2019 Lexus UX crossover earns Top Safety Pick award from IIHS

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 18:30
The 2019 Lexus UX is an IIHS Top Safety Pick, but only with certain headlights equipped. The insurance-funded safety body said this month that the UX aced its slew of crash tests, including the trickier passenger-side small overlap front test. To qualify for a Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn "Good" ratings in all crash tests save for the...
Categories: Property

How the Humvee Compares to the New Oshkosh JLTV

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 18:15

May 18 is Armed Forces Day, so to honor the 1.4 million Americans who serve, we’re taking you back to one of the heaviest duty, up-armored comparison tests we’ve ever executed. Since we published our story below, the Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) has officially entered service. According to the Marine Corps Times, the Marines serving at the School of Infantry in Camp Pendelton, California, were the first see the Hummer-replacement in action, this past February, in a support capacity. By July, the Marine Corps Times reports, the first operational unit to receive the over $400,000 JLTV will be the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Can we get an OORAH!?

After over three decades of faithful service, the United States Army and Marine Corps are replacing the AM General Humvee in frontline service with the Oshkosh JLTV. Although Humvees will continue to serve behind-the-scenes with the Army and Marines until 2050, the new JLTV (short for Joint Light Tactical Vehicle) is as much as a technology leap over the Humvee as the Humvee was to the Jeep-like Ford M151 MUTT before it. With that in mind, here’s how the Humvee and JLTV stack up on paper.

Read our full impressions on the Oshkosh JLTV RIGHT HERE Under the Hood

When AM General developed the Humvee back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, its naturally aspirated 150-hp 6.2-liter diesel V-8 paired with a three-speed automatic was a game-changer compared to the M151 MUTT’s gas-swilling 71-hp 2.3-liter I-4 and four-speed manual. Since the Humvee first went into service, its engine has been upgraded to a 6.5-liter turbodiesel V-8 that produces a scant 190 hp, paired with a four-speed automatic. That’s hardly enough power to motivate the base Humvee’s roughly 6,000-pound curb weight, let alone the 13,000-plus-pound curb weight of an armored Humvee.

The Oshkosh JLTV’s powertrain represents decades of automotive advancement. In an effort to keep costs in check and hit performance targets, Oshkosh chose GM’s new L5P Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8 engine to power the new JLTV. A familiar sight under the hoods of 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD and 2017 GMC Sierra HD models, the JTLV’s Duramax engine is modified for severe duty and actually detuned to around 400 hp by Gale Banks Engineering for the JLTV. The JLTV’s transmission is also a durable, commercially available component; it’s the Allison six-speed automatic transmission also used by GM heavy-duty pickups.

Where the Rubber Hits the Road

More than anything, both the Humvee and JLTV are designed around their four-wheel-drive systems. Some of the military’s requirements for what would become the Humvee include the ability to climb a 60 percent incline, traverse a 40 percent slope, and ford 2.5 feet of water without a snorkel, or 5 feet with a snorkel. Those requirements dictated a lot of the engineering and design choices AM General made in the Humvee. It was fitted with an independent suspension, its wheels were mounted on portal axles providing gear reduction and boosting ground clearance to 16 inches. The Humvee’s entire drivetrain and even its brakes were sucked up into the body of the vehicle, making the cabin a tight squeeze but ensuring that the Humvee’s off-road ability would meet military requirements. The whole package was rounded out with a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case, locking differentials, and a Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS).

Although much of the military’s requirements for the JLTV are still classified, it did want the 14,000-pound JLTV to go everywhere the Humvee could go but be faster and with more capability. To that end, Oshkosh fits each JLTV with its TAK-4i suspension system. A fully independent double-wishbone design with electronically adjustable high-pressure gas shocks, Oshkosh tuned the JLTV’s TAK-4i suspension in the Baja 1000, giving this military off-roader some serious Ford F-150 Raptor-rivaling chops. The JLTV’s suspension has 20 inches of wheel travel and the ability to raise and lower the suspension as needed, negating the need for portal axles. Without the optional snorkel kit, and with its suspension in its highest setting, the JLTV can ford 5 feet of water without breaking a sweat. Like the Humvee, the JLTV also has a full-time four-wheel-drive system with low-range, locking differentials, and a CTIS.


