Toyota Gazoo Racing to Enter Lexus LC in 24 Hours of Nürburgring

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 00:30

Toyota Gazoo Racing will be competing in the 46th running of the 24 hours of the Nürburgring endurance race this year in a Lexus LC race car. The event will be held at the infamous raceway from Saturday, May 12, through Sunday, May 13.

The Nürburgring 24 endurance race is an annual event held in central Germany on one of the most grueling and well-known tracks in the world, the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track.

Entering its twelfth consecutive year, Toyota Gazoo Racing uses race cars built by Toyota employees and raced by a team of Toyota’s mechanics and engineers.

This year marks the first time the Lexus LC competes and the race car will be using advanced developmental technologies that are destined for future production vehicles. These include body technology (reducing weight, increasing rigidity), driver assistance, aerodynamic, engine, and suspension development.

Competing in the SP-PRO class, the LC’s engine is a modified version of the 5.0-liter V-8 found in the production LC and the race car will be equipped with Bridgestone tires.

Four drivers will be piloting the Gazoo Racing Lexus LC. Takeshi Tsuchiya is the chief driver, along with three younger drivers: Takamitsu Matsui, Naoya Gamo, and Yuichi Nakayama.

“The race car we are currently developing, the Lexus LC, is still in its infancy and finally beginning to take its first steps,” said chief driver Tsuchiya in a release. “It will be some time before it can properly stand by itself, but it will be well worth the effort, and I’m delighted to actually be involved in Toyota’s efforts towards ‘making ever-better cars’ for the future. As the drivers, the four of us will work together to bring the company’s goals to fruition.”

Recently, Toyota Gazoo launched a GR Sport Series sub-brand (GR stands for Gazoo Racing) in Japan and unveiled the GR Super Sport Concept, a car closely related to Toyota’s TS050 Hybrid LMP1-class race car.

Source: Toyota

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Subaru VIZIV Performance STI Concept Debuts

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 23:30

At the Tokyo Motor Show in October, Subaru unveiled the VIZIV Performance Concept, which previewed the direction of the next-generation WRX. Now, Subaru is back with a similar concept at the Tokyo Auto Salon debuting a concept that previews a future STI.

The STI concept looks similar to the WRX concept from a few months ago, but there are noticeable differences including a side sill spoiler, bold rear spoiler, and unique front bumper, improving air resistance. Knowing Subaru’s history with these types of concepts, it’s unlikely the final STI will be very similar to what we see here. But Subaru worked hard to improve aerodynamics and enhance cooling through design, aspects it can implement on a production model.

At this time, powertrain details on the STI remain unclear. But it’s looking more and more likely that the STI will eventually be a hybrid. Speaking to AutoExpress recently, Subaru U.K. marketing director Chris Hawken said, “[Subaru’s Global Platform] has been designed to take hybrid and electric,” adding, “that is the way STI is going.”

A potential hybrid STI could help the automaker meet stricter emissions requirements in the future.

The new WRX and STI are likely still a few years away. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy looking at these concepts and hoping at least some of the design details will make their way to production.

Source: Subaru

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2018 McLaren 570GT Offers New Sport Pack

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 22:30

The 2018 McLaren 570GT sports car gets a fancy new Sport Pack to bring it more in line with the 570S. Carbon-ceramic brake discs are now standard, but optional upgrades include the dynamic handling package that adds several suspension modifications.

“The McLaren Sports Series is already recognized for bringing the excitement and race-derived technology of a supercar to the luxury sports car market, a reputation that was further enhanced by the recent introduction of the 570S Spider,” said Jolyon Nash, McLaren marketing director, in a statement.

“The changes for 2018 make every model in the range even more compelling; customers attracted by the McLaren blend of lightweight, carbon-fiber construction, and mid-mounted, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine combining to deliver thrilling performance, can now choose from an even wider range of colors, materials, and features.”

Nash continues, “Additionally, with the new 570GT Sport Pack, we have reacted to market requests for a 570GT with the driving dynamics of the 570S Coupé. This optional handling package gives the same chassis setup as the Coupé, while retaining the luxurious features, luggage space, and looks of the 570GT.”

There are five new Design Edition packages in numerous shades and interior combos—plus, there’s an optional driver-controlled variable-tint electrochromic panoramic roof.

The roof utilizes an electric current to trigger a change in the opacity of the glass which comes in handy on hot, sunny days.

