Ultra-Limited Bugatti Divo Will Deliver Race Track Satisfaction

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 19:30

The Bugatti Chiron is all about superlatives, but it’s built to do one superlative thing in particular: go faster than any other production car. When the French supercar maker set out to build its first derivative of the Chiron, it had a different mission in mind. The ultra-limited Bugatti Divo, which is named after French race car driver Albert Divo and debuts today at The Quail in Monterey, California, is a uniquely styled coupe that’s tuned specifically to go fast on a race track.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the Divo looks quite different than the Chiron. Though the basic shape is similar to that of the Chiron, that’s where the resemblance ends. The prominent C-shaped character line that defines the Chiron’s profile has been removed completely, replaced with a new line that bisects the doors. The second most obvious difference is the rear wing and vertical fin reminiscent of the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo concept. Bugatti says the central fin is inspired by the iconic Type 57 Atlantic.

Up front, the Divo gets slender horizontal headlights like the Chiron, but also a set of large curved LED accents that underline the housings and sweep back along the fenders. The hood and front fascia have been completely reworked, with the only common design theme being the horseshoe-shaped grille. In back, the Chiron’s slim, full-width taillight is replaced by two separate LED lamps with many three-dimensional elements. The rear bumper integrates a large diffuser and four square exhaust tips in the center.

Power comes from the same 1,479-hp quad-turbo 8.0-liter W-16 found in the Chiron, but the Divo has many other upgrades that differentiate it from its sibling. Bugatti shed 77 pounds off the Chiron’s curb weight, and increased downforce by 198 pounds with the help of a large front splitter, redesigned rear diffuser, and adjustable rear wing. That wing measures 72 inches wide, making it 23 percent wider than the Chiron’s, according to Bugatti. The wing also functions as an air brake and can change angle depending on drive mode.

Since “the Divo is made for corners,” as Bugatti boss Stephan Winkelmann says, engineers tuned the suspension and chassis to increase the platform’s lateral limits. Bugatti says the Divo can hold 1.6 g on the skidpad and lap Italy’s Nardo handling track 8 seconds quicker than the Chiron. But all of those tweaks come at the cost of a lower maximum speed than the Chiron’s 261-mph electronically governed limit. The Divo doesn’t get the Chiron’s Top Speed mode, so 236 mph is the best you’ll be able to do.

But even if you had the 5 million euros (roughly $5.7 million at the current exchange rate) needed to purchase this special model, you’d still be out of luck. All 40 copies have been pre-sold. You’ll just have to settle for a regular old Chiron for $3 million.

Source: Bugatti

The post Ultra-Limited Bugatti Divo Will Deliver Race Track Satisfaction appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2018 Hyundai Kona aces IIHS crash testing, earns Top Safety Pick+ nod in top trim

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 18:19
Versions of the 2018 Hyundai Kona built after May earned the top award from independent testers, the IIHS announced Friday. The small crossover earned top "Good" scores on all crash tests, including the new passenger-side small overlap test, and its headlights on Limited and Ultimate trims were rated "Good." Both were good enough for the IIHS' Top...
Categories: Property

Jaguar Classic to Build and Sell Electric E-Type

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 17:20

Jaguar Classic captured our attention last year when it restored an old E-Type and converted it to electric power. Now, the automaker’s classic car division has confirmed it will sell all-electric E-Types, with deliveries expected to start in the summer of 2020.

Old E-Types will undergo the conversions at the Classic Works facility in Coventry, U.K. Existing E-Type owners can also bring in their cars for the update, which Jaguar says is fully reversible.


Full details and specifications haven’t been released, and we don’t know if these cars will be exactly like the E-Type Zero Concept. This model features a 40-kilowatt-hour battery that can be recharged overnight at home in 6-7 hours depending on the power source. Hitting 62 mph takes 5.5 seconds, making this electric car quicker than the original Series 1 E-Type, according to Jaguar.

The concept’s electric powertrain uses many components from the Jaguar I-Pace, but the automaker says it drives much like the original E-Type. The front-to-rear weight distribution hasn’t changed, and neither have the suspension or brake systems.

Jaguar debuted a second version of the E-Type Zero Concept at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, one of the Monterey Car Week events leading up to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Instead of the serene blue paint job on the original showcar, this model gets a new Bespoke Bronze exterior.

