Property

Deadline extended for Best Places to Work in Property

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 12:25
The deadline for registering to take part in a survey that will reveal the best property companies to work for has been extended to ensure the list covers the full breadth of the sector.
Categories: Property

Audi TT RS: 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car Contender

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 12:00

Talk about a contrast in style—America’s Corvette blusters with noise, tire smoke, fear, and slightly disappointing track numbers, while Germany’s technical Audi TT RS delivers assured competence, sensible understeer, and surprisingly quick lap times. Multiple editors on Route 198 wondered aloud whether all 400 horses were hitched up and pulling (answer: yep). After his lapping session, Randy Pobst was shocked to hear he’d run within about a second of the Porsche 718 Cayman GTS “sweep vehicle.”

Want EVEN MORE from 2018 Best Driver’s Car? See the cars in action right here.

Although its lap times were quicker than they felt from the driver’s seat (within 1.5 seconds of the Aston and almost 4.0 seconds ahead of the next-quickest Alfa), they’d have been quicker still with better brakes and more performance-oriented all-wheel-drive tuning. “The car wouldn’t stop,” Pobst recalled. “There wasn’t enough bite, and the pedal was kind of soft. I think I lost a lot of time because I didn’t trust the brakes. It needs more power to the rear wheels to balance it.” He also found the shock damping inadequate and generally felt the RS badges wrote checks this chassis wasn’t cashing. “When I see ‘RS’ on an Audi, I have really high expectations. The TT RS is a huge disappointment. The compromises for comfort slow it down on track.”

Our judges agreed. Chris Walton wished the Audi was more amenable to lift-throttle rotation. Jethro Bovingdon concurred: “The balance is one-dimensional with almost zero throttle adjustability.” But Mark Rechtin found this trait reassuring. “Once you set your steering angle,” he said, “a grenade couldn’t throw it off its line.” Scott Evans postulated that its “super-consistent behavior and response” would be “perfect for beginners.” Still, in a head-to-head, Evans quipped: “Would I buy this over a Cayman at the same price? Not a chance.”

Everybody loved the Ur-Quattro-reminiscent five-banger’s snarl, though Erick Ayapana wished “the volume was cranked to 8—it’s at about 3.”

In short, the TT RS left us all wanting more … something. “It doesn’t actually need more power,” Ed Loh said. “But it needs to feel more powerful, sharper, more directed. Where’s the danger?”

Want EVEN MORE from 2018 Best Driver’s Car? See the cars in action right here. More 2018 Best Driver’s Car Contenders: “Is there a cooler engine on planet earth than the TT RS’ burping, snarling, turbo five-cylinder?” -Jonny Lieberman, Senior Features Editor

2018 Audi TT RS POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-5, alum block/head VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 151.3 cu in/2,480 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 10.0:1 POWER (SAE NET) 400 hp @ 5,850 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 354 lb-ft @ 1,700 rpm REDLINE 6,800 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 8.2 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 4.06:1 (1st, 4th, 5th); 3.45:1 (2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th)/2.19:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 14.6:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.0 BRAKES, F; R 14.6-in vented, drilled, carbon-ceramic disc; 12.2-in vented disc, ABS WHEELS 9.0 x 19-in forged aluminum TIRES 255/30R20 92Y Pirelli P Zero R01 DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 98.6 in TRACK, F/R 61.6/60.8 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 165.0 x 72.1 x 52.9 in TURNING CIRCLE 36.0 ft CURB WEIGHT 3,267 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 61/39% SEATING CAPACITY 4 HEADROOM, F/R 37.1/33.8 in LEGROOM, F/R 41.1/28.9 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 53.6/47.9 in CARGO VOLUME 12.0 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 1.3 sec 0-40 1.9 0-50 2.6 0-60 3.4 0-70 4.5 0-80 5.7 0-90 7.1 0-100 8.9 0-100-0 12.8 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 1.7 QUARTER MILE 12.0 sec @ 114.6 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 100 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.99 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 23.7 sec @ 0.85 g (avg) 2.2-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 99.95 sec TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,750 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $65,875 PRICE AS TESTED $80,200 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes AIRBAGS 8: Dual front, front side, f/r head, front knee BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/Unlimited miles FUEL CAPACITY 14.5 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 19/29/22 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 177/116 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.86 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium

The post Audi TT RS: 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car Contender appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Honda Civic Type R: 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car Contender

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 12:00

In the decade we’ve been running BDC, we’ve invited only 10 front-drive cars to compete. They tend not to do well against rear-drive or all-wheel-drive cars that handle better and put down power more authoritatively. No previous front-driver has made a judge wonder, “Could this be our first front-drive winner?”

This little Honda did.

Want EVEN MORE from 2018 Best Driver’s Car? See the cars in action right here.

