Retail needs support to ‘survive to summer’

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 02/25/2021 - 00:00
Experts welcome reopening plans but warn that government must extend support
Categories: Property

SEGRO pushes green agenda after strong full-year results

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 02/25/2021 - 00:00
CFO says company is ‘pushing the edge’ of what is achievable in ESG as it posts 10.8% surge in pre-tax profit
Categories: Property

Snake on a Truck? The Ford Shelby F-250 Super Baja Is Loud and Proud

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 21:30

Shelby American is the outfit started by Carroll Shelby that produces continuation Cobra cars. It also massages some Ford products with enhancements and a healthy dose of Shelby regalia. The latest offering is the Ford Shelby F-250 Super Baja, a Super Duty quad cab rocking the company’s 6.7-liter “Power Stroke” turbodiesel engine, but then given a uniquely Shelby off-road treatment.

In terms of hardware, Shelby American bolts up a suspension package suitable for massive rolling stock. The Super Baja rolls on a set of 37-inch tires, with clearance provided by a combination of Fox shocks and a BDS Suspension lift kit, along with supporting mods to fit these pieces. The engine is unaltered, but given its earth-quaking torque, that’s probably fine.

There are also extensive appearance and utility mods. It’s hard to miss the massive light bars, the chase rack bolts on the bed, a ram air inlet and extractor vents on the hood, rock sliders, powder-coated front and rear steel bumpers, and so on. The interior features recovered seats with retro-style stitching and all the Shelby embroidery you’d expect. Pair all this kit with the traditional Shelby stripes and badging, and it’s an imposing truck.

With a suitably imposing price. The limited-production run of 250 units will start at $125,805—including the donor Lariat Ultimate 4×4, which is already hovering in the $70,000 range.

The post Snake on a Truck? The Ford Shelby F-250 Super Baja Is Loud and Proud appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2021 Mazda 6 Carbon Edition First Test: Fun, But Getting Old

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 20:30

There’s a question you must ask yourself before you consider the Mazda 6: What are you willing to give up for a sporty drive? We’ll help you answer. Compared to other midsize sedans, you’ll sacrifice some comfort, efficiency, and technology. We’ll also be a teasing voice in the back of your head. Forget that sensible stuff—this car is fun.

Athleticism and style distinguishes the Mazda 6 in this typically staid segment. But we’ve known that for a long time—in fact, for a few years shy of a decade. Since our first drive in a current 6 back in 2014, it has received a face-lift and an available turbocharged engine, both displayed in this 2021 Mazda 6 Carbon Edition—and not much else. Meanwhile, its competitors have become smarter, more frugal, and more refined. Is the 6’s fun factor enough to preserve its appeal against newer alternatives?

More Like “Carbon” Edition

Let’s get one thing straight: The Carbon Edition doesn’t have a single strand of carbon fiber anywhere on it. Mazda might like you to think the name implies the presence of that lightweight material, but it’s ostensibly a reference to the exterior details finished in black, like coal, a less glamorous form of the element carbon. Those darkened elements include the mirror caps, trunklid spoiler, and 19-inch alloy wheels. Carbon Edition Mazdas are coated exclusively in Polymetal Gray paint, with interiors resplendent in red leather. Oh, upgrades or adjustments that make the Carbon Edition perform differently than any other Mazda 6 Turbo? Nothing of the sort.

Remember that as you browse the Mazda 6 range, because the Carbon Edition’s aesthetics command a premium. It starts at $33,945; $2,280 more than a mechanically identical Polymetal Gray Grand Touring version. Meanwhile, the sporty-looking, V-6-powered Toyota Camry TRD starts at $33,180, and the turbocharged Kia K5 GT tops its range at $31,585. In the Mazda 6 lineup, there’s still room to go higher; the 6 Signature model runs $37,390.

Front-Drive Muscle

Carbon Edition or not, the Mazda 6’s 2.5-liter turbo-four engine is burly. It makes 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque on 87-octane gas, but filling it with 93 octane increases output to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft. Here in the Golden State, 91 octane is the best we can get, but nevertheless this Mazda 6 was the quickest current-generation example we’ve ever tested, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. That’s just behind the AWD-equipped Subaru Legacy XT (6.1 seconds) and Nissan Altima SR (5.8 seconds).

