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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

Perth & Kinross

Culinary dimension added to Perth Show

July 28 2016

For more than 150 years Perth Show has been a popular, once a year meeting point for the people of the city and the farming community. The show - now the third largest of its type in Scotland – remains as always a showcase for champion livestock but this year holds a much wider appeal for visitors. To be held on Friday and Saturday August 5 and 6 on the South Inch, throughout the two days, trade stands, sideshows, entertainment, activities, music and parades all add to the vibrancy of the show along with a new culinary direction. “For the first time, Perth Show is set to feature a cookery theatre and food and drink marquee,” said show secretary Neil Forbes. “This will bring a new and popular dimension to the visitor attraction. “Perth Show 2016 is also delighted to welcome Perthshire On A Plate (POAP) - a major food festival, celebrating the very best in local produce and culinary talent. “Organised by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, the two-day festival will run as part of the show and feature celebrity and local chefs, demonstrations and tastings, book signings, food and drink related trade stands, fun-filled activities for ‘kitchen kids’ and a large dining area and pop-up restaurants in a double celebration of food and farming.” Heading the celebrity chef line-up are television favourite Rosemary Shrager (Friday) and spice king Tony Singh (Saturday), backed by a host of talented local chefs including Graeme Pallister (63 Tay Street) and Grant MacNicol (Fonab Castle). The cookery theatre, supported by Quality Meat Scotland, will also stage a fun cookery challenge between students from Perth College and the ladies of the SWI. A range of pop-up restaurants featuring taster dishes from some of the area’s best known eating places will allow visitors to sample local produce as they relax in the show’s new POAP dining area. “We’re trying to create a wide and varied programme of entertainment,” said Mr Forbes. “Late afternoon on Friday will see the It’s A Knockout  challenge with teams from businesses throughout Perth and Perthshire competing against each other. “And the first day’s programme will end with a beer, wine and spirit festival where teams can celebrate their achievements and visitors can sample a wide range of locally produced drinks.” This year will also see the reintroduction of showjumping at Perth Show on the Saturday afternoon.

Readers' letters

Theatre should be part of future vision

June 11 2013

Sir, I was delighted to see your article about the much lamented King’s Theatre, one of Dundee’s unsung gems. In overall design and specific engineering innovation, it was always the rival of any other theatre in Scotland. At its height, it was a pleasure both to attend professional performances there and to take part in performances as part of Dundee’s talented amateur musical societies’ scene. It had the misfortune to come under financial pressure just before the real upsurge in musicals and other stage performances which today regularly take Dundonians to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and even London. Its other misfortune was to be located in a part of central Dundee with very poor parking facilities. The creation of the new car parks, as part of the re-birth of Dundee’s centre, must surely persuade people to take a fresh look at the theatre’s refurbishment and establishment, as part of the bold new centre for the arts which Dundee will surely become. While the Whitehall Theatre was a welcome effort to keep live shows going in Dundee, the building was always too small. Architecturally, it is a poor shadow of the King’s Theatre, it also suffers from lack of parking and it is too far from the city centre and the many existing, or shortly to exist, new hotels. Dundee has shown no lack of aspiration and courage in its vision for the future. Let us now make a revitalised King’s Theatre a vital element of this future. Dr W H Macfarlane Smith. 42 Holly Road, Broughty Ferry, Dundee. A lifetime of paying bills Sir, I was brought up in a mining village which operated on a cash-only economy All shops displayed the notice: “Please do not ask for credit as refusal often offends.” My parents, like everyone in the village, had a horror of debt because working class jobs were by their very nature insecure and personal survival depended on being canny. Yet in recent decades I have watched with alarm as the old social mantras were trashed with credit cards and mortgages tossed like confetti at vulnerable groups. The dream of a restful retirement is now a distant one for many Scots as the bills still arrive for a lifetime of buying things they didn’t need with money they didn’t have. Of course they must accept their share of blame but they were hardly helped by political leaders who encouraged irresponsibility by claiming to have conquered boom and bust Dr John Cameron. 10 Howard Place, St Andrews. Measures need to be in place Sir, I see that Dundee City Council have to pay a previous employee £100,000 for sexual harassment in her workplace at Baldragon Academy. Of course it is not the council who will pay the money to this unfortunate woman but us council tax payers. This is another case, one of many over the past few years involving this council. Someone has to bear responsibilty for this botch-up but one wonders why it is happening so often. Surely staff are given adequate training in dealing with other employees who are being harassed? Measures must now be put in place at a senior level to ensure this never happens again. Council tax payers are already going through the misery of austerity without this flagrant abuse of council tax monies. Brian Millar. Blackness Avenue, Dundee. A wonderful performance Sir, Last Saturday I was privileged to enjoy a wonderful evening watching that very successful play Calendar Girls being performed by the Carnoustie Theatre Club at the Carnoustie High School Theatre. I had seen the same show at the Caird Hall in November with a professional cast, including TV stars, and thought how great that was. However, the Carnoustie production was even better. The original, true story was in Yorkshire and the Carnoustie Theatre Club stuck strictly to the original script and what was unbelievable was they all spoke with authentic Yorkshire accents. I can’t praise them highly enough for their acting skills and superb production, but most of all for being just as brave to bare all for their art! Well done Carnoustie Theatre Club, you made a lot of people very happy that night. I should mention that all the proceeds were in aid of the Leukaemia Research Fund. George Gavine. The Veldt, Monikie. Tolerance with integrity Sir, In reply to Clare McGraw (June 7) I must say I wholeheartedly agree with what she states in her letter. My initial letter (June 4) was a reply in agreement with Alistair McBay (May 31) regarding religion and beliefs and the sometimes non-flexible stance of the Bible. In the context of that reply and respecting this age of equality and diversity, I believe it was a fair comment on the specific points mentioned. Widening the range of thought on the matter raises other issues which Clare McGraw brings in to the discussion. Tolerance is one thing, but tolerance with integrity is what we should really aspire to. As she rightly states, tolerance of belief is not good in itself and only those beliefs we believe to be good should be accepted. I can assure Ms McGraw I do not believe in tolerance for the sake of it and I do encourage people to have integrity. If only it could be achieved as easily as that. Ron Aitken. 6 Francis Road, Perth.

