Audi Confirms E-Tron GT

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 15:52

As part of its aggressive plan to make more electrified cars, Audi will launch a four-door E-Tron Gran Turismo in the next few years. The automaker announced the new model at its annual press conference this week and released a sketch of a prototype version.

“We interpret sportiness very progressively with our fully electric e-tron GT, and this is how we will take our high-performance brand Audi Sport into the future,” Audi AG Chairman Rupert Stadler said in a statement. The E-Tron GT will make an interesting rival to the Tesla Model S.

Production on the E-Tron GT will begin early next decade at Audi’s Böllinger Höfe facility near Neckarsulm, Germany. This is where Audi currently produces the R8, although the future of the supercar remains unclear. As our colleagues at AUTOMOBILE pointed out, there’s no replacement planned for the R8 right now and it’s expected to be phased out in 2020.

Audi will bring out its first fully electric series-produced vehicle later this year. The E-Tron Quattro SUV will enter production in Brussels, Belgium. It’s expected to have three electric motors that produce a combined total of 429-496 hp depending on whether or not a boost function is activated. An E-Tron Sportback is due next year and will also make Brussels its home for production.

By 2025, Audi plans to have more than 20 electrified models that will make up a third of its unit sales. Audi is working with Porsche on new vehicle architectures to accommodate new electric vehicles.

Pictured below are the E-Tron Quattro and E-Tron Sportback

Source: Audi

The post Audi Confirms E-Tron GT appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Industry welcomes business rates change

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 15:21
Chancellor Philip Hammond announces move from five- to three-year revaluations.
Categories: Property

V2I update, 2019 Kia K900 teased, California emissions: What’s New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 14:30
Traffic lights in Washington, D.C., can now talk to cars Washington, D.C., is the latest city to link its traffic system to cars equipped with vehicle-to-infrastructure, or V2I, communication, Audi said today. 1.3M Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ sedans recalled for loose steering wheel Ford Motor Company said Wednesday that it will recall more than 1.3...
Categories: Property

Mipim 2018: Allied London to develop series of new buildings at Enterprise City

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 13:39
Allied London has unveiled plans for the expansion of its Enterprise City scheme in Manchester.
Categories: Property

HB Reavis teams up with CIC to create UK innovation clusters

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 13:31
Developer HB Reavis has formed a $45m (£33m) partnership with US real estate firm Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) with plans to create innovation clusters in the UK, Property Week can reveal.
Categories: Property

Lendinvest launches second retail bond

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 13:24
Fintech lender LendInvest has announced the proposed issue of a new retail bond, which it hopes will raise more than £50m.
Categories: Property

2018 Aston Martin DB11

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 13:08
The 2018 Aston Martin DB11 is a blockbuster effort after years of low-budget attempts from the small automaker. The DB11 replaces a car that was growing old on the vine, and it selectively uses components from partner Mercedes-Benz. That, and a new stiffer chassis, make the DB11 a thoroughly modern grand tourer that sticks to Aston Martin’s...
Categories: Property

MoD properties to go under hammer with LSH

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 13:04
The Ministry of Defence has appointed Lambert Smith Hampton on a two year online auction contract with a mandate to support its 30% estate reduction commitments.
Categories: Property

Perot-led Hillwood teams with Trebor to expand UK presence

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 12:29
Trebor Developments has announced a new joint venture with leading US investor Hillwood to develop a wide range of industrial and logistics sites in the UK.
Categories: Property

Mipim 2018: First Panattoni to spec build 714,000 sq ft in Nottingham

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 11:09
Industrial developer First Panattoni has announced plans to speculatively build three warehouses totalling 714,000 sq ft at Panattoni Park Nottingham.
Categories: Property

MoD to build new £48m chemical weapons defence centre near Salisbury

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 10:59
The Ministry of Defence has announced plans to create a new chemical weapons “defence centre” at the Porton Down science park near Salisbury.
Categories: Property

Mipim 2018: St James secures Debenhams deal in Derby

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 10:51
St James Securities has been announced as the preferred bidder for the purchase of the former Debenhams building in Derby with plans to transform it into a residential and commercial development.
Categories: Property

Annington steps up PRS profile with £75m Uxbridge acquisition

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 09:54
Annington has completed on the acquisition of 207 PRS homes in Uxbridge from St Modwen for £75m.
Categories: Property

New Netherlands chief for Colliers International

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 09:42
Colliers International has appointed Dirk Bakker as its new chief executive in the Netherlands.
Categories: Property

Persimmon appoints FA director as chair after pay row

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 08:45
FTSE 100 housebuilder Persimmon has appointed the current independent director of the Football Association, Roger Devlin, as its new chairman.
Categories: Property

Empiric's Baroness Dean dies suddenly

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 08:35
Empiric Student Property has announced the sudden death of its non-executive chairman the Rt Hon Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde.
Categories: Property