“The Type R is perhaps the best front-drive, factory-delivered car I’ve ever driven on a racetrack,” a grinning Randy Pobst gushed. “It was a thrill. This whole car behaves as if it costs a whole lot more than it does. It’s swinging way above its fighting weight.” Angus MacKenzie declared it “the best front-drive hot hatch in the world. Period. The powertrain gets the headlines, but it’s the chassis that makes this car special.” Chris Walton said it “feels like a detuned rally car.”

Editor logbooks overflowed with hyperbole for the better-than-Miata’s short-throw shifter, the all-day-comfy supportive seat, and the VTEC/turbo engine’s uncanny eagerness to pull hard to redline. Everyone appreciated how unflappable the body is in +R mode and how remarkably supple the ride quality is in Comfort and Sport modes.

The Type R wasn’t without flaws, however. Both Pobst and Jethro Bovingdon wished for at least a whiff of trailing-throttle oversteer—a tool drivers could reach for when the front starts to run a bit wide. A slightly stiffer rear anti-roll bar should do the trick. Second, this car, like several Type Rs that Pobst has lapped, pegged its temperature gauge. A Honda rep intimated that the digital gauge may be overly conservative. Indeed, the power never faltered, no coolant was disgorged, and lifting for two corners unpegged the gauge. Oh, and not everyone was crazy about the engine note.

Ed Loh summed up the Type R: “That all this performance comes from a 2.0-liter turbo powering only the front wheels—and that there are four seat belts and a huge trunk—represents a greater feat of engineering than the ZR1.”

Want EVEN MORE from 2018 Best Driver’s Car? See the cars in action right here. More 2018 Best Driver’s Car Contenders: “What a great car! The Type R sends the message that front-wheel-drive cars can be just as fun to drive.” -Miguel Cortina, Managing Editor of Motor Trend en Español


2018 Honda Civic Type R POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 121.8 cu in/1,996 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 9.8:1 POWER (SAE NET) 306 hp @ 6,500 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 295 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm REDLINE 7,000 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 10.1 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 4.11:1/3.02:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, adj shocks; anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks; anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 14.9-11.7:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.1 BRAKES, F; R 13.8-in vented, drilled disc; 12.0-in disc, ABS WHEELS 8.5 x 20-in cast aluminum TIRES 245/30R20 90Y Continental SportContact 6 DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 106.3 in TRACK, F/R 63.0/62.7 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 179.4 x 73.9 x 56.5 in TURNING CIRCLE 39.5 ft CURB WEIGHT 3,096 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 62/38% SEATING CAPACITY 4 HEADROOM, F/R 39.3/37.4 in LEGROOM, F/R 42.3/35.9 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 56.9/55.0 in CARGO VOLUME 46.3/25.7 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 2.1 sec 0-40 3.2 0-50 4.0 0-60 5.0 0-70 6.6 0-80 8.0 0-90 10.2 0-100 12.2 0-100-0 16.3 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.4 QUARTER MILE 13.7 sec @ 105.9 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 99 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 1.01 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 24.3 sec @ 0.79 g (avg) 2.2-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 104.22 sec TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 2,450 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $35,595 PRICE AS TESTED $35,595 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes AIRBAGS 6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 3 yrs/36,000 miles FUEL CAPACITY 12.4 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 22/28/25 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 153/120 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.80 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium

The post Honda Civic Type R: 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car Contender appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

McLaren 720S: 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car Contender

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 12:00

It’s the Sybil of supercars. McLaren’s new 720S manifests different personalities depending on driver skill and electronic settings. Nearly every judge left most safety settings engaged for Route 198, and most emerged feeling invincible. Chris Walton: “This McLaren reads your mind, and you just ‘think’ your way through corners.” Mark Rechtin: “It handles as though it has its own volition or sentience—but completely predictably.” Jethro Bovingdon: “It rides with a fluency that the Lambo and GT2 RS can only dream of, with a balance that ebbs and flows so naturally.” The car is astonishingly responsive, the steering is fingertip-light and communicative, and drivers with an ounce of skill will never detect electronic intervention on a dry road and will emerge convinced they’ve just defied physics. All good!

Want EVEN MORE from 2018 Best Driver’s Car? See the cars in action right here.

Then our race driver with a championship pedigree climbed in and turned off most of the nannies—and set a BDC lap record. Yet Randy Pobst climbed out of the McLaren sweaty and complaining about what a sloppy lap it was and how difficult the car was to control: “I was busy! It’s two different cars. Off throttle, it oversteers a lot. On throttle, it understeers a lot.” This suggests that electronics may be compensating for some essential handling deficiencies. Pobst managed to fade the brakes a bit, but only because of the crazy high speeds the car achieves—a BDC-record 154.7 mph on the front straight of his first hot lap, torching the Porsche’s top speed of 149.0. Pobst is convinced that improving the car’s inherent balance could earn the 720S a 1:27 lap time. This car behaved so differently from an earlier one he lapped at Willow Springs’ big track that we also wonder if something was amiss.

