Political uncertainty continues to plague the market

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 23:03
Storage Group Big Yellow saw its shares rise 2% over Tuesday to 938.01p despite the company announcing a 22% drop in profit for the six months to the end of September.
Categories: Property

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE First Drive Review

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 23:01

In 2002’s dark cult classic One Hour Photo, Robin Williams plays a creepy loser who drives a Toyota Echo. His stalking target: Connie Nielsen’s rich, smart, and desirable suburban mom, who rocks a Mercedes-Benz ML 320. It was a perfect bit of automotive symbolism. A few years prior, Daimler had invented the midsize luxury SUV segment with that very vehicle and tapped into an undiscovered automotive zeitgeist while doing so.

Luxury brands are now almost completely dependent on premium SUVs for profits. Car sales are down while crossover and SUV numbers are up and growing. And don’t feel too bad for the movie’s cheap shot about Toyota—its Lexus RX is the best-selling midsize luxury SUV in the U.S., outselling both the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE (née ML) combined. Still, Mercedes sold nearly 55,000 GLEs to Americans last year, with more than 2 million sold globally over the past 20 years. Not bad at all.

Meet the fourth-generation GLE. Riding on a brand-new platform called Modular High Architecture (MHA for short), the W167 GLE is good-looking, roomy, luxurious, comfortable, great to drive, and bursting at the seams with tech—some good, some bad.

There are two engine choices: The GLE 350 packs a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four that’s good for 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, while the GLE 450 comes with a groundbreaking 48-volt 3.0-liter super- and turbocharged inline-six with hybrid assist. That engine—code-named M256—cranks out 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. From behind the wheel, the GLE 450 doesn’t feel worlds quicker than the GLE 350. However, I recommend you opt for the larger engine because of the other options it enables. Regardless of engine, all GLEs come packing Mercedes’ nine-speed automatic transmission.

The GLE’s packaging is solid. The rear seat seems massive for the segment—partially because the GLE is large for its class but also because you can opt for a third row. Don’t. There’s no room back there for adults. And what will you do when your little kids get big? Better off to spend a few bucks more and get the GLS.

My big GLE gripe involves Mercedes-Benz’s new MBUX telematics system, which is too complicated by half. For instance, if you go 56 mph in a 55 zone, a speed limit icon flashes at you. You can turn it off, but it took minutes. Something like that should take seconds. There’s also a Google Voice/Amazon Echo–like voice assistant that pipes up every time you utter the word “Mercedes.” It’s wildly annoying, and it isn’t very accurate or helpful, either. There is a way to make the oodles of technology easily accessible, but MBUX ain’t it.

Should you get a GLE 450 4Matic, its 48-volt system allows you to opt for E-Active Body Control, also known as EABC—a combination of air springs and electro-hydraulic active dampers. Each damper gets its own hydraulic pump, which is capable of forcing its wheel up or down using oil pressurized to as much as 1,885 psi. The pumps can switch direction instantaneously.

With EABC, Mercedes has achieved complete, real-time control of each damper and negated the need for anti-roll bars, just like Super Series McLarens. The results are shocking and wonderful, in terms of both ride quality and handling. There’s a drive mode called Curve that uses the built-in cameras to scan the road ahead and then correctly lean the GLE. A right-hand corner pops up the driver-side dampers, keeping the car perfectly level. Because the dampers and suspension geometry aren’t loaded and compressed, the steering is greatly improved. Amazing.

Then there’s off-road. Not only does the new GLE feature the first-ever use of variable torque when using low gears, but it also highlights EABC’s real capability. The articulation of each wheel can be independently controlled via a touchscreen. Imagine that one wheel is spinning but not totally in contact with the surface. You can now drop it a few inches—or raise it, or raise one side of the vehicle, or just the front, or just the back.

But that’s not all: Should you find your GLE mired in sand, simply activate Free Driving Assist. The EABC system then begins hopping up and down, pulling sand under the tires as it does so, and unsticking itself. Also, yes, you can bounce the car up and down like a lowrider while going through the Del Taco drive-thru. Again, amazing!

To say the new GLE is good is akin to saying the Burj Khalifa is tall. It’s a true statement, but you’re leaving out most of the story. The W167 GLE is in fact somewhere between exceptional and superlative. A real heavyweight in the midsize class. Mercedes-Benz’s motto has been “The Best or Nothing” for some time now, and with the exception of the S-Class, it often rings a bit hollow. With the arrival of the new GLE, the marketing slogan will be speaking the truth.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE BASE PRICE $58,000-$69,000 (est) VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD/AWD, 5/7-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINES 2.0L/255-hp/273-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4; 3.0-liter/362-hp/369-lb-ft turbo- and e-superch’d DOHC 24-valve I-6 plus 21-hp/184-lb-ft electric motor, 362 hp/369 lb-ft comb TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT 4,700-4,900 lb (mfr) WHEELBASE 117.9 in LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 194.3 x 76.7 x 70.7 in 0-60 MPH 5.5-7.1 sec (mfr est) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON Not yet rated ON SALE IN U.S. Summer 2019

The post 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE First Drive Review appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Mercedes Teases AMG GT R Pro Ahead of L.A. Debut

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 22:26

The Los Angeles auto show is already shaping up to be an exciting show, but now we have one more car to look forward to. Earlier today, Mercedes announced plans to reveal a new version of the AMG GT called the GT R Pro.