At the dragstrip, associate road test editor Erick Ayapana commented how the car is “very eager off the line, with a little hint of lag—and lots of wheelspin if you’re not careful.” As initially strong and surprisingly free of torque steer as it feels, the Mazda 6 “seems to run out of oomph closer to the quarter mile,” Ayapana said.

Alas, the Mazda 6 is no longer offered with a manual transmission, instead making a six-speed automatic mandatory. It works well, providing unobtrusive shifts and responding readily in manual mode. Yet we have to imagine that even one more ratio would improve things, particularly the unimpressive fuel economy—23/31 mpg city/highway trails most of the midsize sedan segment and pales against hybrids. In an era when transmissions commonly pack eight speeds or more, the 6’s six-speed evidences its age.

The Mazda 6’s brakes aren’t quite as sporty as some of its other dynamic attributes. More immediacy at the top of the pedal would change that, but the linear, progressive buildup of stopping power makes it easy to brake accurately. Its best 60–0 braking distance of 121 feet is middling, beating the Honda Accord’s 129-foot stop but behind the Altima SR’s 115-foot result.

Backroads Over Highways

If you seek a vehicle designed to just trundle through traffic, the Mazda 6 isn’t ideal; you might find yourself taking the long way instead. Like many other Mazdas, it’s imbued with agile chassis tuning and nicely weighted steering. At 3,519 pounds it’s no Miata, but like that little roadster, the Mazda 6 feels tossable and easy to place in a corner.

That’s borne out better in the real world than on our test track, where the Mazda 6 posted 0.82 g average on the skidpad and lapped the figure-eight course in 27.3 seconds at 0.63 g average. Those are somewhat lackluster results; the Honda Accord grips identically but completed the figure eight in 27.1 seconds. Road test editor Chris Walton was left slightly dismayed: “Stability control takes the throttle away, and there’s not much I can do about it. I just have to wait for corner exit for the power to come back.” Nor do the Mazda 6’s SUV-spec tires help its outright performance. Yep, you read that right.

In between smooth racetracks and byways, the Mazda 6’s sporty suspension tuning can be a drawback. Although solid body control keeps the car confidently planted, its ride feels much more stiff than plush. The amount of road texture coming through the suspension isn’t exactly relaxing. Nor is the pervasive resonant tire noise present even at around-town speeds.

Cabin Conundrums

Technology appointments in the Mazda 6 are an odd mix of old and new. It lacks Mazda’s latest infotainment system, instead relying on an 8.0-inch dial-controlled screen that’s low resolution and laggy. Image quality from the backup camera resembles early webcams. Like most Mazda 6 trims, the Carbon Edition has a small digital gauge display showing basic vehicle data, far less wow-inducing than competitors’ colorful and customizable equivalents. But there is a head-up display. Strangely, the 6 and the Miata are the only 2021 Mazdas that offer wireless Apple CarPlay. Yet despite USB ports front and rear, no wireless charging pad is available.

In the Mazda 6 Carbon Edition, the four outboard seats are heated, the front two are ventilated, and they’re all covered in that ravishing red leather. The seats are supportive and ergonomic, but the vehicle’s body structure limits overall spaciousness inside the cabin. That’s particularly evident in the second row and trunk—shame that the Mazda 6 wagon never made it here, isn’t it?

Is the Mazda 6 Worth Buying?

In 2021, the Mazda 6 is defined as much by fun as it is by age. Its tech features and fuel economy are surpassed by its latest competition and will only seem more outdated as time goes on. But its sporty drive and saucy looks will persist. Despite its shortcomings, the Mazda 6 remains a good choice for driving enthusiasts. Just remember that an all-new version, built on a rear-drive chassis and with an inline-six engine and whiffs of BMW, is rumored to be on the way.

2021 Mazda Mazda6 Turbo (Carbon Edition) BASE PRICE $33,745 PRICE AS TESTED $34,245 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan ENGINE 2.5L/227-hp/310-lb-ft* DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,519 lb (60/40%) WHEELBASE 111.4 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 191.5 x 72.4 x 57.1 in 0-60 MPH 6.2 sec QUARTER MILE 14.7 sec @ 97.6 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 121 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.82 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.3 sec @ 0.63 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 23/31/26 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 147/109 kWh/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.75 lb/mile *Regular fuel ratings; 93 octane raises Mazda to 250 hp @ 5,000 rpm and 320 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm

The post 2021 Mazda 6 Carbon Edition First Test: Fun, But Getting Old appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Driving the EMC Wolf G-Wagen Restomod: As Cool as It Is Slow

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 19:00

The Wikipedia entry on the first-generation Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen says the truck needed 27 seconds to hit 62 mph. In my case, foot flat on the floor, hustling the long shifter as quick as I could, I stopped counting after 15, because who cares at that point? This is a vehicle with a supposed top speed of 112 kph, or 70 mph, on flat ground at sea level; I got it up to 120 kph (75 mph) going down a big hill on the freeway. No, an ex-military G-Wagen redone by Expedition Motor Co. isn’t about speed whatsoever, and that’s half its charm.

