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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

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

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.

See how Bristol City raised their GIF game even higher

December 8 2017

Bristol City’s goal GIFs are all the rage this season but, with great power comes great responsibility. So, after a week of the media covering their Twitter output, how would they react under the glare of a televised top-of-the-table clash with Sheffield United? Amazing, as per, was the answer. Jamie Patterson scored first and they were off to a great start, 8/10. GOAL: Sheffield United 0-1 #BristolCity, Paterson 43. #SHUvBRC pic.twitter.com/THc6fnvtaq— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) December 8, 2017 Sheffield United equalised – there’s no GIF for that – but what do you do when your centre-half scored an injury-time winner? How about this? GOAL: Sheffield United 1-2 #BristolCity, Flint 90. #SHUvBRC pic.twitter.com/3E9YGpcpEf— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) December 8, 2017 Ten out of 10, we think. The bar has been raised even higher. Roll on their clash with Nottingham Forest next weekend. (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 Wayne Gardiner'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '65853884-d0bc-47ff-b614-1928364e20dc'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'See how Bristol City raised their GIF game even higher'});

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.

Meet Eggnog, the rare kiwi chick who hatched on Christmas Day

December 28 2017

A rare rowi kiwi hatched on Christmas Day, earning the name Eggnog. Eggnog was born at the West Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Joseph, on New Zealand’s South Island. According to the park, rowi are the rarest kiwi species in the world, with just 450 birds left alive in the wild, but this was the 50th rowi kiwi to hatch at the centre this season, and the 278th since it opened in 2010. It took Eggnog five whole days to crack its way out of its shell, after 77 days of incubation. (Nicki van Wyk/West Coast Wildlife Centre/PA) Mind-bogglingly, West Coast Wildlife Centre staff will not be able to tell Eggnog’s gender for another year, as male and female kiwis look the same for that period. Rowis are also known as Okarito kiwis because they are native to the Okarito forest on New Zealand’s South Island. Their eggs have had to be removed from the forest due to their vulnerability to stoats introduced to the area by humans. The park says it hatches the eggs and then transfers the birds to predator-free islands before releasing them back into Okarito forest once they are less vulnerable. (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 Taylor Heyman and Edd Dracott'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'd9c8ac75-f3a4-46ef-91bc-0e8479e50343'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:viral,paservice:viral:animals'); 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': 'Meet Eggnog, the rare kiwi chick who hatched on Christmas Day'});


Comment: All change in midfield as Barry Bannan and James Morrison come into contention

October 5 2017

The finest performance– by a country mile – of this campaign came in Lithuania when a slick and quick Scotland side secured a thrilling 3-0 win. The starting line-up in Vilnius on September 1 was: Craig Gordon in goal; Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney at left- and right-back respectively; Charlie Mulgrew and Christophe Berra formed the central defence pairing; Matt Phillips was on the left of the midfield and James Forrest on the right; Scott Brown and James McArthur were tucked inside; Stuart Armstrong was in the advanced midfield role; and Leigh Griffiths was up front. The only Scots player not outstanding against the Lithuanians was McArthur but he still managed to score one of the goals. That line-up looked almost perfect, had terrific balance and loads of scope for excellent and fluid football from first minute to last. Gordon Strachan, unsurprisingly, picked the same 11 for the Malta game at Hampden that followed three days later. He might have done so again for this match if not robbed of Brown and Armstrong through injury. Talk of “we’ll manage fine without them” from Strachan and Co should be taken with a large pinch of salt. The management are gutted to be without the Celtic pair. Now they have to come up with replacements. I believe Barry Bannan, who has been talked up all week by Strachan, is a stronger contender than Callum McGregor to take Armstrong’s role, while James Morrison looks a likely starter too. The struggles of his club Crystal Palace should not go against McArthur, while I sense the odds are against Strachan putting Hibs’ John McGinn into such a crucial game. I also suspect that Darren Fletcher will be on the bench rather than in for Brown. Phillips and Forrest should stay on the flanks, supplying Griffiths with crosses when they get the chance. So my team prediction is: Gordon, Robertson, Tierney, Berra, Mulgrew, Morrison,  McArthur, Bannan, Phillips, Forrest, Griffiths.


Games jam played out well in Dundee

September 25 2016

Dundee  developers have come up with new virtual reality games in just 24 hours as part of a competition. A games jam took place from 4pm on Thursday until 4pm on Friday at Tag Games, resulting in games prototypes with names like Spider Spider, Mouse of Horrors and Terminal Station. Spider Spider. The Mouse of Horrors prototype. The developers also created their own answer to the famous Boaty McBoatface, with a game titled Vanny McVanFace. © SuppliedVanny McVanFace Virtual reality, a form of technology that simulates a player’s presence in a replica of a real environment, is said to be the future of games with some VR versions already present in many living rooms. Tag’s marketing executive Gavin Moffat said: “At the games jam, staff split into four teams of four people – a designer, an artist and programmers. “They then had 24 hours to design a game prototype. “You would struggle to design a full game in that time, although it could be done if you’re extremely good and the game is simple. “But with a prototype, you could then spend months perfecting and polishing it into a full game. “Some really great ideas can come out of these jam – you have to be creative and work fast. It was a great event. “This time the theme was virtual reality. Virtual reality headsets are already being used but it’s difficult to say whether they’ll become the default in gaming. “It could be the case that it’s popular for a few years and then people get bored of it, or it could remain popular. “However, it certainly has great potential.” Over the past 20 years Dundee has become an international hub for games developers with the world’s biggest-selling video game – Grand Theft Auto – starting life in the city. Games jam are popular events where games developers get together to brainstorm ideas and create new prototypes within a short space of time.