Source: Jaguar


The post Jaguar Classic to Build and Sell Electric E-Type appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

11 New Cars Under $65K as Quick as a 10-Year-Old Ferrari

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 15:35

This weekend, RM Sotheby’s will auction off one of the first Ferrari 250 GTOs ever built. Initial estimates suggest it will go for more than $45 million, making it the most expensive car in the world. But while that car is a piece of automotive history, some of the specs look a little underwhelming, at least by modern standards. The 250 GTO only made 300 hp, nearly half as much power as the Portofino, the least expensive new Ferrari available today.

Then again, that shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Technology has come a long way in the last 50 years, and it wouldn’t be fair to expect a car, even a Ferrari, from the ‘60s to still be able to hold its own against modern performance cars.

But what about something a little newer? If you want a car that’s at least as quick as, say, a Ferrari F430, how many semi-affordable options are out there? Looking back through our test results, these 11 cars stand out as the least expensive ways to match or beat the 0-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds we recorded for a 2007 Ferrari F430 without launch control.

Alfa Romeo 4C – $64,495

With a base price of $57,400 including destination, you’d think the Alfa Romeo 4C would be further down on this list. Adding the necessary track package, though, requires you to add several other options that drive up the price. Even so, 0-60 in 4.1 seconds for less than $65,000 is a solid deal.

Cadillac ATS-V – $62,590

Cadillac’s BMW M3 rival may not have a spacious backseat or a cavernous trunk, but it’s sure got power. Its 464-hp twin-turbo V-6 launched the automatic version to 60 mph in an impressively quick 3.7 seconds. The manual version isn’t slow, either, tying the F430’s time at 4.2 seconds.

Chevrolet Corvette – $61,590

With the mid-engine C8 reportedly arriving soon and the ZR1 making 755 hp, the regular 460-hp Corvette Stingray doesn’t get a lot of attention these days. That doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant, though. Our seven-speed manual long-termer with the Z51 package launched from 0-60 mph in an F430-besting 3.8 seconds.

Porsche 718 Cayman – $61,160

The switch to a turbocharged four-cylinder may have changed the Cayman’s exhaust note, but it sure didn’t hurt performance. The 2.0-liter turbo-four is good for 300 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, and with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, it may even be quick enough to steal sales from the Cayman S. We recorded a 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds.

BMW M2 Competition – $59,895

Technically, we haven’t tested the M2 Competition yet. We have, however, tested the M2 it replaces. That car packed 365 hp and hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Since the M2 Competition is an upgraded M2 that makes 405 hp, we’d be incredibly surprised if it isn’t at least as quick.

Mercedes-AMG C 43 – $54,395

We’re big fans of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S and its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 that makes a tire-roasting 503 hp. That said, we have a feeling the less-powerful C 43 will take a lot of people by surprise. In our last test, it ran from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, and that was before Mercedes added another 23 hp for 2019.

Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 – $54,095

We can’t explain why the CLA 45 is only $300 less expensive than the C 43, but oh well. Life is full of mysteries. If, for whatever reason, you prefer the CLA 45, the 2014 version hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. We haven’t re-tested it since then, but Mercedes claims the current one’s 375 hp makes it 0.3 second quicker.

Audi S4 – $52,375


Our long-term S3 was a tick too slow to make this list, but the S4 proved just quick enough to qualify. With a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds, it’s also just as quick as the last Mercedes-AMG C 43 we tested. Perhaps more impressively, the significantly pricier BMW M3 is only slightly quicker than the S4 and the C 43.

Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE – $44,995

If you have about $65,000 to spend, the 650-hp Camaro ZL1 will destroy the F430 in a straight line, launching to 60 mph in a scant 3.5 seconds. You could also save around $20,000 and buy a Camaro SS with the 1LE package. Even with a six-speed manual transmission, it posted a 4.0-second 0-60 mph time, and we suspect it will be even quicker with the 10-speed auto.

Dodge Challenger/Charger R/T Scat Pack – $40,390/$41,340

Like the ATS-V and C 43, Dodge offers the R/T Scat Pack as both a coupe and a sedan. The names and styling may be different, but either way, you get a 485-hp naturally aspirated V-8 that sends all of its power to the rear wheels. The Challenger and Charger also both laid down identical 4.2-second 0-60 mph times.

Ford Mustang GT – $37,945


It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the three most affordable cars on this list are all American, because in this country we love getting a lot of horsepower for not much money. What is surprising, though, is how quick the new 10-speed automatic makes the Mustang GT. Even without the Performance package, it hit 60 mph from a stop in only 3.9 seconds.

