Property

NHS Property Services sees surge in tenants without rent agreements

Property Week News Feed - 2 hours 34 min ago
The percentage of NHS Property Services tenants that do not have formal rent agreements has hit 70% and debt owed to the service has tripled in five years, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).
Categories: Property

Inland gets go-ahead for largest ever development

Property Week News Feed - 4 hours 51 min ago
Inland Homes has been granted planning permission for its largest ever scheme on for the former site of Tesco’s headquarters in Hertfordshire.
Categories: Property

NAV at Tritax Eurobox nudges up

Property Week News Feed - 5 hours 4 min ago
Net asset value (NAV) at Tritax EuroBox has nudged up during the three months to the end of March.
Categories: Property

This Golden 1968 Mustang GT500 Is a Thoroughly Pedigreed Pony Car

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 20:00

The 2020 Ford Mustang GT500 is without question the highest-performance Mustang ever. Its 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 makes 760 hp and 625 lb-ft of torque through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, all wrapped up in a lightened and aerodynamically optimized body. It’s a seriously impressive machine, made more so by seeing how far the GT500 nameplate has come—just look at this 1968 example on auction at Barrett-Jackson’s Northeast sale.

The year 1968 was the second year of GT500 production, at which point it was still something of an aftermarket conversion, unlike today’s factory-built car. After initial assembly by Ford as a big-block-equipped Mustang fastback, Shelby transformed it with new fiberglass body panels, a distinct front fascia, ducktail spoiler, new taillights, and plenty of new vents and scoops.

A massively upgraded engine is a core component of any GT500, and 1968 delivered. Under the hood was a 428 cubic-inch, 7.0-liter V-8 rated at 360 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Despite that high output, compared to 1967’s car the 1968 GT500 was set up as more of a sporty grand tourer than pure performance machine. That’s evidenced by the car’s three-speed automatic, wood trim, and plush leather interior. The heavy-duty suspension could cope with the power while providing a smoother ride.

That’s all showcased terrifically in this GT500 for sale at Barrett-Jackson. The car is highly original, wearing Sunlit Gold paint accented by a white badge stripe above the rocker panels. Aluminum Shelby-branded 10-spoke wheels are wrapped by BF Goodrich Radial T/A tires at all four corners. Inside, saddle brown leather upholstery displays the trademark Cobra-embossed armrest, and wood trim lines the steering wheel, doors, and dashboard. The glove box has been autographed by none other than Carroll Shelby.

The car comes with extensive documentation that proves its pedigree. That paperwork includes the original build sheet, original factory invoice, and Shelby warranty information. Thorough owner history—from the very first—is also presented.

Comparing this golden GT500 to today’s car shows how far Ford has come. The computer-aided design of the 2020 model contrasts starkly to the 1968’s handcrafted aesthetic. The similarities in performance technology ends at the number of cylinders. Regardless, both are excellent examples of the Shelby’s sport-oriented ethos and focus on thrilling the driver.

Read More
2020 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 vs. GT350: How They’re Different
We Dare You to Build a 2021 Ford Bronco as Rad as This
Aero King: 1970 Plymouth Superbird Heads to Auction

Barrett-Jackson’s 4th Annual Northeast Auction is being held June 26-29, 2019, at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Connecticut. The collector-car sale will showcase hundreds of coveted vehicles, and the experts from MotorTrend will be there to bring you all the action LIVE from the auction block. You can catch Barrett-Jackson Northeast on MotorTrend Network every day of the auction and download the app for exclusive, live coverage. Need more viewing options? You can also tune in to our live stream from your web browser on June 27June 28, and June 29.

The post This Golden 1968 Mustang GT500 Is a Thoroughly Pedigreed Pony Car appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Looks Like the 2021 Ford Bronco Will Get an EcoBoost Engine

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 18:24

We’ve known about the Ford Bronco’s return for some time now but when it comes to details like powertrain choices, we’ve been in the dark. Until now that is. A leak on Twitter appears to have confirmed at least one engine option for the 2021 Ford Bronco.

A photo taken by Twitter user Matthew the Car Guy indicates that an item locator in a parts shop has listed the 2021 Ford Bronco being available with a 2.3-liter turbo-four. That’s the same engine used by the Ford Ranger pickup, which is also the platform mate of the upcoming Bronco. In the Ranger that mill makes 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, and comes paired exclusively to a 10-speed automatic.

