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Updated: 8 hours 10 min ago

Property Week News Feed: RICS survey gives worst reading for retail property since 2009

10 hours 46 min ago
Tenant demand for retail property continued to fall in the first quarter of this year and the pace of the decline accelerated, while demand for industrial space picked up, according to the latest RICS UK Commercial Property Market survey.
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Property Week News Feed: Santander's Aimers joins LJ Partnership as new head of credit

10 hours 51 min ago
Private wealth firm LJ Partnership has made its second significant hire from Santander with the appointment of the bank’s former head of credit risk for real estate, Alan Aimers, as a director and head of credit.
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Property Week News Feed: U+I shares soar on strong full year results

11 hours 6 min ago
U+I shares have surged more than 5% in early trading after the group reported development and trading gains at the top end of its guidance and strong growth in NAV in full year results.
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Motortrend News Feed: 2018 Audi RS 5 Review: The German Camaro

11 hours 9 min ago

Put your foot into the throttle of the 2018 Audi RS 5, and there is a great, glorious engine racket that represents the full measure of the 2.9-liter biturbo’s 444 hp and 443 lb-ft. If you quickly glance down at the tachometer nestled amid Audi’s renowned Virtual Cockpit, you’ll see green-yellow-red cues alight as you approach redline. But with all 21.5 psi of boost urging you forward, you better get your eyes up, partner, because the horizon ain’t that far away.

See the new 2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback four-door hatch right here.

So who would buy an RS 5 coupe? Say you love the idea of a throaty Camaro ZL1, but your station in life might draw Charlie Brown squiggly-frowns and squinty foreheads from your hedge fund peers. Travel 4,300 miles east to Ingolstadt, and you have your solution, starting at $70,875.

In a previous review, Angus MacKenzie referred to the RS 5’s engine note as “grainy.” I’d call it “gargly.” Either way, it’s not exactly smooth. Nor is it meant to be. And although it will never replicate the full-throated, hide-your-children roar of the Camaro, the RS 5 has sufficient clout, grit, and muscle behind it. It ain’t wimpy, either. Sixty mph arrives in a claimed 3.7 seconds—and Audi says its testing methods are conservative.

Sharp, precise upshifts through the eight-speed automatic transmission elicit a sharp bark from the exhaust, prompting the joker in me to mutter, “Gesundheit!” However, let off the throttle and coast a bit, and there is a touch of annoying drone from the muffler.

A word about “Auto” driving mode: That’s really all you need, even if you are partaking in serious driving. The ECU and Quattro all-wheel-drive system understand what you are doing and respond appropriately. If you think you need the added gravitas of Dynamic setting—say if you are driving at eight-tenths or above—you’ll be clocking 90 on a sweeping mountain road. The cops will hear you coming thanks to the throaty exhaust, and your velocity will confirm their aural suspicions. For those wanting to test the legs of rural law enforcement and the sturdiness of their jails, the RS 5’s top speed is 155 mph, or 174 when equipped with optional 15.7-inch ceramic front disc brakes.

Around town, Comfort mode is preferable. You can throw it into Dynamic mode for quicker shifting if needed in the cut-and-thrust of rush hour. But Dynamic mode’s associated grunts and growls are unnecessary unless you want everyone to think that Audi RS 5 drivers have replaced BMW M3 drivers as the arrogant asshats of the road.

Even in Comfort mode, there is a fair amount of dynamic vertical chop from sharp road undulations. Perhaps it was the 20-inch wheels of all our test vehicles; you can try the 19s if you think it will make a difference. With the 20s, check your spine and kidneys at the driver’s door. And make sure your passenger has a strong bladder. Similarly, steering tip-in feel is crisp and precise, but midcorner adjustments feel a bit twitchy. Of course, this is an RS 5, not some wimpy S5. Graduating to the “R” requires a commitment, including sitting 7mm lower than its sibling.

Now, say you are at a track day and you need some specific settings to match the layout of the circuit. Getting technical, Individual mode allows the driver to adjust the Quattro rear differential, transmission shift points, throttle response, steering response, and settings for dynamic ride control with adjustable dampers. Did we mention the RS 5 has a self-locking center diff with active torque distribution to both axles? If you notice it kick in, you’re a bigger stud than I am.