The post 11 New Cars Under $65K as Quick as a 10-Year-Old Ferrari appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Ford Fusion

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 15:35
The 2019 Ford Fusion has a pretty face, even if it’s not the freshest mid-size sedan around. We named it our Best Car to Buy 2013, and in that time it has watched Michael Phelps retire twice, LeBron James go back to (and away from) Cleveland, and the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. It’s a veteran. The Fusion has its...
Categories: Property

Americans holding onto their cars, 2019 Acura NSX, Chevy Cruze CVT: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 14:37
Americans are holding onto cars longer, according to federal study This might not be good news for car dealers: Americans appear to be keeping their cars longer than ever. The results of a study released Tuesday by the Federal Highway Administration indicate that the average vehicle age has increased significantly since 2009 to 10.5 years. Poll...
Categories: Property

Celebrity Drive: The Cars’ Drummer David Robinson

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 14:30

Quick Stats: David Robinson, drummer for the Cars/artist and gallery owner
Daily Driver: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 wagon (David’s rating: 9 on a scale of 1 to 10)
Other cars: See below
Favorite road trip: Boston to Los Angeles
Car he learned to drive in: 1962 Mercury Comet wagon
First car bought: 1976 Chevrolet Corvette

If you’ve ever wondered about the story behind the name of the band Cars, you might assume its members are car enthusiasts.

But when you ask drummer David Robinson, who came up with the name, the answer is more layered than you might think. Perhaps even a Freudian slip for a kid from Boston who could’ve started out life as a car designer.

“We made lists. One of the names I made up was ‘the Cars,’ and we thought, ‘It’s really easy to remember, it’s short, it comes at the beginning of the alphabet.’ It had nothing to do with cars. Totally random. I was at a point where I hadn’t thought about a car for years and years and years,” Robinson says, laughing.

The Cars catapulted to rock stardom at the beginning of the New Wave music movement in the late 1970s, selling more than 23 million albums, and the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. At the height of the Cars’ popularity around the world, the person who came up with the band’s name did not own a car.

Sometimes an interview unwittingly becomes an unearthing of one’s childhood dreams. “We never even talked about cars,” Robinson says. “Cars didn’t mean anything particularly important to us. But I was totally into cars as a kid and into junior high school, obsessed with cars and designing and drawing pictures of cars. When I was thinking about this interview, I remembered something that was really an important thing that happened to me as a kid. They used to have something called the Fisher Body [Craftsman’s] Guild.”

Robinson described the contest, sponsored by GM in an effort to foster future talent, where teens would make scale cars. “I remember going to the assembly hall, and it was around the time I started making model cars, and I used to be obsessed with making them. The headlights would turn on, the doors would open, and they had real upholstery in them,” Robinson recalls. “I wished that I had started out a career as a car designer back then. I gave up on cars when I realized you needed money to buy a car. Then I just forgot about them.”

Even so, Robinson is still interested in cars today: “Every time I see a new car, I immediately redesign it in my head,” he says.

Robinson admits choosing the word for the band’s name might’ve been a reflection of his subconscious. “It’s fun that I’m finally being asked about cars. Nobody’s ever asked me about my car or anybody’s cars, from the beginning of the band,” Robinson says.

Over the years, music journalists have asked the band about their name. “They would ask who made it up, and does it mean anything, and we would just say abruptly, ‘No,’” Robinson says.

Today, Robinson is far from the stage lights. He lives a simpler life on the coast of Massachusetts with a view of the ocean. He’s an artist, an abstract photographer, and a gallery owner who sells jewelry he makes. He does not own a cell phone, only has a landline, and drives a 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 wagon—which was a very purposeful decision.

Robinson rates the Passat high on a scale of 10. “Since I just spent $15,000 to restore it, it’s now a 9,” he says, laughing. “The frame rotted out. I’d been struggling to keep the car because I love station wagons and manufacturers have cut back on station wagons, so there’s not much to offer. Styling-wise, it looks really nice and it was in good condition.” Part of the restoration was removing the rust that had occurred since the car is parked near the ocean. “It’s fast—it’s really fast,” Robinson adds.

Once Robinson got a wagon, he never looked back when he saw how handy it was. “I use it for hauling stuff. I have an art gallery, so I’ve done remodeling and all kinds of things where I just needed room. I hate SUVs,” he says, with a laugh. “SUVs—they were a car that nobody actually asked to be built. They’re too big, they’re mostly ugly, they’re too high up off the ground. They don’t handle well.”

Robinson didn’t need a car until he was in his 30s, since he took the subway in Boston. He’s also owned three other wagons—two Mercury Sables and a Ford Taurus. “I got those because when the Sable first came out, it was the first streamlined, nice-looking station wagon. They were still making boxes up until then,” Robinson says.

