Property

Law firm signs for 36,500 sq ft at The Scalpel

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 11:37
Law firm Morrison & Foerster has signed for 36,500 sq ft of space at London’s newest office tower, The Scalpel at 52 Lime Street, London.
Categories: Property

'No-deal' Brexit could see capital values fall by up to 9%

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 11:36
A no-deal Brexit could hit capital values in UK commercial property by up to 9%, according to Capital Economics.
Categories: Property

JV backed by Candy's CPC secures debt deal for Hackney scheme

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 11:34
A joint venture backed by Christian Candy’s CPC Group has secured a £19m debt financing deal with OakNorth to fund a mixed-use building close to Hackney Wick station.
Categories: Property

Lift-off for Leeds Bradford Airport expansion

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 11:18
Plans for a major extension to the main airport terminal building at LBA have been approved.
Categories: Property

CBRE GI teams up with Virtuo to eye €1bn logistics portfolio

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 11:07
CBRE Global Investors has partnered with French logistics developer Virtuo with plans to build a €1bn prime logistics portfolio across France for its Europe Value Partners 2 (EVP2) fund.
Categories: Property

2019 Nissan Kicks

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 11:00
The 2019 Nissan Kicks proves that basic motoring doesn’t have to be boring. Splitting the difference between subcompact hatchback and crossover SUV, the 2019 Kicks is a full-flavored small car that offers a lot of features for the money. It’s lighter on refinement than tech, however, which explains its 5.2 out of 10 rating. (Read more...
Categories: Property

The Point reaches full occupancy

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 09:53
Tishman Speyer’s The Point office building in Paddington is fully let, following the signing of two new leases.
Categories: Property

Idé gets planning permission for Leeds scheme

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 09:17
Idé Real Estate has secured planning permission for its £62m office and hotel scheme on the site of former council buildings in Leeds city centre.
Categories: Property

Berkeley warns on market but raises profit guidance

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 09:08
Housebuilder Berkeley Group has raised its profit guidance for the year despite a fall in pre-tax earnings for the first half of the year to £401m, down 25.7% year-on-year.
Categories: Property

Annual house price growth slows to six year low

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 09:06
Annual house price growth in the UK has slowed to 0.3%, according to the latest survey from the Halifax.
Categories: Property

2019 Mercedes-Benz G 550 First Test: Grown-up G-Wagen?

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 09:00

The G-Wagen isn’t a logical vehicle. It’s the kind of car you buy because you want it and because you can. It may have started life as a utilitarian off-roader, but for the last several decades, it’s been luxed up to the point that many owners won’t hit the trails in one.

Thanks to an iconic design, though, the G-Wagen has remained popular with owners who could easily have bought a luxury SUV that didn’t drive like a farm truck. We can’t blame them, either. If you want a G-Wagen, even a Range Rover won’t do.

But the fact that a G-Wagen is an irrational purchase for most people doesn’t mean we shouldn’t run the new one through our regular series of performance tests. How else are we supposed to know how much better the redesigned version is?

What makes things even more interesting is that even though Mercedes gave the G-Wagen a complete redesign for the first time ever, its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 makes the same 416 hp and 450 lb-ft as the outgoing G550. But with less weight to haul around and a newer nine-speed automatic transmission, Mercedes’ latest four-wheeled brick should be a much better performer.

In acceleration testing, our G 550 ran from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and finished the quarter mile in 14.1 seconds at 98.4 mph. That’s relatively quick, but for a vehicle weighing 5,665 pounds, it’s impressive. For comparison, the last G550 we tested needed 5.9 seconds to hit 60 mph and ran the quarter mile in 14.4 seconds at 95.7 mph. More gears and less weight really paid off.

Of course, complaints about the previous G-Wagen typically didn’t focus on acceleration. Anyone who wanted something quicker could get the AMG-tuned G63 or G65. Handling, however, was definitely an issue. So how improved is the G 550 in that regard?

Well, in our testing, the new G-Wagen averaged 0.61 g on the skidpad and needed 30.7 seconds at 0.53 g to complete the figure eight. The 2016 version, meanwhile, posted 0.71 g and a 28.7-second time at 0.59 g in the same tests. Braking from 60 to 0 mph took 136 feet and 122 feet, respectively.