What does all this performance mean at the pump? Audi claims an 18/26/21 mpg rating per EPA measurements. But the RS 5’s svelte looks mean it has to shoehorn in a 15.3-gallon fuel tank, meaning more frequent fuelings.

Although folks are buying the RS 5 for its performance credentials, it’s nice to know Audi kept the inside refined. The panoramic Virtual Cockpit remains intact. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto hook right up, standard.

One pet peeve, however: The navigation map provides your next-step instructions from the bottom of the screen upward. Question: Who reads a book from the bottom up? I am sure an Audi engineer has a brilliant reason why they contradicted the entire literate world with this user interface, but I’ll never believe it.

Among the slew of de rigueur standard safety systems is a pedestrian and vehicle collision warning and braking initiation system that works from 6 mph up to 52 mph. The standard park assist has front and rear cameras with excellent definition, though not as crisp and accurate as those in our BMW 530i long-term tester.

As for chatting with your companion (and there likely will be just one, as the back seat is really for 2+2 purposes), a fair bit of sound deadening was removed from the standard A5. A ton of road roar comes into the cabin on anything but velvet-smooth asphalt. But what do you want? You paid the extra dosh to get the “R” in front of S5. This is a purebred sports coupe but with more than a hint of nasty.

The post 2018 Audi RS 5 Review: The German Camaro appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: 2018 Porsche Macan GTS Review: Let it Snow

11 hours 9 min ago

April in Maine can reveal any number of meteorological scenarios. Frequently they involve a late snow that makes folks rue they prematurely unshod the winter tires from their cars.

So it made perfect sense for me to ring Porsche and request a Macan GTS with winter tires still affixed as part of a late March dash north from the New York auto show to the foodie haven of Portland.

It used to be that writing a story about driving a Porsche in frigid temperatures was the stuff of front-page, 96-point headlines. Dear me, who would drive their Porsche in the winter? That’s just bananas! But that was before SUVs entered the fray. Cayennes and Macans comprised 62 percent of U.S. sales from Stuttgart’s sports car brand last year.

Still, you don’t see many uncontrolled Porsche tests in the snow, because most auto journalists live in warmer climes to better lengthen their testing season. Also, most auto journalists don’t want to risk making the regrettable call informing Porsche PR that they clumsily stuffed a car into a snowbank. Nor does Porsche want to receive that call.

Just the same, Porsche threw me the keys to an $85,000 Carmine Red GTS, held a collective deep breath, and watched me snarl up the West Side Highway, with wife Lisa riding shotgun.

For the next 300-odd miles headed north, we searched for snow. Although the temps were sub-freezing, a recent thaw had left the ground gray and brown, not white. Our only company was the baritone thrum of the Michelin Green-X Latitude Alpins (265/45R20 up front, 295/40R20 in back, retailing for $1,194 per set at TireRack.com, last I checked). No snow? No problem. We zoomed along at 80-plus without worry.

For those of you in the Sun Belt, a quick word about why they are called winter tires, not snow tires. Although driving in snow is accounted for with a deeper tread design, winter tires are made of a compound that remains softer and more flexible in extremely cold temps. In other words, they grip the pavement pretty damn well when it’s cold enough to serve coffee with a fork, snow or no snow. (Summer tires, by contrast, harden as the temperature falls.)

Let’s take a look at the equipment attached to those winter tires: The Macan GTS base price is listed at $67,200 plus $1,050 destination. That gets you a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine with Variocam and direct injection, all of which generates 360 hp and 369 lb-ft. Notable standard features include a precise-shifting seven-speed PDK transmission, growly sport exhaust, and air suspension with active suspension management.

Porsche shoppers well know the options list quickly ramps up the asking price. Immediate pain points were leather seats with Alcantara inserts ($4,790), Carmine Red paint ($3,200), navigation assistance ($1,730, but without live traffic mapping), panorama roof ($1,670),Torque Vectoring Plus ($1,490), Porsche Connect Plus ($1,300), and a Sport Chrono package ($1,290).

Grand total: $85,000.

