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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...


Hello I’m Johnny Cash’s guitarist Bob Wootton back in town

October 7 2010

Earlier this year, Bob Wootton brought his unique guitar sound to the Whitehall Theatre for a truly wonderful night of Johnny Cash sounds. Next week, Bob and his band the Tennessee Three are back, this time at Fat Sam's where they will be playing much more up close and intimate to the audience. Bob loved his last appearance in Dundee and says, "Really looking forward to coming back to Dundee the fans were really appreciative last time and so friendly. "The promoter tells me we are playing a new venue where the audience are seated much closer we like to get close to the audience." Bob Wootton wasn't just Johnny Cash's guitarist, he WAS the sound of Johnny Cash after joining the band in 1968. On September 17 that year, fate was to deal Bob a hand that he would cherish for posterity. A Johnny Cash fan all his life, Bob was in Fayetteville, Arkansas standing at the front of the stage awaiting the appearance of his hero. Word was buzzing round the auditorium that Johnny's band had been delayed at an out-of-town airport.'Luther' styleThe girl Bob was with caught June Carter's attention and told her Bob could play guitar "Luther'' style. June Carter called her husband over from the stage, he gave Bob a try on the spot and the rest is history. Devastated by Cash's illness and death, Wootton did not perform for several years. Today, however, he is again touring the world, playing Cash tunes and keeping the magical sound of the legendary Tennessee Two and Tennessee Three alive to appreciative crowds around the globe. Along with Vicky Wootton, formerly of The Carter Family, and Scarlett Wootton, Bob Wootton is keeping the tradition of the Cash-Carter Family alive. In 2006, an album titled The Sound Must Go On was released as a homage to the Cash legacy and Bob Wootton began touring the world once again with the music of The Tennessee Three. Hear all those brilliant sounds at Fat Sam's on Wednesday, October 13, from 8pm. Tickets cost £18.50 from Groucho's.

Angus & The Mearns

Laughter all round after little girl is the only one to turn up in fancy dress on nursery photo day

November 3 2017

A busy mum's calendar mix-up ended in hilarity when her daughter turned up to nursery photo day as the only one in fancy dress. Scarlett Campbell, 3, went to Burnside Nursery in Carnoustie with bright pink hair and face-paint dressed as Trolls character Princess Poppy. But she was a day early for her party — and it happened to be the day she was having her official photo taken. Mum Lisa, 32, admits she and husband Neil managed to forget what day Halloween fell on. She added: "It wasn’t until I got to the nursery that one of the other parents told me it was picture day — I hadn’t noticed the letter in Scarlett’s nursery bag. “I couldn’t believe I had got the dates mixed up.” Little Scarlett took it all in her stride and the family say they'll be able to laugh about it for years to come. Read the full story on The Evening Telegraph

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

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.


Wales captain says Six Nations opener will be “a great spectacle”

February 2 2018

Alun Wyn Jones has predicted “a great spectacle” when Wales and Scotland launch the NatWest 6 Nations in Cardiff on Saturday.Scotland have not won in the Welsh capital for 16 years, yet they will arrive following an autumn campaign that saw them demolish Australia and run world champions New Zealand close.They are match favourites in some quarters, yet Wales – despite a crippling injury crisis – are also determined to make an immediate statement ahead of demanding away games against England and Ireland.Saturday’s clash additionally marks the 10th anniversary of Warren Gatland’s first game as Wales head coach as he reaches 98 Tests at the helm.Asked about Scotland’s tag as favourites, Wales skipper Jones said: “On the back of last year (Scotland beat Wales at Murrayfield), I think that would be fair. But I think sometimes it’s better to be the hunter rather than the hunted.“If we are the underdogs, then we will take that tag, but it’s about the 80 minutes.“We are a passionate country who love our rugby. We try to put that out there in the way that we play, as Scotland have done in the past few years, particularly with the brand of rugby they are playing.“It’s going to be a great spectacle, and people are probably expecting a try-fest.“We are very conscious of the brand of rugby they are playing at the minute, and their evolution over the last 18 months. They have a bag of tricks that I am sure they may dip into at some point of the game as well.”Gatland fielded 13 Ospreys players for his first Wales Test in charge against England at Twickenham, and there will be 10 from an in-form Scarlets side this weekend.Injuries to several senior players – the list of absentees includes Sam Warburton, Jonathan Davies, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb – might have forced Gatland’s selection hand but the Scarlets factor cannot be overlooked.They won last season’s Guinness PRO12 title and have reached the European Champions Cup quarter-finals later this term, with Gatland fielding an all-Scarlets midfield, half-back combination and entire front-row.Scarlets captain and Wales hooker Ken Owens said: “There are a lot of Scarlets players in the side, and some of that is down to the continuity and combination of playing together. But the international arena is different again.“You have to do the simple things well – win the gain-line to get the offload game going, have good set-piece ball, quick ball in the contact area.“If you get that right, it allows you to play an expansive game. If we can get those basics right, then hopefully we can transfer the confidence of the regional game to the international stage.“Scotland have been outstanding over the last year or so and had a great autumn series. They will come down extremely confident of being able to play an expansive brand of rugby.“They will come down as favourites on the form they’ve had from the autumn. But we are into championship rugby now.“There is a lot of pressure on results and there is a trophy on the end of it, so it will be interesting to see how they deal with that pressure as well.”