As for the long drives to the track, many editors were uncomfortable in the optional fixed carbon-fiber racing-shell seats, which are tricky to get into and out of. And the McLaren’s overly electronic nature left a few editors, such as Scott Evans, cold: “I’m super impressed with it, but I’m not crazy-stupid in love with it.”

Want EVEN MORE from 2018 Best Driver’s Car? See the cars in action right here. More 2018 Best Driver’s Car Contenders: “When the tachometer crests 6,000 rpm, the engine finds an extra ax-murderer gear, resulting in real, actual terror. Alien technology for the street.”-Jonny Lieberman, Senior Features Editor

2018 McLaren 720S POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Mid-engine, RWD ENGINE TYPE Twin-turbo 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 243.7 cu in/3,994 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 8.7:1 POWER (SAE NET) 710 hp @ 7,500 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 568 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm REDLINE 7,500 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 4.5 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.31:1/2.27:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Control arms, coil springs, adj shocks; Control arms, coil springs, adj shocks STEERING RATIO 15.2:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.5 BRAKES, F; R 15.4-in vented, drilled, carbon-ceramic disc; 15.0-in vented, drilled, carbon-ceramic disc, ABS WHEELS 9.0 x 19-in; 11.0 x 20-in, forged aluminum TIRES 245/35R19 93Y; 305/30R20 103Y Pirelli P Zero Corsa MC DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 105.1 in TRACK, F/R 65.9/64.2 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 178.9 x 76.0 x 47.1 in TURNING CIRCLE 39.7 ft CURB WEIGHT 3,167 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 42/58% SEATING CAPACITY 2 HEADROOM, F/R n/a LEGROOM, F/R n/a SHOULDER ROOM, F/R n/a CARGO VOLUME 5.3 cu ft (front)/7.4 cu ft (rear) TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 1.1 sec 0-40 1.6 0-50 2.1 0-60 2.5 0-70 3.1 0-80 3.7 0-90 4.5 0-100 5.3 0-100-0 8.8 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 1.0 QUARTER MILE 10.1 sec @ 141.5 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 93 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 1.09 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 22.3 sec @ 1.05 g (avg) 2.2-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 89.78 sec TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,750 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $288,845 PRICE AS TESTED $376,465 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes AIRBAGS 6: Dual front, curtain, knee BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/Unlimited miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 3 yrs/Unlimited miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 3 yrs/Unlimited miles FUEL CAPACITY 19.0 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 15/22/18 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 225/153 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.11 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium

The post McLaren 720S: 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car Contender appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

BMW M5: 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car Contender

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 12:00

This is a sedan worthy of every superlative. Objectively, it ricocheted around our figure-eight course quicker than any sedan we’ve tested. It stops shorter than any sedan we’ve tested. And its quarter-mile stats are the best of any combustion-powered sedan we’ve tested. Credit for these achievements is shared by its 600-hp engine and sophisticated AWD system. Two rear-drive BDC sedans lapped Laguna quicker—the lighter Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio on R-compound tires (by just 0.16 second) and the lighter and more powerful Caddy CTS-V (by 1.29 seconds). Neither is a pussycat like this M5.

The M5 feels huge until you really start working it hard. “In spite of its prodigious size, this car is quite happy on the racetrack,” Randy Pobst said. “I forgot it was all-wheel drive! That’s a well-balanced modern all-wheel-drive system.” Quipped Ed Loh: “It initially feels heavy, but then you look down and see speeds comparable to those in the mid-engine British and Italian ballerinas.” Angus MacKenzie added that the M5 is “quiet and refined” and “feels less of a hooligan car than the AMG E 63 S. And more capable.” And continuing the AMG comparison, Jethro Bovingdon found it “more introverted than an AMG but somehow more sinister and a whole lot cooler.”

Want EVEN MORE from 2018 Best Driver’s Car? See the cars in action right here.

The BMW was one of the few cars that seemed to display little or no bad chassis behavior over the alternately sharp hits and swoopy undulations of Route 198. It feels like a precision tool engineered for this sort of driving. After predicting bank-vault numbness, Jonny Lieberman uttered the rarest of passages: “I love being proved wrong.”

One piece of constructive criticism: pare back the adjustability. Drivers don’t need the distraction of selecting between multiple operating modes on umpteen different systems. Pobst also noted that after about two laps, the brakes, tires, and even the engine started to get hot enough for performance to diminish a bit. Now you know why BMW built the harder-edged M5 Competition.