Wait, what? How can the new G-Wagen possibly handle worse than the old one? Part of that might have to do with how hot it was. We attempt to correct for temperature, but extreme heat can still be an issue, and during SUV of the Year testing, it was regularly well over 100 degrees. But there were two other problems that probably contributed even more: understeer and stability control.

In normal situations, stability control is an important safety feature that helps keep small mistakes from turning you into a played-out Cars and Coffee meme. But in a limit-pushing handling test at the track, programming that’s undefeatable or too conservative can get in the way. As testing director Kim Reynolds found, the G-Wagen’s stability control definitely got in the way.

“Stability control massively screws up cornering such that you’re often full throttle and going remarkably slowly,” he noted.

Stability control stepping in probably wouldn’t have been as big a problem if the G 550 had more neutral handling. Unfortunately, we found it loves to understeer, meaning the stability control had to work overtime. Throw in vague, spongy brakes that didn’t always feel up to the task of stopping such a heavy vehicle, and you have a recipe for poor performance on the handling course.

The good news is, few people are going to buy a G-Wagen expecting it to handle like a sports car. Even the AMG version is clearly not meant for the racetrack. Not to say we approve of any vehicle posting one of the slowest figure-eight times we’ve ever recorded. The G-Wagen’s design just clearly telegraphs its poor cornering abilities.

Around town, Mercedes has greatly improved how the G 550 behaves. You still get lots of body roll, and there’s lots of wind noise, especially at higher speeds, but there’s only so much you can do with an off-road vehicle shaped like a shipping container. On the plus side, it’s relatively easy to drive considering its size. As Detroit editor Alisa Priddle put it, “On the road, it no longer steers like a school bus, but that was not a high bar to clear.”

The cabin also finally feels like it belongs in an SUV that costs six figures. Mercedes kept the passenger grab handle and three locking differential switches, but other than that, the interior looks like it was pulled right out of the S-Class. Some potential buyers may look at the twin displays, multifunction steering wheel, and high-end materials and feel like the G-Wagen’s lost some of its character. But at least it now feels more worthy of its sky-high price tag.

Ultimately, Mercedes did a commendable job of improving the G-Wagen’s on-road driving dynamics while preserving its legendary off-road capability. It’s still a niche vehicle not everyone will understand or appreciate, but that’s OK. We just wish there’d been a bigger improvement in the handling department.

2019 Mercedes-Benz G 550 4Matic BASE PRICE $125,495 PRICE AS TESTED $145,095 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 4.0L/416-hp/450-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8 TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 5,665 lb (53/47%) WHEELBASE 113.8 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 189.7 x 76.0 x 77.2 in 0-60 MPH 5.4 sec QUARTER MILE 14.1 sec @ 98.4 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 136 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.61 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 30.7 sec @ 0.53 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 13/17/14 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 259/198 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.33 lb/mile

The post 2019 Mercedes-Benz G 550 First Test: Grown-up G-Wagen? appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Property companies caught up in market sell-off

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 08:55
Property shares were caught in an equity market sell-off on Thursday driven by growing fears about US-China trade relations on the worst day for the FTSE since the 2016 Brexit vote.
Categories: Property

Landsec buys Southwark development site for £87m

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 08:46
Landsec has paid £87.1m for a 1.6-acre site in Southwark, south London, from a private company.
Categories: Property

McCarthy & Stone hires two COOs

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 08:35
Retirement home group McCarthy & Stone has appointed former Kier Group veteran Nigel Turner and The AA’s Mike Lloyd as dual chief operating officers.
Categories: Property

Trophaeum to launch £10bn retail investment vehicle

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 00:00
TAP targeting £10bn retail AUM in London and other gateway European cities.
Categories: Property

Poundstretcher embarks on huge expansion programme

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 00:00
Discount retailer looks to take advantage of high street woes and double size of its estate to 800 stores
Categories: Property

Evans Randall partners back proptech firm Re-Leased

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 00:00
Evans Randall partners Kent Gardner and Paul Kendrick have invested in Re-Leased to help finance the proptech firm’s expansion plans.
Categories: Property

London Development Barometer: skills shortage threatens London growth

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 00:00
Lack of skills and capacity in the construction sector have overtaken Brexit as the biggest threat to commercial property development in London, according to industry leaders.
Categories: Property

Bugatti Not Attempting Chiron Top Speed Run

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 12/06/2018 - 23:23

Known to insiders as one of the best-dressed executives in the auto biz, Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann also has served in some of the industry’s seeming dream jobs, as head of both Lamborghini and Audi Sport. Now he takes Bugatti into the future as the iconic French brand celebrates its 110th anniversary. But doing so is not without potential snarls.