Scarlets target ‘creating history’ in Champions Cup showdown against Leinster

April 20 2018

Wayne Pivac has no doubt that the Scarlets will require a complete performance in their quest for a first European Champions Cup final appearance.Pivac’s team tackle tournament favourites Leinster at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday after ending an 11-year wait to be European semi-finalists.No Welsh team has been crowned European champions – Cardiff were inaugural finalists 22 years ago – and the Scarlets face a side unbeaten in this season’s competition following home and away victories over Exeter, Montpellier and Glasgow, plus a quarter-final success against Saracens.“To be unbeaten in the competition, and to do that home and away against the quality of their pool, shows the strength of their squad,” Scarlets head coach Pivac said.“It is just going to be one of those games where, from the first whistle to the last, we’ve got to be at our best. Our discipline has got to be right up there.“We know they are the favourites going in, and rightly so because of their form in the competition. You also go through their squad and most people would have them down as favourites.“We are going to have to be sharp in our attack and make sure when those opportunities present themselves we are ready to capitalise. We have to take the points when they are on offer.“Conversely, at the other end of the field we have to make sure we are disciplined and don’t give those chances to the opposition. We have to make sure our defence is the best it can be.“For us, it is a semi-final, it is an opportunity. It is 80 minutes away from creating history, being in our first (European) final. That is the way we are approaching it.”Pivac has moved Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny to the wing, with injuries sidelining Johnny McNicholl, Paul Asquith and Tom Prydie.Halfpenny, who kicked 19 points in a quarter-final victory over La Rochelle, will wear the number 14 shirt, while Rhys Patchell moves from fly-half to full-back and Dan Jones moves into the team as Gareth Davies’ half-back partner.Leinster, meanwhile, are boosted by the return from injury of Ireland international centre Robbie Henshaw, who partners Garry Ringrose in midfield, with fly-half Johnny Sexton captaining the team.Henshaw has been sidelined since suffering a shoulder injury during this season’s NatWest 6 Nations Championship.Munster tackle Racing 92 in Sunday’s semi-final at Stade Chaban-Delmas in Bordeaux, with the Irish side welcoming back fit-again wing Keith Earls, Alex Wootton featuring on the other wing and Andrew Conway named at full-back.“They’ve got big players, incredible individuals with hundreds of internationals caps between them,” Conway told www.munsterrugby.ie.“There are guys who know how to win knockout games of rugby in both teams, and we know Racing quite well from the last few years.“They will be looking at opportunities that they feel they can take against us, and vice versa.”Cardiff Blues, European Challenge Cup winners eight years ago, will return to the final if they beat Arms Park visitors Pau on Saturday.The Blues emerged from a tough qualifying group that also featured Toulouse, Lyon and Sale Sharks, while they beat Pau home and away in last season’s pool phase.But the French club won all six of their group fixtures this term, collecting 29 points from a possible 30, and they arrive in Wales with key performers like Conrad Smith, Frank Halai and Steffon Armitage among their starting personnel.

Angus & The Mearns

Angus service veterans set off on poignant cycle to Wootton Bassett

June 8 2011

Three Angus service veterans took to the saddle this morning at the start of a symbolic 400-mile journey to the small English market town which has become synonymous with the sacrifice of today's war heroes. Ex-soldiers Charlie Brown, Kenny Campbell and Mick McKeown were to be led off from Edinburgh Castle esplanade by motorcyclists from the new Riders' Branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland, the 90th anniversary of which their epic journey aims to celebrate. The trio's destination is Wootton Bassett, and on Sunday the Forfar Legion members are set to represent their country at a special drumhead service in the Wiltshire town. Over the coming four days, the Forfar team whose combined age totals 203 years will cover the distance in relays to arrive at their destination bearing a goodwill scroll from the Lord Provost of Edinburgh. Forfar's Legion branch is the oldest in the world and having recently been honoured with a visit by Princess Anne, branch chairman Charlie Brown said he was delighted Angus is taking the lead in the national event. "It is a national celebration of the Legion's 90th anniversary and we are doing this to represent Scotland. Mick is a member of a national committee and he developed the idea through that, but it just so happens that the three guys who decided to complete the cycle are all from the Forfar branch," said Charlie. "There was also a strong feeling amongst the Legion in Scotland as a whole that with repatriations through Wootton Bassett due to come to an end soon it would be nice to mark the appreciation of everyone north of the border for the way that community has come out in remembrance of servicemen and women when they have arrived home. "We will be taking the Scottish national colour down to participate in the parade on Sunday and I am sure it will be a poignant event." He added, "We've been putting in as much training as we can but it will be quite tough. It will just be a matter of doing what you can in the saddle before handing over for a break." Motor firm Arnold Clark and Forfar's Strathmore Water have backed the effort, which will include a support team comprising Alex and Barbara Adam and Mike and Linda Wilkie from the Forfar branch. The 416-mile journey will take the cyclists via Galashiels, Carlisle, Kendal, Shrewsbury, Hereford, Gloucester and Cirencester to their destination just a few miles from RAF Lyneham. Mick, who biked 50 miles a day round Scotland last year for 24 days to raise money for the Legion, said, "It will be tough but I'm confident we'll keep to the schedule. If the weather's bad it will be a matter of keeping your head down and soldiering on but then, we're used to that. "It's only right that the Legion's 90th should involve a bit of hard work as well as celebration." Edinburgh Lord Provost George Grubb said, "I'm sure Scots everywhere will join me in wishing these three men all the very best. The British Legion was founded in Edinburgh in June 1921 and every single Legion branch around the world can look to the city as its ancestral home. "I'm especially pleased that, with Edinburgh acting as the national focus for Armed Forces Day this month, we are sending greetings to Wootton Bassett, a village which has come to represent a national focus for remembrance." Wootton Bassett photo by Flickr user stuff_and_nonsense.

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.