Well that’s interesting. #bronco pic.twitter.com/z5gZD5whCx

— Matthew the Car Guy (@DudeDrivesCars) June 22, 2019

We expect the 2.3-liter turbo-four to be the base engine on the 2021 Ford Bronco. Whether it gets a higher output version like the 2020 Explorer remains to be seen but at least we now have an idea with what to expect under the hood. Higher output gas engines could be in the cards for the 2021 Ford Bronco but it’s not clear if it’ll get a V-8 or a twin-turbo V-6. Earlier this year, we also reported that the 2021 Ford Bronco will also get a hybrid powertrain option, which could be the same system as in the Explorer Hybrid.

Unlike the previous generation Bronco, which was a full-size SUV last sold in the mid-1990s, the 2021 model will be a midsize, body-on-frame SUV that will be offered available in two- and four-door configurations, and in rear- or four-wheel drive. Removable doors and roof will also be available just like its chief competitor, the Jeep Wrangler. In terms of looks, the 2021 Ford Bronco will sport a boxy, retro sheet metal.

Source: Twitter

The post Looks Like the 2021 Ford Bronco Will Get an EcoBoost Engine appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2019 Hyundai Tucson headlights tweaked, earns Top Safety Pick+ award

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 18:00
Hyundai changed the headlight design on its 2019 Tucson crossover SUV midway through the model year, earning high-trim versions of the small 'ute a Top Safety Pick+ award. The upgraded accolade applies only to versions of the 2019 Hyundai Tucson built after March 2019. In re-testing, the IIHS rated the upgraded LED projector headlights "Good,"...
Categories: Property

FCA latest to jump on in-car commerce bandwagon

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 15:35
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has embraced in-car commerce with the introduction of its Uconnect Market system. The automaker revealed the latest in-car connectivity feature on Monday, which will allow FCA vehicle owners to shop, pay for fuel, and even reserve a table at a restaurant from their cars. The Uconnect Market app will be built into Dodge...
Categories: Property

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD driven, Land Rover Defender revealed, BMW M Next concept: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 15:30
First drive: Heavy-duty diesel hauls 2020 Chevy Silverado HD to the front of the class The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD’s massive towing capacity in the endless game of one-upmanship in the cutthroat truck business was dwarfed by something else at the truck’s debut in February: the polarizing new look. Chevy adds Domino's Pizza ordering...
Categories: Property

Telereal Trillium sells manufacturing site to Atlantic Leaf

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 12:36
Telereal Trillium has completed the sale of Koito’s manufacturing HQ in Droitwich to Atlantic Leaf Properties for £11.89m.
Categories: Property

Carter Jonas promotes four new group partners

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 11:05
Carter Jonas has promoted four new group partners across four of its offices.
Categories: Property

Central London investment figures plummet in first half of 2019

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 11:04
Central London office investment is set to drop by almost 40% year on year for the first half of 2019, according to JLL.
Categories: Property

2020 Chevrolet Tahoe

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 11:00
The 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe is proof that sometimes the old ways are best… at least when it comes to hauling people and stuff. With its truck platform and strong V-8 engine options, the Tahoe tows more and goes further off-road than most crossovers. Still, the big Chevy is showing its age in what may be the final model year for this...
Categories: Property

Chevy adds Domino's Pizza ordering to its in-car touchscreen

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 11:00
Chevrolet has made ordering a Domino's Pizza possible from behind the wheel. The brand said on Friday a Domino's Pizza app joins a host of other apps as part of the GM Marketplace system, which is built into most 2017 and newer Chevy vehicles. Marketplace debuted in Dec. 2017 and the automaker periodically approves new apps. For Domino's Pizza...
Categories: Property

As Quick as an M8: BMW Vision M Next Previews Flashy Future-Car Tech

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 09:31

BMW needs you to get excited about Vision M Next, a flashy concept making its debut in Munich. Just as early Tesla fanatics bought Roadsters and paved the way for more sensible versions of that brand’s technology, interest garnered by a gullwing-doored, shockingly quick sports car with Thrilling Orange accents could make the cutting-edge tech featured in the more humble iNext concept more palatable.

Turning the future of the car into something desirable and sexy is important for automakers including BMW. So the Vision M Next takes things a step or three farther than the brand’s existing green halo, the i8. BMW says the iNext and Vision M Next exemplify its two foundational themes: Ease (the car will drive for you) and Boost (driving fun).

Not many autonomous concepts look like the M Next does, so we’ll start with what you really want to know. The Vision M Next produces 600 horsepower, but it’s not from a twin-turbo V-8, as in the mighty new 2020 M8 (the Competition model makes 617 hp). The futuristic concept’s 600 hp comes from its extended-range plug-in hybrid system, which includes a gas-powered four-cylinder engine yet has an estimated 62-mile EV range before the engine kicks in and continues the journey outside a zero-emissions zone such as London. Acceleration to 62 mph comes in just 3.0 seconds, like the automaker’s M8 estimate, though we look forward to testing both claims if BMW ever makes the Vision M Next. For now, we’ll have to take its word that the concept can hit a theoretical 186 mph and, thanks to its “Power PHEV” powertrain, can switch from electric all-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive—though we look forward to seeing how well such a complex powertrain would work in a production car.

Although we’re not yet sold about the concept’s headlight-to-grille visual space ratio, the Laser Wire lighting tech making those slim headlights possible sounds intriguing (glass fibers are coated with phosphorous).

Read More
2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe: The Variant to Get?
BMW 3 Series: Four Decades Later
2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia: Why I’d Buy It – Mark Rechtin

Tons of design details make the Vision M Next what it is, but we’ll draw your attention to two highlights. First, the brand’s Hofmeister kink appears in the sculpted body panels itself instead of the windows like other models. Also, the concept pays homage to the classic M1 in the form of the three-piece louvres made of glass (and side vents just below them on the sides of the car).

You’ve heard of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata and other cars allowing entry with just a phone? Well this BMW concept will let you in with facial recognition. Also, there’s a curved-glass display and an augmented reality head-up display inside to make sure all the info you need is readily available, though we hope there’s an off button in case you want to just drive without the tech communicating everything from the driver’s heart rate to the car’s energy management. One future-tech advance we could appreciate is how BMW says the car’s info displays can adapt what they show based on the car’s speed. So if you’re moving increasingly fast, info will focus on driving-related data and shift to the driver’s eye-line. Again, though, just as some MotorTrend editors sometimes look for a traction-control-off button when testing on a track, we hope BMW will leave room for drivers who may feel like experiencing all this data one day but remove most of it the next.

A sporty two-door with design details that subtly nod to the past (M1) while looking to the future (autonomous driving tech) sounds good to us. If we’re honest, most of us—yes, even enthusiasts— occasionally would rather let the car take over, say in bumper-to-bumper traffic with no end in sight. If a production car could do what BMW says the Vision M Next can do on command, transform “into a living space on four wheels” after you’re back from a satisfying winding road, we’d be interested. But turning such futurstic concepts into production realities in cars consumers are actually willing to buy can be a challenge. Then again, having 600 hp would be an electrifying start.

The post As Quick as an M8: BMW Vision M Next Previews Flashy Future-Car Tech appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

What’s It Like to Live With a 2019 Jeep Wrangler? We’re About to Find Out

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 09:00

Never has ordering a new long-termer been more difficult than it was with our new 2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. The process is supposed to be pretty simple, especially if the car is a recent award winner like the Wrangler—our 2019 SUV of the Year. In these cases, soon after the award has been announced, we’ll place an order for a long-termer in a feature-rich spec with the latest technologies so we can act as the canary in the coal mine, so to speak, for our readers. However, ordering a Wrangler isn’t as simple as deciding which new features to get.

The first argument started innocently enough, with associate road test editor Erick Ayapana, who’s responsible for managing all of MotorTrend’s test cars, asking what trim levels we wanted: Sport, Sport S, Sahara, Rubicon, or the Moab special edition. It quickly devolved from there. Some argued for a bare-bones two-door Wrangler Sport. Others wanted a well-optioned Wrangler Rubicon soft top. Some pushed for a Wrangler Unlimited Sahara with the new power roof. Smart people, such as myself, fought in favor of a Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon.

Eventually, we compromised on a four-door Wrangler Unlimited equipped with the new mild hybrid eTorque 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4, which makes 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and its eight-speed automatic transmission. We let our social media followers decide the trim level. You guys picked the Rubicon. Thanks for making the right choice.

The choice of top, however, was given to its chaperone, and through timing and luck, I scored the keys to our new Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, optioned with the new, easily removable hardtop.

I have to admit, I’m more than a little pleased that I get to be our new Wrangler’s chaperone. After spending a year with the 2018 Ram 2500 Power Wagon, I’m quite happy you guys voted for the Wrangler Rubicon. We don’t need to spend a year with it to say it’s among the best factory off-roaders in the world, and given my penchant for exploring our country’s great outdoors, it’s right up my alley.

So many of the features we love on the new Wrangler are on the base model. The doors come off easier, the roof is simpler to operate or remove, the windshield folds down, and it has four-wheel drive and a well-finished interior.

Truthfully, there wasn’t much to add, as the Unlimited Rubicon’s standard feature list is a long one. Functional features include unique bumpers and fender flares, 33-inch off-road tires, heavy-duty Dana 44 axles, locking front and rear differentials, an electronically disconnecting anti-roll bar, unique suspension components, body armor, and much more. It also gets a standard Apple CarPlay-friendly 7.0-inch touchscreen, a digital display on the instrument cluster, and automatic A/C, among other things.

Nevertheless, we went a bit nuts with the configurator. Aside from the black Freedom Top hardtop ($1,195) and eTorque engine and eight-speed auto (effectively $3,000, as you can’t get the four-cylinder with the standard six-speed manual), we loaded our Wrangler up with leather upholstery ($1,495), the trailer towing package ($795), LED lighting ($995), an upgraded 8.4-inch infotainment screen with a premium nine-speaker Alpine audio system ($1,595), blind-spot monitors with rear parking sensors ($895), adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning ($795), steel winch-capable front and rear bumpers ($1,295), hardtop headliners ($525), body-color fender flares ($495), and remote start ($495). We ended up tacking an eye-watering $14,070 onto our Jeep’s $43,040 starting price, for a total of $57,110.

With so many features new to the Wrangler lineup this year, I’m excited to see if our 2019 Wrangler Rubicon can prove itself more than a weekend expedition toy.

Love Jeeps? Read More Right Here!

Jeep Wrangler is the 2019 MotorTrend SUV of the Year
Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon on the Rubicon Trail
Dirty Deeds: Lexus LX vs. Jeep Wrangler vs. Mercedes-Benz G-Class vs. Land Rover Discovery
2020 Jeep Gladiator First Test: Get in the Ring
Jeep, Lexus Win Big With 2019 IntelliChoice Best Overall Value Awards
2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: Why I’d Buy It – Christian Seabaugh

The post What’s It Like to Live With a 2019 Jeep Wrangler? We’re About to Find Out appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS the S-Class of SUVs?

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 09:00

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is known for its great interior space, fancy trims, and luxurious tech features. But as sedan sales decline, the German brand had to make sure to expand that treatment to its biggest SUV—the GLS. To that end, Mercedes equipped the 2020 GLS with its latest gadgets and technology. These are our favorite features.

Massaging seats

 

Whether you’re sitting in the front or second row, the GLS is a comfortable cruiser. But the massaging seats are a game changer. Although it’s getting more common to see massaging seats in the front row, the GLS’ second row can also be had with that relaxing feature. As part of the Executive Rear Seat Plus package, the GLS’ seats can include the lumbar massage function and climate control, but beware—checking options boxes quickly raises the price.

Carwash function

This is a nice feature whether you’re a chauffeur or a soccer mom. To prevent any water from accidentally coming into the cabin when you’re running through a carwash, Mercedes developed a mode that covers all your pre-wash bases for you. With the touch of a button on the infotainment system, the GLS will close the side windows and sunroof, turn off the rain sensor on the windshield, switch the AC to recirculate, and activate the 360-degree camera view so that it’s easier to drive into the carwash. Now all you have to do is switch to neutral and stay off the brakes. Best of all, this feature is standard in every GLS. The GLS goes back to normal when it reaches a speed above 12 mph.

E-Active Body Control

If there’s one thing that defines the S-Class, it’s a smooth and quiet ride. And the new GLS surpasses that standard with the E-Active Body Control (E-ABC) suspension. The optional suspension combines air springs and electrohydraulic dampers with the help of a 48-volt system to absorb every kind of bump or rut, delivering a very smooth ride. E-ABC is a costly option, but the difference between that and the standard air suspension is big, especially when driving off-road.

Rear-seat entertainment

Just like in the S-Class, the GLS can come with two tablets behind the front headrests, but with the Executive Rear Seat package, those who ride in the second row get a third tablet in the center console to control the MBUX infotainment system from the rear. That means that the climate control, audio system, and other settings can be controlled by passengers in the back seat.

Driving Dynamics

With two engine options, the GLS is a potent SUV. Whether you go for the 450 and its inline-six engine or the 580 with the V-8 biturbo, both produce enough punch to get you going quickly. We’ll have to wait a few more months to test them at the track, but when we drove both engines in Utah, we were very pleased with their performance.

The post Is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS the S-Class of SUVs? appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2019 Honda Civic Sedan EX-L: Why I’d Buy It — Miguel Cortina

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 09:00

“What car should I buy?” It’s a question consumers ask themselves every day, but what would MotorTrend en Español managing editor Miguel Cortina drive? Keep reading for the answer, and see other editors’ picks here.

I’m a 30-year-old single guy who likes to surf, and I enjoy having the latest tech in the cars I drive. When I moved from Mexico City to L.A. for my job, I leased a 2015 Mazda3 hatchback, which I loved. It came with the 2.0-liter engine and a six-speed manual, and it was painted in Soul Red. My Mazda3 was the best car I could afford at the time—I was 25 and was finally able to support myself financially. It had the looks, the driving dynamics, and the price I was looking for. And at that time, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. But things can change quickly.

The current-gen Civic wasn’t out at the time I needed a car, but it immediately got my attention when it debuted. It became a finalist for MotorTrend’s 2016 Car of the Year and later won a Big Test comparison, beating the Mazda3 and five other compacts. I had the chance to drive it during its launch in Malibu, California, and I was impressed by its dynamics, the new 1.5-liter engine, and the interior space. When I drove the new Civic nine months after I got my Mazda3, I immediately knew the Civic was on top. Looks-wise, the design wasn’t my favorite, but its styling grew on me. I’m not in love with the Civic hatchback, so I would opt for the sedan.

Given that only my brother lives in California, I don’t really need anything bigger than the Civic. It’s already spacious enough for five adults and offers great fuel economy (32/42/36 mpg city/highway/combined), so there’s no need for me to move up to the Accord or another midsize sedan. Its 1.5-liter turbo sends 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels, and the CVT transmission is pretty smooth. After three years of driving my Mazda3 manual in L.A., I’d go for an automatic. Not only is it easier to drive in traffic, I would also be able to lend my car to my siblings and friends—most of whom don’t know how to drive stick.

READ MORE
2019 Kia Forte First Test: 0-60 Isn’t Everything
2019 Honda Passport First Test: Middle Child
2019 Honda Accord Hybrid: Why I’d Buy It—Zach Gale

Honda doesn’t offer any packages on the Civic, but I would choose the EX-L trim. It has pretty much everything I need, including leather seats, Apple CarPlay, and push-button start with keyless entry. I’d rather save the $2,700 premium that comes with the Touring model and go on a vacation. I don’t really need the 10-speaker audio system, sport pedals, automatic passenger seat, or navigation (thanks to CarPlay). Also, if you get the EX-L, you’ll save a bit more on gas thanks to its 17-inch wheels (compared to the 18-inch wheels on the Touring). For $25,520, I end up with a pretty well-equipped car that looks polished, won’t give me any trouble, and drives great.

If I had to choose another car, I would go for the Volkswagen Golf or the Hyundai Elantra. The Golf is the best hatchback in the market, but I would run into a problem with it every weekend. For some reason, the headrests in VW cars can’t come off, and this is a big problem when I transport my longboard inside the car. Still, given that the Golf is a hatchback, my board could fit, but my side and rearview mirrors would be blocked. Not that I would skip the Golf just because of this, but it’s something that bothers me every time I get in a VW car on a weekend. The Elantra is a great sedan—good looks, plenty of space, and decent technology. But I prefer the Civic’s powertrain over the Elantra’s.

The post 2019 Honda Civic Sedan EX-L: Why I’d Buy It — Miguel Cortina appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

LXi makes £135m of acquisitions

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 08:28
LXi REIT has made a series of six acquisitions totaling £135m following its £200m equity issue earlier this month.
Categories: Property

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD First Drive: Heavy Lifter

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 05:01

Depending who you ask, the part of the truck universe getting the most attention is either the growing mid-size pickup segment (which has two all-new entries in the form of the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator), or the popular half-ton full-size models getting light-duty diesels. We should note we just drove the 2020 Silverado 1500 3.0-liter Duramax and it’s pretty darn good.

Although all this is true, the real momentum and gravity in the pickup truck world is happening in the oft-ignored heavy-duty arena, what are commonly referred to as three-quarter-ton and one-ton pickups. (No, those tonnage descriptors don’t mean much anymore, but these are the biggest, strongest, normal-ish trucks you can buy.)  There’s so much momentum in the segment that by the end of this year, the entire segment will have all-new, redesigned, or upgraded competitive offerings from each of the four key brands – Chevrolet, GMC, Ram, and Ford.

We recently had our first chance to get behind the wheel of several different 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD models, driving through the mountains and valleys of central Oregon, and here are our first-drive and first-tow impressions of the new pickup.

The new look of the Silverado HD lineup will, no doubt, be difficult for some to swallow, mostly because of how high the competitors (namely Ram) have set the bar. These new Chevy HD trucks are bigger, taller, wider, and longer in just about every measurable way, and they have some of the most technologically advanced features ever seen in a pickup. (For a quick review of most of the new features and capabilities of the 2020 Silverado HD, take a look at our First Look piece from February.)

Visually, the exterior has nothing in common with the half-ton model, other than the large, all-caps CHEVROLET name across the length of the grille. (Top-of-the-line High Country HD models get the chromed grille and traditional Bow Tie.) The height of the hood in both 4×4 or 4×2 models almost prevents anyone under six feet from looking at the engine or closing the hood once it’s open. Chevy engineers and marketing folks told us their HD customers wanted the new 2500/3500 model to be bigger and more intimidating than the 1500. As a result, we reckon around 90 percent of Chevy HD buyers will need a stepstool to help them reach the engine compartment.

From our experience, there’s no question that there is a difference between half-ton and heavy-duty buyers, and we saw several Chevy presentations that drove that point home. According to Chevy, most 1500 buyers use their pickup for many types of everyday and every-weekend usage. HD buyers, on the other hand, have a very specific task (exclusively for work or hard play, but usually not both) that they’re looking to use their pickup for — commercial rig duty, fifth-wheel camper towing, or taking the horses to the next show.

And the common denominator across the range is towing both big and small loads. Since the majority of HD customers typically do some kind of towing, Chevy gave us quite a bit of time with these trucks with a heavy trailer; as a consequence, much of our discussion will deal with how they deal with heavy trailers.

As a result, some of the biggest improvements to this new Chevy HD (and likely the coming GMC) pickups are not easily seen or touched, but rather are underneath the truck. Every aspect of this new frame is stiffer and stronger, providing, we’re told, a better foundation for the stronger suspension pieces that offer a wider range of smooth-ride capability when driving in both empty and at full-payload capacity. That’s not something past engineers seemed to be concerned about; most people understand when opting for an HD pickup, you have to give a lot up in comfort and ride quality. Today’s buyers, they tell us, are looking to make fewer compromises.

The first of these new trucks we drove was a 2500 crew cab 4×4 mid-level Custom with the all-new 6.6-liter direct injection V-8 gas engine, rated at 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque. This engine replaces the aging 6.0-liter V-8 workhorse GM has kept around for almost two decades. The new mill is a vast improvement over its predecessor.

Although most of these HD models are likely to be ordered with the bigger and stronger Duramax turbodiesel (rated at 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque), every competitor in this segment has to offer a solid torque-biased gas V-8 for the old-school fleet and commercial buyers, as well as a small number of personal-use buyers that like the way a big gas V-8 sounds and responds.

Driving the gas V-8 with the six-speed  on the winding two-lane roads through the open countryside and gradual slopes of the Northwest’s Cascade mountain range, throttle responsiveness and its willingness to scoot up a hill is impressive. All gas V-8s receive 3.73:1 axle gears, as the transmission seems pretty smart about knowing when and how quickly to drop a gear when needed. The 6L90 transmission is basically a carryover from the previous HD lineup, but we’re guessing there’s been a considerable amount of software integration work to prevent the harder gear shifts (especially during the 1/2 and 2/3 shifts) we’ve experienced with it in the past, especially under load.

With that said, we had quite a bit of fun during a few passing and merging situations where we hopped on the throttle and felt the 8,000-pound pickup move like sport truck. We also have to note that the lighter weight of the new engine (when compared to the Duramax engine) provides the front end with a nimbler feel when diving and carving through corners—not something we’re used to feeling in a truck this large.

All new Chevy HDs continue to use the familiar independent front suspension (the only one in the competitive set), but with an upgraded and retuned set of A-arms and torsion bar springs. Rear spring packs have also been redesigned and tuned to provide the most payload capacity for every model. We had the chance to do some bumper-hitch towing with the gas HD, pulling a Big Tex flatbed trailer with a Hitachi Zaxis 30U compact excavator lashed down, weighing in around 12,000 pounds. Our test truck had the larger, split level, manual-pull tow mirrors (higher trim packages offer full electric extendable and foldable tow mirrors) and all-new integrated brake controller (newly located in the bottom left of the center stack), allowing us to keep track and control of the load behind us. In fact, we were on the road towing for quite a while before we found out how much the trailer actually weighed, and were surprised the load wasn’t several thousands pounds lighter.

From our unscientific calculations, there were almost 1,000 pounds of tongue weight on the rear hitch, yet we didn’t feel the slightest bit of wag or push from the trailer during our hard stops or higher speed cornering. We’ll also make the point here that GM engineers have done an impressive job tightening up the steering feel of this big truck, making it both quick to respond and consistent in the amount of road feel when cornering or driving down a road with a nasty crown. We’ve experienced both problematic situations with the old truck and found it to be a tricky thing to keep the truck smoothly taking a corner or staying pointed straight when the road is not dead level. Something about those conditions seem to make the previous steering setup come on and force us to make continuous, small adjustments, which were mentally exhausting over time. With this upgraded steering setup, we felt none of that.

We also had the chance to take a fully loaded High Country 2500HD 4×4 Duramax over some two-lane roads and highways around Mt Bachelor ski area. In this circumstance, we had a 24-foot bumper hitch box trailer perfectly balanced and loaded to provide us with 14,000 pounds behind us over the same course we drove with the gas V-8. And without any big surprises, as you probably guessed, the turbodiesel with a heavier load at high-altitude did exceptionally well, pulling stronger and harder than its gasoline counterpart.

Our tow rig also offered some of the newest towing features Chevy offers, which includes as many as 15 different camera views of your trailer. You can even hardwire a camera inside your trailer. We especially appreciated that many of the various camera angles are individually selectable while driving so you can check out what’s going on in the bed, behind the trailer, or even inside the trailer for up to eight full seconds. Chevy also equipped our trailer with an exterior rear camera that provided a transparent-view camera angle — which allowed us to see right through the trailer to what’s behind the truck.

One of our favorite features in the Duramax-equipped Silverado HD is the all-new, quick-shifting and quite flexible Allison 10L 1000 10-speed transmission. All axle gear ratios for all Silverado HDs equipped with the Duramax engine are an efficient 3.42:1, because the gears on this new 10-speed (the only in the segment to date) range from a 4.54:1 first to a 0.63:1 tenth gear (with a 4.54:1 reverse gear as well).

We had the chance to drive a pair of one-ton dually Duramax-equipped 3500s—both with more than 30,000 pounds of trailer weight behind them—and found the new transmission, with the closer ratio gearing, an amazingly smooth and controlled experience, even with dynamiting the brakes or flat-footing the throttle. (Of course, we wouldn’t recommend anyone doing that unless on a closed course, which we were.)

From what we’re told, there is very little change to the 6.6-liter Duramax V-8; however, with the addition of this new, more sophisticated Allison 10-speed transmission, the feel and responsiveness of the engine makes it feel like the truck has a whole new personality. In the 2500 model we drove back to our hotel from Mt. Bachelor, the powerband is clearly widened and deepened, but the addition of four more gears and a wider powerband, the results are stunning. During everyday (unloaded) driving through tight city streets or when merging onto highways, we found throttle response was never lagging and power was always on tap right where we needed it.

The 10-speed transmission made driving a weighty unloaded heavy-duty pickup more comfortable in traffic, as well as more relaxing to tow heavy loads by giving us plenty of power to climb the steeper grades, and delivering a strong exhaust brake control on the steeper descents.

Tow/Haul is activated by the new turn-dial and it seems to change the shift mapping significantly and engage the variable-vein turbocharger more aggressively when the exhaust brake is engaged. Our only quibble with this new setup is that (as noted with the gas V-8 transmission), we found ourselves wanting to know what gear our tow rig was in before we grabbed the column shifter to pull it down into a manual mode (necessary to get a gear readout). Likewise, we found ourselves wanting more settings with the exhaust brake (like Ford and Ram offer) to help keep better control of our downhill loads or when coming to a quick stop.

Diesel aficionados will note that GM finally relocated the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank so they could put the DEF filler spout behind a larger fuel filler door. Additionally, there is a selectable electronic DEF gauge that allows the driver to visually see how full that tank is at any given time. Of course, when the tank gets to one-quarter full, there will be stair-stepped audible warnings that become more annoying the closer to empty you get, until the truck will finally go into a federally-mandated limp-home mode where you won’t be able to ignore it any longer.

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We haven’t said much about the interior, which for some buyers could be the most important and reflective of overall quality to a pickup (which makes sense since that’s pretty much where people spend most of their time). In that regard, because Chevy has not done anything earth-shattering or unique, this is where the 2020 Silverado HD is likely to take the most criticism.

Looking much like the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 interior (which seemed to get a rather lukewarm reception from many outlets, including this one), the HDs are clearly bigger in all ways to the vehicles they’re replacing; all cabs offer more legroom, headroom, and shoulder room, while the gauge cluster and pyramid-shaped center stack will instantly look familiar to anyone who’s been inside a 2019 Chevy half-ton.

Our Custom 4×4 test truck had a bench front seat that was a little flat and too firm for us, and only offered forward and back legroom adjustments, without any foot-pedal or shoulder belt adjustment ability. However, our High Country did deliver six-way adjustable heated and cooled seats and provided us with a more cushioned and side-bolstered feel, not to mention a well-placed and sizably inflatable lumbar support feature.

Storage slots both in the door and along the side of the center console are convenient and well thought out, as are the cupholders. In the rear of the cabin, there is not much storage creativity going on. We like the flatter rear floor, but we’d like to see some sort of additional problem-solving going on for those who need more than a small cutout under the rear seat (which houses the standard-issue bottle jack). That area looks like it couldn’t hold much more than a few yardsticks or wheel chocks. Our bottom line here is the interior layout and storage features leave us wanting. And while that is not likely to be the most important thing to buyers looking at these trucks, they are details that could be used as key competitive separators from the other players, who do seem to be taking these features quite seriously.

Do these powertrain and technology changes provide big improvements? Yes. Will these interior improvements run the Chevy to the top of the segment? No. Is this the best Silverado HD to date, likely to make any and all Chevy HD customers happier than ever before? Yes. Will this new Silverado HD lineup beat the competition? We’ll have to wait and see.

Pricing for the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500 models has been released, and in some cases provide a strong value proposition. Our 2500 crew-cab Custom 4×4 with the gas V-8 had an MSRP of $47,770 (all pricing includes Destination). And while our 2500 crew-cab High Country 4×4 with the Duramax (with the standard 10-speed trans) listed over $70,000, our regular-cab 3500 dually 4×2 with the Duramax and 10-speed transmission was just under $50,000. Yes, these can be pricey pickups (especially when you opt for the upper trim levels or most advanced technology packages), however, you are getting a lot of pickup for your money.

The post 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD First Drive: Heavy Lifter appeared first on MotorTrend.

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First drive: Heavy-duty diesel hauls 2020 Chevy Silverado HD to the front of the class

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/25/2019 - 05:01
In the vast sweep of the country outside of cities, where the deer and the antelope play, Americans use heavy-duty trucks to tow their livelihoods and their toys. They are wealthy, they are working class; they tow fifth-wheel campers and gooseneck trailers; they tow race cars and watercraft, garage queens and showboats; they tow prized livestock...
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