You don’t need to drive a 1990 Mercedes-Benz 250GD like this one with your foot quite on the floor constantly to keep up with modern traffic, but you might as well. The naturally aspirated OM602 inline-five diesel was selected for its durability and longevity, not its 93 horsepower and 117 lb-ft of torque.

Hills are a problem. Driving this $102,150 attention magnet through Malibu, California’s canyons—where corners are tight and keeping your momentum up isn’t an option—I tried to keep my speed at more than 20 mph. Choosing the right gear is a constant game: Technically a dogleg five-speed, it’s really an H-pattern four-speed with a crawler gear. That crawler gear is where you’d expect second to be, and reverse is where first would usually be. It feels like you’re starting in third when you put it in first, because you just push the shifter forward.

Even in first gear, there’s so little torque that you need to slip the clutch a lot more than you expect. It’s much easier to get moving smoothly in that crawler gear, even if the engine runs out of revs before the speedometer—which begins at 20 kph, or 12 mph—even registers movement. Oh, and there’s no tachometer, so you just guess at shift points. Right about the time the engine sounds like it’s going to explode is a good rule of thumb.

This is all exactly the way EMC founder Alex Levin likes it.

Every G-Wagen EMC restores is an ex-military model, usually a 1990–92 example, as they’re the youngest of the first-generation G but old enough to qualify for U.S. importation. The company has direct lines to multiple European military forces, so it can pick and choose the best examples. German NATO forces used this particular one in Afghanistan.

Levin, originally from Belarus, prefers the military spec known as the Wolf in the German military, for its fold-down windshield and soft top. But he’ll build you one with the factory optional hard top, automatic transmission, and/or gasoline engine if you ask nicely.

Once EMC has the truck in one of its facilities in Germany, Poland, or New Jersey, it strips it down to the last bolt. In a departure from most other restorers of old off-road SUVs like Icon, EMC puts almost everything back the way it was. Engine swaps are nonnegotiable. Levin won’t even install the turbocharged variant of the OM602 inline-five diesel offered in other Mercedes-Benz products of the era. He likes his Wolves the way Mercedes-Benz built them, and that’s how he builds them. He’s not interested in doing engine swaps, so he doesn’t.

A few features make EMC’s Wolf restomods instead of restorations, among them air conditioning by Vintage Air, a Clarion stereo with four speakers, modern LED headlights and taillights, a 1.6-inch lift courtesy of Eibach springs and Bilstein dampers, nonstandard colors for the vinyl interior with optional contrast stitching, and any single-stage paint color you can find the code for.

The list of optional extras is equally short. EMC makes a winch-ready front bumper (with or without winch), a bull bar, and wire guards for the headlights, turn signals, and taillights. It’ll also fit a snorkel kit and jerry can made by Mercedes, and aftermarket foglights. End of list. The body-color shovel stored literally on top of the engine? That’s standard.

Other EMC-made bits are necessary parts of the restoration. For example, Mercedes no longer produces the rear roof structure, so EMC re-creates it, and the fabric roof itself is a reproduction. Custom wood panels in the rear incorporate stereo speakers. The suspension is upgraded from rubber to polyurethane bushings with eccentrics to account for the lift. Plastic cupholders up front look like they could be original, but they’re custom. The shiny plaque between the shifters is much easier to spot and would be even if it didn’t have “Expedition Motor Company” engraved between the shift patterns.

Patterns, plural, because all of that old-school off-road hardware is present and accounted for. Mercedes designed the transfer case with two four-high gears, each on different synchros, so you can shift from two high to four high to four low without stopping—very handy in a vehicle where you can’t afford to lose momentum. Two unlabeled knobs actuate the hydraulic axle lockers. Given the price tag and the shiny paint job, we didn’t do any serious off-roading with the Wolf, and EMC says most of its customers don’t, either. But with BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A tires and this much clearance all around, you’d need to get yourself into some real deep snow or mud, or on a pretty gnarly trail, to even need four-wheel drive.