But back to our quest for snow. On our first morning in Maine, we awake to freezing temps and the chance of rain, which turns into blessed snow showers. Alas, while the airborne bounty sticks to grass and the Macan’s windshield, the pavement is still warm enough to remain wet, not icy. Curses, foiled again. With a maple-bacon Holy Donut stuffed in my craw, we aim further north seeking colder temperatures.

Our dash up to the artist colony of Rockland to view the Farnsworth Museum’s stunning collection of Andrew Wyeth preliminary studies and finished tempera landscapes lacked snow. For our return, we hug the narrow roads that follow the jagged inlets of Casco Bay. We sidetrack on Route 24 to the bitter tip of Bailey Island, where if you keep going past road’s end, you’re in the treacherous North Atlantic. There’s snow, but it’s not accumulating. The sky has darkened ominously, and it’s well before sunset. Lobster boats huddle in Mackerel Cove. They’ve had enough for the day. So have we.

Most of these winding two-lane back roads are strewn with blind, off-camber corners. The Maine Department of Transportation clearly has a sense of humor regarding tourists. I’ve already had a few moments where my enthusiasm for the Porsche’s acceleration and cornering met a harsh reception from the cold asphalt when it came time to hit the brakes. Even though the Michelins have good grip, they ain’t summer tires in August. We backtrack to the much straighter Highway 295, whereupon it begins to snow in earnest. It’s not quite a whiteout, but it’s ferocious for April. The road is sufficiently trafficked that only the landscape turns white. We quickly distance ourselves from a pack of wary explorers, a clean 80 mph prompting scarcely a concern from the Porsche chassis.

The next morning, not to be denied my sole reason for this review, we wander south from Portland to putter around blustery Cape Elisabeth. We amble down a private road (because in a bright red Porsche you can do these things and no one asks questions if you proffer a friendly wave). Suddenly we encounter a small field gleaming with a few patchy inches of virgin snow in residence. Lisa shoots me a look as if to say, “You’re not going in there, are you?” As I briskly turn the wheel to the right, she asks the question aloud, a combination of foreboding and wariness in her voice.

The answer to both the look and the question is yes. There’s no gate. There’s no sign. It’s just a field by the side of the road. Then again, this is a fallow meadow, rather more like tundra. And as we well know, wet grass is as slippery as poker players at a riverboat casino. This should present a challenge.

As the snow crunches and crumbles underfoot, the Porsche Traction Management all-wheel drive groans as it accommodates the sudden lack of grip—winter tires be damned—as the snow gives way to iced grassland and sloshy, muddy underlayment. It would be my karmic penalty to get stuck, here on private property, off a private road. But the Macan has sufficient momentum and the Michelins are confident and capable enough to trundle through. We emerge back onto the road, our innocent looping tracks the lone evidence of our trespass; the Alpins spit off clumps of mud and powder for the next half mile. Thus ends our Maine encounter with driving on snow.

The Macan did have a couple bugaboos: The parking-distance sensors were as nervous as a Miss Universe dressing room, while the womp-womp lane departure warning alert was as overexuberant (and unwanted) as an adolescent lad intruding into said dressing room.

When driving in April along the Maine coastline, if you happen upon any coffee shop, gas station, or convenience store and you are fond of eavesdropping (as I am), the question you will often overhear grumbled between two sea dogs is, “Yah got yar boat in the wahttah yut?”

This appears to be a measurement of personal ruggedness. If your boat has shed its polyethylene shrink wrap cover and is in the ocean before the snow has finished melting, you are a proper Mainer. By April, the only appropriate answer to the above question is, “Ayyup.”

But perhaps not all boats are meant to be in the water quite so early, just as perhaps not all cars are meant to be on the road while snow still lands on this cragged coast.

As I refill the thirsty Macan (20.1 mpg average over the 1,000 miles of driving) at the Shell station in Damariscotta, a local approaches this unexpected slash of color. The Macan crouches with menace amid the slew of dented pickups.

“Nice car. What is it?”

“A Porsche Macan.”

“A Porsh? Hmmm.”

