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…
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.
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
He was the famed designer and builder of lighthouses whose finest achievement was the construction of the Bell Rock off the coast of Arbroath. Now a plaque honouring the life of Robert Stevenson has been unveiled outside his Edinburgh birthplace by Stevenson’s great, great, great grandson James Will. The Edinburgh plaque. Stevenson was born in 1850 in the city’s Baxter’s Place, now a Marriott hotel, and was the grandfather of Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson. The hotel, along with the Lantern Room restaurant and bar, includes images of Stevenson’s famous Bell Rock Lighthouse, technical drawings and maps that appear in the public areas and in every room. A bust of the engineer sits in the foyer and the hotel’s boardroom is called The Stevenson Room. Mike Bullock, Chief Executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board, said: “We are delighted and proud to see the unveiling of this plaque at Robert Stevenson’s former home. “Stevenson made a huge contribution to the safety of mariners in Scottish and Isle of Man Waters, and it’s only right we continue to remember and celebrate the life of this amazing engineer and recognise the historical significance of Baxter Place.” © SuppliedBell Rock lighthouse Mr Bullock and the Marriott Courtyard’s general manager, Douglas Winfield, all worked with the hotel’s designer during the building’s refurbishment to ensure that the spirit of Robert Stevenson was retained. For more than 150 years Robert Stevenson and his descendants designed most of Scotland’s lighthouses. © SuppliedOriginal drawing of the Bell Rock construction. Stevenson proposed the construction of a lighthouse on Bell Rock as early as 1899 but the cost and scale of the project frightened the other members of the Northern Lighthouse Board. The plan was reconsidered following the loss of the 64-gun warship HMS York and all of its 491 crew. Also known as the Inchcape, the Bell Rock was built over three years from 1807 to such a standard it has not been replaced or adapted. The lighthouse operated in tandem with the Signal Tower shore station, built at the mouth of Arbroath harbour and now home to a museum.
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
A tribunal against Perth College UHI is taking place in Dundee after a former member of staff claimed she was treated unfairly. Ms Pauline Stevenson has taken her former employer to a tribunal, claiming that that she “suffered less favourable treatment and/or dismissal as a fixed term employee” than she would have had she been on a permanent contract. During the evidence proceedings, the presiding tribunal judge Nicol Hosie acknowledged the complexities of the case and said that he had only come across one other similar case in his time as an employment judge. Ms Stevenson was a “fixed term” employee at the college and taught at the institution’s science department across various qualification levels between 2013 and 2015. Perth College UHI employ a proportion of their workforce on a “fixed term” contract, which means that employees on these contracts are not given permanent positions at the institution. Ms Stevenson had taken out a grievance against the college while still employed, in a dispute over working hours and payment. During the course of proceedings, the college argued that employing some members of staff on a fixed term basis allowed the college to be flexible against the ever changing demands of higher education. The hearing was told that Ms Stevenson’s professional performance had never concerned fellow colleagues at the college, with one witness saying that the level of her work was always to a high standard, regardless of her fixed term status at the college. When asked to describe whether or not Ms Stevenson was a lecturer whose performance at work was what was expected as a “fixed term” employee, Dr Andrew Scott said: “Pauline is great, I would always liked to have given her more work.” Giving evidence in defence of the college’s decision to discontinue Ms Stevenson’s employment, Susan Bald – vice principal and head of human resources and communications – said Ms Stevenson did not display the “values” the college expected. She said Ms Stevenson had exhibited behaviour that resulted in another colleague stepping down from their role, after an issue arose over career development. “Ms Stevenson is ambitious only for herself,” she said. “Ms Stevenson has no integrity and I don’t believe that she was collegiate.” Ms Bald explained that integrity was one of the values that Perth College always wished to embody. Asked under cross examination whether Ms Stevenson’s contract was not renewed due to her raising a grievance with the college, Ms Bald replied “no”. The tribunal continues, with submissions being entered for consideration on June 3 2016.
A driver has been fined £450 after admitting forcing other vehicles to take evasive action while overtaking between Blairgowrie and Alyth. Allan Stevenson, 52, of Knockenny Cottage, Forfar, admitted committing the offence on April 20 on the A926 Blairgowrie to Alyth road near to its junction with Easter Rattray Farm, and at a part near New Alyth. Stevenson drove a car without due care and attention and on two occasions pulled out and overtook when it was unsafe to do so, causing the drivers to take evasive action to avoid a collision. Sheriff Michael Fletcher also added seven penalty points to Stevenson’s licence.