Like most six-figure restomod off-roaders, these Wolves will likely spend their retirement as beach runners and weekend toys. And with meaty sidewalls and modern shocks, the Wolf actually rides nicely. Yeah, the whole body shakes when you hit a bump, but surprisingly little vibration makes it into the seats. It’s actually pretty nice to putter around town in, so long as you don’t want to hold a conversation without yelling.

Meanwhile, you wouldn’t expect it on an old truck, but EMC’s Wolf has better brake feel than some sports cars. The pedal is pleasantly firm, bites immediately, and provides linear stopping power. It won’t get up to speed very fast, but once it’s there, it’ll get rid of the momentum real quick.

Stopping is about the only thing the Wolf does quickly. The steering is slow and light on center, weighting up like in only an old car can when you turn past 45 degrees. For a tall, heavy truck, it corners all right, but you want to treat suggested corner speed signs as gospel. The comfortable seats don’t do a lot to keep you from falling out, and the way the truck leans over, you might fall out if you don’t grab something.

At least you have the steering wheel to hold on to. Passengers have fewer options, but they do have plenty of space. As with any other coupe, getting in the back requires climbing over the folded front seats, but there’s plenty of room once you’re in.

Or you can come in the back or climb over the side if you’ve got the roof off. Held on with dozens of simple pegs secured by straps (and a bit of Velcro), the roof is easier to remove than a new Wrangler’s. Putting the windshield down requires a wrench and is about as complicated as the Jeep’s used to be.

This is the EMC Wolf. It’s all contradictions and compromises, but each of them contributes to its charm. It’s built to a purpose, repurposed for something entirely different, and somehow just as good at it. No, it doesn’t have a supercharged V-8 like other restomod off-roaders often do, and frankly, it’s cooler for going its own way.

1990 Mercedes-Benz 250GD “Wolf” by EMC BASE PRICE $102,150 ($37,578-$41,659 in 1990) VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, 4WD, 4-pass, 2-door SUV ENGINE 2.5L/93-hp/117-lb-ft diesel SOHC 10-valve I-5 TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual CURB WEIGHT 4,450 lb (mfr) WHEELBASE 98.5 in LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 166.3 x 66.5 x 76.4 in 0-60 MPH 27.0 sec (MT est) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 15/17/16 mpg (MT est) ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 225/198 kW-hrs/100 miles (MT est) CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.40 lb/mi (MT est) ON SALE IN U.S. Now

The post Driving the EMC Wolf G-Wagen Restomod: As Cool as It Is Slow appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

More Top Gear America Coming May 7th, 2021!

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 18:36

Fear not loyal viewers! This Friday is not the last episode of Top Gear America for this season; you’ve got five more coming at you starting May 7th, 2021, exclusively on the MotorTrend App! Dax Shepard, Rob Corddry and Jethro Bovingdon are just getting warmed up.

Overlanding in sports cars, ultra-luxury SUVs in the snow, land speed racing in home-built hot rods and saving rally racing (coming Friday, February 26, 2021)—most new shows would call that a good first season. Not Top Gear America.

Related: It’s time to kick some asphalt! Buckle up and join us for the joyride with the Top Gear America team on the MotorTrend App. Sign up for a free trial today!

Feel like the guys are missing are a homebase? So do they! And they might be doing something about it. Struggling to pick a new, full-size pickup truck? Top Gear America is here to help you choose the best truck for you by thoroughly testing the most popular pickups on the market. Doesn’t sound crazy enough?

We’ve got you covered: Desert-blasting off-road toys, the poster cars of yore, the best driver’s car and so much more (hey! that kinda rhymes) await you this spring, only on the MotorTrend App! Get your Top Gear America-binge on in the meantime.

The post More Top Gear America Coming May 7th, 2021! appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Mace sells PBSA portfolio for £157.5m

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 17:17
The development arm of construction company Mace has sold part of its student accommodation portfolio to Ares Generation for £157.5m.
Categories: Property

New Mail Van Just Dropped: The Oshkosh NGDV Is the Future of the USPS

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 17:15

Goodbye, Grumman. The United States Postal Service’s fleet (USPS) finally has a formal replacement for the once-ubiquitous Grumman LLV mail van: the NGDV (as in Next Generation Delivery Vehicle). After years of searching for a viable successor to the old Grumman, the USPS revealed it’s awarded Oshkosh Defense the multi-billion dollar contract to design and build a mail van fit for the 21st-century—leaving Workhorse, another competitor, out of the running (and with a huge hit to its stock).