To my ears, the “Hmmm” felt not like a judgment of the California-plated Macan’s out-of-place nature in this coastal village nor of the soft-handed city slicker piloting it. Rather it seemed as though she were pondering whether it were a bit early for an $85,000 vehicle to be daring the elements–winter tires or no. Her tone was more along the lines of, “There’s still floating ice out there on the bay; you sure you want to put your Chris-Craft in the water just yet?”

The answer is a sure-footed yes.

(Editor’s Note: If you want to see a proper snow-driving comparison test, pitting a Macan GTS against a Jaguar F-Pace S, check out episode 87 of Head 2 Head).

We’ve previously tested a 2017 Porsche Macan GTS; the Motor Trend test data for that crossover is below.

2017 Porsche Macan GTS (All-Season Tires) 2017 Porsche Macan GTS (Summer tires) BASE PRICE $68,250 $68,250 PRICE AS TESTED $89,070 $77,255 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 3.0L/360-hp/369-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6 3.0L/360-hp/369-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6 TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto 7-speed twin-clutch auto CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,506 lb (56/44%) 4,501 lb (56/44%) WHEELBASE 110.5 in 110.5 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 184.7 x 76.1 x 63.0 in 184.7 x 76.1 x 63.0 in 0-60 MPH 4.5 sec 4.4 sec QUARTER MILE 13.4 sec @ 99.1 mph 13.2 sec @ 102.4 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 112 ft 104 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.90 g (avg) 0.94 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.0 sec @ 0.75 g (avg) 24.9 sec @ 0.76 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 17/23/19 mpg 17/23/19 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 198/147 kW-hrs/100 miles 198/147 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.01 lb/mile 1.01 lb/mile

The post 2018 Porsche Macan GTS Review: Let it Snow appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Persimmon rises despite shareholder revolt

11 hours 13 min ago
Persimmon shares rose 0.14% on the FTSE 100 to 2,694.00p on Wednesday despite its controversial remuneration policy only narrowly winning approval from shareholders at its AGM.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: South East office investment leaps but leasing slows

13 hours 24 min ago
Office investment in the South East soared 84% year on year in the first quarter of 2018, but leasing activity slowed.
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Property Week News Feed: Colgate-Palmolive ponders brushing off Guildford HQ

13 hours 36 min ago
Conglomerate appoints Cushman & Wakefield to explore options in South East for new 50,000 sq ft head office.
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Property Week News Feed: Grosvenor Group: 'we're ready to exploit a market downturn'

13 hours 43 min ago
Company said it had ‘significant financial capacity to benefit from weaknesses’ as it announced its 2017 results.
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Property Week News Feed: Fabrix pockets £11m for second fund

14 hours 2 min ago
Fabrix Capital has raised £11m in a first close for its second fund, which will focus on acquiring “under-developed” office buildings in fringe areas of central London.
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Motortrend News Feed: 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 First Drive: Keep Your Cool?

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 08:00

Wisdom, Justice, Moderation. Those three words make up the state motto for Georgia, where General Motors gave us our first crack at the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, the most powerful ’Vette ever created by the Bow Tie brand. The Z06 is already bonkers with 650 hp, so we have to wonder: Is there any semblance of wisdom or moderation by bestowing the C7 ZR1 with more than 700 hp?

Yep, you read that right. The big and brash ZR1 catapults the Corvette into the exclusive group of cars making at least 700 hp, and not just under the wire, either. With 755 hp on tap, the 2019 Corvette ZR1 trounces not only the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat but also the McLaren 720S, Lamborghini Aventador S, Ferrari 488 Pista, and Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Torque is rated at a thunderous 715 lb-ft. That puts the ZR1 at a 105-hp and 65-lb-ft advantage over the Z06 while also topping the last-gen LS9-powered C6 ZR1 by 117 hp and 111 lb-ft. In short, the ZR1 delivers a right foot full of American justice.

Before setting us loose on a clear, perfect day at Road Atlanta, Chevy’s minders lead us through a series of trackside presentations to school us on what makes the ZR1 tick. We learn that the ZR1’s LT5 powerplant essentially starts life as the LT4 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 from the Corvette Z06 and gets revised with stronger innards and a new 2.65-liter Eaton TVS Roots-type supercharger. The larger blower boasts a whopping 52 percent more displacement than the LT4’s. Immense power requires immense amounts of fuel, which is why the LT5 features port injection to supplement the existing direct-injection setup, a first for General Motors. And the fuel-sipping cylinder deactivation system used in other Corvettes? Banished from the ZR1.

