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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...

Football

Dundee United v Slask Wroclaw: Trek to Scotland is no excuse for Slask manager

July 21 2011

Dundee United's Europa League opponents had to endure a draining eight-hour journey to Tayside on Wednesday but won't be using it as an excuse if they are knocked out, their manager insisted. Slask Wroclaw coach Orest Lenczyk admitted the length of the trip, which involved a stop in Germany, wasn't ideal the day before a match, but hopes his players will have enough time to recharge their batteries. He said, "I have to say it was not easy. We had to take off early in the morning and had to stop in Dusseldorf, so in total we travelled for eight hours. "Will it influence the result tomorrow? I don't know. "I believe we have arrived early enough for the players to rest. We will see what they're like on the morning of the match." He added, "I don't think that after the game I would say that it was the fault of the journey if we lost. I wouldn't want to do that. "It would only be an excuse. I hope the balls won't be an excuse either." The balls remark was a reference to a comment opposite number Peter Houston had made after the first leg when he pointed out that the United players will be more comfortable with balls they use week in, week out.Stein's influenceHouston did stress, however, that he was not making an excuse for their 1-0 defeat in Poland. Lenczyk said, "I don't think the balls are too big or too small. "A UEFA observer said the weight of the balls was okay." Striker Christian Diaz has travelled to Scotland but a decision on his fitness will be made on Thursday morning. Meanwhile, Lenczyk revealed that the great Jock Stein had been a mentor to him when he was a fledgling coach. He said, "Jock Stein is a legend and it was a pleasure to spend some time with him. "I had three days learning from him in 1970 and it was a great experience."

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

Football

Slask Wroclaw manager issues warning to players

July 18 2011

Slask Wroclaw manager Orest Lenczyk has warned his players to cut the complacency or Dundee United could knock them out of Europe on Thursday. The veteran boss was shocked as his team gifted two outstanding opportunities to Johnny Russell and David Goodwillie early in last week's first leg in Poland. Both United players missed, though, and sub Johan Voskamp scored to give the Poles a slender lead for this week's second leg at Tannadice. Lenczyk said, "We will have to make sure those situations do not happen again and the players have been told they must concentrate better." UEFA said if Dundee United and PFC Locomotiv Sofia make it into the third qualifying round Europa League, the first leg will be at Tannadice on July 28. If United and Metalurgs Skopje qualify, the first leg will be away from home on that date. Image used under Creative Commons licence from Wikimedia Commons user Makosch Amadeusz.

Football

Slask Wroclaw coach Lenczyk determined to avenge 1980 rout at Dundee United’s hands

June 22 2011

Slask Wroclaw coach Orest Lenczyk admits he wants revenge against Dundee United for the 7-2 hammering his team got the last time they visited Tannadice. The veteran manager was in charge of the Poles back in 1980/81 when they were dumped out of the UEFA Cup by Jim McLean's up-and-coming United side, starring the likes of Paul Hegarty, Paul Sturrock and Dave Narey. Thirty years on Lenczyk is back in charge of Wroclaw, following spells in charge of Wisla Krakow, Katowice and Cracovia, and fate has thrown up another trip to Tayside on European duty. The 68-year-old boss admits he doesn't know much about United's current crop of players but will be doing his homework ahead of the first leg in Poland on July 14. He said, "It will not be easy to get past Dundee United. "They play in a good league along with famous names such as Rangers and Celtic. "Dundee United also have a good history in European competition as we know from playing them in the past. "I will have time to get to know their current team because there is a few weeks until the match. "We played them before and have nothing but unpleasant memories from this match. "We got a good result in Poland but then in the second game we did not perform. "The game was close at half-time so we tried to attack in the second half but Dundee United kept scoring goals. We were shell-shocked after that match but maybe this year we can get a result in our favour.

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

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.

Football

Slask Wroclaw and Dundee United managers ready to face off

July 14 2011

Veteran Slask Wroclaw manager Orest Lenczyk has a 31-year-old score to settle when his team take on Dundee United in Poland. The 69-year-old was in charge in 1980 when he took Slask to Tannadice and lost 7-2 in the UEFA Cup. While three decades have passed since then, he admits a result that cost him his job still hurts, so he wants to heal that pain with an emphatic victory in Thursday's Europa League qualifier between the teams. "I have very unpleasant memories from our last matches against Dundee United so I am looking for revenge," said Poland's most experienced coach, who only returned to Wroclaw last autumn. "In the match at Tannadice we were 2-1 down at half-time, but we lost lots of goals in the second half and let's just say a few players did not approach the game with full professionalism." That was a reference to stories in Poland that the players had been at a party just before leaving for Scotland and their dislike of him meant they did not give 100%. In 2011 things are very different and he's a hero in Poland's fourth largest city after guiding their team back to Europe for the first time in three years. Slask are considered hot favourites to overcome United.'Toughest opponents'Lencyzk has struck a cautionary note about that, though there is no hiding his belief in his team. He said "I think Slask have drawn the toughest opponents we could have and there is a saying that history repeats itself. "I hope history does not repeat itself in terms of the result and I am glad we have drawn United. "It gives us the chance of revenge and I'm confident there will be no repeat." His captain, Sebastian Mila, made similar noises earlier this week and that's not gone unnoticed by the United party. The Tangerines, however, are content to do their talking on the park and manager Peter Houston is concentrating on making sure his players are prepared. His aim is to fly home after the final whistle knowing there's still everything to play for at Tannadice next week. "I said to the boys the biggest thing for us is to make sure we are going to Tannadice next Thursday and we're in a tie," said Houston. "I'd love to score a goal, every manager who goes into Europe would love to score an away goal, but the thing for me is to come away knowing we can still go through." He conceded that could be a big ask and, having done his homework, rates Slask. He also rates his own team.Defence keyHouston said, "They are a very threatening team from set plays, so we've worked on that and we've worked on our shape. "We'll have to defend well and I'm confident the boys will." He added, "The other side of it is I'm very against just sitting in on our 18-yard line. I've never done that whether it was in a European tie or at Ibrox or Parkhead. "I always think we've got to be brave enough to take the ball and try and score goals. That's my philosophy." Winger Gary Mackay-Steven, who signed on Tuesday, has been registered with UEFA in time to play. As expected, United travelled minus injured trio Garry Kenneth, Danny Swanson and Scott Robertson, with Kenneth being ruled out at the last minute by continuing hamstring trouble. Although that leaves them short on numbers, the manager is satisfied there is still enough experience in his intended starting line-up. Houston said, "The circumstances mean we are going to have to give the chance to some of the younger ones in terms of the bench. "It's a learning curve and at times you have to stand up and be counted." He added, "Ideally, I'd love some more experience, but things can't happen until I move somebody on and then I've got to try and get a bit of experience in."

Rocktalk

Award-winning Tayside song writer Eddie Cairney immortalises Queensferry Crossing in tune

October 25 2017

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.

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