Let’s start with the obvious: the new van isn’t pretty. Then again, the NGDV is paid for by a government agency, so it’s probably for the best that Oshkosh avoided throwing too much money toward the van’s design. If you need your packages delivered in style, then you can always order through Amazon, which will soon have a full fleet of Rivian-designed and built delivery vans.

So yes, Oshkosh’s NGDV looks like a rejected character from the Cars film franchise, but the company promises that underneath the truck’s ugly sheetmetal sits a modern, safe, and efficient mail van. Emphasis on modern. Whereas the Grumman features the bare minimum of creature comforts and safety equipment, the Oshkosh supports a surround-view camera system, traction control, an airbag, front- and rear-collision avoidance systems with automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, and air conditioning. That’s right, you’re local mail carrier’s been sweating his or her butt off while plodding about in their assigned Grumman.

On top of this, the Oshkosh truck offers more cargo capacity for carrying everything from your letters to grandma to that new Peleton you plan to ride every day (yeah, right). Even better, the Oshkosh will deliver these items while sipping less fuel—the company will produce both internal combustion and battery-electric variants of the van throughout the 10-year production run. 

Look for Oshkosh’s NGDV to start hitting postal routes in 2023, with the company eventually producing as few as 50,000 or as many as 165,000 of these trucks by the end of the decade-long contract. With its additional space for mail and the fact it has basic convenience features such as air-conditioning, the rather ungainly Oshkosh NGDV might make for happier mail carriers—and if enough BEV versions are produced, maybe a less-warming world, too.

The post New Mail Van Just Dropped: The Oshkosh NGDV Is the Future of the USPS appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2022 Lexus NX Leaked Totally Naked Before Its Official Reveal

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 16:49

You’re looking at the 2022 Lexus NX, the next-generation compact luxury crossover that has not been officially revealed yet. Instead, the new NX crashed onto the internet by way of a video Lexus seems to have accidentally posted and which was subsequently copied, screengrabbed, and the like as it bounded around the internet.

Today’s first-generation NX was the first SUV Lexus created to sit beneath its pioneering RX, the hugely popular luxury crossover that created the luxury crossover segment back in 1999. Introduced for the 2015 model year, the NX brought RX style to the subcompact SUV space, borrowing some Toyota RAV4 bits for its underpinnings. Based on these leaked images of the second-generation NX, we suspect the RAV4 link to continue—this time using the current RAV4’s modern TNGA architecture.

Stylish, Not Over-Styled

The RAV4 connection should ensure the new NX grows somewhat, a welcome development given the current Lexus’s somewhat tight interior. As before, the Lexus NX wears expressive styling, combining the most eye-catching styling elements from Lexus’s products on one of its smallest products. (The automaker also sells the even smaller UX pseudo SUV.) Lexus designers drew some inspiration from the UX, evidenced by the NX’s similar full-width taillight treatment and low-slung appearance.

While the NX pictured here appears to be an F Sport trim, with sportier accoutrements and a shovel-style front fascia that juts out authoritatively at the chin, we surely hope the non-F-Sport model loses the current version’s goofy-lookin’ front overbite. Our understanding is that Lexus, keen to lend the car-based NX some semblance of off-road credibility, scooped out most of the lower bumper to improve clearance, but boy, does it look weird.

The Lexus-signature hourglass-shaped grille is present and accounted for, and even larger, it seems, than the piece on the outgoing NX. But aside from the mouthier front end, the NX overall seems more mature and substantial.

An Improved Inside Game

Lexus has implemented much bigger changes inside the NX, where the old model’s tombstone-like infotainment display, which poked out the top of the dashboard, has been traded for a notably larger and better integrated unit. The best news? The display appears to be a touchscreen, meaning the current NX’s irritating and fiddly touchpad control interface is dead and gone. On the current NX, this works like a laptop’s touchpad, where the user moves an on-screen cursor using a pad on the center console, with the arrow locking onto menu options briefly and providing haptic feedback as you swipe past them. It sounds simple enough, but the system is incredibly frustrating in practice. Good riddance.