Want EVEN MORE from 2018 Best Driver’s Car? See the cars in action right here. More 2018 Best Driver’s Car Contenders: “For those wondering if BMW had lost the plot with suspension tuning, never mind. All those demons have been banished with the new M5.” -Mark Rechtin, Executive Editor

2018 BMW M5 POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD ENGINE TYPE Twin-turbo 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 268.2 cu in/4,395 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 10.0:1 POWER (SAE NET) 600 hp @ 5,700 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 553 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm REDLINE 7,200 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 7.1 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.15:1/2.02:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Control arms, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 14.3:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.2 BRAKES, F; R 15.6-in vented, drilled, carbon-ceramic disc; 15.0-in vented, drilled, carbon-ceramic disc, ABS WHEELS 9.5 x 20-in; 10.5 x 20-in, forged aluminum TIRES 275/35R20 102Y; 285/35R20 104Y Pirelli P Zero (PZ4) DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 117.4 in TRACK, F/R 64.0/62.8 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 195.5 x 74.9 x 58.0 in TURNING CIRCLE 41.3 ft CURB WEIGHT 4,268 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 55/45% SEATING CAPACITY 5 HEADROOM, F/R 39.2/37.5 in LEGROOM, F/R 41.4/36.5 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 58.7/56.0 in CARGO VOLUME 18.7 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 1.1 sec 0-40 1.6 0-50 2.3 0-60 3.0 0-70 3.8 0-80 4.8 0-90 5.8 0-100 7.0 0-100-0 10.7 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 1.4 QUARTER MILE 11.1 sec @ 126.7 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 97 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 1.00 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 23.3 sec @ 0.91 g (avg) 2.2-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 99.81 sec TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,500 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $104,595 PRICE AS TESTED $129,795 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes AIRBAGS 6: Dual front, front side, front head BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/Unlimited miles FUEL CAPACITY 20.1 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 15/21/17 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 225/160 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.13 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium

The post BMW M5: 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car Contender appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Aberdeen Standard to sell Victoria Beckham’s HQ

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 11:10
Aberdeen Standard Investments has put the freehold of 202 Hammersmith Road in west London up for sale for £15.7m.
Categories: Property

2019 Volkswagen Jetta Sets Record at Bonneville Salt Flats

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 11:00

Volkswagen set a new record at the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association’s World of Speed event with a modified Jetta. The 600-hp sedan recorded a speed of 210.16 mph, breaking the previous class record of 208.472 mph.

Sitting behind the wheel was veteran Salt Flats racer Scott Goetz. “The car inspired a lot of confidence at very high speeds,” Goetz said in a statement. “I have no doubt that we could go even faster by running some more boost, but we are very happy to have the record, knowing that there is more to come in the car if we need it.”

To increase output on the Jetta’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the Bonneville preparation specialists at THR Manufacturing upgraded the turbocharger, exhaust system, connecting rods, pistons, valves, and camshafts. With these changes, the engine makes 600 hp at 8,500 rpm on the dyno. VW says the Bonneville Jetta previews the powertrain we’ll see on the Jetta GLI high-performance model. This vehicle is also expected to receive a 2.0-liter turbo-four.

The Bonnesville Jetta features a lowered suspension, limited-slip differential, and unique wheels and tires that can handle the salty terrain near Wendover, Nevada. Inside the cabin is typical race car fare: a roll cage, racing seat, harness, and fire suppression system. The car also has a pair of parachutes that can slow it down if needed.

Way before Volkswagen introduced the current generation Jetta, we made Bonneville history in a modified 2013 Jetta Hybrid. Hitting 185.394 mph, we set a new record at Bonneville during Speed Week back in 2012.

Source: Volkswagen

The post 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Sets Record at Bonneville Salt Flats appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Cording continues PRS growth with new head of UK residential delivery

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 10:35
Cording Real Estate Group has appointed Clarion Housing’s head of development for the South as its new head of delivery for UK residential as it continues to grow its private rented sector (PRS) team.
Categories: Property

Aviva Investors completes MedicX refi

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 10:34
Aviva Investors has completed a £264.5m refinancing for its MedicX Fund, a specialist healthcare infrastructure investor.
Categories: Property

Springfield posts positive maiden annual results

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 08:20
Scottish housebuilder Springfield Properties has posted a 46% rise in pre-tax profit in its maiden annual results for the year to the end of May.
Categories: Property

Green REIT posts NAV and profit rises in annual figures

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 08:07
Green REIT has posted an 8% rise in net asset value (NAV), and 11% rise in net profit for the year to 30 June.
Categories: Property

2018 Ram Power Wagon Adds Mojave Sand Package

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 05:05

We’re quite fond of the Ram Power Wagon, our new long-term vehicle and the winner of our recent off-road truck comparison. Now, the model receives a Mojave Sand package that doesn’t make it more or less capable, but adds a few cosmetic touches.