The Passat was a deliberate upgrade. “I thought I wouldn’t have to haul junk around, so I could get a better station wagon,” he says, laughing. “But then when I saw there was an eight-cylinder, that was what I wanted. I like the styling, too. It’s held up really, really well, I think.”

1969 De Tomaso Mangusta

Robinson also owns a dream car he never even thought he would have—a 1969 De Tomaso Mangusta that’s being restored by Wayne Carini, of Chasing Classic Cars fame (watch episodes on Motor Trend Premium right here).

“He’s had it a couple years now. I hope I’ll get it back in the fall,” Robinson says. “If not, I’ll have to just wait. It won’t matter when he finishes, as long as I can get it in the spring to drive.”

Robinson has never driven the Mangusta, even though he bought it 24 years ago. “It was my favorite car. In 1966 I remember seeing it in car magazines, at the European car show, and it was just one of those a ha moments,” Robinson says. “It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen, and I lusted after it. I wasn’t really looking for one. I just forgot about them.”

Robinson has owned a couple of Cobra replicas in the past, and when he was having one built at a shop in Massachusetts, he asked the shop workers if they were working on anything interesting. “They said, ‘We’re working on this car that we’re going to chop up and race up in New Hampshire.’ It was a Mangusta. I got right in my car and went over and bought it. And then I put it in storage.”

Car he learned drive in

Robinson transformed his first car—a 1962 Mercury Comet woody station wagon—into a band car. He learned to drive around the streets of Woburn, Massachusetts, in that Mercury.

“I had already been driving with my friends illegally. I drove my friends’ cars a couple times,” Robinson says. “But I formally learned and was instructed by my dad in that car. I didn’t let on that I’d already been driving it. And that’s the car I had my driver’s test in, too.”

The Comet was the first new car Robinson’s dad bought. “It turned out to be a horrible lemon, and he went through hell to get Ford to fix it. He went up to the state house to complain, he wrote letters to Henry Ford complaining about it,” Robinson says.

Robinson says his father was trying to get Ford to give him another new car. “It drove him crazy. I’d like to think that people like him were responsible for those lemon laws coming into place,” he says.

Robinson drove the Comet when he was in the high school band. “I decided it was getting run-down-looking—the fake wood was peeling—so I painted the light part of the fake wood to match the car, which was green,” he says.

He also got more artistic with it, putting paisley contact paper on the Comet. “Paisley was big in the psychedelic ’60s—it was like a rock and roller thing. It was silver like foil, and it had pink, white, and black paisley on it,” Robinson says. “So I stuck it on and made the pattern match like wallpaper, then I painted the wheels the same color as the car. I put baby moon hubcaps on it.”

He made a professional-looking sign for a band he had then, called The Rising Tide,  and stuck it on the side window. “It looked incredible, but it caused a commotion on the street. It was so bizarre; people beeped and screamed. My father was so excited because it got all this attention from young people, so he thought he was hip,” he says.

Three times, people left notes on the Comet to ask where they could get it done to their car.

“We just laughed. My father was more excited about it than I was. I think my mother was in shock. I only had the Comet for a few more months. I was over at the band’s practice house in the winter, and we heard this giant crash. We looked out the window, and a drunk driver going 50 mph rear-ended it. We went outside and couldn’t find it because it flew through the air over a snow bank. The guy survived, but the car was perfectly, evenly crushed like an accordion,” Robinson says.

After the Comet, Robinson inherited another car from his folks around the time he was getting out of high school—a 1961 Pontiac convertible that was starting to fall apart. “The roof got shredded,” Robinson says. “I used to shovel snow off it in the winter. I drove that for a summer.”

First car bought—His unintentional “rock star car”

By late 1978, Robinson was in the Cars, but he wasn’t looking for a car to fit his new rock star life. He just happened to buy a 1976 Corvette on a whim because a girlfriend’s father, who worked in Detroit, called her up and asked if she wanted his secretary’s company car (a 1977 Corvette is shown above).

“She already had a much nicer Corvette, so she called me, and I said, ‘Yeah, sure,’” he says, with a laugh. “I flew out there and got it and drove it back. I had that car for a year when I lived in Boston, and I was pretty sure it was going to be stolen every single night. But it lasted an entire year. I didn’t need it, since I lived in Boston and didn’t have anywhere to park it. I just thought I’d buy it for fun. The other guys already had much nicer cars than that. Newer, better cars.”

Robinson hardly drove the ’Vette. “I would use the band’s van because it was parked in an indoor garage a block away from where I lived, so I never really needed a car until I moved from Boston in 1986, and then I got into the station wagons,” he says.