After more presentations on brakes, tires, aerodynamics, and design, it’s finally time to drive. Chevy wisely directs us to Corvette Grand Sports to familiarize ourselves with Road Atlanta’s 12 corners. After knocking out a few fast-paced warm-up laps in that no-slouch edition of the ’Vette, we arrive back in pit lane to find a row of rumbling ZR1s, lined up and ready for lead-follow sessions. It’s time to meet the beast. Initially, the experience from the ZR1’s driver’s seat isn’t much different from that of an ordinary Stingray. The cabin’s snug feeling is familiar, as are all the switchgear and materials. The view out the windshield is decent despite the big supercharger bulge protruding from the hood. The high wing is hardly noticeable from the rearview mirror.

“The ZR1 is going to generate speed a lot faster,” our driver warned us through our walkie-talkies. “You’re coming from the Grand Sport, so you’re essentially gaining more than 200 horsepower. It is a monster, so please hang on.”

He wasn’t kidding. The first lap with the ZR1 was a blur, mostly spent recalibrating my right foot to be more cautious with the go pedal. Thankfully, Road Atlanta’s long stretch of asphalt following Turn 7 proved to be a perfect place to unleash the LT5’s fury. Reaching 100 mph in the ZR1 happens quickly. At 140 mph the LT5 is still pulling strong, and the exhaust note at wide-open throttle is alarmingly loud. Our lead driver is in a Z06 and hovers at 150 mph well before the braking point, but the ZR1 could’ve easily reached 160 mph had we braked later. Chevy is claiming a 0–60 time as quick as 2.9 seconds, and we see no reason to doubt that number.

As we return to that back straight and its dramatic dip into the braking zone, the ZR1 showcases another one of its strengths—stopping. There’s plenty of bite, and the pedal feel is excellent. We saw zero signs of fade, which helped us attack the 12 corners of Road Atlanta with more speed and confidence. The ZR1’s Brembo carbon-ceramic brake setup is similar to the Z06’s but features upgraded front rotors that tolerate more heat. Same goes for the front brake pads

As our group becomes more comfortable with the track, we begin attacking Turn 4 and the esses at a faster speeds. The Corvette’s quick steering really shines on this stretch, as does the tremendous grip provided by the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s that come as part of the optional ZTK Performance package. (Pilot Super Sports are standard.) The P285/30ZR19 tires up front and P335/25ZR20 in the rear are the same size as the Z06 wears; however, the ZR1’s 10.5-inch-wide front wheel is half an inch wider than the Z06’s to improve cornering stiffness.

As sunset approaches, journalists are cycling through lap sessions at a much quicker pace, giving the ZR1s little time to rest. Every test car stayed cool. ZR1 engine temp management was a priority for Corvette engineers, and their diligence appears to have paid off. The grille and front bumper beam were redesigned to increase airflow to the engine by 41 percent. There are now a total of 13 heat exchangers (12 with the seven-speed manual), which is four more than on a Z06. Chevy also points out that the LT5’s blower spins at a maximum 15,860 rpm (about 5,000 rpm slower than the LT4’s) and its revised intercooler dispels twice as much heat as the LT4’s.

Most of our laps were done with the Performance Traction Management system set to Sport 1 or 2, which provided just enough nanny intervention to keep us out of trouble without being overly obtrusive. Despite the extra weight up front from the bigger supercharger and cooling hardware, the ZR1 felt remarkably balanced through fairly fast Turns 1 and 10. PTM (along with the electronic limited-slip differential) undoubtedly was working its magic here.

So how is the ZR1 without the nannies? As it happens, the Corvette development team hired Motor Trend’s resident pro racer, Randy Pobst, for his input on the ZR1 prior to the media drive. He shared some of his traction-off observations with us, including how the rear tires struggle for grip under power—a common gripe he’s had with the C7 Corvette. “It’s little funky, especially through the slower and sharper turns,” he noted. Without the safety net of PTM, one must really resist the urge to get into the throttle too soon and too aggressively, whether exiting a corner or speeding in a straight line.

