2018 Hyundai Sonata

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 23:11
With three different engines and a bevy of trim levels, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata may sound complicated—it's not. The sharp mid-size sedan is a good value and better looking now. It's also possible that those qualities will fall on deaf ears as buyers flock to SUVs that sometimes offer none of the above, and at a higher cost. We say the Sonata...
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2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Makes 680 HP

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 23:01

For 2018, the wild Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is available in five-door Sport Turismo configuration, meaning you are now able to haul the skis, luggage, the dog, and the kid down an icy autobahn at 192 mph all while being kind to the environment.

Like the regular fastback Turbo S E-Hybrid, power comes from a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 putting out 542 hp. An electric motor adds an additional 136 hp to the mix, pushing power up to a staggering 680 hp and 626 lb-ft of torque. Just like the four-door fastback, this tremendous power is managed by an eight-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission. As a result of all this power, 0-60 mph arrives in a skin-rippling 3.2 seconds, charging onto a top speed of 192 mph.

If you want to slow down and take it easy on Mother Earth, this uber-wagon can act as a traditional plug-in hybrid system in a pinch with a full electric mode, thanks to the 14.1-kWh battery. Porsche doesn’t specify the range for the new Sport Turismo, but it’s likely close to the sedan’s 31-mile electric-only range.

Despite the extra sheetmetal, the new Sport Turismo doesn’t cost much more than the regular Turbo S E-Hybrid sedan. Prices begin at $189,450, but it includes a grab-bag of desirable options as standard, including carbon ceramic brakes, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC), Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus), Power Steering Plus, and the vaunted Sport Chrono package.

Order books are open, with deliveries slated for Spring 2018.

Source: Porsche

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Categories: Property

Missoni-Inspired Fiat 500C Earns $59,000 for Charity

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 22:30

Garage Italia Customs created another rolling work of art—this time a Fiat 500C inspired by the Missoni fashion brand that is known for its zigzag patterns and knitwear. The funky Fiat with a bright red folding top sold for about $59,000 at a charity auction organized by AIDS foundation amfAR during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy.

A base 500c will set you back $16,500, but you won’t get the same rainbow of colors you get with this Missoni tribute. The psychedelic 500C has a  peppy 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine offers 101 horsepower and 98 lb-ft of torque. You won’t win any races but you’ll look pretty stylish getting there.

Creative director Angela Missoni was the guest of honor at the amfAR charity event, which is now in its ninth year and has raised over 12 million dollars for research toward a cure for AIDS.

Lapo Elkman’s Garage Italia Customs reinterpreted the Fiat 500C with a brightly colored horizontal stripe painting and a matching interior using leather and frock patterns from Missoni for the seats. The kaleidoscopic Fiat 500C Missoni is just one of the latest inspired vehicles by the Milan-based custom house. Garage Italia’s maestros create one-of-a-kind rides that are tailored for a wide range of clients, from “Star Wars” inspired rides to a black and white piano keyed “Grandissimo” Jeep Grand Cherokee (pictured below). Their works are crazy, fun, and perfect for enthusiasts who like to stand out from the crowd. Way out.

Source: Garage Italia Customs



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Categories: Property

2018 BMW X1

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 21:49
The 2018 BMW X1 is a small crossover with a few distinctions. It’s the lowest-priced new car that BMW stocks on dealers’ lots, and it’s also the only one that’s available with front-wheel drive as standard. We concede that the bottom line will matter more to buyers, which is how we arrive at our overall score of 6.4. If you...
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Spied! Our First Glimpse of the Mercedes-AMG GT4’s Cabin

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 21:45

We were big fans of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept when it debuted at the Geneva Motor Show. Aimed squarely at the Porsche Panamera, it was built on the MRA architecture that underpins the Mercedes-AMG E63 and used a hybrid powertrain to make 800 hp. It might not be a sedan version of the Mercedes-AMG GT like the name suggests, but 800 hp is one heck of a way to make up for that. Even better, it’s headed to production.

We’ve caught the GT4 out testing before, where it appeared to stick closely to the concept’s design. Each time, though, Mercedes managed to hide the interior from us. But it looks like the third time’s the charm because we got a peek inside this time around. As you can see, compared to the photo below, Mercedes seems to be sticking with a relatively stock E-Class interior here.