Farming news

Aberdeen-Angus DNA test hailed by Victor Wallace

February 13 2015

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.

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.

Road tests

Kona aims to be king compact

May 23 2018

Hyundai has been a little slow off the mark releasing a compact SUV but the Kona is finally here. The i20-based hatchback is hoping to take a bite out of the lucrative market dominated by the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur, Seat Arona and its sister company’s car, the Kia Stonic. Aimed at younger buyers, these small SUVs tend to be more adventurously styled than bigger and more expensive models. Hyundai hasn’t shied away from being daring, giving the Kona a dramatic shape with nice details such as slit-shaped headlights, an aggressive grille and two tone roof. Driving through Burntisland, Dalgety Bay and Aberdour on a tour of West Fife’s coastal villages it caused a few heads to turn – though perhaps in part due to my test car’s lime green hue. Prices stretch from £16,450 to around £25,000 and there’s a choice of 1.0 or 1.6 litre petrol engines or a 1.6 litre diesel available with two power outputs. The vast majority of Konas will be two-wheel drive but the more powerful of the diesel models can be had as a 4x4. Hyundai has designed space for underfloor batteries into the Kona and a fully electric model is expected to join the range next year. You can also specify an excellent seven-speed twin clutch automatic gearbox. There are four trim levels: S, SE, Premium, Premium SE and Premium GT. Even entry models come with alloy wheels, hill start assist, lane departure warning, air conditioning and tinted rear windows. My 1.0 litre Premium SE model cost just over £22,000 and had electric seats, leather upholstery, rear view camera and front parking sensors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ileNbv5Y3d8 The driving position is higher than a hatchback but far from the lofty heights of a Land Rover or Jeep. The driving position is good and there’s excellent visibility all round. Ride quality is on the firm side of comfortable and the Kona handles surprisingly well for a taller car. The 1.0 litre engine is punchy and feels peppier than its 12s 0-62mph time suggests. The funky design continues inside with plenty of body coloured trim (you can even ask for the seatbelts to be the same colour) and a large, easy to use touchscreen. Rear passengers may find legroom a bit tight and the boot’s only medium sized but the Kona is based on a supermini so that’s to be expected. Hyundai’s five-year warranty is another feather in the cap of a strong contender. Price: £22,430 0-62mph: 12 seconds Top speed: 112mph Economy: 52.3mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km


