BMW Says it Won’t Build a Front-Wheel-Drive M Car

Motortrend News Feed - 2 hours 4 min ago

Much like AMG lately, BMW has expanded the number of vehicles it sells with the M badge. Not only can you get full M versions of many more cars than you could in the past, there are also now M-tuned trim levels that don’t quite get the full M treatment. But while BMW will gladly sell you an X4 M40i, don’t expect to see the M badge on front-wheel-drive vehicles anytime soon.

Speaking to Autocar, Dirk Hacker, vice president of the M division, said front-wheel-drive M cars aren’t happening. “You have to be able to feel the car…through the steering and the throttle,” said Hacker. “Today, there is no solution for front-wheel drive.”

Considering that BMW built the new X1 on a front-wheel-drive platform, and the M5 is now all-wheel drive, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if the German automaker threw tradition out the window completely. But at least for now, we’re safe from an M-badged 2 Series Active Tourer.

Unfortunately, Hacker didn’t say a front-wheel-drive M car will never happen. He simply said there isn’t currently a way to get the steering and throttle feel an M car needs if you send the power to the front wheels. If BMW ever solves that problem, who’s to say the M division won’t change its mind?

Source: Autocar

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IIHS Adds Passenger-Side Small Overlap Test to Awards Criteria

Motortrend News Feed - 2 hours 54 min ago

For the upcoming model year, vehicles will have to pass an additional crash test if they want to qualify for the highest award available from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The new passenger-side small overlap test replicates what happens when a vehicle’s right corner crashes into an object or another vehicle at 40 mph.

IIHS has issued ratings in the small overlap test for several years now, but only on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Starting with the 2018 model year, vehicles will have to earn “Good” or “Acceptable” ratings in the passenger-side test to be considered for the Top Safety Pick+ award.

The agency has already tested 13 midsize cars, and most of them performed well in the new crash category. The cars that earned “Good” scores include the 2017 Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Lincoln MKZ, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda6, Nissan Altima, Nissan Maxima as well as the 2018 Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, and Toyota Camry. The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta squeaked by with an “Acceptable” rating.

Two sedans earned “Marginal” ratings: the 2017 Volkswagen Passat and Chevrolet Malibu. In both vehicles, the dummy’s head slid off the airbag and hit the dashboard. In the real world, such a crash could cause head injuries, says IIHS.

Despite a few issues, these vehicles generally performed much better in the test than vehicles that were previously tested for research. Unlike a group of 2014-2016 small SUVs that IIHS evaluated, none of the new crop of vehicles showed signs of structural problems. Instead, some of the new vehicles need to work on airbag protection, IIHS claims.

For this test, IIHS will accept test data and video footage from automakers to issue a score. If a car has a “Good” driver-side small overlap rating, IIHS may rate the vehicle’s passenger-side capabilities based on data submitted by automakers rather than its own tests.

Source: IIHS

The post IIHS Adds Passenger-Side Small Overlap Test to Awards Criteria appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Electric VW Race Car Aims for Pikes Peak Record

Motortrend News Feed - 3 hours 54 min ago

Volkswagen announced today that it’s developing an all-wheel-drive electric race car to compete at next year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The goal? Set a new hill climb record for electric cars.

But Volkswagen says it’s about more than setting a record. This project is also about working to transform Volkswagen’s image as an automaker. In the wake of the massive diesel emissions scandal, VW is investing heavily in electric technology. By 2025, it claims it will offer 23 different all-electric vehicles.

“The Pikes Peak hill climb is one of the world’s most renowned car races. It poses an enormous challenge and is therefore perfectly suited to proving the capabilities of upcoming technologies,” said Frank Welsch, VW’s head of development. “Our electric race car will be equipped with innovative battery and drive technology. The extreme stress test posed by Pikes Peak will give us important feedback that will benefit future development, and it will showcase our products and their technologies.”

Plus, the last time VW attempted the Pikes Peak hill climb, things didn’t go quite as well as it had hoped. The twin-engined Golf it entered didn’t quite make it to the end of the 12.4-mile course. “It is high time for a rematch,” said Sven Smeets, VW’s head of motorsports.

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb takes place June 24, 2018. To set a new record, Volkswagen’s electric race car will have to beat Rhys Millen’s time of 8:57.118.

Source: Volkswagen

The post Electric VW Race Car Aims for Pikes Peak Record appeared first on Motor Trend.