Pobst was a fan of the automatic’s quick and smooth shifts and said it seemed more settled than the manual-equipped car. He gave high marks to the ZR1’s magnetorheological damper calibrations, which seemed much more compliant than those in the Z06 (with Z07 performance package).

“The best corners for the ZR1 were the fastest ones, showing the effectiveness of the considerable downforce,” Pobst noted. “And great brakes. Chevy really knows how to do brakes.”

The ZR1 is already rolling into the garages of customers who are undeterred by its $122,095 asking price for the coupe and $126,095 for the convertible. That’s $30,515 more expensive than a comparable Corvette Z06 equipped with the Z07 package. Bear in mind that cars equaling the ZR1’s performance and power are easily double or triple the price. The 720S, for example, starts at around $290,000, while the Aventador S blows past $400,000. The ZR1 may be more brash and wild than those polished Europeans, but most Corvette fanatics wouldn’t want it any other way.

A big side of wings

If you plan on taking your ZR1 to the track (and we hope many of you do), then opting for the ZTK Performance package is a no-brainer. And at $2,995, it’s a relative bargain. In addition to stickier Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and increased suspension spring rates, you’ll get a substantial aero kit to help keep the ZR1 planted through fast straights and corners.

The high rear wing (officially called the track wing) steals much of the spotlight, but the front underwing is just as important. Made of carbon fiber, the front underwing sits flush with the undercarriage to add downforce but not drag. Meanwhile, the manually adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing is bolted to the frame and works in conjunction with the decklid spoiler. Combined, the rear and front wings provide 950 pounds of downforce at 202 mph (the top speed for high-winged ZR1s). Chevy also put a lot of effort in adding style to the rear wing, mimicking design cues from the C7’s wing.

If straight-line speed is more your thing, then you’ll need the low “street” wing. The Corvette used the street wing when it established the ZR1’s top speed of 212 mph at a track in Papenburg, Germany.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 BASE PRICE $122,095-$126,095 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door hatchback, convertible ENGINE 6.2L/755-hp/715-lb-ft supercharged OHV 16-valve V-8 TRANSMISSION 7-speed manual, 8-speed auto CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,600-3650 lb (mfr) WHEELBASE 106.7 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 179.8 x 77.4 x 48.5-48.7 in 0-60 MPH 2.8-3.0 sec (MT est) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 12-13/19-20/15 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 259-281/165-177 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.26-1.35 lb/mile ON SALE IN U.S. Currently

The post 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 First Drive: Keep Your Cool? appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Supermarket REIT seeks £65m to fund acquistions

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 07:38
Supermarket Income REIT is seeking up to £65m from a share placing in order to fund three acquisitions.
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Property Week News Feed: RDI posts half-year rises in NAV and earnings

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 07:26
RDI, the FTSE 250 REIT, has posted 2.2% rise in net asset value (NAV) per share for the six months for the end of February, and a 12.8% rise in earning to £27.4m.
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Property Week News Feed: Persimmon sales and selling prices rise

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 07:05
Housebuilder Persimmon has revealed forward sales so far in 2018 have rised 8% on-year, while pricing conditions remained ‘firm’ across regional markets.
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Property Week News Feed: Rockspring’s seventh TransEuropean fund aims for €500m

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 06:52
Rockspring Property Investment Managers has launched the seventh fund in its TransEuropean series (TEP VII) with a €100m first close.
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Property Week News Feed: NAV nudges up at Target Healthcare

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 06:41
Care home investor Target Healthcare has revealed net asset value (NAV) nudged up to 105p a share, from 104.4p at the end of 2017, during the first quarter of this year, and produced a NAV total return for the period of 2.1%
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Property Week News Feed: RDI REIT shares rise ahead of interim results

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 06:23
RDI REIT rose 1.54% to on the FTSE 250 on Tuesday to 36.00p ahead of the release of the company’s interim results on Wednesday.
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Motortrend News Feed: 2019 Lexus ES First Look: Catching Up

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 03:00

We’ve praised the outgoing Lexus ES for its spacious interior and plentiful standard safety features, but we can’t ignore its shortcomings in handling and ride quality. With the 2019 Lexus ES riding on a new architecture, the luxury midsize sedan has great potential to improve as it enters its seventh generation.