One A&E site proposed for Fife

August 17 2010

Fife accident and emergency services could be consolidated on one site prior to the new wing at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy opening. At NHS Fife's annual review, chaired by health secretary Nicola Sturgeon, medical director Dr Brian Montgomery said he would like to see the contingency measure of downgrading Victoria's A&E to a minor injuries unit overnight phased out before the service is moved permanently to the new build in 2012. He said an "interim state" for A&E services would have clinical advantages. It is understood this could mean emergency services are consolidated at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline in the run-up to them moving to Kirkcaldy. Dr Montgomery said, "Having the contingency itself is not a comfortable place to be. "It's not a good idea to continue with a situation where you don't know what's happening until three o'clock in the afternoon." He added that before the new wing opens, staff would have to familiarise themselves with the new way of working. At the moment Queen Margaret and Victoria deal with emergency cases, but under the Right for Fife process services are being reconfigured and will eventually be centralised at the new Victoria, which will take care of A&E, acute medical cases and maternity. Although the August intake of junior doctors has gone some way to resolving difficulties in drawing up out-of-hours doctors' rotas for both Queen Margaret and Victoria A&Es, NHS Fife can give no guarantees that sickness absence or doctors leaving to take up other posts later in the year will not lead to the contingency being used again. Fife Health Board spent over two hours being grilled by Ms Sturgeon and Scottish Government colleagues before a question and answer session. Ms Sturgeon asked the board what steps they were taking to ensure the contingency was only rolled out as a "last resort."Funding pressureThe issue of public funding pressures was also on the agenda and, with salaries being the health board's biggest outlay, Fife health bosses were quizzed on how frontline services would be affected. NHS Fife has identified a potential saving of £2.3m in staffing costs equivalent to 54 full-time posts. Director of human resources Rona King said the staffing cuts, which have not been confirmed, amounted to less than 1% of NHS Fife's total workforce of between 7500 and 8000 employees. Director of finance Chris Bowring said the board was looking at reducing the second largest expense, prescribing costs, and making other efficiency savings. She said, "We've tried to concentrate on all the initiatives that don't impact on the delivery of clinical services." Alan Kennedy from action group Save Our Dispensing Surgeries raised the issue of the commercial pharmacy in Leuchars. The pharmacy has caused controversy since it opened earlier this year because of the impact it had on the local doctors' surgery, which subsequently lost revenue from dispensing. Ms Sturgeon said she was powerless to intervene, but said the regulations for granting licences for independent pharmacies were under review. A public consultation on the matter closed at the end of June and the findings are to be considered. Meanwhile, Councillor Andrew Rodger asked why ward 13 at Victoria was shut when Fife hospital beds are running at almost full capacity. John Wilson, chief executive of NHS Fife's operational division, said the move was possible because more patients were being treated as day cases and hospital stays were being shortened.

Highland Pony Show winner ‘beautifully turned out’