McLaren says the new 570GT Design Editions offered feature Silica White exterior with Saddle Tan and Carbon Black interior; Pacific Blue with Jet Black and Areia; Blade Silver with Natural Tan and Carbon Black; Fire Black with Jet Black and Areia; and Storm Gray with Jet Black and Almond White.

The Sport Pack adds $5,950 to your McLaren and includes sticky new Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires.

Source: McLaren

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Genovation GXE Corvette: The 800-HP, $750,000 Green Hypercar

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 21:59

On the occasion of the Genovation GXE Corvette’s official coming-out party at CES 2018, we sat down with the folks responsible for turning politely powerful Corvette Grand Sports into positively pugilistic 800-hp, 700-lb-ft electric record-breakers to learn a bit more about how they did it. Here are the nitty-gritty details behind this $750,000 green hypercar.

The project started four years ago, when the chassis folks at Dana gifted the Rockville, Maryland-based Genovation team an aluminum chassis for a C6 Corvette with the only stipulation being “you can’t put a gas engine in it.” They started shopping around at various trade shows in search of the suppliers best able to help them transform the Corvette into an electric car capable of breaking speed records. They ended up with AMRacing motors (two of them mount up front, twisting the same shaft) and power inverters from Rinehart Motion Systems (both from Oregon). These are fed by a 61-kW-hr battery pack from Lithos Energy under the direction of powertrain control systems designed by from Stafl Systems (both from the Bay Area). The cylindrical-style batteries utilize nickel-cobalt-aluminum/nickel-cobalt-manganese chemistry optimized for power delivery rather than energy density. Genovation’s latest computer simulations predict an EPA range of 175 miles (so long as those miles don’t probe the car’s 209-mph EV speed record or claimed sub-3-second 0–60 performance).

The batteries are arrayed in a horseshoe shape around the front motors (which nestle beneath the two inverters that are visible through the hood’s Plexiglas window), in the central tunnel, and under the raised trunk floor behind the seats. The operating voltage is 700–800 volts, and charging via the 10-kW onboard charger and SAE J1772 plug takes 7 hours. The fact that the operating voltage is higher than that of most DC fast chargers presents a challenge for fast charging at the moment. The powertrain is heated and cooled by three cooling loops, with direct oil cooling of the permanent-magnet motors.

Now, about those performance claims. The GXE Corvette is rear-wheel drive, but it’s way lighter than a Tesla, and its (stock Z06 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2) rear tires are wider, so Genovation says it can approach dual-motor Tesla Ludicrous rates of acceleration. Testing to date has been on the six-speed C6 prototype, which retains the Corvette’s stock transaxle and gearing but features a reinforced differential.

The optimal launch speed is 2,500 rpm in second gear, with upshifts occurring at a very gas-Corvette-like 6,500 rpm—well shy of the motor’s 10,000-rev limit. The motors enter a constant-power regime beyond that point, so there’s no reason to press on. Wheelspin is a big issue until fourth gear, and the traction management programming is all Genovation’s. A shift light indicates the optimal rpm, which can vary as the state of charge and nominal voltage drop.

The 209-hp speed record was measured on February 16 at Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds located at Space Florida’s Shuttle Landing Facility, Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island Florida, establishing a new land speed record for street-legal electric cars. Genovation actually claims a top speed of 220 mph on longer tracks than Kennedy’s.

The production car is obviously based on the C7 Corvette and will hence feature the seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. Genovation retains all the stock safety systems and onboard LAN communications bus but adds a dedicated CAN bus to connect the 11 control modules and the bespoke instrumentation, which includes a Volvo-esque vertical touchscreen. Genovation also adds a Harman ultra-high-fidelity sound system and its own navigation and 4G LTE Wi-Fi system. Over-the-air updates will be offered. The Corvette’s stock CAN bus is fed just enough information to trick it into thinking there’s a perfectly functioning powertrain onboard. Stafl surely had fun making all of this work.

For packaging reasons primarily, the composite leaf springs are removed in favor of a set of DSC Sport adjustable coil-over shock units. Carbon-fiber wheels are from Carbon Revolution (Ford GT and Shelby GT350) and shave 10 pounds of unsprung rotating mass per corner.