The line, “Closer to motor racing than ever before,” suggests we’re looking at a more track-focused version of the GT R. And while the front of the car is all that’s visible, the adjustable splitter seems to back up that assumption. At first glance, the headlights look like they’ve been removed, but upon closer inspection, it’s more likely that they’re simply covered as part of the camouflage package. Unfortunately, without more information, there isn’t much more we can say.

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Closer to motor racing than ever before: the new Mercedes-AMG GT R PRO. World premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov 28th. Stay tuned. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ [Mercedes-AMG GT R PRO | Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 12,4 l /100km | CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 284 g/km |] ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #mercedesamg #mercedes #amg #mercedesbenz #mercedes #benz #amggtr #gtr #pro #amggtfamily #drivingperformance #driving #performance #mbcar

A post shared by Mercedes-Benz (@mercedesbenz) on Nov 20, 2018 at 6:27am PST

That said, we’re pretty sure this is the same car our spy photographer caught lapping the Nurburgring last week. The badge was covered in those shots, but the headlights were not. Assuming this is the same car, expect a massive wing and quad exhaust out back. It also sounds like we were wrong to assume this would be called the Black Series. Does this mean the Black Series nameplate has been replaced? Hopefully not.

Presumably, the GT R Pro will still be lighter and more powerful than the ‘Ring-tuned GT R, although there’s no telling how hardcore it will actually be. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the GT R Pro make an AMG GT 63 S 4-Door Coupe-matching 630 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque.

Expect more info closer to the GT R Pro’s official reveal on November 28.

Source: Mercedes-Benz via Instagram

The post Mercedes Teases AMG GT R Pro Ahead of L.A. Debut appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE first drive review: Bellwether luxury crossover SUV

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 21:01
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class that I rushed through a washed-out road on a steamy October afternoon didn’t seem to mind that when it rains in Central Texas, it pours. For Mercedes-Benz, the GLE has become a beacon of stability. It’s a middle child in a lineup of crossover SUVs stretching from around $35,000 for the GLA-Class to...
Categories: Property

2019 Ram 1500 North Edition Arrives to Beat Winter

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 20:55

Ram is introducing a special edition truck aimed at cold climate dwellers. The 2019 Ram 1500 North Edition bundles together equipment that makes it easier to drive in the snow and will keep customers warm for the rest of the winter.

First off, the truck receives a 1-inch factory lift, engine block heater, and a 4×4 transfer case. Crucially, the truck also comes with three-peak mountain snowflake on/off-road Falken LT tires rated for severe snow service. The truck’s electronic locking rear differential should also help maintain traction in the snow.

Inside, you’ll find heated seats and a heated steering wheel, as well as Mopar all-weather floor mats. A monochromatic appearance package is standard with body-color bumpers, door handles, mirrors, and grille. Other goodies include front and rear parking sensors, 12-way power driver seat with four-way power lumbar, heated and folding mirrors, a Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen with SiriusXM Travel Link Weather, and remote start.

The North Edition is based off the Big Horn model, which is one step up from the base Tradesman. It comes in Crew Cab 4×4 configuration, paired with either a short bed or long bed. Available engines include the eTorque 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V-8.

The Ram 1500 North Edition is now on sale starting at $47,585.

Source: FCA

The post 2019 Ram 1500 North Edition Arrives to Beat Winter appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Owner of Toys R Us stores faces prospect of administration

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 19:52
CBRE Loan Services, the special servicer appointed to a £263m CMBS loan secured against a portfolio of former Toys R Us stores, is looking to appoint Smith & Williamson as administrator to the owner of the properties, Toys R Us Properties (UK) Ltd.
Categories: Property

Mini Confirms John Cooper Works GP for Production

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 19:03

Last year, Mini showed off the John Cooper Works GP concept, a track-focused version of its Hardtop model that came with a wild aero kit, a stripped-out interior, and an integrated roll cage. Now, Mini’s confirmed that the JCW GP is headed for production and should land on dealer lots in 2020.

We don’t have any more information on suspension changes or engine upgrades, but based on what Mini did with the 2006 Mini Cooper S Works GP and the 2012 Mini John Cooper Works GP, expect a small power bump and a punishingly firm ride. Hopefully, Mini will release more details at the upcoming Los Angeles auto show.

Mini said it also plans to feature the John Cooper Works Knights Edition at its booth. To turn the John Cooper Works Hardtop into the Knights Edition, Mini added the optional exhaust and chrome tips. It then gave the car a black and silver appearance package with red stripes. We don’t have pricing info at the moment, but Mini says the Knights Edition will go on sale early next year.