The package includes a new beige paint job and all-black wheels. Other goodies include LED bed lighting, universal garage door opener, and overhead console power heated and fold-away mirrors, all part of the Heavy Duty Luxury Group included on this model. The Mojave Sand package is available in one iteration: Crew Cab 4×4 models.

The package itself costs $795, which means the starting price of the Mojave Sand rings out to $56,525. These vehicles arrive in dealerships in the fourth quarter of this year, and only 1,500 copies will be made.

Competing with the Ford F-150 Raptor and Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, the Ram 2500 Power Wagon features a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine with 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. The model also receives beefy 33-inch Goodyear all-terrain tires as well as a 12,000-pound electric Warn winch mounted behind the front bumper. The standard model already offers a host of paint colors, from shades of black, gray, white, blue, and red.

Source: FCA

The post 2018 Ram Power Wagon Adds Mojave Sand Package appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Audi dabbles in $1,395 monthly subscription program

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 05:01
Audi earlier this month kicked off a trial subscription program in the Dallas area. For $1,395 monthly, subscribers can pick two times a month to swap between five of the automaker's sedans, crossover SUVs, and convertibles. The cars included in the plan, which the automakers calls Audi Select, are the Audi A4 sedan, A5 convertible, S5 coupe, and...
Categories: Property

2019 Audi E-Tron First Look: Targeting Model X

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 05:00

The ominous drip-drip-drip of would-be Tesla Killers prophesied in Angus MacKenzie’s Rise of the E-Machines piece in May continues this month with Audi’s E-Tron midsize SUV. It’s expected to deliver somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 hp and 400 km (248 miles) of range thanks to its 95-kW-hr battery pack, and it’ll generally be priced above Jaguar’s I-Pace but below Tesla’s Model X.

Size-wise the E-Tron also splits the difference between the existing I-Pace and Model X, measuring 8.7 inches longer, 1.7 inches wider, and 4.2 inches taller than the Jag and 5.3 inches shorter, 5.2 inches narrower, and 1.7 inch lower than the Tesla. Its 115.1-inch wheelbase is shortest of the three. Its dimensions are close to those of a Mercedes GLE Coupe or BMW X6, including the cargo capacity with seats up or down (28.5 and 57.0 cubic feet). Within Audi’s lineup, think of it as a Q6.2.

Like its e-competitors, it packages a giant 1,543-pound, 90.0-inch-long, 63.6-inch-wide battery pack under the floor between the axles. The battery breaks some new ground and earns some patents by segregating its cooling system completely below the sealed battery compartment, with a special proprietary gel/glue material conducting the heat from the cell modules down to the aluminum coolant channels. This ensures there can never be intermingling of battery acid and coolant. The pack is also surrounded by an extruded aluminum crumple zone for added crash protection. And if one of the 36 cell modules goes bad or somehow gets damaged, it can be removed and replaced. The pack lends considerable torsional rigidity to the E-Tron’s modified MLB-evo unibody structure.

Battery cooling is critical when using the latest SAE J1772 DC fast chargers, which can jam an 80 percent level of charge into the pack in just 30 minutes at a rate of 150 kW. Overnight charging at home is enabled by the onboard 9.6-kW charger when using a 240-volt 40-amp Level 2 charger. Audi has teamed with Amazon Home Services to simplify the process of ordering and setting up a home charger, and of course after it’s set up the myAudi app eases management of charging and preconditioning the vehicle. And although it’s not quite free Supercharging for life like you can get with a Tesla, new E-Trons will come with a pre-purchase of 1,000 kW-hr of charging at Electrify America charging stations.

For now Audi is remaining tight-lipped about U.S.-spec power, torque, and curb weight, and the EPA hasn’t completed testing for the final range specs (that 248-mile estimate is from the similar Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure). In Euro trim the front and rear motors combine to produce 355 hp and 487 lb-ft in general driving, with “boost” power of 402 hp available in Sport mode when you engage the accelerator’s kickdown switch. Audi says that’ll produce a 0–60 run in 5.5 seconds en route to an electronically limited top speed of 124 mph. And like Tesla, but not Jaguar, Audi is rating the E-Tron to tow 4,000 pounds.