The Chiron is supposed to top 300 mph, and your predecessor promised a top speed run by now. Is there a delay?

When I started at Bugatti, one of the first things I did was to test-drive the car. Being used to all the other supersports brands, I had never driven a Bugatti. For me it was so surprising and above all what I had experienced before. I was really blown away. Then I sat with my team and started asking about what is in the pipeline next and what is important. And I put my priorities in. To me, a top speed run is not on the agenda. For me, performance has a lot of facets, and the Chiron besides being a hypercar is a car covering a lot more than other supersports cars. When I read in the past about the car and what we communicated about it, we were missing a big part of what the car is all about. You have cars of nice designs or others that are supersports cars that are fast and performing. It is much more important than showing one little slice of what this car is able to do. In this world, to talk only top speed is not a priority for me.

What does 110 years mean to Bugatti?

We have to think that the brand is much more than what the Chiron is. We are looking into Ettore Bugatti and what he did. He was passionate to a level of perfection that was incredible at that time. We have to explore more than just looking at top speed. Being a French company, it is important that we emphasize the past racing cars like the T35, the limousines, and GTs like Atlantique. You put those three cars together, plus the Veyron that kick-started the brand. All these have elements of performance, luxury, and being good looking.

The legacy is to increase the value and being here even in a half century from now. These cars have value that is accepted by everybody. It’s not just about scarcity like the T35, where the value is so high it’s incredible. You cannot change history, and Bugatti has a hole between the 1950s and the end of the ’80s. But this is part of the brand, and it makes the brand different from all the others.

Do you see the Divo as a Chiron variant?

With the Divo, my first exercise, I looked at what we can do as a different approach in terms of performance, because we are known for longitudinal acceleration and top speed—and we’ve been limited to 261 mph (420 kph), which for me is enough. I personally did more than [250 mph], which for me was exciting, but when I went on the handling part of the course, this was equally if not more exciting—accelerating, braking, getting into and out of corners. The idea with Divo translated into design, weight reduction, and more downforce to really showcase that top speed is important but not everything.

The Nardo circuit has a handling [circuit], and there is so much we can do with an existing car. We have a lot of ideas for the future. We are constantly looking for new ideas, to test ourselves to see how quickly a product can be realized and see market reaction. We sold the Divo in four weeks’ time then showed it at Pebble Beach, and for me, everything was done in a way that could be controlled. It was an incredible success, even to someone like me who expects a lot.

 

There was a Supersport version of Veyron. … Is the $5 million Divo the Chiron’s version of that, or will there be something in between Chiron Sport and Divo?

With an unlimited budget there would be room for incredible things. The Chiron Sport is not a supersport, and it is not a Divo. The Divo is outside the Chiron business.

Will Bugatti look to reprise the success of the Vitesse version of the Veyron with a convertible Chiron?

We decided in the Chiron project not to do an open-top version.

Is Bugatti a one-model company? Are there plans for a second model line?

Ettore Bugatti did more than one car; he did many body styles, four-door, two-door, open car—whatever was possible, he tried to do. The brand today, 20 years after the restart, we are ready for more than one model. Not to say we can do it, but the brand is ready. We have to find the resources and many priorities in the Volkswagen Group. If we did a second model, it would enter into a different segment. With the 110th anniversary celebration, we can most assuredly look back and celebrate our roots and look into France and what Ettore has done. But to look into the future is much more important. We have to have the legacy of tomorrow, the icons—not just making a statement today. We have to do something we subscribe to as being what Bugatti stands for today but also something greater for tomorrow. It’s on us to shape the future.

The stillborn 2009 Bugatti 16C Galibier concept

Some media reports claim you said the second Bugatti will be an SUV.

I never said we are building a Bugatti SUV. The press said it because I pushed for the Urus at Lamborghini. Coming from my background, what I said is that we are looking into every segment, body style, and region. It has to be an approach good for the world and not one part. We have an idea of where we want to go.