One day, his fear that the ’Vette would be stolen came true. “We were in Boston and we did a radio interview, and it was Christmas Eve and the guy who interviewed us asked us what kind of cars we owned … I don’t like answering those questions myself because if you’ve got an expensive, fancy car, people aren’t going to like you, or they’ll think you’re a rich snob, and the other guys did have other fancy cars,” he says. “So I waved my hand to say ‘No,’ but before I could, the other guys all answered. I felt stupid and I told them I had the Corvette. Four hours later, it was stolen. To this day, I’m convinced it got stolen because this DJ asked us what kind of cars we had.”

After the interview, Robinson drove the Corvette back home, three blocks away, where he got lucky to find a parking space in front of his door. He went in to wrap Christmas gifts and came out two hours later to find the car no longer there.

“It had just started to snow and there were fresh tracks in the snow. Somebody was really determined to take it because there were people all over the street,” he says.

Since Robinson took public transportation in Boston, after the ’Vette, the Cars’ drummer was carless until his mid-30s when he moved to the suburbs.

Favorite road trip

When Robinson was in another Boston-based band called Modern Lovers, they drove across the country to record an album. They took the road trip in a 1963 Dodge Dart and the band’s van, which had the bass player’s BMW motorcycle in it (a 1963 Dodge Dart is shown above).

“We took the northern route out and the southern route back. On the northern route, we would take the bike out on interesting mountain roads,” Robinson recalls. “I was a passenger then; I have motorcycles now. That trip was unbelievable. We stopped at everything there was to see—the Grand Canyon, which I had never seen, we stopped at Indian reservations. I can’t tell you how great that was just to see America, especially the Grand Canyon. When I saw it in person, I was speechless. I couldn’t believe what it really looked like in person.”

They took this road trip in the early 1970s, driving from Boston to Los Angeles, New Orleans, and back home. “The trip was incredible because I had really never left Massachusetts and I had never seen any of the natural wonders,” Robinson says.

Though he’s most known for the Cars, Robinson still has a connection to the band and its music, especially in his home state of Massachusetts. “For three or four years, they’d been trying to make one of our songs the state rock song, a song called ‘Roadrunner,’” he says. “The guy who introduced it is now the mayor of Boston. So I’m hoping that might mean this year they can make this song the state rock song. Other states have rock songs.”

2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Cars were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, after being nominated twice before (photo above is courtesy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).

“I’ve always been slightly suspicious of a big commercial thing called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and maybe I was a little snobby about it until I looked at who was inducted, and then I realized my favorite ones are in there. Every once in a while they’d induct someone I didn’t really approve of myself,” Robinson says, with a laugh. “But mostly we’re in incredibly good company.”

Rhino’s expanded versions of Shake It Up and Heartbeat City

Two years ago Rhino released two new digitally remastered box sets of the Cars’ catalog, with extra material and artwork. This year, in honor of the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the label released expanded editions of the band’s most iconic albums, Shake It Up and Heartbeat City. Robinson was always the art director, designing the band’s album covers.

Robinson was recently given the gift of being able to go back to 1984. Or at least, with the Rhino releases, redo the album covers, including the one for Heartbeat City.

“In 1984 I designed this elaborate cover and the record company completely screwed it up and screwed me over, and for years I’ve lived with that horrible cover. It’s still got my name on it as a designer,” Robinson says. “When Rhino started putting out our records, they let me fix the cover and change it. First I fixed the outside of it and then I re-created the inside as it would have been in 1984.”

Robinson was able to put in all the concepts he had in 1984. “That sounds crazy, but it’s like a dream come true for me,” he says. “Pre-computer days stuff was pretty complicated, you’d have to go and print pictures in a darkroom and do all this masking and airbrushing, so to make it last year was 100 times easier. It came out 50 times better.”

In 1984, Heartbeat City included hits like “Drive” and “You Might Think,” which won the inaugural MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year. There are seven bonus tracks on Rhino’s Heartbeat City, including unreleased versions of “Why Can’t I Have You,” “I Refuse,” as well as the demo for “Drive.”

Robinson has always enjoyed working on the art for the band’s albums. “We put out the Cars’ anthology and I worked on that and it looks like a custom hot rod paint job. The slipcase was painted by a car customizer in California and we asked him to make something that would look like it was on the hood or trunk of a hot rod,” he says. “They printed it with real metal flake for a few years and then switched over to some laser thing that doesn’t look so good. … We put a lot of authentic details like pictures of a real hot rod wheel for the disc itself. It’s a good box set for hot rod lovers.”