In normal acceleration, this first ever electric Quattro system routes power first to the rear motor, engaging the front one predictively as conditions demand. The motors are of the asynchronous type rather than permanent-magnet type, so there’s no magnetic drag torque when coasting (as the front axle usually does). The motors also earned a few patents for an innovative cooling system that routes coolant from the power-control module to the spinning rotor (a trick that requires fancy water bearings) and finally to the stationary stator. Both motors contribute to regenerative braking, which is offered at three levels, selectable via steering wheel paddles. Presuming there’s room for the energy in the battery, they can provide up to 0.3 g of braking by regen alone, after which an electrically boosted integrated brake controller blends in as much friction braking as required. Single-speed 8.4:1 reduction transaxles are used on both axles, with brake-based virtual torque vectoring at the rear. (A three-motor setup with honest-to-goodness torque vectoring has been rumored for a possible S or RS variant.)

Audi claims that by centralizing control of the traction, stability, braking, electric motors, and standard height-adjustable air suspension with variable damping into a single master controller, the E-Tron will deliver new levels of traction, stability, and handling. The system even incorporates the navigation and camera views to predictively advise the driver when to lift of the accelerator for optimum efficiency. Oh, and the standard Audi Drive Select program now offers seven profiles, including off-road settings that can raise the body ride height by 1.4–2.0 inches above standard ride height.

Style-wise the E-Tron looks way tamer and more mainstream than the I-Pace, EQC, or Model X. The designers sought to telegraph its electric-ness with little cues like horizontal elements in the daytime running lights and taillamp designs that mimic battery-charge status icons. Black inserts on the door trim telegraph the battery location as the center of power in much the same way that hood bulges are used to the accentuate powerful combustion engines within. Meanwhile, its Quattro-ness is telegraphed via blisters over the wheels. Inside, the seat upholstery is sewn to look like printed circuits. A pair of tactile-feedback touchscreens like those that have rolled out on the A7 and A8 control almost everything, the 10.1-inch upper one handling the infotainment, phone, navigation, and special e-tron screens; the lower handling climate and comfort functions. Like a smartphone, the screens can be configured for various favorites and startup screen functions. Speaking of climate control, a heat pump greatly reduces the system’s power consumption.

Built in a spanking-new plant in Brussels, Belgium, that has been certified CO2 neutral, the E-Tron will start at $75,795 when it hits the market in the second quarter of next year. That price buys a pretty well loaded SUV with a standard panoramic sunroof, 705-watt 16-speaker 3-D-sound Bang & Olufsen sound system, and 12-way power heated and cooled front seats. The Prestige trim adds $7,000 for a head-up display, Valcona leather, massaging seats, and the full driver-assistance package. A First Edition model tops the lineup at $87,695 with night-vision assistance and a color and trim package that gets Daytona Gray pearl paint, 21-inch black wheels, orange calipers, black leather with gray piping, and gray ash wood trim. Oh, and those prices are before the federal tax credits that Audis still qualify for.

Taking a page from EV guru Elon Musk, the E-Tron can be reserved with a fully refundable $1,000 deposit toward deliveries, which will start in the second quarter of 2019. Audi claims 10,000 folks have placed orders in Europe already—none of whom will spend years waiting for delivery.

The post 2019 Audi E-Tron First Look: Targeting Model X appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Welcome to the 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car Week

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 23:13

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Forget Christmas in July. This is Christmas for car enthusiasts. It’s the one time of year price tags and cupholders and fuel economy don’t matter. It’s all about amazing cars, amazing roads, and the euphoria you feel when you combine the two.

Best Driver’s Car isn’t about numbers, but we collect them because they tell their own stories and give us a basis for comparison. Every contender is subjected to our standard test regimen to measure acceleration, braking, and road holding in a controlled environment first. Then, it’s off to southern Monterey County and California Route 198, an undulating ribbon of asphalt that cuts across ranches and minor mountain ranges. To keep our impressions directly comparable from car to car, we close a 4.5-mile stretch of hill climb east of Route 25 to create a 9-mile up-and-back real-world test track. Not just twisty, it’s bumpy, worn, and, in early July, hot as hell. Not just your average handling course, it’s a torture test that separates the trailer queens from the all-around performers.

We do this not (just) because it’s fun, but because cars spend most of their lives in the real world on real roads, not on tracks. Making a car go around a perfectly maintained track quickly is hard, but making that car go fast up a canyon road and still feel fun and rewarding is harder. A Best Driver’s Car has to be at home on your favorite road and your favorite track.

A driver’s car is the one kind most likely to see a track day, so from 198 it’s up to Monterey proper and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca where pro racer Randy Pobst will find out what each car is really made of. As with the test track, the numbers tell us how any car stacks up against others of the same class, price, or power. Like our test team, though, Randy isn’t just a number generator. His insights, along with the test team’s impressions, all factor into our final decision.