The 2019 Lexus ES sits on the new GA-K platform that uses high-tensile steel to reduce weight. To heighten the car’s responses, the ES has a multi-link rear suspension design, rack-mounted electric power steering, and a V-brace behind the rear seat. The car has also grown in most dimensions. It’s 2.6 inches longer and 1.8 inches wider than its predecessor, with a 2.0-inch longer wheelbase. The ES began sharing more of its parts with the Toyota Avalon than the Camry starting with the last generation, and this model continues that tradition, having the same wheelbase and length as the 2019 Toyota Avalon.

The new generation ushers in the first F Sport version of the ES. It receives a number of enhancements from the regular model, including a special grille with a blacked-out pattern, a rear spoiler, a dark lower valence, and an exclusive Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0 exterior paint. The 2019 ES 350 F Sport also offers an adaptive variable suspension similar to the one on the Toyota Avalon, as well as a special Sport+ mode that puts the engine, transmission, and suspension in their sharpest settings and enhances the engine note.

The rest of the lineup features a slightly less sporty look, with vertical grille slats replacing the horizontal ones from the previous generation. The ES 350 comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 like the previous model. But this time around, it delivers 302 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, up from 268 hp and 248 lb-ft. And instead of a six-speed automatic, the car gets a new eight-speed.

For the hybrid, an updated powertrain consists of a lighter, more compact electric motor, a nickel metal hydride battery, and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine. Increasing total output from 200 hp to 215 hp, this powertrain has been initially estimated to hit 44 mpg in combined city and highway driving. The current model tops out at a combined 40 mpg.

The interior of the new model looks considerably less cluttered than before. At the center of the cockpit is an 8.0-inch display, although buyers can upgrade to a 12.3-inch display with navigation. The center screen is controlled by Lexus’ touchpad to the right of the shifter.  The ES is the first Lexus to offer Apple CarPlay, but the car still won’t have Android Auto.

The 2019 Lexus ES also recognizes Amazon Alexa commands both from the car to the driver’s home and from home to the car. Along with an updated instrument cluster, there is also an available head-up display that displays key information on the windshield in front of the driver. Surrounding all the technology you’ll find bamboo and wood trim, or on F Sport models, metallic trim.

In terms of safety, all Lexus models receive a standard safety package that includes a pre-collision system. On the ES, that system includes daytime bicyclist detection and automatic emergency braking. Lexus has also tweaked the radar tech to help the ES better detect pedestrians at night.

Two new exterior colors—Sunlit Green and Moonbeam Beige Metallic—join the exterior color palette for the new model year. The 2019 Lexus ES goes on sale this September.

The post 2019 Lexus ES First Look: Catching Up appeared first on Motor Trend.

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The Car Connection News Feed: 2019 Lexus ES preview

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 03:00
Beneath its sleek, toned shape the 2019 Lexus ES has a split personality as it seeks to court a wider range of luxury sedan shoppers. Base ES 350 and hybrid ES 300h models prioritize traditional Lexus virtues like a plush ride and extensive sound deadening for a coddling demeanor. The wild uncle of the lineup is the new ES 350 F Sport, which...
Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: WardsAuto Picks its 10 Best Interiors of 2018

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 23:45

WardsAuto has announced its 2018 10 Best Interiors, and out of the 10 vehicles chosen, seven are crossovers. The publication evaluated 40 all-new or significantly improved vehicles this year. Red interiors were a common theme with half of the cars featuring the color, six if the burgundy-colored Lincoln Navigator is included in the mix. The publication’s editorial team was happy to see a nice mix of color in this year’s winners and said that the diversity should please buyers looking for something other than the usual black, gray, and beige interiors.

Here are the winners of WardsAuto’s 2018 10 Best Interiors. Do you agree with their picks?

