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
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
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.
Since its launch back in 2009 the Q5 has become Audi’s most popular SUV, with more than a million sold. Now an all-new second generation model has been revealed at the Paris Motor Show and will go on sale in the UK early next year. The new car is approximately 90kg lighter than the model it replaces, but is also bigger inside and out. The new car also gets Audi’s fantastic Virtual Cockpit display in place of more conventional dials. Five engine options will be available at launch – a petrol and four diesels. The petrol has 248bhp and four-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre diesel can be had with 148, 161 or 187bhp and two or four-wheel drive. Higher up the range is a 3.0 litre V6 diesel with 282bhp. An SQ5 with 340bhp and an RS Q5 with more than 500bhp will join the range later on. The updated Q5 takes design inspiration from the Q3 and Q7, with a large, angular, chrome grille at the front flanked by LED headlights. It’s not a radical redesign. The car’s overall silhouette is the same, but has stronger shoulder lines, larger wheel arches and a lower roofline. As standard, the Q5 will ride on 17in alloy wheels, although wheels as big as 21in will be available as optional extras. On the gadgetry side of things, the Q5 has an in-car wifi hotspot system that gives you permanent web access on the go, supported by a sim card charged at a flat rate for data, and free for the first three years. An optional tablet can be fitted to act as a rear entertainment screen, and massage seats are offered for the first time. The sat-nav system now has a ‘Personal Route Assistance’ that learns your most regularly driven routes, tally that information with where you park it in the evening, and pre-programme the sat-nav to the destination it thinks you’re most likely to want next. The new Q5 will be built at an all-new factory in Mexico, with first deliveries in January 2017, and the base starting price in Germany for the 2.0-litre TDI is the equivalent of £38,000 – although final UK spec and prices will be announced closer to the launch.
Sir, It was with some dismay and I must admit, some amusement, I read the letter regarding deer culling from Anne Haddow (March 7). She declares a cull by trained marksmen to be cruel, but surely this is better than a doe seeing her fawn being mown down by a car or lorry, or conversely the fawn being left with no mother and being extremely lucky to survive on its own? The truth is there are far too many for their own good and as spring and summer arrive with lighter mornings, they will soon be out in abundance at 5am, beside the roads bordering and going through Montreathmont Forest and other places, resulting in their death and damage to motor vehicles to be paid for by the owner. And yes, this is after taking extreme care, but their camouflage is good at the side of the road. Can I suggest that if Ms Haddow wishes to prevent their deaths through car strikes or culling, then she can arrange to ship a few thousand over to Skye, where she stays, from Angus and The Mearns and save us all a problem, with the inherent damage to gardens, crops, young trees and the foodstuff of other forest species. It wouldn’t be so bad if they were, as she states, on the hills, but the roe deer are not! Geoff Bray. Heather Croft, Letham, by Forfar. Other methods of note-taking Sir, Re your article on the HIS Ninewells report (March 5), the headline states “no written notes” were taken by the HIS inspectors, during the original September 2012 inspection. This gives the impression the inspection was “sloppily” carried out. These days, however, handwritten note-taking is an old-fashioned way to compile evidence and the inspectors almost certainly used “checklists” and utilised video and tape recordings. These will have been collated and incorporated into the final 24-page report which also contained “verbatim” quotes from patients. The Courier article also quotes Chief HIS Inspector Robbie Pearson as apparently implying the September Inspection was not a “formal” inspection, but I can only assume this was taken out of context. The report I downloaded from MSP Jenny Marra’s website was a formal final report and any suggestion otherwise is misleading to the public. The original report was not published but was “amalgamated” into a further HIS Ninewells inspection report after NHS Tayside challenged some of the findings. A full summary of the NHS Tayside requests for changes and the HIS final report can be accessed from the HIS website. Jennifer Helen Allan. 18 Grangehill Drive, Monifieth. A hackneyed reference Sir, Perth councillor, Elspeth Maclachlan, in her letter on the so-called bedroom tax (March 7) makes the hackneyed left-wing reference to “wealthy Tories”. Voters do not need to be wealthy to vote Conservative. They simply have a different outlook on life, wishing to stand on their own two feet, work hard, pay their way and, if possible, not look for state hand-outs. Simple arithmetic should tell the councillor all Conservative voters cannot be wealthy. There are so many that most of them must be of quite modest means, such as myself and my parents before me. On the other hand, Tony Blair is only one example of the many Labour politicians and voters who can be classed as very wealthy indeed, advocating comprehensive education and the NHS for other lesser mortals, but sending their children to private schools and making use of private clinics when ill. It is very similar to the situation in the old Soviet Union which I visited in 1961. The few cars to be seen on the streets of Moscow and the then Leningrad belonged to high-ranking Communist Party members who preached equal rights for all, except that some were more equal than others! George K McMillan. 5 Mount Tabor Avenue, Perth. Kirkcaldy pong has returned Sir, The Courier were very good over many years, (from 2001 to 2010) telling of the trials and tribulations facing the people of Pathhead, Kirkcaldy regarding the infamous Pathhead pong. The sewage works went on fire on February 2 I alerted the fire services at 3.30am on that date and the part that went up in flames was the newest part, the odour elimination area. So far, nothing has been done to eradicate the awful stench coming once again from that place. Now we find out that it will be another seven to eight weeks before a part can be found to repair the damage! Scottish Water haven’t a clue about customer relations or anything else. Their heads are firmly embedded in the Pathhead Sands. Norma Rutherford. East Lodge, Mid Street, Kirkcaldy.