Sadly, the car shown on the screen isn’t the production GT4. That would have been too convenient. Instead, it’s the regular old E-Class.

Currently, we expect the AMG GT4 to offer the E63’s twin-turbo V-8, with at least one performance hybrid option available. In concept form, the hybrid powertrain could launch the GT4 to 62 mph in less than 3 seconds, according to Mercedes. If it makes it to production, that would make the GT4 one heck of a competitor for the already blindingly quick Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.

When the production GT4 finally does arrive, don’t expect Mercedes to immediately kill off the CLS. From what we hear, it will soldier on with more of a focus on comfort and luxury. The GT4, meanwhile, will be all about performance.

Photo source: CarPix

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Watch Ken Block Tempt Death Climbing Pikes Peak in a 1,400-HP Mustang

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 20:45

Back in 2014, Ken Block unveiled one of the most extreme Mustangs ever: a 1965 coupe with 845 hp and all-wheel drive. After driving it for a few years, Block decided that wasn’t enough power. So last year, he and his team added two turbochargers and a methanol injection system that gave the Hoonicorn a whopping 1,400 hp. At the time, Block called it “frightening to drive,” saying “it’s trying to kill me. It’s like nothing I’ve ever driven.”

But how do you properly test a car that’s so powerful, it even frightens Ken Block? You take it on a Pikes Peak hill climb, film it, and call it Climbkhana, of course.


Over the course of 156 turns, more than 12 miles, and at more than 14,000 feet, Block throws caution to the wind, hanging the Hoonicorn’s tail out, obliterating the tires, and pulling off some extremely dangerous-looking drifts. One mistake in any of those corners, and he would have been off the edge. Thankfully, that never happened, because as you can see, drop-offs that massive aren’t the kind anyone walks away from.

Since we know he made it through safely, it makes Climbkhana a little easier to watch, but seeing Block flirt with certain death like that will still have you on the edge of your seat. How he stayed calm during filming, we have no idea.

Source: Toyo Tires via YouTube

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Categories: Property

Here’s Your First Look at the Next Mercedes Sprinter

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 20:15

Commercial vans might not be cool in the same way that a powerful, luxurious grand tourer is, but they’re an important part of a lot of people’s lives. Whether you need to transport work equipment, operate a mobile office, or carry a large group of people, commercial vans are about as practical a solution as it gets. And one of the biggest names in the commercial van business, the Mercedes Sprinter, is about to get a redesign.

Mercedes released this teaser image today, giving us a good idea of what the next Sprinter will look like. As you can see, the biggest design changes are on the front end. The Sprinter now gets thin, horizontal headlights, as well as several other touches from Mercedes’ corporate design language. But while Mercedes may want to draw attention to the Sprinter’s “distinctive” and “athletic” look, the different configurations will probably be much more important to potential buyers. And in that regard, Mercedes promises a “considerably extended range of variants.” Expect to also see a lot more in-van technology, like newly introduced driver’s assistance systems.

“We want to do more than just build the best vehicles. We want to offer the most suitable mobility solution for every sector and for every transport assignment. And that is precisely our focus with the upcoming Sprinter generation as an overall system solution,” said Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “It also goes without saying that the new edition of our iconic van possesses the classical attributes of reliability, safety, and cost-effectiveness.”

The biggest news, though, might be the factory that Mercedes is building in the North Charleston, South Carolina, area. Instead of building U.S. Sprinters in Germany, partially disassembling them to avoid the import tariff, and then reassembling them once they’re stateside, Mercedes will now be able to build Sprinters here in the good ole U.S. of A.

Look for the redesigned Sprinter to go on sale in Europe early next year, with other markets getting it later in the year.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

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U.S. Toyota TRD Models to Get Upgrades From GR Sub-Brand

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 19:47

Toyota gave its Japanese and European lineups an injection of sportiness when it introduced the GR sub-brand last week. But at the time it was unclear if the U.S. would get the same upgrades from GR, which stands for Toyota’s performance division Gazoo Racing. Now, there’s word that GR products will make it stateside after all—just under a different name.