A man who stabbed his flatmate in the heart after claiming she refused to have sex with him has been jailed for a minimum of 17 years for her murder. Gary Stevenson killed 25-year-old Katy Rourke at the flat they shared in Govan, Glasgow, in December last year after the pair had been drinking. © SuppliedGary Stevenson was sentenced to at least 17 years in prison. The 27-year-old “totally lost control” and repeatedly punched Ms Rourke, originally from Broughty Ferry, before getting a kitchen knife and stabbing her three times. He pleaded guilty to the murder last month and the case had been continued for background reports. Jailing him for life at the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday, judge Lady Rae said he should reflect on having “needlessly and brutally” taken Ms Rourke’s life. © DC ThomsonStevenson murdered Katy Rourke at the flat they shared in Minto Street, Glasgow. During last month’s hearing, the court was told Stevenson had drank half a bottle of Buckfast before he and Ms Rourke shared a bottle of vodka on the night of December 29. Stevenson said they had sex but when Ms Rourke refused to have sex again, as she had work in the morning, he attacked her. He told investigators: “I lost control. I didn’t think about the consequence of my actions. Once it started it just took off.” A post-mortem examination revealed a stab wound to Ms Rourke’s chest had gone through her heart and she had suffered bruising, cuts and blunt force trauma to the head and face. Stevenson left a note in the flat saying he wanted to be cremated and travelled to North Berwick, East Lothian, where he attempted to take his own life, before calling police. He later told officers he needed to face up to what he did and “give Katy’s family justice”. There was sobbing heard in the public gallery as Lady Rae passed sentence, telling Stevenson: “You killed Ms Rourke because she rejected your sexual advances and because she refused to engage in sexual intercourse. “You were simply, on this occasion, not prepared to take no for an answer and you deliberately killed her.” First offender Stevenson made a written statement to the court which was read on his behalf by his defence QC Donald Findlay. In it he described himself as a “pressure cooker” before the murder and said he deserved the “long, dark road ahead”. He added: “I know that nothing I say will ever bring Katy back or reverse what has happened but I feel that I owe it to everyone affected by this.” He said he would go back and change what happened and swap places with Ms Rourke, who he described as a “good person”, if he could. “Katy did not deserve to die, she did nothing wrong, she had her whole life in front of her and I robbed her of that. “I wish I would wake up and Katy was okay but it’s not a dream, it’s a wide awake living nightmare,” he said. Stevenson put forward what he described as his “own interpretation” of why the incident happened but said it was “not an excuse”. “The truth is that there is no single reason, no simple explanation, but the way I would describe it was that I was a pressure cooker and the pressure had been building for a long, long time,” he said. “The wheels were coming off in many areas of my personal life.” Stevenson said he had been drinking alcohol every day in “an attempt to self-medicate” instead of seeking help. “Katy was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when I finally cracked, it was not her fault and I regret it so much every day. “I deserve every second of the long, dark road which rises in front of me.” Lady Rae said she noted with “some concern” that a social work report had “detected no victim empathy or remorse” on Stevenson’s part. She said: “I have listened carefully to Mr Findlay’s very full submissions on your behalf, together with his quotation of words written by you, displaying, on the face of it, considerable remorse and regret for your actions and an appreciation of the extreme harm that you have caused. “You should reflect on the fact that you have needlessly and brutally destroyed a young life and from my reading of the victim impact statements from Ms Rourke’s parents and her sisters, you have devastated her family.”
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.
A foul-mouthed man screamed bad language on a train packed with passengers, some of them children a court has heard. Ray Stevenson, 25, shouted “f***y pack” and used the f-word at the top of his voice as the 11.10pm ScotRail service from Glasgow headed for Perth. His unruly behaviour was described as “disturbing”. Stirling Sheriff Court heard that transport police told Stevenson to be quiet several times and then arrested him after they overheard him say the words “in your mouth” to a young woman sitting across the aisle from him. Depute fiscal Gail Russell said Stevenson became aggressive when police attempted to put him off the train at Stirling and he was subsequently arrested. She told the court: “It is fair to say he was inebriated.” Mrs Russell said the train was “very busy” with passengers. Stevenson, of Nimmo Avenue, Perth, pled guilty at Stirling Sheriff Court to using threatening and abusive behaviour on the Glasgow to Perth ScotRail train on October 2 last year. Stevenson’s solicitor, Virgil Crawford, said: “He had been drinking in Glasgow.” Sheriff William Gilchrist sentenced Stevenson to perform 75 hours’ unpaid work as part of a community payback order. He said: “Clearly your behaviour would have been annoying, if not disturbing, to many passengers on that train.”