Interested customers must bring a new (or very gently used) C7 Corvette Grand Sport to Genovation (which recommends a build combination that ensures you don’t pay for optional items that will just be removed). The plan is to build coupes, but if someone insisted on a convertible, Genovation can build one. The conversion takes place at Prefix Corporation in Auburn Hills, Michigan (the company once contracted to paint new SRT Vipers). The build includes new front and rear fascias—the latter incorporating classic-look round LED taillamps, numerous carbon-fiber trim pieces from Nowicki Autosport, GXE badges, a completely retrimmed interior, and a new custom paint job. We’re told that no two of the 75 cars planned will be the same color. Aero upgrades for top speed stability include a front splitter, rear diffuser, and wing. Adjustable elements including the front splitter can increase downforce for handling-circuit use. New low-drag mirrors include light pipes that, along with those in the front fascia, communicate the charging status when plugged in.

Genovation promises to give Motor Trend and Randy Pobst a go in the GXE Corvette later this summer, shortly before deliveries begin in late 2018.

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Ford Urges Owners of Certain 2006 Ranger Trucks Not to Drive

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 21:30

Ahead of the new Ranger’s impending release in 2019, Ford has issued a recall for older Rangers.

The Problem: In almost 3,000 Ranger vehicles from the 2006 model year, the airbag inflators pose a higher risk of rupturing during a crash. These airbag inflators are from Takata, which have caused automakers to recall millions and millions of vehicles in recent years.

Ford says it’s taking this action because there have been two fatalities related to ruptures from Takata inflators built on the same day. The first death was reported back in January 2016, but a new one has come to light. Ford received notification late last year that a second crash in West Virginia over the summer of 2017 involved a ruptured Takata inflator on the driver’s side. The automaker confirmed the death was linked to the inflator rupturing.

The Fix: Ford urges owners of affected 2006 Rangers to stop driving their vehicles until the proper repairs are made. Dealers are now available to pick the vehicles up directly from customers, and the parts are also in stock. Drivers may receive a free loaner vehicle while their vehicles are being repaired.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: The recall affects certain 2006 Ford Ranger trucks built from August 10, 2005 and December 15, 2005 at the automaker’s former Twin Cities Assembly plant. An estimated 2,712 vehicles are in the U.S. and federalized territories and 190 are in Canada.

Source: Ford

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Nissan Teases Crossover for Detroit

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 20:30

In a new video, Nissan teases a mysterious crossover that will debut at the Detroit auto show.

The video starts off asking us to “envision a journey in which distance draws everyone together” and “there is no fear in the unknown.” As cryptic as it sounds, we think it signifies Nissan will debut a concept that looks farther into the future. It likely previews what we could expect on a crossover with some type of autonomous technology.

Nissan has started rolling out ProPilot Assist on vehicles including the Rogue and Leaf as a step toward autonomous driving. Within the next four years, Nissan anticipates the system will help drivers steer, accelerate, and brake in city and highway driving.

It’s likely autonomous, but that doesn’t mean Nissan wanted to design a boring pod-like vehicle. From what we can tell of background images dropped throughout the video, the design looks promising, including the bold wheels and rear window spoiler.

Perhaps even more telling, the interior features a simple and sleek design with a racing-inspired steering wheel. It also has an avant-garde digital display spanning the width of the entire dashboard.

At the end of the video, Nissan tells us to watch the story unfold on January 18, so we’ll be tuning in to learn more about this new crossover.

Source: Nissan via YouTube

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2019 Hyundai Veloster Shows its Face in New Teaser

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 19:30

Thanks to Hyundai’s latest teaser, we now have a pretty good idea of what the Veloster will look like when it debuts at the Detroit auto show in a few days.

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster shows its face in an animation posted to Twitter recently. As we’ve seen in previous teasers, the Veloster receives a pointy grille and more conventional headlights. Its front end more closely aligns with the look of other new Hyundai products.

Hyundai also previewed the Veloster’s back end. New taillights are the most obvious change, as well as the newly designed lower lights. Once again, the Veloster has two centrally mounted tailpipes in the rear. It also has a black window spoiler that looks nice against the orange paint job. A 1.6T badge denotes the car’s 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, which made 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque in the previous generation.

The new Veloster will retain its unusual three-door setup. Like on the old model, there is one door on the driver’s side but two on the passenger side. Judging from previous teasers, the Veloster has large wheel arches, a sloped roof, and low proportions. Hyundai says it pushed the car’s A-pillar back to make the hood of the car look longer.