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.
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.
Today's letters to The Courier. Sir, - On Sunday I enjoyed my last flight from Belfast to Dundee, as these flights are due to end on December 2. It seems ironic at a time of Dundee seeking UK City of Culture status that it has proved impossible to sustain air links with Belfast and Birmingham. I have taught students from Northern Ireland over many years and, universally, they regretted being unable to use this flight due to the high cost. This factor also deterred their parents and extended family members visiting more frequently. While this represents only anecdotal evidence, it begs the question how an airline serving an area with three universities heavily populated by NI students was unable or unwilling to exploit this most obvious of markets. The issue became quite stark for me when I attended a meeting in Belfast and my colleague from Birmingham paid less than half the fare I paid with the same airline. I accept that airline costs are perhaps more complex than a simple mind like mine can appreciate, but wish to add my voice to the many who will miss this service and see its removal as a backward step when we should be embracing and preparing for the very positive changes likely to derive from the V&A. Dr Brenda Gillies.12 Victoria Street,Newport. Care comes before profit Sir, - The council that slashed services for the elderly (in Fife) was led by one Peter Grant. He now has the audacity to criticise Labour's policy of creating a care village for older people. That plan is both interesting and admirable and relieves all of us from worrying about the privatisation of elderly care. A care village would operate with 12-15 bed areas and that is preferable to the vast, solely profit-making, granny farms that privatisation would have provided. Privatisation means concentrating on profits. Mr Grant claims care workers will all be low paid. Does he not know that virtually all care jobs in private homes only get the minimum wage level? Mr Grant and his SNP and Lib Dem colleagues increased home care charges from £4 a week to £11 an hour. On even one hour of care a day, that is more than 1800% of an increase. The shopping and pension collection was increased to £7 before it was completely cut. What a caring lot the SNP and Lib Dems are. Support services have to be available to enable caring families to keep loved ones in community settings for as long as possible. If that becomes impossible, then at least to ensure that residents in homes will be cared for and treated with respect. Allowing profit to be any sort of justification would be inhumane in the extreme. Choose privatisation and you get blatant profiteering. The essential support for care at home are the home carers, people who come out in all weather and give support and are always cheery and encouraging. I willingly admit to benefiting from their invaluable help. Agnes Joyce Smith. 4 Lime Grove,Methil,Leven. Tax taps could be turned off Sir, - The recent decision by the judges at the Rangers tax tribunal is an interesting one. If employers are to be allowed to reward employees with "loans", deposited off shore in tax havens, instead of by wages and salaries (taxed), then what about all employers and employees? I believe that a precedent has been set. Let us hope that HMRC pursues its appeal with vigour and that the UK Government urgently reviews tax laws, before the Treasury finds taps from the private sector being turned off legally. A T Geddie.68 Carleton Avenue,Glenrothes. Not under my control at all Sir, - Your piece on direct debits reminded me of a problem I had when I moved to a smaller house and wished to reduce my direct debit from my RBS account to Scottish Hydro Electric. I wrote to RBS to ask them to do this and was told the instruction had to come from Scottish Hydro Electric, not me. I had thought I was in control of my own finances. Garry Barnett.The Garden House,Campsie Hill,Guildtown,Perth. Decision is disgraceful Sir, - The decision by Rotherham's Labour-run social services to remove children from foster carers because they are members of UKIP is disgraceful. This is Britain, not some tinpot communist dictatorship. God forbid that the Labour Party in its present form ever runs this country again. Stuff their political correctness. George Aimer.82 Kinghorne Road,Dundee. How do they know this? Sir, - How does a council's social work service know which party someone is a member of? Does your local council have a record of the party of which you may be a member? Mike Scott-Hayward.Chairman UKIP Scotland.Sawmill House,Kemback Bridge,Fife. Get involved: to have your say on these or any other topics, email your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or send to Letters Editor, The Courier, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL. Letters should be accompanied by an address and a daytime telephone number.
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.