Mini will also have three other special editions at the show. The Yin Yang Edition is a Cooper S Countryman with black-on-white paint and all-weather luggage and floor mats. The Starlight Edition is a Cooper S Clubman with a blue-on-silver design that comes with a Mini-branded luggage cart. Finally, the International Orange Edition starts life as a John Cooper Works Hardtop and gets orange paint, 18-inch wheels, a dual-mode exhaust, and several black or carbon-fiber accents.

Source: Mini

The post Mini Confirms John Cooper Works GP for Production appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Lamborghini Urus ST-X Concept Previews Racing Version of SUV

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 17:39

Just when we were getting used to the idea of a $200,000 SUV, Lamborghini has thrown us another curveball. It’s preparing a racing version of the Urus that will hit the track in 2020.

For now, the Lamborghini Urus ST-X concept gives us a taste of the upcoming track variant. This model debuted at the 2018 Lamborghini World finals, featuring a bold rear wing and side-exit exhausts in a hexagonal design, as well as 21-inch center-locking aluminum alloy wheels with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires. Lamborghini says the race car is 25 percent lighter than the standard production Urus, and it’s capable on both on- and off-road circuits.

Output remains 641 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. But larger air intakes optimize cooling of the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine. Other updates support safety, including a steel roll cage, fire suppression system, and FT3 fuel tank. Topping it all off is a Verde Mantis paint job and an exposed carbon fiber hood.

The Urus ST-X will race in a single-make championship on FIA-approved circuits in Europe and the Middle East. These events will begin in 2020, Lamborghini says in a statement. The races will take on an “arrive and drive” formula offering customers car and technical support during the race weekend.

Source: Lamborghini

The post Lamborghini Urus ST-X Concept Previews Racing Version of SUV appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

IBM exec Rishi joins JLL to lead Americas Corporate Solutions

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 17:25
JLL has continued its move towards a technology focus with the appointment of former IBM executive Sanjay Rishi as chief executive officer for its Americas Corporate Solutions business.
Categories: Property

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid priced at $35,970 ahead of LA auto show debut

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 16:15
Subaru's first plug-in hybrid has a price tag. The 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid will start at $35,970 (including a $995 destination fee) when it goes on sale. The brand said Monday that the Crosstrek Hybrid will make its formal debut at the 2019 Los Angeles auto show in a week. The powertrain combines Subaru's 2.0-liter flat-4 engine and all-wheel drive...
Categories: Property

Scotland’s Livingston Designer Outlet secures string of lettings

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 16:14
Fashion and lifestyle brands Reiss, GUESS, Under Armour and Kids Around have signed lettings at Livingston Designer Outlet, Scotland’s largest outlet.
Categories: Property

Arora Group acquires Buckinghamshire Golf Club and expands into luxury leisure

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 15:46
Arora Hotels has acquired the Buckinghamshire Golf Club in Denham for an undisclosed sum.
Categories: Property

Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator SUVs recalled over second-row seat fastener

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 15:45
Ford has issued a new recall for the 2018 Expedition and Lincoln Navigator full-size SUVs over a missing J-channel reinforcement bracket. Without the fastener, the second-row seats may not be restrained in the event of a crash. The automaker announced the recall last Friday, which affects 38,000 Expedition and Navigator models total in the United...
Categories: Property

2019 Nissan Kicks, 2019 Toyota RAV4, 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 15:30
2019 Nissan Kicks price punted to $19,535 The 2019 Nissan Kicks will cost $19,535 when it goes on sale soon, which reflects a $570 price bump over last year's price. The 2019 price includes a $995 destination fee and Nissan said Monday that 2019 Juke models should arrive in dealers soon. 2019 Toyota RAV4 first drive review: Reaching new heights...
Categories: Property

2019 Nissan Kicks price punted to $19,535

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 13:39
The 2019 Nissan Kicks will cost $19,535 when it goes on sale soon, which reflects a $570 price bump over last year's price. The 2019 price includes a $995 destination fee and Nissan said Monday that 2019 Juke models should arrive in dealers soon. Nissan's Kicks replaced the Juke earlier this year as Nissan's smallest crossover. The base price will...
Categories: Property

Arcadia wants to "substantially" cut store estate

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 13:31
Sir Philip Green wants to reduce the size of his Arcadia fashion empire “substantially”, but the time until lease expiry on many stores is impeding progress, Property Week can reveal.
Categories: Property

Mesut Ozil's coffee chain scores new London location from Carphone Warehouse

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 13:16
39 Steps Coffee Haus, the specialist coffee chain part owned by Arsenal’s World Cup winning footballer Mesut Ozil, has secured a third London location by taking over a lease from Carphone Warehouse.
Categories: Property

Camden Council invests in extra-care resi

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 12:58
Regeneration specialist Galliford Try Partnerships has signed a development agreement with Camden Council to build an extra-care facility valued at £12.6m and redevelop its existing Charlie Ratchford resource centre.
Categories: Property

Karbon homes issues £250m bonds

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 12:47
Karbon Homes, a North-England focused housing association, has issued £250m of bonds in its first offering.
Categories: Property

Co-op to invest £50m in social housing

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 12:39
The Co-op’s pension fund will invest up to £50m in to the social housing market over the next year and has appointed PGIM Real Estate to manage the portfolio.
Categories: Property