We also spot some big round knobs for adjusting the cabin temperature, touch-sensitive controls for vent settings, and a digital gauge cluster display. The vibe remains modern and tech-heavy, but usability seems to be on the increase in the 2022 NX. One item we do hope makes a comeback is the current NX’s small removable mirror in the center console—it’s a total non sequitur, which the automotive world needs more of.

Engines are a mystery at this point, but look for front-wheel drive to be standard and all-wheel drive to be optional. Gas and hybrid four-cylinder options are all but guaranteed, possibly mimicking the RAV4’s choices, and we expect an NX300 or NX350 plus an NX350h to hit U.S. shores. (The version in the video is badged NX200, which is unlikely for America.) The RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid‘s powerful 302-hp, all-wheel-drive setup seems like a contender. We’ll find out for sure whenever the NX is formally debuted. Given how it looks ready to go, that official reveal is likely coming soon.

The post 2022 Lexus NX Leaked Totally Naked Before Its Official Reveal appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2021 Buick Envision tested, 2021 Cadillac Escalade revisited, Outlander PHEV gets a boost: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 16:32
2021 Buick Envision review The redesigned 2021 Buick Envision crossover SUV seats five, rides on a new platform with a 2.0-liter turbo engine, and comes with a sharper look, and top Avenir trim. Hyundai, Volvo, Mazda, Subaru top 2021 Top Safety Pick awards Volvo, Subaru, Mazda, and Hyundai/Kia/Genesis led all other automakers in earning Top Safety...
Categories: Property

CBRE appoints Ireland cap markets director

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 16:15
CBRE has appointed Christian Judd as a director in its capital advisors team in Ireland.
Categories: Property

Retail and industrial tops private investor wish list, says Allsop

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 16:13
The majority of property investors are looking to put their money into industrial and retail assets in the UK in 2021, according to Allsop’s commercial market survey.
Categories: Property

Private capital ‘undeterred’ by pandemic

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 16:11
Private capital has been undeterred by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the volume invested globally hitting $232bn (£164bn) in 2020, according to a Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2021.
Categories: Property

Colliers announces project management team lead for the North

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 16:10
Colliers has promoted Jonathan Stirzaker-Philips to lead the Project Management team for the north of England.
Categories: Property

City of London Corporation approves British Land’s 38-storey City tower

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 16:09
The City of London Corporation has greenlit British Land’s and GIC’s 38-storey development at 2 Finsbury Avenue, making it the third tall building to receive planning permission in the Square Mile in 2021.
Categories: Property

The Buick Signia Was What the Rendezvous Should’ve Been

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 16:01

Buick signaled its ambitions to enter the SUV space with the reveal of its Signia concept car at the 1998 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Looking more like a toughened-up wagon (à la Subaru’s Legacy Outback) than a traditional SUV, the Signia previewed Buick’s plans to develop a car-based crossover SUV. 

As such, the concept car cribbed its underpinnings from the Buick Park Avenue full-size sedan. The use of the flagship Buick model’s unibody architecture afforded the Signia a low step-in height while also offering a raised, SUV-like seating position. 

Although the Signia was no beauty pageant contender, its design certainly included a number of attractive styling elements. Look past the concept’s dowdy mug and details such as the concept’s prominent rear fender line (gracefully mirrored by the rear window, too), steeply raked C-pillar, and single-piece rear hatch glass—that covers the entirety of the cargo hold— come together to give the illusion of a rear-drive powertrain. 

In reality, the concept’s transverse-mounted supercharged 3.8-liter V-6 fed its 240 hp to the front wheels. No surprise, really, given the front-wheel-drive Park Avenue-derived chassis of the Signia.

Engaging dynamics and straight-line speed, then, were clearly not crucial to the Signia’s mission. Instead, Buick poured its efforts into the concept’s versatility. For instance, the Signia’s distinct hatch featured polymer-dispersed liquid crystal glass that darkened in relation to the intensity of the sun, as well as when the vehicle was locked. The hatch itself (a 54-pound piece) was also removable, allowing the Signia to hold taller items in its cargo bay. Other features included a load floor capable of automatically extending out through the swing-out doors of the Signia’s split-rear tailgate and a blind-spot monitoring system (in 1998!).