Speaking to Automotive News, Gazoo Racing president Shigeki Tomoyama said that while there are no plans to use the GR name in the U.S., American counterparts of GR-series models will get a similar sporty treatment. The issue is Toyota USA is reportedly against introducing a new performance marque since it already has the Toyota Performance Development (TRD) label, which it feels has too much brand equity to replace with the unknown GR brand. Plus, according to AN, U.S. Toyota executives hate the Gazoo name.

With that said, the GR series upgrades, which include retuned suspensions, unique trim, larger intakes, and smaller steering wheels, will come to the U.S. under the TRD banner. Tomoyama even said full production cars could be branded as TRD models. He may be speaking of the upcoming Toyota sports car built on a dedicated platform, which Tomoyama says “can compete against top-class world competitors.”

Toyota didn’t say which models will get GR-derived TRD enhancements, but looking at the lineup released in Japan, the Toyota 86 and Yaris are good bets. But maybe—just maybe—the U.S. market is ready for a Prius Prime TRD.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)


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Subaru Concept for Tokyo Likely Hints at Next WRX

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 19:15

With the Frankfurt auto show behind us, auto manufacturers are already looking to the fast approaching 2017 Tokyo Motor Show in late October, and eager to begin capitalizing on the upcoming media blitz is Subaru.

It will be bringing two new STI models, an Outback Limited Smart Edition, an XV Fun Adventure Concept, an Impreza Future Sport Concept, and a more mysteriously named Viziv Performance Concept to this year’s show.

The first two cars are the WRX STI S208 and a BRZ STI Sport. For Subaru geeks, the S208 is a more performance-oriented WRX STI with enhanced suspension, a retuned engine, better brakes and tires, a carbon-fiber roof, and a few other modifications to the interior to truly make the STI special. Only 450 units will be available and lucky customers will be chosen by lottery that will be announced on October 25.

As for the BRZ STI Sport, the car a more rigid body, new suspension tuning, an “exclusive interior,” and a special Cool Gray Khaki exterior color available with the BRZ STI Sport’s limited run of just 100 cars. Like the S208, the BRZ STI Sport will be sold through a lottery that begins October 25.

For those seeking more pedestrian-focused models, the Outback Limited Smart Edition is based on the already popular Outback, but features an exclusive grille and wheels, Ultra suede seats, and interior panels with dark embossed silver accents.

However, Subaru hasn’t disclosed pricing or when the car would be available at your local dealer. Details will likely be available soon.


Subaru will also bring two new concepts base on the XV (Crosstrek in the U.S.) and the new Impreza. The XV Fun Adventure concept furthers the tough and rugged XV Outback with a new roof rack, wider fender flares, off-road spec tires, and a yellow metallic paint.


As for the Impreza, it’s called the Future Sport concept and gives the five-door hatchback more sporting credentials with a lower center of gravity, sport-themed center mounted exhaust, and a yellow pearl body color.

However, the Subaru debut everyone will be talking about in Tokyo will be the new Viziv Performance concept, which likely hints at the styling direction for the new Subaru WRX and WRX STI; at least we hope so.

Four years ago, Subaru debuted one of the brand’s most daring concepts, the WRX Concept. It was low, mean, had a gaping mouth, sharp hawkish headlights, and both green brake calipers and green tailpipes. It looked amazing and Subaru said that this was what the then new WRX would look like.

Fast forward to the production version’s debut and only the front grille was retained from the concept. With the brand’s new Subaru Global Platform underpinning the fifth-generation Impreza, perhaps Subaru might finally put elements of that concept into production.

Little information was divulged in Subaru’s press release about the upcoming Viziv Performance concept, only that it’s “A Sport sedan concept model that embodies the brand’s vision for the future of making cars that deliver enjoyment and peace of mind to its customers.”

We’ll know more soon about the entirety of Subaru’s new lineup as the Tokyo Motor Show begins on October 25.

Source: Subaru


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Categories: Property

Scandic views on new hotel project

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 19:00
Skanska has invested €76m in a new hotel project in Copenhagen.
Categories: Property

Triple hire strengthens Fidelity in Eurozone

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 18:15
Fidelity International has hired the trio of Mirjam Raschka, Maarten Frouws and Christopher Lyon Lynch to bolster its asset management and investment capability for its expanding Eurozone commercial real estate portfolio.
Categories: Property

90 North confirms €52m sale of Volkswagen logistics centre in Germany

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 17:49
90 North Real Estate Partners has sold its global vehicle spare parts logistics property at Volkmarsen, near Kassel, to Israeli fund manager MiDeal Group for €52m (45.7m).
Categories: Property

Volvo to Build Next-Gen XC90 in U.S. in 2021

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 17:00

Volvo will build the next-generation XC90 SUV in 2021 at a plant under construction in South Carolina, the automaker announced today, increasing its investment to $1.1 billion.