We’ll learn more when the Veloster debuts January 15 at the Detroit auto show.

Source: Hyundai via Twitter

The 2019 Veloster is ready to make some noise. See the live reveal on 01/15 at 12:05 pm EST. #HyundaiVeloster #NAIAS

— Hyundai USA (@Hyundai) January 11, 2018

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Toyota GR Super Sport Concept Packs LMP1-Derived 986-HP Powertrain

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 18:30

Last month, Toyota teased a new sports car concept called the GR Super Sport, and we speculated it could be essentially a Le Mans prototype racer for the road. The concept just debuted at Tokyo Auto Salon 2018, and it seems our assessment was correct.

The GR Super Sport Concept was developed by Toyota Gazoo Racing, the Japanese automaker’s motorsports and performance arm, as a next-gen “super sports car.” Rather than take an existing production car and massage it into a sports car, Toyota Gazoo Racing took what it has learned from racing at Le Mans and in the World Endurance Championship and applied it to a no-compromise vehicle designed from the ground up, according to Gazoo Racing president Shigeki Tomoyama. The result is an LMP-looking coupe powered by a twin-turbo 2.4-liter V-6 hybrid system developed from the Toyota TS050 Hybrid’s powertrain. The system uses most of the same parts as the TS050 and produces a combined 986 hp, Toyota says.

“Although it will be some time before you all have the opportunity to get behind the wheel, I hope that the GR Super Sport Concept will give you a taste of what we aim to achieve with our next-generation sports cars,” Tomoyama said in a release.

We hope we don’t have to wait too long, as having another race car-derived hypercar to face off with the likes of the Mercedes-AMG Project One and Aston Martin Valkyrie would make for one hell of a comparison test.

Source: Toyota

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Bentley Bentayga V8 Added to Lineup

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 17:00

Because not everyone needs 12 cylinders, Bentley is offering a smaller powertrain for the Bentayga SUV.

A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 gasoline engine will arrive for the Bentayga this year in global markets including North America. Bentley says the new model should make 542 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque. Until now, Bentley has only offered the Bentayga with a W-12 engine making 600 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque, and outside the U.S., a diesel V-8 with 429 hp and the same amount of twist as its larger sibling.

Bentley estimates a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds for the new Bentayga. It will be quicker off the line than the diesel (4.6 seconds) but slower than the W-12 (4.0 seconds), according to Bentley estimates. We tested a Euro-spec Bentayga W-12 hitting the mark in just 3.5 seconds, however, so the new V8 model could also be quicker than expected.

To improve fuel economy, the engine in the Bentley Bentayga V8 deactivates four of its eight cylinders in situations that don’t demand full power. Drivers shouldn’t feel the switch-over because it occurs in just 20 milliseconds, the automaker says. Stop-start technology also helps maximize fuel economy and contribute to a range of 464 miles on a single tank. And despite having a lesser V-8 under the hood, Bentley didn’t compromise the model’s off-road capability. It features specific settings such as Snow and Grass, Dirt and Gravel, Mud and Trail, and Sand Dunes. Hill Descent Control, permanent all-wheel drive, and a multi-mode air suspension help in this endeavor.

The Bentley Bentayga V8 will offer new optional carbon-ceramic brakes. It’s said to be the largest and most powerful brake system Bentley has ever offered, as well as the largest front brake system available on any production car. The brake discs measure 440 mm in diameter at the front and 370 mm in the rear.

Also look for “twin-quad” tailpipes and red brake calipers, as well as a black grille accented with chrome. Inside the cabin, you’ll find a new high-gloss carbon-fiber finish that adorns the center console, doors, and other areas of the interior. There’s a new wood- and hide-trimmed steering wheel that uses a solid wood base and is available in seven different veneer finishes.

Check out the configurator for the Bentley Bentayga V8 here.

Bentley is expected to add a plug-in variant. And rumor has it Bentley is mulling a second SUV offering to slot below the Bentayga.