The post Celebrity Drive: The Cars’ Drummer David Robinson appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Bristol arena dropped in new £300m L&G proposal for the site

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 13:01
A new proposal from Legal and General for the long-awaited Bristol arena site did not include plans for the arena itself.
Categories: Property

Iceland acquires former Poundworld stores

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 13:00
Grocery retailer Iceland has agreed a deal to acquire 19 former Poundworld stores following the collapse of the discount retailer this summer.
Categories: Property

Belfast plans nearly 32,000 homes by 2035

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 12:53
Belfast City Council has released the draft strategy for its Local Development Plan, in which it proposes building 31,660 new homes between 2020 and 2035
Categories: Property

New chief executive in Swedish shake-up for Savills

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 12:18
Savills has appointed a new top team in Sweden including hiring CBRE’s Niklas Samuelsson to take over as chief executive from December.
Categories: Property

Bolton Council secures £250m investment for town centre regeneration

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 10:00
Bolton Council has confirmed in principle £250m of investment from a Midia-led consortium, which it will use to replace the Crompton Place Shopping Centre with a new retail and leisure scheme.
Categories: Property

Double-digit rise in profits for Henry Boot

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 09:42
Henry Boot has reported double-digit growth in profits and net asset value per share in half-year results.
Categories: Property

London & Associated pledge to diversify beyond retail

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 09:37
FTSE-listed London & Associated Properties has announced plans to diversify its portfolio away from retail property in half-year results.
Categories: Property

Americans are holding onto cars longer, according to federal study

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 09:00
This might not be good news for car dealers: Americans appear to be keeping their cars longer than ever. The results of a study released Tuesday by the Federal Highway Administration indicate that the average vehicle age has increased significantly since 2009 to 10.5 years. Back then, the average age of a vehicle was 9.3 years. The federal agency...
Categories: Property

2019 Ram 1500 eTorque First Drive: Silent Saver

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 05:01

This is a tricky driving impression to write. That’s because considerable engineering might has been expended to make the feature we’re here to focus on as unnoticeable as possible. That feature is a 48-volt mild-hybrid system sold by the name eTorque. It’s a pretty unsexy fuel saver that may prove to be a tough sell given that it adds $1,450 to the cost of a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 and does not include any outward cues to show Mother Earth and your neighbors that you care. Sure, it buys a quite noticeable 2-mpg bump in city and combined fuel economy, which the EPA reckons will save drivers $300 per year, but can internal satisfaction and a 4.8-year payoff really move the metal (and the CAFE score)?

Naturally the PR team wants us to notice eTorque. It’s proud that Ram will be first to market in North America with a 48-volt hybrid, especially given the company it’s narrowly beating to market—Audi’s A7/A8 and several Mercedes models with a forthcoming 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine. But while an EcoDiesel declares its economical intentions plenty audibly, eTorque is silent and seamless. So vehicle electrification manager Brian Spohn came to coach us for 20 minutes on ways to feel the system working.

Basically, all systems like this replace the conventional alternator with a more robust motor/generator that recovers energy during deceleration and reuses that energy to restart the engine and get the truck moving after an auto-stop event (almost unnoticeably), to add torque during shifts or during transitions in and out of four-cylinder operation mode (making both less noticeable). Rarely does it contribute anything to a jackrabbit stoplight sprint, and it never assists when the engine is operating near its horsepower or torque peak, which is why the e-motor’s output (16 hp and 130 lb-ft for the V-8) doesn’t get added to the engine’s peak output (killing another sales-floor talking point).

Spohn showed a graph illustrating a Hemi engine’s RPM jaggedly dropping to zero for an auto-stop event without eTorque and smoothly dropping with it. Another showed the eTorque vehicle restarting and resuming forward motion much more quickly—within 70 ms. He claims that if you’re super quick off the brake and onto the gas, the eTorque can provide the first half-rotation of the tires as the engine is restarting. I may not be that quick. A feature that’s impossible to feel: When cruising, the system sometimes satisfies electrical loads by discharging the 48-volt battery instead of loading the generator. When lifting off the throttle at speed, eTorque regenerates energy while smoothing transmission downshifts, and when transitioning to the brake pedal, eTorque begins regenerating energy during what would otherwise be wasted pedal travel.

I drove two fully loaded Ram 1500 4WD Limited models back to back, one with and one without eTorque. The eTorque model’s electric regenerative braking was clearly noticeable (and not objectionable). Beyond that, I got the sense that the eTorque truck was just a bit smoother and sprightlier all the time—almost like it had a shorter axle ratio. Oops, guess what? It did. That particular Limited had the optional 3.92:1 axle; the unassisted one had a 3.21:1. Rats. What we can definitively say is that the efforts expended to make this system unnoticeable were extremely successful.