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GM to develop its own self-driving car tech

The Car Connection News Feed - 4 hours 1 min ago
General Motors CEO Dan Ammann said Tuesday that the Detroit automaker intends to make its own self-driving car hardware rather than rely on suppliers to deliver technology that may be shared with other automakers. Ammann said at a technology conference that GM's decision to develop autonomous car technology internally is driven by a sense of...
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2019 Audi A7 First Look: Four-Door Fastback Gets Techier

Motortrend News Feed - 4 hours 4 min ago

Revealed at an event in Audi’s hometown of Ingolstadt, Germany, the 2019 A7 hatchback is packed with a full array of semi-autonomous driving tech and the same multimedia system from the recently revealed A8 full-size luxury sedan. Like its predecessor, the 2019 Audi A7 is a hatchback with a coupe-like roofline, and will compete with the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo. In Europe, the A7 will feature Audi’s new naming strategy with the 55 TFSI model launching first.

Although the 2019 A7’s silhouette hasn’t changed much, plenty of styling cues distinguish the new Audi from its predecessor including full-length LED taillights, a wider trapezoidal grille, thinner LED headlights, and larger openings in the lower front fascia in the S Line variant. The 2019 A7’s overall exterior styling follows that of the larger A8, which introduced Audi’s latest design language earlier this year. Alloy wheels are available up to 21 inches in diameter while, at least in Europe, the LED headlights are available in three variants, including Audi’s Matrix LED units with laser technology.

Inside, the 2019 Audi A7 features a similar interior layout as the larger A8 sedan with two large touchscreen at the center of the dash—the upper one measuring 10.1 inches and the lower one 8.6 inches. One difference in the A7’s interior is the three-spoke steering wheel instead of the A8’s super techy-looking two-spoke wheel, and the wood trim has been replaced with metal, hinting at the A7’s more sporting intentions. Audi’s slick virtual cockpit system, which replaces traditional analog gauges with a configurable 12.3-inch multi-information display, is also available.

For improved comfort, Audi has added new multi-adjustable front seats to a 2019 A7 with heating, ventilation, and massage functions. With two separate rear-seating options, the 2019 A7 is available as a four- and five-seater.

Like its larger sibling, the A8, the fully connected 2019 Audi A7 comes with a range of semi-autonomous driving features. Audi Connect has been upgraded to include car-to-x services to send out accident warnings and hazard information to other vehicles. The adaptive cruise control system is now complemented by the adaptive driving assistant, which features steering interventions to help keep you in your lane. The A8’s Traffic Jam Pilot feature won’t be available in the A7.

Powering the 2019 Audi A7 is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 with 340 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, and it comes paired exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. As in the full-size A8, the A7 features a 48-volt primary electrical system and a belt alternator starter that works in conjunction with a lithium-ion battery to create regenerative braking and enable to car to coast with the engine off at speeds between 34 to 99 mph. The car’s engine start/stop system can now activate at speeds up to 14 mph and, with the help of the front camera, the A7 will restart once it sees the vehicle in front of you moving forward.

The 2019 Audi A7 will be available with a new suspension setup that includes all-wheel steering, which reduces that car’s turning circle by 3.6 feet. Additionally, the all-wheel steering system helps improve stability and make lane changing easier at speeds of 37 mph or higher by making the rear wheels steer in the same direction as the front. The A7 will be offered with a standard steel spring suspension, the sport suspension with 0.4-inch lower ride height, a suspension with electronically controlled dampers, and a self-leveling air suspension. A sport differential option improves handling by actively distributing torque between the rear wheels to supplement the standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Production of the 2019 Audi A7 will be at the automaker’s Neckarsulm facility in Germany with the first production models for its home market slated to roll out of the line in February 2018 and reaching U.S. shores later in the year. In other markets, a range of gas and diesel powertrains will be offered; however, the 3.0-liter turbo V-6 will be the car’s standard engine for the U.S. market until the likely arrival of more powerful S7 and RS 7 models.

The post 2019 Audi A7 First Look: Four-Door Fastback Gets Techier appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2018 Nissan Rogue

The Car Connection News Feed - 4 hours 17 min ago
The 2018 Nissan Rogue is an unlikely springboard for some of the automaker’s most advanced technology on the road to self-driving cars. This five-seat crossover ranges from relatively basic, inexpensive family transportation to a high-tech showcase. We’ve rated the Rogue 6.6 out of 10 for its hefty dose of standard and optional safety...
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Apple’s Self-Driving Car Caught on Video

Motortrend News Feed - 4 hours 18 min ago

Apple’s Project Titan may have hit a few rough patches over the years, but the tech giant isn’t giving up on automated transportation. In a video posted to Twitter this week, Apple was caught testing an autonomous car on public roads.

Before you get too excited, it’s actually a Lexus RX equipped with third-party sensors and hardware. According to The Verge, the vehicle features six LIDAR sensors as well as a host of cameras and radar units. The equipment that sits atop Apple’s SUV appears quite a bit bulkier than what you’ll find on autonomous cars from Ford or Waymo, for example.