This year, 12 cars from 12 manufacturers representing six countries on three continents went through hell just for the chance to be named our 2018 Best Driver’s Car. The contenders, in alphabetical order, are:

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Audi TT RS
Aston Martin Vantage
BMW M5
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack 2
Honda Civic Type R
Kia Stinger GT
Lamborghini Huracan Performante
Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
McLaren 720S
Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Wait, isn’t one of those an SUV? You bet. High-performance SUVs are a new breed, and we want to know if they can compete with sports cars. To find out, we pitted five of the best head to head and invited the winner to Best Driver’s Car to carry the torch for the big and tall team.

Their individual results will be chosen at random and posted four at a time through Wednesday, with this year’s Best Driver’s Car revealed Thursday. We didn’t forget the best part: World’s Greatest Drag Race 8 goes live Friday, and there might even be a special surprise for Motor Trend On Demand subscribers.

Check in all week at MotorTrend.com/bdc for 2018 Best Driver’s Car stories, photos, and videos you won’t find anywhere else.

The post Welcome to the 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car Week appeared first on Motor Trend.

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2019 Volkswagen Golf Receives 1.4-Liter from Jetta

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 21:30

The saddest change Volkswagen announced for its 2019 lineup is that the Beetle enters its final year of production. Fortunately, there is better news in store for VW’s other small hatch. The 2019 Golf receives a new 1.4-liter engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, among other updates.

Both Golf and Golf SportWagen models borrow the same 1.4-liter powertrain found in the new Jetta. This unit, making 147 hp, replaces the previous 1.8-liter engine that produced 170 horses. Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual and an eight-speed automatic. The 1.8-liter engine remains only on the S 4Motion SportWagen, where it’s paired to a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG automatic.

We have no way to know how the 2019 Volkswagen Golf will drive, but we generally liked the new powertrain in the Jetta. “The Jetta’s response to full throttle from a stop is a slight hesitation followed by more oomph than you might expect from a 147-hp car,” we wrote in our First Test, also praising the model’s responsive passing acceleration and quick-shifting eight-speed.

But the updates aren’t limited to the powertrain. The regular Golf hatch now comes standard with a number of safety features: blind spot monitor, rear traffic alert, and forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring. For 2019, most VW models come standard with these amenities, including the Atlas, which used to offer these features higher up the chain.

The Golf GTI now packs a standard 228 hp, an increase of 8 hp from past years. The model also adds a Rabbit Edition, which features a black rear spoiler, 18-inch gloss black wheels, and Rabbit-badged seat tags as well as a few other upgrades. Golf R buyers can now choose from 40 different custom colors as part of the VW Spektrum program, and there is a new Black Wheel package.

Source: Volkswagen

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BMW Vision iNext Previews Future Model Due in 2021

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 19:15

A Boeing 777F—the most efficient cargo plane in the skies, several PR handlers declare proudly—sits behind a warehouse on the cargo side of San Francisco International Airport. Inside lies a semi-cylindrical version of an auto show stage and the BMW Vision iNext, which previews the future of all BMW technology, and the coming production version, which will be the marque’s technology flagship.

A moment’s glance confirms the Vision iNext is, however, still very much a concept car. The doors are too thin, the greenhouse openings too large, and the fit and finish altogether too good to be suited for crash testing, rollover standards, or production cost requirements. That said, a BMW representative did tell us that the exterior design is “very close” to production, and that we should expect the production iNext to share as much resemblance with the Vision iNext as the original i8 shared with its concept. In other words, the iNext will definitely stand out on the road.

Power for the iNext, like all i-brand vehicles, will involve electrification, including the fifth generation of BMW’s electric drive system. But the iNext isn’t a powertrain prototype; instead, it’s about what’s inside the cabin.

That cabin is dramatic, to say the least, and a significant departure from typical vehicle cabins. The front seats are fairly standard fare, though the integrated headrests on the passenger side can be bent backward to form a comfortable rest for conversation with rear-seat passengers. Those rear-seat passengers will be more tempted than ever to curl up and take a nap, as the back row is more like a couch than a typical bench seat. Upholstered in a chunky, textured fabric—the interior design of the iNext was inspired by high-end hotel room decor—the rear seat also features some of BMW’s biggest “wow factor” tech: smart fabric that lights up when you touch it and provides gesture-based control of infotainment and other systems. A similar hidden touch function lies just beneath the surface of the center console’s sleek wood cover, lighting up at the driver’s caress. BMW calls these hidden but available on-demand systems “shy tech,” a play on “high tech.”

We were able to test the light-up touch surfaces for ourselves on some demonstration units BMW had set up beside the concept, and although the tech still has some way to go in terms of responsiveness and consistency, the experience is both intuitive and, perhaps more important, genuinely new and futuristic-feeling.

The reason for the hotel-inspired interior design and the lounge-like rear seating area is that the BMW Vision iNext is designed as a full Level 3 autonomous vehicle. We spoke with BMW board of management member Klaus Fröhlich about the iNext’s self-driving intentions.