Source: Bentley

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Categories: Property

Deutsche Asset Management snaps up Enfield shopping centre

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 16:12
Deutsche Asset Management has acquired Palace Gardens Shopping Centre in Enfield on behalf of one of its German open ended real estate funds from the Standard Life Investments UK Shopping Centre Trust.
Categories: Property

China's Google and self-driving cars, Byton electric SUV, Tesla Model 3: What’s New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 15:30
2019 Honda Insight hybrid to debut in Detroit, promises 50 mpg combined A "concept" for the 2019 Honda Insight hybrid sedan will appear at the Detroit auto show that opens next week, debuting a new "premium compact" model that will sit between the compact Civic and mid-size Accord sedans. Chinese automaker looking to build cars in South Carolina...
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Ram moves heavy duty truck production to Michigan from Mexico, readies for Jeep Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 15:03
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will spend $1 billion to upgrade its Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan to build heavy duty Ram pickups and a full-size Jeep SUV, the automaker announced Thursday. The investment is a continuation of a plan already announced by the automaker, which shuffled SUV and crossover production between Ohio, Michigan, and...
Categories: Property

Strong UK investment leads record European real estate performance

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 14:49
European commercial real estate investment volumes reached a record high of €286bn (£254m) in 2017, led by an rise 11.6% in UK investment volumes over the past 12 months.
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2018 Volkswagen Passat GT Bows Ahead of Detroit

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 14:00

Good news, VW fans—the 2018 Passat GT has arrived just ahead of the Detroit auto show. Just like the concept that debuted in 2016, the production Passat GT packs a narrow-angle 3.6-liter VR6 engine that offers 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 is mated to a standard six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. VW says its EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19/28 mpg (city/highway).

“The Passat GT illustrates how the North American Region can shape Volkswagen vehicles specifically for the U.S. market,” said Dr. Matthias Erb, Volkswagen CEO, in a statement.

“Combining a local perspective with our global engineering expertise allows us to create vehicles that meet the needs and desires of customers here.”

The Passat GT is based on the R Line trim, and borrows that model’s bumper. The GT further adds a honeycomb grille, GT badge, and red accent line reminiscent of the GTI. The roof is black and so are the mirror caps, window, and door trim.

It rolls on two-tone 19-inch “Tornado” wheels that sport red-painted brake calipers. Around back there’s a black spoiler, blackened LED taillights, black bumper trim, and a dual exhaust.

Inside, the GT touts a piano black center console, carbon-fiber bits, black headliner, and aluminum GT-badged sills. Seats are made from black leatherette with Moonrock Gray inserts and contrast stitching.

Other standard goodies include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, eight-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, and heated side mirrors. Tech-wise there’s an infotainment unit with 6.3-inch touchscreen display that’s Apple CarPlay- and Android Auto-friendly.

The GT joins the 2018 Passat lineup as a limited-run special model based off the R-Line trim. It’s available in four flavors—Pure White, Reflex Silver, Platinum Gray, and Deep Black.

The 2018 Passat GT is expected to arrive at dealers in the spring priced starting at $29,940.

Source: Volkswagen

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Categories: Property

Ballymore secures £82m loan for Nine Elms office scheme

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 12:18
Ballymore has agreed an £82m three-year development loan with Lloyds Bank Commercial Real Estate to bring forward a 211,000 sq ft office building at its Embassy Gardens development in London’s Nine Elms.
Categories: Property

Chevy bids adieu to the steering wheel for self-driving cars

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 12:03
It's a stark image of a future that Chevrolet says isn't far off. The automaker filed a Safety Petition with the Department of Transportation with the intent of testing cars without steering wheels, pedals, or any kind of manual controls as early as 2019. The photo and video depict a test vehicle based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV that looks like it...
Categories: Property

Major US multifamily firm to make £4bn push into UK

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:51
US multifamily giant Cortland Partners has acquired developer Orion Land & Leisure to begin a £4bn push into the UK residential market.
Categories: Property

McCarthy & Stone unveils plans for Surrey retirement scheme

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:18
Retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone has revealed plans to build a 43-unit scheme with a gross development value of £21.5m located in Weybridge, Surrey.
Categories: Property

China's Google competitor says maps for self-driving cars could become core of its business

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:00
As the age of self-driving cars steadily approaches, the demand for high-definition maps will outpace even the need for search engines. That’s the line of thinking, anyway, from Baidu, China’s largest search company and the country’s chief rival to Google. The company’s chief operating officer, Qi Lu, spoke on the issue at...
Categories: Property

Orchard Street makes £35m Hermiston Retail Park acquisition

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:50
Orchard Street Investment Management has acquired Hermiston Retail Park in Consett, County Durham on behalf of St James’ Place UK for £35.31 million from Aviva Investors.
Categories: Property