Going to need more than 140 characters to go over ????'s Project Titan. I call it "The Thing"

— MacCallister Higgins (@macjshiggins) October 17, 2017

The video was posted by MacCallister Higgins, who happens to be the co-founder of a self-driving startup named Voyage. Higgins said it’s likely the SUV’s compute stack was on top of the roof with the sensors, unlike other autonomous cars that store it all in the trunk.

Speculation has long surrounded Apple’s autonomous car efforts, and it was just a few months ago that the company came clean about its intentions. In an interview with Bloomberg published in June, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company is working on autonomous systems as a “core technology.” However, it hadn’t committed to manufacturing its own self-driving car.

Apple was issued a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California in April. Documents of Apple’s self-driving technology have also leaked showing Apple’s autonomous system that includes a steering wheel and pedals.

I saw one of these a few weeks ago pull up to an Apple shuttle stop-sit there for a few then drove off.

— idiggapple (@idiggapple) October 18, 2017

Source: The Verge, Fortune, MacCallister Higgins via Twitter

The post Apple’s Self-Driving Car Caught on Video appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Barnard Marcus revenue up

Property Week News Feed - 4 hours 26 min ago
Barnard Marcus sold 190 of the 287 lots offered at its 10 October auction, raising £22.9m.
Categories: Property

Audi Q5: Best Car to Buy 2018 Nominee

The Car Connection News Feed - 5 hours 1 min ago
With its high-tech options and cossetting ride quality, the Audi Q5 is a thoughtful, conservative reinvention of the automaker's compact luxury crossover. The latest Q5 is essentially a tall wagon version of the automaker's Audi A4 sedan, which was a strong contender for last year's Best Car to Buy award. With its extra utility, high seating...
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Triuva gets Green Day gig with €48.5m buy

Property Week News Feed - 5 hours 9 min ago
Triuva Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft has acquired the core office building Green Day in Wroclaw, Poland from Luxembourg fund GLL for €48.5m (£43m).
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South African investors secure off-market City of London office for £19m

Property Week News Feed - 5 hours 47 min ago
A group of South African private investors have acquired 35 King Street in the City of London in an off-market deal for £19.4m
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Green light for Keepmoat's £12m 'healthy new town' housing

Property Week News Feed - 5 hours 52 min ago
Housebuilder Keepmoat Homes has been given the go-ahead by Darlington Borough Council to deliver 81 new homes in Red Hall as part of the NHS’s ‘Healthy New Towns’ initiative.
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Latest crash tests show big discrepancy in front-seat passenger safety

The Car Connection News Feed - 6 hours 5 min ago
A new round of crash-testing from the IIHS illustrates that not all new cars are as safe for front-seat passengers as they are for drivers. The insurance industry-funded agency said Thursday that in a new passenger-side small-overlap crash test performed on 13 mid-size cars, some do not offer the same level of safety for both front seat occupants...
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Driverless cars in New York, Honda Civic Type R, Toyota Camry Hybrid mpg: What’s New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - 7 hours 4 min ago
GM's Cruise Automation to test self-driving cars in Big Apple General Motors-owned Cruise Automation is applying to begin testing fully-self driving cars in the Empire State, according to an announcement from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The news comes just a month after another Cruise Automation announcement that it intends to test its...
Categories: Property

Clutch to make UK debut on Great Portland St

Property Week News Feed - 7 hours 54 min ago
Tokyo-based men’s fashion magazine Clutch has signed for its first-ever London site at 78-80A Great Portland Street, Property Week can reveal.
Categories: Property

Regus owner’s share price slumps by a third

Property Week News Feed - 8 hours 52 min ago
Shares in IWG, the serviced office giant formerly called Regus, plunged by a third this morning following a profit warning.
Categories: Property

City & Provincial cash out on Old Kent Road sale to council

Property Week News Feed - 8 hours 57 min ago
City & Provincial Properties has sold a 2.5-acre site at 709 Old Kent Road to the London Borough of Southwark for £15m.
Categories: Property

Encore+ acquires £50m Eindhoven office

Property Week News Feed - 9 hours 8 min ago
Encore+ has acquired the Kennedytoren office tower in Eindhoven for €50m (£44.6m).
Categories: Property

MIPIM UK: L&G announces plans to double BTR delivery

Property Week News Feed - 9 hours 30 min ago
Bill Hughes, head of real assets at Legal and General Investment Management, has said the group plans to double its build-to-rent (BTR) delivery target by 2019.
Categories: Property

Green light for Gazeley to create 560,000 sq ft industrial space in Biggleswade

Property Week News Feed - 9 hours 33 min ago
Central Bedfordshire Council has granted planning permission to IDI Gazeley to create 560,000 sq ft of speculative industrial space in Biggleswade, Property Week can reveal.
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