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.
The UK Government can no longer ignore calls for urgent tax changes that could spark a “resurgence” in the North Sea oil industry, Nicola Sturgeon has said. Scotland’s First Minister claimed it was clear that “urgent fiscal stimulus” was needed to increase exploration work. Senior UK Government ministers have already hinted that measures to help the North Sea could be included in George Osborne’s Budget next month. But politicians at Holyrood are continuing to press the case for action to help the crucial industry. As part of that, Ms Sturgeon has taken her Scottish Cabinet team to Aberdeen, where the oil industry is based, visiting a pipeline support service provider in the city with Deputy First Minister John Swinney. The First Minister argued that “simple steps” taken by ministers in Norway a decade ago had reversed a decline in oil and gas exploration work in the country. With the equivalent of 24 billion barrels of oil said to remain in the North Sea, she said action was needed to encourage companies to continue to invest in the area. The Scottish Government is calling for the headline rate of tax on the industry to be reduced as well as the introduction of an investment allowance and a new tax credit for exploration. Ms Sturgeon said: “I believe that North Sea oil is a fantastic asset for Scotland and will continue to be so for decades to come. “There are up to 24 billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent remaining, and it is essential we have a stable and proportionate fiscal regime which encourages the investment, innovation and exploration required. “But we need action now from the UK Government to help ensure we maximise future production and economic recovery. “Quite frankly, the UK Government has failed to address the exploration problem in the North Sea.” The First Minister, speaking as she visited Pipelines 2 Data in Aberdeen, added: “It cannot be clearer that urgent fiscal stimulus is required to improve the exploration outlook. “Around 40% of production is expected to come from new field developments by 2018: that’s only three years away. “Fiscal measures to incentivise exploration, coupled with the appropriate regulatory expertise, have the potential to drive forward a resurgence in exploration in the North Sea. “We only have to look at the situation in Norway in 2005 to see that simple steps can be taken to restore a decline in exploration. “In the course of three years, the introduction of the exploration tax credit saw the number of exploration wells increase an incredible fourfold.” Ms Sturgeon said industry expert Sir Ian Wood had recently warned that as many as six billion barrels of oil reserves could be lost “unless radical measures are taken by the UK Government”.
When Libby Jones was invited by Bank Street Gallery owner Susie Clark to exhibit at her gallery in Kirriemuir, she became intrigued by the history of the town. As well as Kirriemuir’s most famous son and Peter Pan author JM Barrie, she discovered the town had also been home for a time to AC/DC singer Bon Scott, Victorian mountaineer Hugh Munro, and 19th century writer Violet Jacob. She found the town had been a hotbed of witchcraft in the 16th century and is also world famous for its gingerbread and decided to combine all these elements. Ms Jones went on to craft a boxed set of prints, which also doubles as a card game. She said: “This tongue-in-cheek edition of 10 boxes, of 20 cards per box, features Kirriemuir characters presented on a slice of gingerbread on a plate. I have also made a poster featuring all the 10 characters in the game.” Visitors can see images of Edinburgh Castle with fireworks, wildlife such as gannets, and artwork made after a visit to Antarctica. Londoner and master printmaker Ms Jones exhibited work from her sub-zero stay at a Discovery Point exhibition in Dundee last year. Children can see her work Cooking the Climate, a comment on global warming, which consists of a microwave oven and slideshow with rotating polar animals. There is also a fossilised mobile phone in a second installation, Fossils of the Anthropocene an exploration of the traces that might remain of civilisation in 50 million years’ time. She is also exhibiting a selection of her woodcuts, linocuts, collagraphs and screenprints at the gallery. The exhibition runs until November 8 and opening hours can be found on www.bankstreetgallery.org, or by telephoning 01575 570070.
The Parsons Green bomb contained 400g of explosives – with just one gram capable of causing “serious injury to people or property”, an expert has said.It was only a matter of luck that the device containing TATP and shrapnel did not fully detonate, the Old Bailey has heard.Iraqi asylum seeker Ahmed Hassan, 18, allegedly used a “student of the year” cash prize to buy a key ingredient of the bomb on Amazon.He left the device inside a bucket contained in a Lidl bag on a Tube train during the morning rush-hour on September 15 last year, getting off one stop before it partially exploded, the court has been told.Explosives expert Sarah Wilson compiled a report on the bomb after taking samples of white powder before it was destroyed, confirming it was made from TATP.Ms Wilson, who has 17 years of experience in the area, said: “We looked at the carriage. There was no obvious explosive damage to the carriage itself. There was sooting in the ceiling.”Eyewitnesses have described seeing flames and wires sticking out of the bucket following the blast, she said.Ms Wilson said: “TATP is a sensitive primary high explosive. It’s very unstable and as such it’s not produced for any commercial or military use.“TATP is sensitive to a number of different stimuli – friction, impact or heat.”She added that hitting or dropping it in transit could cause it to detonate.Just one gram of TATP can cause “serious injury to people or property”, she said.The witness told jurors it would take at least several hours to make the 400g of TATP in the bomb plus the small amount later recovered at Hassan’s foster home in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey.Some 93 passengers ducked for cover and scrambled to get off the District Line train when a fireball engulfed their carriage.CCTV footage played to the jury showed commuters spilling out of the train, leaving bags and purses behind as the bomb smouldered inside the bucket.Hassan fled to Dover, changing his clothes, but was picked up by police the following morning.He denies attempted murder and using the chemical compound TATP to cause an explosion that was likely to endanger life.
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
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.
A few online searches and supermarket trips were all it took for the Parsons Green bomber to put together a potentially deadly explosive.Ahmed Hassan had watched Youtube videos demonstrating how to make a small amount of the chemical compound TATP, having researched on Wikipedia.Some of the footage, which he said was of people making it “just for fun” was filmed in front of children, he added.The teenager ordered some of the key chemical ingredients on Amazon and told how he packed the device with shrapnel, bought at Asda and Aldi, to make his bomb “look serious”. He said he had found an article online informing him how to make the timer, adding there had been a “step-by-step guide” with “very, very detailed instructions”.The court heard the 18-year-old used a standard kitchen timer and modified it to remove the buzzer.A replica of the bomb – made of a silver Lidl frozen goods bag containing a white bucket, a Tupperware container wrapped in foil and a glass vase – was shown to jurors during the trial.Hassan said he tested 50g of TATP in a Coca Cola can on the kitchen table the day before the incident, to ensure it would burn but not explode, but jurors heard there had been no marks left behind.Just one gram of TATP can cause “serious injury to people or property”, an explosives expert said.Sarah Wilson described the compound as a “sensitive primary high explosive” and said the 400g used in the device on the Tube train in September last year had the potential to be lethal.Prosecutor Alison Morgan told jurors it was just “a matter of luck” that the bomb did not fully detonate and people were not killed.Authorities are continuing to work with internet companies around regulation on identifying and reporting suspicious online purchases, police said.Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met’s counter terrorism command, said: “Police, various security services, agencies and the government are constantly engaging with various internet companies and looking at how such companies can get better at reporting, but also how we can put regulation – the question do we need more regulation around the purchase of precursor chemicals?“So a bit like SAR, the banking system Suspicious Activity Reporting, looking at something similar with internet companies and how they self-report.“There are various measures in place around reporting but also the work we do with those companies trying to flag and identify suspicious purchases.”Ms Wilson said all the necessary elements for a viable explosive device were in the bucket and suggested it may have failed to fully explode because it had not been put together properly.Hassan remained adamant throughout his day in the witness box that he had not meant for it to explode or cause harm, and expressed sorrow and regret for what had happened.