“This car will have a Level 3 system for every end customer,” said Fröhlich, “but it will be a very advanced Level 3 system, and it will also be capable of Level 4. But because regulation is so slow, I can’t guarantee I will be able to sell it to an end customer. … But we will develop [Level 4 capability for the iNext] and have it ready for production, and if possible, we will produce it.”

Of course, the car business is a global business, and that means the wave won’t break at the same time for everyone. “Today I can’t tell you where [a framework for advanced autonomous driving] will happen first. I personally think China will be the first, like with electromobility; they want it, they will make it possible,” said Fröhlich. “Europe is very slow. You can see this even with our new Level 2 system, which is completely hands-off—in America and China. In Europe, I have to touch the steering wheel every few seconds.”

“For the Level 3 system, I’m interested that it can be used by you for most of your use cases,” said Fröhlich. “Level 3 is limited to divided roads. Our system will offer you that capability wherever there is a divider, on the highways or in the city, and will be able to drive in the rain and snow and mud at least 130 kph [81 mph] and can overtake.

“It will have adaptable driving strategies, so that you feel safe. Because if you drive with different drivers, you feel safe or unsafe” depending on their driving styles, according to Fröhlich.

Autonomous driving will no doubt continue to be a headline-grabber (and a hot feature for those who can afford it), but the iNext is also chock-full of other fresh tech, like the Intelligent Beam system, which can recognize keys printed on the otherwise blank pages of a book, for instance, and project media, such as video, directly onto its pages—and track the projection to stay on the page even as the user moves the book around. The Intelligent Beam system can even recognize when the user points to or touches a specific portion of the image, and can respond to that touch or gesture input.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is another buzzword that’s bandied with increasing abandon by brands in every segment of the economy, from smartphones to home entertainment to cars. And although it’s definitely buzzworthy, AI has yet to prove itself capable of delivering on its promise of natural, effortless human-machine interactions. BMW hopes its Personal Assistant AI will offer some of that proof and plans to thread its voice-activated assistant throughout the iNext’s system—and therefore, presumably, all of its cars’ systems—from infotainment to navigation and even to smart home control through BMW Connected.

So when will we be getting all of these flashy new goodies? Not until 2021, when the production iNext arrives. The technology that debuts on the production iNext will then percolate throughout the BMW Group’s vehicles—including Rolls-Royce and Mini—over the ensuing several years.

The BMW Vision iNext and BMW’s plan for its near-to-medium-term halo technology are both bold statements, aiming to deliver a genuine sense of the future coming to pass before our very eyes. Not the washed-out, overhyped, ultimately disappointing future—no Jetsons cars, no helpful androids, and no food materializers. No, the BMW Vision iNext is BMW’s plan to deliver the future we all hope for, or at the very least, a future that looks a lot more like it.

The post BMW Vision iNext Previews Future Model Due in 2021 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Real Estate Investors' share price dip on half year results

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 17:58
Shares in Real Estate Investors (REI) nudged down 0.10% on Monday to 54.94p after the Birmingham and Midlands focused investment company revealed it has a £30m war chest ready to take advantage of Brexit downturns.
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Spied! Porsche 911 Turbo Convertible Hits the Pavement

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 17:15

It has been several weeks since we last spotted the next-gen Porsche 911, but now the sports car has reemerged sporting an attractive gray paint job.

Our spy photographers caught the convertible version enjoying the final days of summer with its top down. The scoop just behind the rear door indicates this is the Turbo model, and unsurprisingly, the overall design hasn’t changed too much from the current version.

Up front, however, you’ll notice revised air intakes, and in the rear, there is a new light bar that extends the entire width of the car. This detail is hidden by some camouflage, but it hints at an updated design inspired by the new Panamera. Many details in the rear will likely change for production, such as the exhaust. Last month, we spotted a coupe prototype with less camouflage.

Porsche hasn’t announced powertrain details. But expect the Turbo to come with a six-cylinder twin-turbo boxer engine making around 600 hp. The current Turbo S already produces 580 hp, so making the 600-hp mark seems like a pretty reasonable goal.

We expect the next 911 to debut in one form or another pretty soon. It’s possible the reveal could happen as soon as the Paris Motor Show next month. In the meantime, check out the full gallery of images below.

Photo Source: CarPix

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More features bump 2019 Nissan Pathfinder price to $32,225

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 17:03
The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder costs about $200 more than last year's model, but it now includes rear parking sensors and USB Type C ports. At $32,225 to start including a mandatory $995 destination charge, the front-wheel-drive 2019 Pathfinder S undercuts rivals such as the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, and Subaru Ascent. In addition to four USB...
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