Pentastar V-6 eTorque

There’s no payoff time at all with the V-6, as eTorque comes standard on all new 2019 Rams equipped with the base engine. Such a deal! (OK, the new model is $600 more expensive than the identical base Tradesman model, but that buys some other upgrades, too.) Interestingly, the motor-generator is very different from the one on the Hemi. The V-6’s device was produced by supplier Continental, it’s rated at 12 hp and 90 lb-ft, and it mounts out in front of the engine with the pulley pointing aft. For this reason the internal cooling fans used on a typical alternator wouldn’t work, so this one is water cooled using its own dedicated coolant circuit. The V-8’s Magneti Marelli unit mounts conventionally (pulley pointing forward) near the top of the engine where air cooling works fine. As we publish this report, final EPA certification is not yet available for the V-6, but as with the Hemi, eTorque is expected to boost city and combined mpg figures by 2 or 3 mpg each. That would put it at 19–20 mpg city and 22–23 mpg highway with rear-drive.

There’s no way to conduct a relevant back-to-back test of V-6s with and without eTorque because the new truck has shed some 225 pounds and benefits from myriad other refinements relative to the unassisted Ram 1500 “Classic” V-6. (Note that “Classic” models will be produced concurrently for at least the remainder of this year, and this will be the only way to get a two-door regular cab Ram during that time.) I drove a base Tradesman and a fancier 4×4 Big Horn model, and both seemed to accelerate briskly and smoothly. Relative to the V-8, this powertrain is programmed to rev a bit more. Even light-throttle acceleration sees the tach regularly swinging up to 2,000 or 3,000 rpm whereas the torquier V-8 would be loafing along below 2,000. So it works a little harder but gets you there just as quickly—at least when unloaded. Auto stop/start events are just as smooth and unobtrusive as they are in the Hemi eTorque.

For those with modest payload and towing needs, this far thriftier V-6 is worth a long, hard look.

2019 Ram 1500 (eTorque) BASE PRICE $33,390-$60,935 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD/4WD, 5-6-pass, 4-door truck ENGINES 3.6L/305-hp/269-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6 plus 12-hp/90-lb-ft electric motor, 305 hp/269 lb-ft comb; 5.7L/395-hp/410-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8 plus 16-hp/130-lb-ft electric motor, 395 hp/410 lb-ft comb TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT 4,850-5,400 lb (mfr) WHEELBASE 140.5-153.5 in LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 228.9-241.8 x 82.1 x 75.7-79.7 in 0-60 MPH 5.9-8.5 sec (MT est) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 17-19/22-26/19-22 mpg (est) ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 177-198/130-153 kW-hrs/100 miles (est) CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.90-1.02 lb/mile (est) ON SALE IN U.S. Currently

eTorque Tech Highlights

Alternators only draw modest power from the accessory drive, but eTorque’s motor-generators use the belt to slow and accelerate these big trucks, so the belt must be larger (eight ribs, up from six), stronger, and must wrap farther around the pulley than on most alternators. It also requires a tensioner on both sides to keep things tight as it transitions from generating to motoring. The eTorque Hemi also gets a larger crankshaft pulley that improves the motor/generator’s leverage on it. Belt routing is designed to shed water before it reaches the e-machine, and if slippage is detected, input/output demands are curtailed until the belt dries. This belt is designed to last the useful life of the truck—10 years/150,000 miles minimum. The V-8 eTorque system uses a separate belt for the water pump.

LG Chem provides the 12 pouch-style battery cells that comprise the 30-pound briefcase-sized 430-watt-hour battery pack. It mounts against the back wall of the cab and includes a DC-to-DC converter to satisfy the regular electrical loads and charge the 12-volt starter battery. The system only ever utilizes 130 watt-hours of that capacity to ensure it lasts the life of the truck. Speaking of mass, the whole eTorque system adds 90 pounds to a Hemi and 120 to a Pentastar V-6 (the water-cooling circuit accounts for the difference).

Fun fact: Work on these systems originally began for an application on the now dearly departed 200 model four-cylinder sedan. The Wrangler’s eTorque system is most closely related to the Pentastar V-6’s and is also provided by Continental.

The post 2019 Ram 1500 eTorque First Drive: Silent Saver appeared first on Motor Trend.

