, huge columns of ash and molten rocks into the sky and plunging communities into darkness with falling ash since January 14. It has remained at alert level four on a scale of five, indicating a more violent eruption could be imminent.Molten lava flows down the slopes of Mayon volcano (Bogie Calupitan/AP) Scientists have warned that despite the repeated eruptions of lava, Mayon is still swollen with magma below the surface and could erupt explosively. No injuries have been reported in the current eruption, but authorities have struggled to keep people out of the danger zone 8 kilometres (5 miles) from the crater. They are worried the eruption may last months, disrupting the lives and livelihoods of people in Mayon’s shadow. Provincial leaders say disaster funds are running low and have said supplies like face masks will be depleted if the eruption lasts. The government has raised the possibility of creating a permanent “no man’s land” around Mayon, a sensitive and complicated proposal that would affect tens and thousands of people living in the fertile farmlands nearby. One possibility is expanding a national park around the base of the volcano, where trees could grow and become a buffer against volcanic flows endangering villages and towns. Mayon has erupted about 50 times in the last 500 years, sometimes violently. In 2013, an ash eruption killed five climbers who had ventured near the summit despite warnings. The Philippines has about 22 active volcanoes. The explosion of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 was one of the biggest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century, killing hundreds. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Joeal Calupitan, Associated Press'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'e2a29b87-078c-420f-910c-089103ad122a'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:news,paservice:news:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Significant ash falls near erupting Philippine volcano'});

UK & World

In Pictures: Dazzling display as Mayon volcano spews lava

January 24 2018

Lava spewing from the Philippines’ most active volcano has flowed nearly two miles from the crater in a dazzling but increasingly dangerous eruption. Mount Mayon has sent lava up to 2,000ft high at times and its ash plumes stretched up to three miles above the crater. An explosion from the crater at nightfall onTuesday was capped by one of the most massive lava displays since Mayon started erupting more than a week ago (AP/Dan Amaranto)Authorities expanded the no-go zone to five miles from the crater (AP/Earl Recamunda)At least 56,000 people were taking shelter in 46 evacuation camps (AP/Dan Amaranto)Residents watch from Legazpi city, Albay province (AP/Bullit Marquez)Pyroclastic material cascades down the slopes (AP/Bullit Marquez)Residents living in the danger zone are moved to safer ground (AP/Bullit Marquez)More than 30,000 ash masks, along with food, water and medicine, have been sent to the region (AP/Bullit Marquez)Mayon has erupted about 50 times in the last 500 years (AP/Bullit Marquez)The Philippines has about 22 active volcanoes (AP/Bullit Marquez)Authorities have warned a violent eruption may occur in hours (AP/Bullit Marquez) (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Bullit Marquez'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'fae55ccc-42d4-4609-87f4-72dc0440f005'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:news,paservice:news:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'In Pictures: Dazzling display as Mayon volcano spews lava'});

Volcano closes Bali airport for second day as thousands left stranded

November 28 2017

A volcano gushing towering columns of ash has closed the airport on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali for a second day, disrupting travel for tens of thousands of people. Authorities have also renewed their warnings for villagers to evacuate, as Mount Agung continues hurling clouds of white and dark grey ash about 3,000 metres (9,800 feet) above its cone. Lava is welling in the crater, sometimes reflected as an orange-red glow in the ash plumes. Its explosions can be heard about seven-and-a-half miles away. (PA Graphics) The local airport authority said on Tuesday that the closure for another 24 hours was required for safety reasons. Volcanic ash poses a deadly threat to aircraft, and ash from Agung is moving south-southwest towards the airport. Ash has reached a height of about 30,000 feet as it drifts across the island. “I don’t know, we can’t change it,” said stranded German tourist Gina Camp, sitting on a bench at the airport. “It’s the nature and we have to wait until it’s over.” She decided to look on the bright side, saying she planned to go back outside to enjoy another day on the island. Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency raised the volcano’s alert to the highest level on Monday and expanded an exclusion zone to six miles from the crater in places. #Indonesia the FCO advise against all travel to within 10km of Mt Agung; volcanic activity may increase in the coming days; if you’re elsewhere in East Bali, continue to follow advice of local authorities and monitor local media and our travel advice: https://t.co/4CUK0LfYe7 pic.twitter.com/vAf2ZQnocT— FCO travel advice (@FCOtravel) November 27, 2017 It said a larger eruption is possible, but a top government volcanologist has also said the volcano could continue for weeks at its current level of activity and not erupt explosively. Agung’s last major eruption in 1963 killed about 1,100 people. Authorities have told 100,000 people to leave homes that are in close proximity to the volcano, but as of Monday tens of thousands had stayed because they felt safe or did not want to abandon livestock. They have also warned people of the danger of mudflows from the volcano as it is now rainy season in Bali. Volcanologist Erik Klemetti at Dennison University in Ohio said Agung’s 1963 eruption was big enough to cool the earth slightly but it is unclear whether this time it will have a similar major eruption or simmer for a prolonged period. “A lot of what will happen depends on the magma underneath and what it is doing now,” he said. #Indonesia We have a team at #Bali airport to liaise with airport authorities and airlines; and to provide additional support to #British nationals.#GunungAgung #ngurahrai #BaliAirport #MountAgung #Agung pic.twitter.com/fvrTB0o84W— UK in Indonesia (@UKinIndonesia) November 27, 2017 The closure of the airport has stranded tens of thousands of travellers, affecting tourists already on Bali and people who were ready to fly to the island from abroad or within Indonesia. Airport spokesman Ari Ahsanurrohim said more than 440 inward and outward flights were cancelled on Tuesday and about 59,500 travellers were affected, similar numbers to Monday. Indonesia’s Directorate General of Land Transportation said 100 buses were deployed to the airport and to ferry terminals to help travellers stranded by the eruption. The agency’s chief, Budi, said major ferry crossing points have been advised to prepare for a surge in passengers and vehicles. Stranded tourists could leave Bali by taking a ferry to Java and then travelling by land to the nearest airports. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Associated Press'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'affd1fbc-6710-4c0c-9de7-b08f1f12feca'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:news,paservice:news:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', 'paasset:graphic'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Volcano closes Bali airport for second day as thousands left stranded'});

Perth & Kinross

Culinary dimension added to Perth Show

July 28 2016

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.

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