Volvo was initially building a $500 million assembly plant near Charleston that is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018 and produce the S60, a sedan that is currently being built in China. The U.S. will become the sole global source of the S60 sedan when production in China is phased out in early 2019.

The plant was designed to accommodate a second vehicle. Now we know it is the XC90, a vehicle Motor Trend previously identified as the likely candidate for a number of reasons:

  • The XC90 and S60 are on the same Scalable Platform Architecture which will make assembly easier.
  • The XC90 was launched in 2015; by spring 2019 it will be the oldest vehicle in the lineup so the timing lines up.
  • U.S. assembly makes sense given the popularity of large SUVs in North America. Volvo saw sales drop in the early months of the year because dealers could not get enough XC90s from Sweden to meet demand. The U.S. is the XC90’s biggest market.

Volvo broke ground on the new plant, known as “Volvo Project Thor,” in September 2015 about 40 miles west of Charleston. The 1,500-acre site will house the plant, a test track, training center and office building for 300 R&D, purchasing, quality, and sales staff.

Initially the Volvo plant will employ 2,000 workers who will make 60,000 S60 midsize sedans a year, half of them for export. There is plenty of land and the buildings are designed to increase capacity to 150,000 vehicles a year with the additional investment in equipment and another 1,900 employees.

“The plant in Charleston will serve both the US and international markets and forms a strong foundation for our future growth in the U.S. and globally,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo president and chief executive.

Added Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO of Volvo Cars USA, “Our business in the U.S. has been undergoing a transformation over the past two years and this is an important next step for our development here.”

South Carolina is already home to BMW in Spartanburg and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van plant. Stampings will come from supplier Gestamp, also in the area.

Volvo has two manufacturing plants in Europe, as well as two factories in China. A third Chinese plant is currently under construction.

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Categories: Property

2018 GMC Sierra 1500

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 16:40
It’s hard to call any full-size pickup an off-the-beaten path buy, but the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 comes close. The 2018 Sierra 1500 is a kissing cousin to the Chevrolet Silverado, but it brings more to the table than just chiseled good looks. With its blend of performance, panache, and, yes, style, the Sierra scores 6.7 out of 10 on our scale...
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Savills IM makes Devonshire new head of Middle East

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 16:14
Savills IM has appointed Paul Devonshire as its new head of Middle East, bringing in 20 years’ experience focussing on Shariah compliant real estate funds.
Categories: Property

Two new VPs to launch AccorHotels in UK

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 16:04
AccorHotels has announced its new UK & Ireland management team, led by new hires Philip Lassman as vice president of development and François Schoemans as vice president of procurement.
Categories: Property

VW diesels, Subaru's sporty concept, Tesla Model 3 interior details: What’s New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 15:30
Greenpeace boards ship to keep VW diesels out of UK Last week, dozens of members of environmental activist group Greenpeace descended on a port in Kent, England, intent on preventing Volkswagen from importing more than 1,000 diesel-fueled vehicles into the UK. 2018 GMC Terrain Review Compact crossover SUVs aren’t inherently macho, but...
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Greenpeace boards ship to keep VW diesels out of UK

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 15:00
Last week, dozens of members of environmental activist group Greenpeace descended on a port in Kent, England, intent on preventing Volkswagen from importing more than 1,000 diesel-fueled vehicles into the UK. Forty people entered the port’s import lot and removed “thousands of keys,” in an attempt to prevent the vehicles from...
Categories: Property

CBRE appointed on Mitchells & Butlers’ estate

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 13:51
CBRE has been appointed to provide portfolio management services across the estate of one of the largest operators of restaurants, pubs and bars in the UK, Mitchells & Butlers.
Categories: Property

Bank of England reiterates conerns about commercial property pricing

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 13:50
The Bank of England has reiterated concerns that valuations in parts of the UK commercial property are failing to factor in the negative economic outlook reflected in low interest rates. 
Categories: Property