October 8 2014

Duthie Park played host the 27th annual running of one of the north-east’s most popular native equestrian events the Aberdeen Highland Pony Show. The show, dedicated solely to the Highland breed, attracts entrants from all over Scotland and a turnout of more than 60 ponies descended upon the park on the banks of the river Dee in order to compete. A “great quality, beautifully turned out pony,” was judged by Robin Stewart, of Stablesbrae, Durris Home Farm, Durris, to stand as the overall in-hand best of breed. This was Ulrika of Whitefield, from Sandy, Alan and George Baird, of the Whitefield Stud, Burrelton, Blairgowrie. “She had lots of style and presence in the ring,” Mr Stewart said of the two-year-old filly. This daughter of Oliver of Forglen a stallion loaned to the Bairds from Gordon and Ann Towns for the 2011 season which was home-bred out of Queencake of Whitefield, had taken the championship at the Winter Fair at the end of last season. The reserve in-hand was won by the yearling filly Lochlands Moondance, from Kate Lawson and Willie Sinclair. In the ridden ring, the best of breed was found in Karen and Robin Stewart’s consistent stallion, Coulnacraig Jacobite. Judge for the ring, Virginia Osborne, of Kingoldrum, praised him for being “a beautiful pony” which was “very forward going with lovely flowing paces”. The reserve champion was Rhinns Point Sendac from Lesley McNaughton-Wells. Judge Willie Allen, from the Millfield Stud in the Howe of Fife, took centre stage to judge in Mr Stewart’s place for the overall contest. After much deliberation, the services of umpire Hugh Duncan, from Turriff, were required to split the decision. Drawing Jacobite forward as show supreme, he said both ponies were “of exceptional quality” and he had a particularly difficult to separate them. Ultimately, the stallion won through on the basis of his “manners and conduct” in the ring as a ridden stallion. Jacobite was ridden by Maggie Ingles, on behalf of the Stewarts, and he has had a successful season both in-hand and under saddle. His 2014 wins include at Blair Atholl, Tarland, Turriff, Banchory, Stonehaven, Brechin and NESHPES. equestrian@thecourier.co.ukResults Supreme: Karen and Robin Stewart, Coulnacraig Jacobite. Reserve: Messrs GM Baird, Ulrika of Whitefield. Best member final: Karen and Robin Stewart, Coulnacraig Jacobite. Reserve: CA Gunn, Murraypark Saffron. In-hand champion: Messrs GM Baird, Ulrika of Whitefield. Reserve: K Lawson and W Sinclair, Lochlands Moondance. Stallion: 1 Charlie McQuattie, Pipe Major of Whitefield; 2 H Duncan, Piper of Craignetherty. Junior gelding: 1 N MacDonald-Lewis, Corrybrough Callum.Senior gelding: 1 Lesley McNaughton-Wells, Rhinns Point Sendac; 2 Alexandra Clark, Dougal ‘O’ Noth; 3 M Anderson, Scaraben of Auchincrieve. Yeld mare: 1 CA Gunn, Murraypark Saffron; 2 CA Gunn, Murraypark Sylvanna; 3 L McCulloch, Iona of Denwood. Veteran: 1 H Duncan, Piper of Craignetherty; 2 J Christie, First Lady of Ruthven Glen; 3 Carol Ogilvie, Murraypark Strathbrodick. Yeld mare (in-hand only): 1 Lynne McDonald, July Mist of Coynach; 2 A Barron, Kincardine Nightingael; 3 Liana Ballingall, Connie of Craignetherty. Broodmare: 1 JA Baird, Oliviette of Whitefield; 2 Lynne McDonald, Morven of Coynach Tifty. Foal: 1 JA Baird, Foal by HS of Fourmerk; 2 L McDonald, Ruby May of Coynach. Three-year-old: 1 F and M Lawson, Prosen Mist of Craigieloch; 2 L Price, Sugarmouse II of Auchlethen; 3 K Richardson, Trowan Patrick. Two-year-old: 1 Messrs GM Baird, Ulrika of Whitefield; 2 Lynne McDonald, Stone Roses Na Dailach; 3 A Barron, Kincardine Rona. Yearling: 1 K Lawson and W Sinclair, Lochlands Moondance. Ridden champion: Karen and Robin Stewart, Coulnacraig Jacobite. Reserve: Lesley McNaughton-Wells, Rhinns Point Sendac. Under 14hh: 1 CA Gunn, Murraypark Saffron; 2 K Legge, Balloch Ceilidh; 3 Susanne Shepherd, West Lodge Alexander. 14hh and over: 1 Karen and Robin Stewart, Coulnacraig Jacobite; 2 Lesley McNaughton-Wells, Rhinns Point Sendac; 3 L McCulloch, Kincardine Laochan. Novice: 1 F and M Lawson, Firefly II of Craigieloch; 2 M Ingles, Miriam of Turinhill; 3 L McCulloch, Iona of Denwood. Veteran: 1 Carol Ogilvie, Murraypark Strathbrodick; 2 Melissa McPherson, Fergus of Alltnacailleach; 2 J Christie, First Lady of Ruthven Glen. Young handlers: 1 Keona Eastwood, Edindurno Lady Olivia; 2 P Moncur, Morven of Coynach; 3 A Christie, First Lady of Ruthven Glen. Progeny: 1 Edindurno Glen Clova (Dougal O’Noth, Morven of Coynach and Glensaugh Rainbow Rhona). Fancy Dress: 1 A Christie, First Lady of Ruthven Glen; 2 L Thornton, Gissings Lily of Lorne. Traditional Working Harness: 1 L Ballingall, Highfield Lord Solas; 2 L McCulloch, Kincardine Laochan.

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