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2019 Kia Forte tops 40 mpg on highway in EPA estimates

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 05:01
EPA estimates for the redesigned 2019 Kia Forte show that the new compact sedan won't be a favorite of gas station owners. What will likely be the most popular 2019 Forte—the sedan with the optional continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT)—is rated at 30 mpg city, 40 highway, 34 combined by the EPA. That's not quite the 35...
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Poll: Fewer than a third of new-car shoppers agree with Trump's emissions rollback

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 05:01
Fewer than one-third of new-car shoppers agree with the Trump administration's plan to freeze fuel-economy targets for the next five years, according to a survey released Tuesday by Autolist. Just 29 percent of more than 1,000 respondents said that they agreed with the president's plan to freeze emissions and efficiency levels from 2020 to 2026...
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Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Debuts in Monterey With 759 HP

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 04:06

Last month, Lamborghini announced that its even more extreme Aventador variant, the Aventador SVJ, had broken the production car lap record at the Nurburgring with a time of 6:44.97—more than 2 seconds quicker than the last record holder, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Now, Lambo has revealed the SVJ in full in Monterey, California.

Unveiled at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ features a new wing and front end, which is wider and features a disconnected front splitter. As we learned previously, SVJ stands for SuperVeloce Jota, a designation that identifies this car as the hardcore track model of the lineup. The SVJ receives an evolution of Lamborghini’s fancy active aero system called ALA 2.0. Just as it does on the Huracan Performante, the system quickly opens or closes flaps in the body and wing to optimize downforce and drag. But this new version of ALA, or Aerodynamica Lamborghini Attiva, is tuned specifically for the SVJ, and works in concert with new aero-optimized bodywork to improve downforce by 40 percent at each axle over the SV.

The Aventador SVJ is powered by a version of the raging bull brand’s naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V-12 tuned to 759 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque, up 19 hp and 22 lb-ft from the SV. Because the SVJ makes generous use of carbon fiber, the supercar boasts a dry weight of just 3,362 pounds, which grants a power-to-weight ratio of 4.37 pounds per horsepower. This helps make possible the SVJ’s 0-62 mph time of 2.8 seconds and 0-124 mph time of 8.6 seconds. Meanwhile, top speed is estimated at more than 217 mph.

Lamborghini says that the SVJ’s magnetic shocks are 15 percent stiffer than the SV’s, and the chassis has been revised to make the most of its all-wheel drive system, rear-wheel steering, and electronic stability control system. The SVJ also rolls on lightweight “Nireo” aluminum wheels and come wrapped in specially developed Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires as standard, but P Zero Trofeo R competition tires (the ones used to set the record) are available.

In addition to the standard SVJ, Lamborghini unveiled the SVJ 63, an even more exclusive model that celebrates the brand’s founding in 1963. Just 63 units will be made, and all will feature special “63” graphics. The regular SVJ will be limited to 900 units, and will arrive in early 2019. Want one? You’ll have to pony up $517,770, including gas guzzler tax.

Source: Lamborghini

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Porsche 911 “Project Gold” is an Immaculately Restored 993 Turbo

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 04:00

If you’re in the business of restoring classic cars, it helps to have a demo vehicle to show customers what you can do. For Porsche Classic, Project Gold is that vehicle. The Porsche division that specializes in all things vintage took a 993-generation 911 Turbo body shell and used its catalog of more than 6,500 parts for the 993 to restore it to original condition—but with a few modern touches thrown in here and there.

True to its name, Project Gold is finished in the same Golden Yellow Metallic paint of the 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. The concept also features a black interior with gold stitching and trim, black wheels with gold accents, and gold lettering for the engine bay badges. Just like the original 993 Turbo, Project Gold is powered by a turbocharged, air-cooled flat-six engine. Here, it’s tuned to 450 hp and mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

Porsche is announcing the news at Pebble Beach, but Project Gold won’t actually debut in Monterey until next month at Rennsport Reunion VI, the massive Porsche gathering that takes place every three years at Laguna Seca. The car will be included in RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th anniversary auction, and proceeds from its sale will go toward the Ferry Porsche Foundation, a German non-profit focusing on children and education.

If you’re thinking about purchasing Project Gold to use as your next weekend ride to Cars and Coffee, we have some bad news. The one-off 911 won’t be street-legal and will be limited to driving on the track. Porsche tells us this is because Project Gold is based on a car that last left production in 1998, which means it doesn’t comply with the much stricter regulations of today. In addition, the main goal of the project was not to produce a replica of a 20-year-old car, but instead to show what Porsche Classic is capable of when it comes to restoration and customization.

Still, if you want a modern take on the 993 Turbo that has been painstakingly assembled by hand using genuine Porsche Classic parts, this is the only game in town.

Source: Porsche

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