Savills posts strong annual results

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 08:27
Savills has revealed a 13% rise in pre-tax profit for 2017, off the back of an 11% rise in group revenue.
Categories: Property

Harry Potter’s Take on the 2018 Lexus LC 500

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 08:00

You remember him as the The Chosen One, and he’s best known for having vanquished the dark wizard Lord Voldemort. These days he works a desk job as the Head of Magical Law Enforcement at the Ministry of Magic. He and his wife, Ginny, are raising three kids, two of whom are currently enrolled at Hogwarts. And although we muggles envision wizards such as Potter whooshing everywhere on magical broomsticks like the Nimbus 2000 or Firebolt or simply apparating from one location to another, all of that takes a lot of energy and involves considerable risk. So at the end of a long day at the office, the well-off wizard craves the same comfort and style we all do. We caught up with Potter at the Ministry’s Universal Studios Orlando branch to talk muggle-mobiles over a couple of frosty butterbeers.

Motor Trend I couldn’t help noticing that sleek Lexus LC 500 parked in the space with your name on it out front. What made you choose that car?

Harry Potter When it comes to muggle transportation, I’m just like any regular bloke—I read buff books like yours. I eagerly read Motor Trend’s Best Drivers’ Car piece, took one look at that Lexus, and bam! It was like I’d been hit with one of Professor Slughorn’s Amortentia potions. I simply had to have one exactly like it.

MT But that one finished in eighth place, and surely a man of your, ahem, “abilities” could have any car on that list if you put your mind and wand to it …

HP [Sighs] Surely you must know it’s not as simple as that. Otherwise why would the Weasleys have been flying around in that doddering, miserable Ford Anglia? No, I had to make a substantial withdrawal from my vault at Gringotts for this one. But more to your point, I can accelerate, brake, and corner infinitely harder on my broom than even Randy Pobst, Chris Walton, or Kim Reynolds can in a Ferrari 488, so that’s not really the point. (And it’s absolutely the reason I passed on the $5,960 Performance package!)

MT Ah, but you did opt for the higher-performing, angrier-sounding, more consumptive V-8 instead of the earth-friendlier hybrid LC 500h. If you don’t mind my saying, that seems a rather Slytherin choice. I’d have pegged a Gryffindor man such as yourself as a hybrid buyer.

HP You know the sorting hat might have gotten it wrong with me! [Chuckles] Just kidding. I did it to save $4,510. And have you heard that V-8 roar? It’s like the distant shriek of a mandrake root echoing through the dark forest. Absolute muggle magic. Listen, I’d love to chat longer, but I’ve got a splitting headache from this blasted scar, and I’m afraid I’m going to have to disapparate off to Hogwarts to sort out a problem between my Slytherin-house son, Albus, and his new “friend,” Scorpius Malfoy. Kids these days! But hey, I won’t be using the Lexus for a while. I absolutely insist you take it for a spin—just have it back in a week.

MT Wow, thanks! That’s very generous. Good luck!

As it happens, I was planning to spend a week in Florida visiting friends and relatives and attending a wedding, so I parked my Alamo rental Mitsubishi Mirage and transferred our luggage. As we unloaded two roller bags, a duffle, and two briefcases from the frumpy hatchback, it looked like too much for the sleek coupe’s trunk, but lo and behold everything fit. Potter must have charmed his trunk like Perkins’ tent or Hermione Granger’s beaded bag.

Our first visit was with cousin Raymond. Ray collects classic cars, so we offered to drive him to lunch in this oh so sexy Lexus, with my partner, Mike, volunteering to squeeze into the—sadly uncharmed—rear seat. He only fit with the front seat fully forward, whereupon we were both as miserable as Dobby the house elf. Please consider the rear seat suitable only for a “cursed child” or two.

En route to our subsequent destinations, I was repeatedly vexed by the touchpad user interface. Accurately placing the cursor on the infotainment screen by sliding a finger around on the console-mounted pad and then pressing to accept an input is a skill that has thus far eluded me. I suspect that owners not in possession of Harry’s wand or Hermione’s facility with spells will find it easiest to master the voice control system. Or you can bypass it all by using Waze and streaming music from a phone.

Read our First Test of the 2018 Lexus LC 500 and LC 500h here.

Most of the 500-plus miles we racked up on Harry’s new Lexus were on billiard-table-flat, poker-straight roads that were as fun and engaging as one of professor Cuthbert Binns’ History of Magic lectures. But when traveling between Estero and Bradenton, for some reason Waze routed us off of I-75 and onto state routes 31 and 70—the latter of which was straight enough and populated with just enough slow-moving trucks spaced just far enough apart to permit frequent passing blasts from 50 to 100 mph, each of which involved the transmission instantly downshifting from 10th to third gear and prompting another glorious mandrake shriek all the way to redline.