2018 Chevrolet Equinox


You might not guess it just looking at the photo, but the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox‘s cabin impressed judges with its build quality, extensive use of soft-touch materials, and stylish two-tone brown and black interior option. Features like heated and ventilated front seats, 4G LTE connectivity, a wireless charging pad, and the rear seat reminder gave the Equinox extra points for having creature comforts usually found on more expensive vehicles. In our own reviews, we found the Equinox’s interior to be spacious and upscale-looking, but we can’t say we agree with Wards’ findings regarding soft-touch materials, as there are still plenty of hard plastics used throughout.

2018 Hyundai Kona

The latest entry in the booming subcompact crossover segment, the 2018 Hyundai Kona, won praise for its cool neon green accents that break up the all-black interior. Hyundai’s simple center stack design also impressed the WardsAuto editorial staff for its ease of use. It’s a handsome cabin design, but we felt it was a bit too conservative for a car with such a wild, unconventional exterior design.

2019 Infiniti QX50

Infiniti’s latest QX50 was praised for its edginess and use of multiple colors from the brown and blue Ultrasuede on the headliner and center armrest to the semi-aniline leather upholstery matched with brown stitching. The open-pore wood trim in the QX50 also impressed because it harmonizes well with the tri-colored interior. We too found a lot to like about the QX50’s interior, noting that the design and materials are exceptional for the class.

2018 Kia Stinger

The Stinger GT earned Kia its fifth placement on the Wards 10 Best Interiors list thanks to its build quality, user-friendly multimedia system, high-quality materials, and comfortable seats all around. Wards editors also noted that the Kia Stinger GT combines elegance and sportiness with the available two-tone red and black interior. Given that the Stinger was a finalist in our 2018 Car of the Year program, where many editors praised its cabin, we think this is a solid choice

2018 Lexus LS

Lexus’ flagship sedan, the LS, nabbed a spot on WardsAuto’s 10 Best Interiors for its risky interior design and solid build quality worthy of its price tag. The multi-colored interior schemes with hand-pleated and cut-crystal door trims were praised for showing the creativity and craftsmanship of Toyota’s luxury division. We found the cabin well-built, but thought the design was more than a bit polarizing. We also took issue, as always, with Lexus’ insistence on sticking with the track-pad controller for the infotainment system.

2018 Lincoln Navigator

Thanks to its opulent interior that includes beautiful lacquered wood trim, plastics color-matched to the rest of the cabin, and high-quality leather everywhere, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator wowed the editorial team at WardsAuto. Sync 3, which is the latest infotainment system on Ford and Lincoln vehicles, also impressed with its ease of use and good resolution. We can’t argue that the Navigator’s interior is the best we’ve seen in a long time.

2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

At $201,540, the 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid was the most expensive vehicle on this year’s 10 Best Interiors listThanks to the new center stack design that ditches the sea of buttons, the Panamera’s interior won judges over for its clean, intuitive design, slick-looking aluminum trim, and cool brown leather upholstery.

2019 Ram 1500

WardsAuto editors were impressed with the 2019 Ram 1500‘s interior design and build quality, especially in the Limited trim’s available Indigo and Frost two-tone interior. The latest version of FCA’s UConnect infotainment system with the 12.0-inch touchscreen also won points for its boldness and user-friendliness. Based on our experiences so far with the 2019 Ram, we tend to agree.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

The white and black two-tone interior in the Land Rover Range Rover Velar, with its triangle-shaped perforations, exudes luxury. Editors noted that the fit and finish is solid and that the minimalist center stack gives the cabin a serene feel when you’re in it. In our First Drive, we said, “The Velar is positioned above the Evoque and below the Sport in the Range Rover lineup, but it challenges all, including the flagship, when it comes to interior execution.”

2018 Toyota Camry

The 2018 Toyota Camry‘s red leather upholstery coupled with black and silver accents has given the car a much needed upgrade. Additionally, the center stack’s asymmetrical design gives the Camry’s interior a modern look especially with its grooved buttons. We felt the 2018 Camry’s interior marked a huge step forward from the previous model, but found quality to be inconsistent. Some materials definitely look and feel better than before, but others still feel cheap. In a comparison test between the 2018 Camry and the 2018 Honda Accord, we gave the interior edge to the Accord, a car that blurs the line between mainstream and luxury in certain trims.

The post WardsAuto Picks its 10 Best Interiors of 2018 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones