New film and TV studio space planned in Belfast

Property Week News Feed - 1 hour 45 min ago
Belfast Harbour has submitted a planning application for six new film and television studios.
Categories: Property

Gazeley acquires 25-acre UK redevelopment site for warehouse scheme

Property Week News Feed - 1 hour 48 min ago
Gazeley has acquired a 25-acre site near Bedford to developed three warehouses for an undisclosed sum.
Categories: Property

Hammerson turns to Betty to lead City Quarters strategy

Property Week News Feed - 3 hours 42 min ago
Hammerson has appointed Simon Betty to the newly created role of managing director of City Quarters and Developments.
Categories: Property

Persimmon recruits Bank of England exec to the board

Property Week News Feed - 3 hours 58 min ago
Persimmon has boosted its board with the appointment the chief operating officer (COO) at the Bank of England as an independent non-executive director.
Categories: Property

Warehouse REIT considers fundraising to fund acquisition pipeline

Property Week News Feed - 4 hours 17 min ago
Warehouse REIT is mulling an equity fundraising to help fund an acquisition pipeline valued at £352m.
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Moda finalises plans for 720-home Birmingham scheme

Property Week News Feed - 4 hours 39 min ago
Moda Living and joint venture partner Apache Capital are about to launch a public consultation on their plans to deliver a 720-home build-to-rent scheme in Birmingham.
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Blackstone sells Chiswick Park building to Stanhope

Property Week News Feed - 4 hours 46 min ago
Blackstone has sold the last building it owns at Chiswick Park to Stanhope, the original developers of the West London office campus, for £312m.
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2020 Audi Q8

The Car Connection News Feed - Sun, 02/16/2020 - 15:00
The 2020 Audi Q8 didn’t need to wait long to be crowned the king (or queen) of the automaker’s lineup. After just one year on sale since its introduction last year, the Q8 full-size crossover will be joined in 2020 by fire-breathing performance variants that will help cement its position as the aspirational Audi to buy. The Q8 is...
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2021 Jaguar F-Type

The Car Connection News Feed - Sat, 02/15/2020 - 15:00
We’ll skip the tired, “sex on wheels” cliches and titilating metaphors and get right to the point: The 2021 Jaguar F-Type coupe or convertible is highly satisfying and hugely sensual. Dang it. Even we can’t escape the F-Type’s attraction. And we try really hard. With the 2021 F-Type, Jaguar has an aspirational car to...
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Loaded 2020 Toyota Camry AWD or a Base ’21 Avalon AWD—Which Should You Buy ?

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 02/15/2020 - 01:13

Before Toyota decided to add all-wheel drive to the 2020 Camry and Avalon sedans, your AWD mid-size four-door choices were fairly limited. The Toyotas double the options, so provided you’ve moved past the Nissan Altima AWD or the Subaru Legacy, which makes more sense? The 2020 Toyota Camry AWD, or the 2021 Toyota Avalon AWD? Load up the Camry with options, and you’ll find yourself spending just as much as you would for the half-size-larger, base-model Avalon XLE. So, which should you pick?

After driving both, we pored over the standard and optional equipment lists and then dove into Toyota’s online configurator. We selected the $31,920 Camry XLE AWD as our starting point instead of the slightly pricier XSE AWD ($32,460 to start) because Toyota does not yet offer the AWD option on the equivalent Avalon XSE (or Touring or TRD trims), so the luxe-oriented XLE makes for the best comparison.

From there, we threw everything major that cost money at the Camry XLE AWD: The Navigation (which includes a premium nine-speaker JBL audio system with subwoofer for $1,810) and Driver Assistance packages (Bird’s-eye-view camera with Perimeter Scan, Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Rear Cross-Traffic Braking, multi-stage ventilated front seats, and a 10-inch color head-up display for $2,375). Those elevated our Camry’s MSRP to $36,095, about $750 less than a base Avalon XLE AWD. (For the record, it’s also $1,640 more than an unoptioned Nissan Altima 2.5 Platinum AWD and $1,000 more than a Subaru Legacy XT Limited.) Here is how our Camry and the entry-level Avalon AWD compare:

The lower-spec Avalon lacks these fancy-Camry features:

  • Leather Upholstery—Standard on Camry XLE/XSE; Avalon XLE gets SofTex pseudo-leather. Actual leather is only available on the $43,130 Limited model
  • 10-inch HUD—As above, a head-up display is only available on Avalon Limited.
  • Driver Assistance Package—These goodies are not offered on Avalon XLE, and even Limited buyers must spend another $1,150 to get them.
  • Dynamic Navigation/JBL—Avalon XLE buyers must spend another $1,720 for this package, which we included on our Camry, but they’ll end up with five more audio speakers (and at least the base Avalon starts out with eight speakers to Camry’s six, or optional nine).
  • Qi wireless charging mat—You’d have to spring for the Avalon’s $1,000 moonroof package to get this must-have widget.
  • 18-inch wheels and 235/45R18 tires—Standard on Camry SE and above, the Avalon makes do with 17s wearing 215/55R17 tires (all are all-season).
  • Heated outside mirrors—Again, requires stepping up to Avalon Limited, on which they’re standard.
  • Color choices—Camry offers nine paint options, plus three two-tone versions; Avalon offers just eight monochrome options. And these colors are Camry only: Galactic Aqua Mica, Super White, Predawn Gray Metallic, and Blue Streak Metallic.

But, even the fanciest Camry AWD lacks these Avalon features:

  • Acoustic noise-reducing glass—Avalon gets it in the windshield and front doors, while Camry LE and above get the windshield only.
  • 9.0-inch Infotainment screen—Camry makes do with an 8.0-inch screen.
  • Dynamic LED turn signals—Flashy animated indicators front and rear are Avalon-exclusive.
  • Heated steering wheel—This will be offered on Camry in a new Cold Weather package that has yet to be priced, so was not included in our tally.
  • Two USB-C charging ports—Camry XLE/XSE share Avalon’s three standard USB ports, but lack the Avalon’s next-gen ports.
  • Colors—These hues are Avalon only: Harbor Gray Metallic, Opulent Amber, Blueprint.
  • An extra 9 cubic feet of passenger space—The Avalon’s 1.8-inch-longer wheelbase pays off in 2.4 inches of added rear legroom and a slight width increase lends 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room.
  • 1.0 cubic foot of added trunk space

Even though both the Camry and the Avalon technically share the same TNGA component set, the Avalon’s underpinnings are more closely aligned with those of the larger, more luxurious Lexus ES sedan. Therefore, the Avalon benefits from added noise, vibration, and harshness countermeasures that no Camry receives. The longer wheelbase results in greater ride comfort, and its interior is a bit more opulent looking—even if the “base” XLE’s seats are swathed in SofTex instead of cow skin. Manufacturer-claimed weights for base Camry and Avalon XLE are within 41 pounds, which the options on our proposed Camry would likely equalize, so performance should be nearly identical. The choice will come down to a matter of taste. This gadget-loving editor would pick the loaded Camry—but he’d take a long test drive in a $35,919 Subaru Legacy XT Limited with tech package to see how 58 more horses and 95 more lb-ft struck his fancy first. Of course, if a big-boy sedan is more your flavor, and you must have all-wheel-drive and can only spend about $36,000, the Avalon would suit you best.

The post Loaded 2020 Toyota Camry AWD or a Base ’21 Avalon AWD—Which Should You Buy ? appeared first on MotorTrend.

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The 7 Best Details Volvo Polestar 1 Details We Uncovered

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 23:30

Polestar is Volvo’s onetime de-facto performance division that has transformed into a fully realized, electrified brand with a little help from Volvo’s cash-flush Chinese parent company, Geely. Polestar’s first car, the aptly named 1, is a limited-production Bentley-rivaling grand tourer. No surprise, we were impressed with the performance of this muscular gasoline-electric hybrid machine in our recent review, which also gave us plenty of time to get up close with the seductive two-door coupe. Did we mention its tin-charged (turbo and supercharged) four-cylinder engine and set of electric motors deliver a total output of 619 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque? Sexy and very quick, the Polestar also is loaded with cool Easter egg details that you might not notice if you just happened upon one on the street—so we dug up the seven coolest for you:

Few and far between

First of all, you’re unlikely to just come across a Polestar 1 in the wild. They are exceedingly rare. Polestar will build just 1,500 examples in the first year; about 130 of which are destined for the U.S. market. For reference, Porsche sent more than 200 examples of the 918 Spyder hypercar to the States, making it likely you’ll see one of those before you ever lay eyes on a Polestar 1.

You shouldn’t really call it a Volvo

Despite the fact Polestar currently shares most of its interior and exterior design language with Volvo, the performance brand insists that it is separate from the company that spawned it. In fact, everywhere you look there are Polestar logos. Everything from the badges on the hood and trunk to the logos on the windows and wheel hubs sport Polestar’s logo. Pop the hood and rummage around long enough, and you’ll eventually find a few hoses and other minor components with the “Volvo” stamping. Still, this car is very much its own machine, familiar styling notwithstanding. 

No junk in this trunk

The trunk of the Polestar is almost unreasonably small. However, that’s partly because of the bright orange high-voltage wiring array that’s put on glorious display where some customers might simply want to shove an extra carry-on bag. We think the electronics show is nifty, and each wiring loom’s purpose and placement are displayed on the trunk’s protective glass panel. Polestar could have hidden the wiring away like most automakers do, but instead chose to show off its electrification in quite an imaginative way. 

Since 1959

The phrase “Since 1959” sits engraved on the seat belt buckle of the Polestar 1. It is a detail so minute that eventual owners of the car might never notice it, but it is loaded with historical importance. Volvo invented the “V” shaped, three-point safety belts that are now mandatory on every road going vehicle. It was one of the single biggest improvements in vehicle safety since the advent of the car itself, and Volvo is particularly proud of it—as they should be. So, yeah, count this among the Polestar’s few visible links to Volvo—but one well worth it and loaded with pedigree. 

Almost-gold accents, everywhere

Polestar is proud to be a performance brand. As such, some key performance parts are painted a sort of burnt-yellow color to show off some extra sportiness—or just for a dash of pizazz. The Akebono-brand brake calipers and each wheel’s valve stem cap are both almost yellow. So, too, are the seatbelts (as in some recent Polestar-fettled Volvos). But the almost-gold accents are also where you can’t see them. In the middle of the shock towers sits a small dial for manually adjusting the firmness of the Öhlins dampers—twist clockwise to firm up the ride, and in the opposite direction to soften it back up. That little knob is also painted in the contrasting gold.

Look up

If you get the chance to sit inside a Polestar 1, look up. You’ll notice the roof is made almost entirely of glass. That’s not new in the luxury or coupe segments these days, but projected onto the glass is a small Polestar logo. It’s relatively small, and is cast onto the roof by a small light on the panel with the interior reading lights. It’s another small detail that sets the Polestar apart from Volvo’s cars and makes the case that it’s a true luxury machine.

Look around

Assuming you’ve made your way inside the Polestar, take a look around. You’ll notice luxury touches everywhere. The tweeter grilles for the Bowers and Wilkins stereo are metal and the leather on the seats is brogued like on an expensive pair an Allen Edmonds shoes. Not only that, but the interior is two-tone: The front seats are a luscious ivory color, and the rears are black leather. Even though the majority of the switchgear is clearly sourced from Volvo, these simple touches really set the Polestar apart from the “lowly” Volvo range.

The post The 7 Best Details Volvo Polestar 1 Details We Uncovered appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Meet the Pagani Imola: A $5.4 million, 827-HP Hypercar

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 22:30

Step aside, Huayra BC, because there’s a new Pagani hypercar in town. Meet the Pagani Imola; a limited-run, $5.4 million, track-focused machine from the–comparatively–young Italian automaker. 

Developed at and named for the Imola circuit in Bologna, Italy, the latest Pagani model combines exorbitant power and a relatively light curb weight to make it a true menace on the track. Like the Huayra, the Imola relies on a Mercedes-AMG V-12 engine. In the Imola, however, the 6.0-liter engine makes 827 horsepower–107 more than the 2015 Huayra we drove more than five years ago.  Those extra horses come well tamed, too, thanks to nearly 10,000 miles of testing at track speeds.  

Further assisting the Huayra-based Imola around circuits is a seven-speed automated manual gearbox, sticky Pirelli Trofeo R tires, and an active aerodynamics system that automatically adjusts the car’s four mobile winglets to current driving conditions. Of course, the Imola’s tech wizardry adds up at the scales, so Pagani painstakingly shed as much mass as possible from the car. For instance, a new paint process results in an approximately 11.0-pound weight savings. All in, Pagani reports the Imola sports a dry weight of 2,747 pounds, which is within a few pounds of a Subaru BRZ‘s curb weight.

Additionally, the Imola benefits from reworked suspension geometry that aims to reduce brake dive relative to the brand’s other models, as well as help the hypercar transfer the engine’s 811 lb-ft of torque to the ground with minimal drama. Stopping power comes, meanwhile, comes courtesy of a set of Brembo-supplied six-piston, 15.7-inch front and four-piston, 15.0-inch rear calipers and rotors.

No doubt, the Imola is arguably the most impressive vehicle produced by Pagani. Unfortunately, with only five Imolas earmarked for production—and all already spoken for—it’s unlikely many individuals will ever see, yet alone experience, the model’s on-track capabilities.

The post Meet the Pagani Imola: A $5.4 million, 827-HP Hypercar appeared first on MotorTrend.

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Why the 2021 Toyota Supra Still Doesn’t Have a Manual Transmission

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 21:05

Supra enthusiasts waited decades to see the iconic sports car make its return, and when the Toyota Supra finally returned to North American shores for the 2020 model year, it had the requisite inline-six under the hood. That fact, of course, was made possible with the partnership with BMW that also produced the 2020 Z4. But the only transmission was an eight-speed automatic, and as Toyota has now introduced the 2021 Supra for the car’s second model year, that’s still the case. And yet cries for an available manual transmission have not subsided.

It was not unreasonable to ask if it was coming for the 2021 model, which received big changes across the board. For starters, the turbocharged I-6 in the GR Supra 3.0 generates 47 more horsepower, bringing its specs to 382 hp and 368 lb-ft. And then there’s the fact that the U.S. will get a four-cylinder version for the first time in the form of a 2.0-liter unit generating 255 hp and 295 lb-ft.

Both engines are paired to the same eight-speed automatic. On purpose. Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada has tested Supras with a manual but decided not to go there for a couple reasons. One, we’re told, is that Toyota considers the automatic to be an excellent transmission that turns in faster times in the hands of a professional driver. The automatic can also handle a lot of torque, and Toyota knows a lot of tuners will raise the boost—and therefore the stress—on the transmission. In past Supras, people were blowing up transmissions and Tada said he wanted to prevent that with the new car. But one of the main reasons Tada has no current plans to put a manual in the Supra is to better differentiate it from the Toyota 86, a car for which he also served as chief engineer. There will be a second-generation of the 86—Tada wouldn’t provide exact timing—and it will have a manual, he told MotorTrend in an interview at the Daytona 500.

That being said, Tada said he knows people keep asking for a manual in the Supra and in time, after customers have driven the Supra with the automatic, if they are still clamoring for a manual, he will consider it. “It is not out of the question to see an update like that.”

Sports cars historically have hot-and-cold lifecycles that sees pent-up demand drive sales initially, but that can wane quickly. Tada said he will continue to inject excitement into the Supra lineup with special editions and continued engineering to enhance the lineup and keep it fresh. Does that include a targa top? It would seem to be one of the easier things to do from an engineering standpoint, but Tada does not see the value. He reasons that after owners remove the top a few times and see the difficulty of finding a place to store it, they generally leave it in place.

How about an orange Supra like the one in the upcoming Fast and Furious flick F9? Not in the plans right now, but Toyota will monitor the buzz after the movie comes out. Meanwhile Toyota is taking orders now for the $200,000 GT4 race car with 430 hp that will be hit racing circuits next year. And, yes, it has considered the advantages of the compact Supra’s short overhangs in rally competition.

As for the rumored Supra GRMN said to be in the works? “Limited editions are possible in the future,” Tada told us with a smile.

The post Why the 2021 Toyota Supra Still Doesn’t Have a Manual Transmission appeared first on MotorTrend.

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Cadillac Escalade: A Visual History of Caddy’s Flagship SUV

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 19:40

Ah, the Cadillac Escalade. It’s hard to believe the General’s range-topping luxury behemoth has annoyed environmentalists and pleased the nouveau riche crowd for more than two decades. Yet it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, even as it enters its fifth generation. It remains one of most polarizing vehicles to survive the 2000s, a harbinger of the meteoric rise of the luxury SUV and a poster child for wretched excess and conspicuous consumption.

Despite more than 800,000 Escalades sold in the U.S. since 1998, you likely haven’t given much thought to the first few generations. Older examples were typically quickly discarded—much like any other mass-produced luxury sled—and left to cycle through third and fourth owners on buy-here-pay-here lots. With the recent debut of the all-new fifth-gen 2021 Cadillac Escalade, let’s take a step through the history of the model and remind you what made the original Caddy Escalade a pillar of the luxury SUV market.

Cadillac Escalade First Generation: 1999–2000

“Escalade”—a term referring to the act of using ladders to scale defensive fortress walls—is a fitting name for Cadillac’s first SUV, considering the first Escalade was a hurried riposte to the Lincoln Navigator, which had arrived the previous year, and to a lesser degree the Lexus LX 450, which had been around since 1996.

GM needed to respond. Dealers were hungry, so Cadillac’s design department performed a rushed badge swap for the existing GMC Yukon Denali, changing only emblems on the grille, front doors, steering wheels, wheel centers, and embroidery. Nearly everything else was identical to the Denali, including interior equipment, but that doesn’t mean it was as barebones as a Chevy Cavalier. Quite the opposite; the Escalade came in one trim, with a leather interior, OnStar, a Bose sound system, power seats, heated side mirrors, keyless entry, and rear climate system among the highlights.

The only engine available was the Yukon’s 5.7-liter Vortec V-8, pushing out a contemporarily average 255 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. A beefy four-speed automatic handled this power, sending said motivation to either the rear wheels or all four. Fun fact: This is the only generation of Escalade sold exclusively with a five-seat layout.

The first-generation Escalade was sold only in the 1999 and 2000 model years, with just under 50,000 units produced in that time. No surprises there; it was designed from the start as a placeholder until the new GMT820 platform arrived in 2000 to slot under a new Suburban and Yukon and pressed into service for the new Escalade.

Cadillac Escalade Second Generation: 2002–2006

The second-generation Escalade is probably the one you think of when someone mentions “an old Escalade.” Since Escalade development entered late in the GMT820 platform party, it skipped the 2001 model year for a 2002 debut. The new Escalade wore a bold, angular design in line with Cadillac’s then-new “Art and Science” design language exclusive to the marque, and shared little with the look of the Suburban and Yukon. Interior trimmings were summarily posher than the Chevy and GMC, incorporating a substantial amount of Caddy-only leather colors and “Zebrano” wood paneling. This is also where much of the initial glitz and glam that made it such a rap video favorite came in—a Bulgari-branded analog clock was standard, after all.

Range-topping variants packed the potent 6.0-liter Vortec 6000 V-8, good for 345 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. The industrial-grade four-speed automatic carried over to manage this boost in power, as did an optional full-time four-wheel-drive system. Adaptive suspension was introduced for the Escalade, making the Nimitz-class SUV handle less like a Carnival cruise ship.

Apropos of watercraft, an 8,000-plus-pound tow rating meant you could have your weekend at the lake without borrowing your cousin’s F-250, and keep your cooled seats, satellite radio, and rear-seat entertainment to impress the visiting in-laws. If you really wanted to be the talk of the time-share, the Platinum Edition, introduced in 2004, offered such niceties as heated and cooled cupholders, a moon roof, and a chrome grille.

Cadillac Escalade Third Generation: 2007–2014

This is where the Escalade shifted from a lumbering Cadillac truck into a bona fide luxury hauler. The chrome “Art and Science” schnoz was chromier and crisper than before, though the profile and platform couldn’t hide all its Suburban/Yukon roots. Cadillac did its best to move the truck upmarket, with a global debut in 2005 at a Rodeo Drive event attended by celebrities including Paris Hilton, Regina King, and Adrien Brody.

When the third-gen Escalade first hit dealers, gas prices hadn’t quite yet exploded as they did in the later part of the decade, so it was still “drill, baby, drill!” with an all-aluminum Vortec 6.2-liter V-8. Standard power was now a solid 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque, managed by a new six-speed 6L80 automatic transmission. If you were the rare ecologically conscientious Escalade buyer, a slow-selling hybrid variant was offered for the 2009 through 2013 model years.

The Escalade Hybrid received a 6.0-liter V-8, augmented by a pair of 60-kW motors fed by a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery. The “green” Escalade also used a complex transmission design that incorporated both electric motors, three additional planetary gearsets, and four additional clutches. Combined power was a reasonable 379 hp. It wasn’t perfect, but for a three-ton V-8 leviathan, the 20/23 city/highway mpg was a generous improvement over the regular rear-wheel-drive Escalade’s 14/18 numbers.

Inside, it was more baller than ever, building on the same more-is-more formula set forth by the second-gen Escalade. Leather, wood, and soft-touch plastics were everywhere, as were entertainment screens, premium sound systems, and heated-and-cooled everything.

Cadillac Escalade Fourth Generation: 2015–2020

If the second-gen brought the Escalade into the diamond-studded limelight, and the third-gen cemented it as the big-bling hauler, the outgoing fourth-gen is when the Escalade shifted into an ultra-luxe tech-laden mega-sled that incorporated the full extent of General Motors’ technology and design.

At its core, it’s still an evolved Suburban/Yukon, but the fourth-gen took a bigger step away from its siblings with heavy use of a bespoke Cadillac CUE infotainment and top-shelf materials. The driver-assistance package was expanded, as was all the adjunct tech that went along with that, including cameras, cruise control, and onboard diagnostics.

Still, it’s a big brute when you compare it to the current full-size luxury SUV market. While there really aren’t any direct competitors save the current Lincoln Navigator, we’re sure some buyers have defected for the large-SUV offerings of Mercedes, Audi, and BMW. Cadillac doesn’t seem worried—with a standard 6.2-liter V-8 and a six- then eight- and now 10-speed transmission managing 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque,  nothing from overseas can out-tow or outhaul the Caddy.

Despite an exterior design that appears just as fresh as it did upon debut, the interior style and tech is beginning to smell a bit ripe. So it’s time for the new 2021 Escalade to take center stage, especially given the recent debuts of the all-new GMC Yukon and Chevy Tahoe. If history is anything to go by, expect more of the same deliciously gluttonous excess we’ve come to know and love from Caddy’s big beast.

Bonus: Cadillac Escalade EXT, 2002–2013

You didn’t think we’d forget about one of the goofiest GM trucks of all, did you? For 11 model years and two distinct generations, Cadillac Escalade-ified the existing Chevrolet Avalanche sport-utility truck to court buyers away from the dismally unpopular Lincoln Blackwood and later Mark LT pickups. The truck sold reasonably well, but wasn’t renewed for the fourth generation of the Escalade, mostly due to poor sales during its final few years and the discontinuation of the Avalanche on which it was based. Maybe we’ll see another EXT in the future, but we’re not holding our breath.

The post Cadillac Escalade: A Visual History of Caddy’s Flagship SUV appeared first on MotorTrend.

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BMW M2 Competition Gets Tagged by Graffiti Artist, Inspires Special Model

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 17:49

Futura 2000 has put his mark on the BMW M2 Competition at Frieze Los Angeles, an annual contemporary art fair in California’s City of Angels. The car is one of three such pieces the noted graffiti artist is working on with BMW. Additionally, Futura 2000 will design a limited-edition M2 Competition set to reach customer’s hands later in the year.

Fit with a set of 19-inch, jet-black wheels and wearing custom paintwork that appears to evoke a lightning storm in a postapocalyptic world, the first of the M2 Competitions by Futura 2000 looks properly menacing. It’s an apt appearance for a car that sports a 405-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six under its hood.

The exterior ambiance makes its way to the sports coupe’s interior, as well, where it’s applied to the dashboard and center-console trim. Black and white seats with blue stitching and a faux-suede steering wheel complete the interior appearance of the Frieze Los Angeles M2 Competition by Futura 2000. Nevertheless, the forthcoming limited-edition M2 Competition by Futura 2000 also includes a gray marker at the top-center of the steering wheel’s rim and trim-specific door sills with Futura 2000’s signature, as well as the consecutive limited-edition number of the vehicle.

BMW’s earmarked a mere 500 M2 Competitions by Futura 2000 for worldwide consumption, with the brand opening up its order books for the model on February 18. Pricing remains under wraps, however, we expect this special edition Bimmer to cost a good deal more than an ordinary M2 Competition, which starts at $59,895.

The post BMW M2 Competition Gets Tagged by Graffiti Artist, Inspires Special Model appeared first on MotorTrend.

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Genesis tops dependability study, 2021 Toyota Supra gets a boost, 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid MPG: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 16:30
Genesis, Lexus, and Buick top most dependable brands: J.D. Power Hyundai's upstart luxury brand out-Lexuses Lexus in its first full year on a noted dependability survey. New crossover SUVs starting under $30,000 Although nearly every automaker has a new or significantly updated crossover on the way, only a few are expected to start for less than...
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Genesis, Lexus, and Buick top most dependable brands: J.D. Power

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 16:30
The most dependable new vehicles are made by Genesis, Lexus, and Buick, according to J.D. Power's annual vehicle dependability study released on Wednesday. The premium brands received far fewer complaints by owners in the first three years of ownership than from owners of other makes. “There’s no question that three-year-old vehicles...
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2021 Toyota Supra A91 Edition First Look: What Makes It Special-er

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 15:35

The 2021 Toyota GR Supra is better than ever thanks to its newly available four-cylinder engine and more powerful straight-six. Those in search of the most distinctive 2021 Supra, though, will only care about one model: the A91 Edition. Limited to 1,000 units, the A91 Edition adds a number of distinct touches to the Supra’s shapely exterior and driver-focused interior. Sadly, performance enhancements that weren’t already made to other 3.0-liter models aren’t part of the package. 

On the plus side, the Supra A91 Edition comes exclusively with the model’s 382-hp turbocharged inline-six powerplant that pairs to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It also benefits from the six-cylinder Supra’s reworked underpinnings, which include revised damper tuning, additional bracing, enhancements to the power steering system, and more. 

Spoiler Alert

Arguably the most noticeable difference between the A91 Supra and its lesser kin is the limited-edition model’s rear lip spoiler. The carbon-fiber piece is an attractive-looking addition that nicely caps the coupe’s stubby rear end. 

Stripe Graphics

More controversial are the A91 Edition’s C-pillar stripes that look pulled from a late-model Dodge Challenger. While the model’s trim-exclusive blue hue (or Refraction in Toyota-speak) calls unneeded attention to the black graphics, the A91 Edition’s available black (or Nocturnal) paint color surely better conceals the decorations. Those who aren’t fans will be happy there aren’t more stripes elsewhere.

Back to Black

Complementing the special-edition A91 Supra’s carbon-fiber rear lip spoiler and black graphics are carbon-fiber mirror caps and matte-black wheels. All in, the A91 is a sinister-looking Supra.

Blue on Black

Changes to the A91 Edition’s insides are less dramatic. Still, Toyota saw fit to add contrasting blue stitching to the model’s black interior. Likewise, the trim includes a pair of black key holders with contrasting blue stitching, as well as a special trunk mat.

Pricing for the 2021 Toyota GR Supra and Supra A91 Edition are still under wraps. That said, we expect the A91 Edition to wear a sticker price north of $55,000 when it eventually reaches dealer lots. Whether the model’s styling enhancements and limited availability warrant paying the cost is a matter of personal opinion.

The post 2021 Toyota Supra A91 Edition First Look: What Makes It Special-er appeared first on MotorTrend.

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MAPP hires head of sustainability and social value

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 15:28
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Everything You Need to Know About NASCAR Ahead of the Daytona 500

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 14:00

With the NASCAR Cup Series opening its 2020 season this weekend on Feb. 16 with the Daytona 500, now is the perfect time to get an easy-to-digest rundown of everything you need to know about America’s most popular form of racing, especially if you are new to the sport. NASCAR, which stands for “National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing,” was formed in 1948. Here’s a quick primer to literally bring you up to speed.

1: Yes, bootleggers played a role in the start of stock car racing, in the sense that they hopped up their cars with stiff springs to make them handle, and to allow the suspension to support gallons of whiskey. They beefed up their engines to help outrun the “revenuers,” officers who tried to chase down the bootleggers to arrest them. Yes, off-duty bootleggers began racing on crude dirt oval tracks to see who was quickest. But they were joined by a whole lot of other gearheads who had a desire to go fast, a great many of them ex-servicemen who returned from World War II looking for some excitement.

NASCAR-style racing would have happened with or without the bootleggers, but it makes for a great story. Case in point: Legendary driver and car owner Junior Johnson, who won 50 races as a driver, including the Daytona 500, spent a year in prison for bootlegging. That was a lot less than his dad, who spent 20 years in jail. Junior Johnson died at age 88 last December.

Austin Dillon celebrates winning the 2018 Daytona 500.

2: While stock car racing was happening all over the place, there was little or no organization to it; one track might have a race paying a lot of money, while another track 100 miles away was running a big-money race the same night. Drivers and teams were looking for some sort of official sanctioning body to plan a legitimate season.

Enter Bill France, a gas station operator and part-time driver who lived in Daytona Beach, Florida, where racers had gone for years to compete on a makeshift track that was part beach, part asphalt. Multiple groups were trying to find a way forward, but France had a series of meetings on the top floor of the Art Deco Streamline Hotel, overlooking the Atlantic. From those meetings, sketched out on a napkin, emerged a plan for NASCAR. Others were involved, but France was clearly in charge.

3: Control of NASCAR would be passed down through France’s family. Next in line was Bill France Jr., as big and intimidating as his father. Then, control of NASCAR moved to France Jr.’s son, Brian France. And now, the power is held by Jim France, son of founder Bill France Sr., and Lesa France Kennedy, daughter of Bill France Jr. Under the Frances, they have expanded to own other series, such as IMSA, which sanctions sports car racing in the U.S. including the Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance race, and American Flat Track motorcycle racing, one of Jim France’s personal favorites.

4: And, as of last year, NASCAR owns a whole bunch of racetracks. Previously, a publicly owned company affiliated with NASCAR, International Speedway Corp., owned the majority of NASCAR tracks, such as Daytona and Talladega. NASCAR itself only owned Sebring International Raceway and Road Atlanta, which are road courses and not ovals like the majority of tracks NASCAR races take place on. But NASCAR bought up the shares in ISC, and it now owns most of the tracks its various series race on.

5: Oddly, when virtually every other sport saves its biggest event for last—think Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series, Stanley Cup—NASCAR has by far its biggest event first: The Daytona 500, kicking off the NASCAR season this year on February 16. The idea is that it draws immediate attention to the series, which should carry through until the season concludes in November.

6: And maybe it does. For decades, the NASCAR champion was crowned based on the number of points he or she (no “she” has won the championship yet, but maybe someday) accumulated over the year. But NASCAR rethought that system, and for the 2004 season introduced the “Chase for the Championship,” which was essentially a playoff involving the top drivers.

The format has changed over the years, but now it essentially takes the top 16 drivers in the standings with 10 races to go, and eliminates them progressively as the final race of the year approaches. At that final race, the top four drivers have all of their points erased, giving them a level field: whoever finishes best in the last race is the season champion. Footnote: Yes, only the four designated drivers can win the championship, but they still race against a full field, and they want to win the race. (While other drivers are eliminated from the Chase, no one is eliminated from the races themselves.)

7: Homestead-Miami Speedway had been the final race of the season since the new Championship format began. But for 2020, the finale moves to Phoenix. Plenty of tracks want to host that last race, but since it’s in November, only tracks in the south or the west are likely to get it. Almost all of the contracts with NASCAR tracks expire this year, so expect some schedule shuffling for 2021.

8: What we’ve been talking about so far is the NASCAR Cup Series, the top-ranked series that runs under the NASCAR banner. It used to be called the Winston Cup Series, the Nextel Cup, the Sprint Cup, and most recently the Monster Energy Cup. But for 2020, it’s just the NASCAR Cup Series.

9: NASCAR does have a bunch of other race series. Think of it like this very rough comparison: If the NASCAR Cup Series is major league baseball, then the Xfinity series, which runs on the Saturday before the Cup series at the Daytona 500, is AAA baseball. The Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series, which runs on the Friday before Sunday’s Daytona 500, is AA baseball. (And yes, they do run trucks, or more specifically, race cars with truck bodies.) And the ARCA series, which runs on the Saturday one weekend before the Daytona 500 is like A-level baseball. As with baseball, drivers progress up through the minor leagues to the Big Show, the NASCAR Cup Series.

10: Forty cars will start the Daytona 500, and the first one to complete 500 miles wins. (Or they used to: If a caution flag for a crash or debris on the track flies just before the end of any race, the event could go into “overtime,” so fans get to see a green-flag finish instead of the cars creeping around behind a pace car to end the race.) That said, keep in mind that a few years ago NASCAR started the “stage” system, where the races are kind of divided into several small races. Yes, there’s the big finish in the end, but drivers race from one “stage” to another, and get points for doing well in the stages. At the Daytona 500, for instance, the first stage runs 60 laps, then they start all over. The next stage ends after another 60 laps. Then they restart again and run the final 80 laps to the checkered flag, for a total of 200 laps and 500 miles.

And that’s it: Your primer for NASCAR racing, and the season-kickoff Daytona 500. Amaze your friends, confuse your enemies, but mostly enjoy the show.


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