James Forrest and Moussa Dembele goals steer Celtic to cup final victory

November 26 2017

Celtic took the first step towards successive domestic trebles with a 2-0 Betfred Cup final win over 10-man Motherwell at Hampden Park. Moussa Dembele sealed Celtic’s win (Andrew Milligan/PA) Hoops winger James Forrest curled in the opener in the 49th minute before striker Moussa Dembele fired in a contentious penalty on the hour mark, after Well defender Cedric Kipre was sent off for conceding the spot-kick for a foul on Scott Sinclair with the winger appearing to go down rather easily. There was no way back for the Steelmen after that and Brendan Rodgers’ side cruised to the final whistle and the first trophy of the season. What they said Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: “I would rather have been pumped six or seven nothing by them but the game was over with that decision. The game was over as a contest once that decision was made. There is no contact and with the red card the game is effectively over. It completely changes the game. Cedric was crying, he is 20 years of age, he hasn’t touched him but I am not one of these managers who criticises other people’s players. I will keep my dignity.” Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers: “It is a penalty. It is a great ball and Scott makes the run and is getting there and obviously the defender cannot get there so he pulls him. So it is a penalty. I am not sure what the rules are, whether it is a sending-off, I am sure Stephen will feel it is a bit harsh. But I definitely thought it was a penalty.” Tweet of the match Former Motherwell captain Stephen Craigan sums up the feelings of emotion before 14-year-old Luc O’Donnell paraded the trophy ahead of kick-off, almost 10 years after his father’s death. Putting rivalries aside today we all get the chance to remember the great Phil O’Donnell who served both @MotherwellFC and @celticfc with great distinction. A super human being and a fantastic footballer🙌🙌❤️ pic.twitter.com/OryBxHI17M — Stephen Craigan (@stephencraigan) November 26, 2017 Moment of the match Craig Gordon made a crucial save (Andrew Milligan/PA) Craig Gordon pulled off a world-class save to stop Louis Moult equalising moments after Forrest’s opener. Given Motherwell had been well in the game before the opener, a goal could really have set the final alight. View from the bench Brendan Rodgers won his fourth domestic trophy as Celtic manager (Andrew Milligan/PA) Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson lined up with a flat back four and a midfield diamond after ditching their normal 3-5-2 formation before last week’s 2-0 victory at Aberdeen and gave asgood as they got in a tight first half. Rodgers inspired his side with a half-time team-talk as Forrest struck early in the second half and there was little Robinson could do to get back in the game after losing Kipre and a second goal. Referee watch Motherwell’s Cedric Kipre was sent off (Andrew Milligan/PA) Craig Thomson was under added scrutiny after Rodgers expressed concerns over Steven McLean’s performance and the approach of Motherwell striker Ryan Bowman during the Steelmen’s semi-final win over Rangers. Kipre escaped punishment for going over the top on Dembele, who was soon booked for a near-identical challenge on Carl McHugh, while the only sign of an elbow came when Jozo Simunovic caught Bowman with Thomson content to award a free-kick. The referee made a major intervention with a very harsh decision to send off Kipre, although the French defender had given Sinclair the vaguest of invitations to go down by moving his arm towards the winger. Ratings James Forrest, pictured centre, opened the scoring for Celtic (Andrew Milligan/PA) Motherwell: Trevor Carson 8, Richard Tait 7, Charles Dunne 6, Cedrick Kipre 6, Peter Hartley 6, Carl McHugh 7, Liam Grimshaw 6, Andy Rose 6, Chris Cadden 6, Ryan Bowman 6, Louis Moult 7. Subs: Craig Tanner (for Grimshaw, 51) 6, Allan Campbell (for Bowman, 64) 5, Elliott Frear (for Rose, 70) 5. Celtic: Craig Gordon 8, Mikael Lustig 6, Kieran Tierney 7, Jozo Simunovic 6, Dedryck Boyata 6, Scott Brown 7, Stuart Armstrong 6, James Forrest 8, Callum McGregor 7, Scott Sinclair 6, Moussa Dembele 6. Subs: Leigh Griffiths (for Dembele, 64) 6, Tom Rogic 4 (for McGregor, 89). Who’s up next? The teams meet again in the league on Wednesday (Andrew Milligan/PA) Motherwell v Celtic, Ladbrokes Premiership (Wednesday, November 29) (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 Gavin McCafferty, Press Association Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '5155e5d7-b498-4906-9eb1-8e07874c3e2a'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'James Forrest and Moussa Dembele goals steer Celtic to cup final victory'});