Wherever we drove or parked, the car drew the kind of attention Rubeus Hagrid would draw walking his three-headed cur Fluffy, which made us feel as famous as Harry Potter. The LC 500 is indeed a fabulous grand tourer—serenely quiet when you’re not whipping it, comfortable riding even on its forged 21s (a $2,650 indulgence), and as engagingly gorgeous to look at inside as it is outside.

Its broad stance left us wishing it could skinny up like the Knight Bus in many a parking space, and when climbing out—especially in the narrower spaces—we occasionally found ourselves muttering “Wingardium Leviosa,” hoping for a bit of magical levitation assistance out of the low-slung seats. But it truly was a magical week capped off by a wedding in the clouds that was surely just as fun and enchanting as that of Harry and Ginny or Hermione and Ron. And so it was with considerable sadness and gratitude that we nosed the LC 500 back into the Universal lot space marked “H. Potter.” You chose well, Harry.

Note: Some of the above account is fictitious, but the car, the 500-mile drive, and all related impressions really did happen.


The post Harry Potter’s Take on the 2018 Lexus LC 500 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Nissan Researches Mind-Over-Motor Technology – Technologue

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 08:00

Nissan made big, brainy waves at CES by unveiling its brain-to-vehicle research project. If you’ve read recent headlines about people controlling robotic arms or quadcopters simply by thinking about doing so while wearing funny electroencephalography (EEG) caps bristling with sensors and wires, you might wonder whether the era of drive-by-wireless imagination is upon us. It is not. Nor is direct brain control of your commute what Nissan is after. This sandbox research project simply aims to use brainwaves to make your time in a car more pleasurable in two specific instances—when you’re driving and when you’re being driven.

The simple truth of brain control of anything via EEG is that, for now at least, detecting sufficient brain activity to control roboarms, copters, or cars typically requires the user to wear something like a swimming cap containing loads of sensors that must be precisely positioned on the scalp using electrically conductive gel that’s guaranteed to ruin any coiffure. But according to Nissan’s Lucian Gheorghe, senior innovation researcher in charge of the B2V project, some signals are easier to detect reliably with less complicated sensors. His new headset features 11 pads with four contacts each, and they don’t require gel. It’s more comfortable to wear, delivers 95 percent of the accuracy of a gelled-up medical-grade sensor cap, and connects to the vehicle conveniently via Bluetooth.

The first of these signals is known as motor-related cortical potential (MRCP), and it fires from the motor cortex about 500 milliseconds before the driver’s arm muscles execute a turn. Gheorghe proposes to use that advance warning to order the electric steering assist to initiate a turn. Doing so will get that first part of any turn out of the way, where all the bushing compliance and rubber bending occurs and nothing seems to happen. Get it right, and the driver perceives the steering to be super responsive (dare we say telepathic), making the car feel agile. Timing is crucial—jump the gun too much, and expert drivers will sense autonomy. Another challenge is predicting the direction because the easily detected MRCP signal doesn’t specify left or right. Onboard sensors and map data can predict the direction with greater accuracy than direct brain-signal interpretation could provide.

The second signal, known as an error-related potential (ERP), fires off from the anterior cingulate cortex when our brain notices a mistake or unexpected event. Researchers at MIT and Boston University have used this signal as a means for humans to fine-tune sorting decisions made by robots. Similarly, Gheorghe believes it can be used to fine-tune the driving behavior of your autonomous car. Here’s the setup: Say your car has learned that on your drive home from work, you wish to be more relaxed—following slower-moving cars in a leisurely fashion rather than aggressively overtaking them. But one day, you need to get home quickly. Displeasure with the gentler driving gets registered by these ERP signals, and the car switches to an in-a-hurry driving protocol.

This is all years away, and by the time its ready, the sensing might not require a headset. Instead we could be using sensors embedded in the driver. Wireless, batteryless, implantable sensors known as “neural dust” are the latest rage in “electroceuticals” used for monitoring and even stimulating various nerves or muscles. Acceptance of implanted electronics today varies widely by region. Americans and Japanese are very “anti.” But Dutch and Spanish nightclubs have allowed special VIP access and account payment via embedded RFID chips—similar to the one in your pet if you registered it.

Oh sure, today it’s easy to say, “Club access and crisp steering would never get me to submit to an electronic implant.” Expect Big Government and Big Business to up the ante in the years to come with alluring prospects such as jumping bothersome queues at airport security, national borders, amusement parks, etc. By the time the deal gets sweet enough to entice you, Nissan should be ready to tap your embedded sensors and rock your ride.

Read more by Frank Markus here:

The post Nissan Researches Mind-Over-Motor Technology – Technologue appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Clarion reveals five-year £800m build-to-rent plan

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 06:47
Housing association aims to become major player by building a 3,000-unit portfolio in high-growth areas.
Categories: Property