While the Signia’s name and its trick rear hatch never adorned a production Buick model, the inherent concept of the vehicle did live on in the more upright Rendezvous crossover SUV, which Buick debuted for the 2002 model year. Unfortunately, the soap-bar-shaped Rendezvous traded the Park Avenue-based architecture and 240-hp supercharged V-6 of the Signia for the more mundane chassis and 185-hp six-cylinder engine of General Motors’ minivans of the time: the Chevrolet Venture, Oldsmobile Silhouette, and Pontiac Montana. (Later iterations of the Rendezvous eventually offered more powerful engine options.)

The Signia was neither particularly pretty nor dynamically compelling, yet compared to the underpowered Rendezvous, it might as well have been a sports car. The Buick Signia was far from perfect, but its basic template offered great potential. Rather than tweak the styling and improve upon the concept’s essential hardware, though, Buick essentially threw the essence of the Signia in the trash and created a production-bound crossover SUV that was somehow homelier and dynamically inferior to the concept preceding it. The Buick Rendezvous could have been a luxury-lined Subaru Outback-like crossover with a supercharged engine option. Instead, it arrived as a soap-bar-shaped short-wheel-base minivan posing as an SUV.

The post The Buick Signia Was What the Rendezvous Should’ve Been appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

New tenant signs at Imperial College’s White City Campus

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 15:25
ADC Therapeutics has become the latest occupier to snap up space at Imperial College’s White City Campus in West London.
Categories: Property

Premier Inn to open five seaside hotels

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 15:14
Whitbread is set to open five new Premier Inn hotels over the course of this spring and summer to capitalise on consumers pent up demand for domestic holidays.
Categories: Property

2020 Kia Soul EX Long-Term Test Update: The Track Data Is In

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/24/2021 - 15:05

Spend enough time driving any vehicle, and you’re sure to get a good, solid perspective of its performance dynamics and capabilities. We’ve been spending plenty of time with our 2020 Kia Soul crossover tooling around town, putting miles on the odometer during its long-term test evaluation, yet there is no substitute for proper test track data to objectively evaluate a vehicle’s real competencies. So, we sent our Kia Soul to the test track in the hands of our reputable test team crew in between its everyday duties so that they could gather some hard data on the stylish tall hatchback.

Is There Any Soul In the Soul’s Test Data?

Acceleration notes from chief test driver Chris Walton describe how the Soul does not respond well to aggressive pedal overlap (aka brake standing) but squeezes out its best launches with small doses of the technique. Walton describes difficulty getting the Soul to repeat the same run, and thus the results varied each time. He also describes the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that, regardless of the mode selected, always produces unwanted faux “upshifts” (really just preprogrammed pauses in ratio changes that imitate actual gearchanges in a traditional automatic) during hard acceleration.

All of that aside, the Soul EX hit 60 mph in 8.6 seconds with an elapsed time in the quarter mile of 16.7 seconds. Although that isn’t exactly quick, it easily leaves the Nissan Kicks and Toyota CH-R behind by more than a second and a half. Yet the Soul loses the sprint to its mechanical cousin, the taller, more crossover-ish Kia Seltos S, which Walton recently squeezed for an 8.3-second run to 60 mph.

Our braking test from 60 mph resulted in a generous dive of the nose and rear-end hike and a bit of shaking to be felt in the steering wheel. Even so, the Soul hauled things down to a stop in a short 116 feet, something Walton mostly attributes to the aggressive tread on the included Hankook tires.

“Soul” Is Not a Synonym for “Verve”

In the figure-eight test, our test driver noted that the Soul’s body motions resulted in plenty of pitching and diving, making for disappointing, uncontrolled body motions. Also noted was the over-sensitivity of the brakes when initially tapped followed by slow brake release. This meant the brakes had to be released earlier to prevent them from interfering with turn-in. Moderate understeer was noted. The Soul’s figure-eight lap time was 27.4 seconds, again beating the CH-R and Kicks, along with a front-drive Kia Seltos and Hyundai Venue.

Did the Soul set anyone’s hair on fire? Nope. That’s what the Soul GT-Line Turbo has a better shot of doing, with its more powerful turbocharged engine and firmer suspension setup. But, for a practical and affordable crossover with a solid roster of features and a roomy interior—the Soul’s real, um, soul—it’s just fine. After all, the Kia remains one of our top subcompact SUV choices, so-so performance data and all.

Read more about our long-term 2020 Kia Soul EX test vehicle:

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