It’s not about volumes, but in terms of visibility, if you sell 100 cars or 1,000 cars, there’s still no visibility. But we cannot do a copy of what we do today. So a second car has to enable us to sell more than we sell today. It would be a different segment with a different price tag, but above all the other competition. The price is not about positioning Bugatti out of this world. It’s about innovation, about materials, craftsmanship, all the things that are important to create a car which survives longer than the others and becomes a collectors’ item.

How does the business model work for Bugatti? How many Chirons do you have to sell to be profitable? Are you sold out of the current model run of 500?

We are selling all 500. If you want one now, you have to wait until second part of 2021. So we’re not doubting that. What we have to do is create out of one model a brand, a car company, which is creating news, not only for the few lucky owners but to build into the myth of Bugatti. It is not easy to achieve because we had to do it in a way that is consistent. With the leverage we have, we can do more.

Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann

 

What is the volume split between North America, Europe, China, the Middle East, etc?

The biggest market is the U.S. Then we have U.K., Germany, and Switzerland in Europe, then the Middle East and Japan. We have no homologation for China and no plans for it. But we have customers in China despite this. The willingness to own a Bugatti is so strong.

Bugatti has been a passion project of VW paterfamilias Ferdinand Piech for many years. What happens to Bugatti after he no longer has such influence?

I have always taken a profit/loss and 360 approach in my career—at Fiat, at Lamborghini, and Audi Sport. And I will take the same approach for Bugatti, to create a value out of it that would be high enough to reinvest and make money for shareholders. I compare it to being a designer confronted with so many issues—crash safety, the quality of gaps and profiles, fuel consumption, passenger space—which makes a big difference between being that and being an artist who has no limits. If you want a powerful, strong brand, you can’t do it without thinking of investment and return on investment. There is a weight you carry as CEO, and I take this seriously. I know the one way. And I would act the same way if I had joined Bugatti 30 years ago.

What happens to Bugatti when the next recession hits?

It happened to me at Lamborghini. It’s clear you have to be humble enough to understand what you cannot do anymore and what you can continue to do. The market is cyclical and has ups and downs, but that is not going to stop our long-term strategy for Bugatti in general.

Where is Bugatti in 10 years?

Wow. Bugatti is ready for more. There is an opportunity of a product range that could be all electrified. With a headquarters in France. A global presence [in China] which today we don’t have. And amongst the hypercars, we could still be the shining star.

The post Bugatti Not Attempting Chiron Top Speed Run appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Toyota U.S. CEO: Lineup Will Always Have Bias Toward Cars

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 12/06/2018 - 21:12

The Detroit Big Three are cutting cars left and right in favor of SUVs and crossovers. Just last week, General Motors announced it would discontinue six car models and stop allocating funds to the plants that make them, and earlier this year Ford said it would shed all cars in the U.S. except the Mustang. Toyota sees the storm coming, too, and is carefully considering which vehicles it will sell in this market. Still, Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz believes the automaker’s U.S. lineup will always be car-heavy.

Speaking at the Detroit Economic Club this week, Lentz acknowledged that car sales dipped below 30 percent of overall sales in November, a figure he believes is close to bottoming out. Despite that, he noted consumers are still purchasing more than 4 million compact, midsize, and near-luxury cars every year.

“There’s no way I’m going to walk away from that,” Lentz said. “We are always going to have a bias toward passenger cars.”

2020 Toyota Camry TRD Edition and 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD Edition

According to the Associated Press, passenger car sales are on track to fall short of 2017 levels by about 800,000 units. Meanwhile, truck and SUV sales are expected to increase by the same amount. This trend is reflected in Toyota’s own sales report, which shows total car sales volume down about 108,000 units (-11.6 percent year over year) and total truck sales up by roughly 98,000 units (8.8 percent) through November. Lentz predicts car sales in 2018 will be even poorer than in 2010, when the financial crisis was in full swing. “There is a depression on the passenger car side,” he said.

Despite that, Lentz says Toyota will continue to lean heavily on cars like the midsize Camry and the recently introduced Corolla hatchback and sedan. Through November, Toyota has sold roughly 314,000 Camrys and 278,000 Corollas, making those models the company’s second and third best-selling vehicles, respectively, behind the RAV4 at roughly 389,000 units.

But that doesn’t mean all of its cars will be spared. As we previously reported, Toyota is looking to cut underperforming models from its U.S. portfolio. The most likely candidates for the chopping block include the subcompact Yaris, 86 sports coupe, and Prius C.

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan and hybrid pictured below

Source: AP

 

 

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