Although Humvees were initially pretty reliable in the field, as they aged and as the military upgraded them with heavy armor that increased wear and tear, they became garage queens to many servicemen and women. During the testing phase of the JLTV program, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps brought along 22 up-armored Humvees to test alongside Oshkosh, Lockheed Martin, and AM General’s JLTV entrants, with each manufacturer providing 22 test vehicles. During nearly three years of testing, platoons equipped with Oshkosh JLTVs had the highest levels of mission success.

Oshkosh’s JLTVs were also far and away the most reliable of the bunch, averaging 7,051 miles between operational mission failure, defined as a system failure that prevents the vehicle from accomplishing its mission. Up-armored Humvees were surprisingly the second-most reliable of the group, averaging 2,968 miles between failures, followed by the Lockheed Martin JLTV at 1,271 miles between failures, and the AM General BRV-O JLTV, which averaged 526 miles between failures.


Humvees offered up far better protection to its occupants compared to the open air jeeps they replaced. In the same way that AM General improved the light tactical vehicle by adding a roof and doors, Oshkosh does the same by baking a base-level of armor into each JLTV. Utilizing lessons learned on its M-ATV MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle) program, the JLTV features a V-shaped hull to deflect blasts from below, bulletproof windows, and an armored crew capsule. Compared to an up-armored Humvee, a basic JLTV offers multiple orders of magnitude more protection from bullets and bombs to its occupants. Each JLTV is also capable of being fitted with a “B-Kit” of armor, boosting protection to MRAP-levels of protection.

The Oshkosh JLTV is currently in low-rate initial production. Although the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard haven’t revealed any intention of buying the JLTV, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps will begin to field JTLVs to front-line troops by fall of 2018.

The post How the Humvee Compares to the New Oshkosh JLTV appeared first on Motortrend.

Categories: Property

Sports Direct sells HQ for £120m

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 17:38
Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has agreed a deal to sell its headquarters and distribution centre for £120m in a sale-and-leaseback deal.
Categories: Property

Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 Cadillac CT5

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 17:09

As consumer demand shifts to crossovers, Cadillac has revamped its entire sedan strategy. Instead of making “tweener” vehicles, Cadillac will position its next-generation of sedans to fall in line with normal segment sizes. And it’s essentially replacing the outgoing ATS and CTS with one new vehicle: the all-new, 2020 Cadillac CT5. But does the new car make a big enough statement to fill two holes in the lineup? Let’s explore the new design below.

Taking inspiration from the stunning Escala concept, the CT5 (check out seven things to know about it) features a broad grille with accent trim lining the bottom. This replaces the taller, narrower grille found on the ATS and CTS. The lower vents are more prominent now, and they connect together as one long bar like on the Escala. The thin LED headlights are en vogue, but are oriented vertically, sticking with a theme seen on the CTS and ATS.

The overall design varies with the trim level. On Luxury and Premium Luxury models, you’ll see bright exterior accents like what we’re used to seeing on Cadillacs. Sport models represent a welcome departure for the brand, featuring a more athletic look. These have a black mesh grille, and unique rocker extensions, spoiler, and wheels.

From the side, the CT5 reveals its fastback intentions. Lines across the body and windows have been updated to give the model a windswept look. The new proportions make the CT5 look long and low, but even though it’s a compact sedan. The model is shorter than the CTS but has a longer wheelbase. In the rear, the taillights take a unique “7” shape, and they look remarkably thin when lit up. Even on the Sport trim, the exhaust pipes have a rectangular shape.

Inside, the CT5 receives a 10-inch infotainment screen. This unit can be controlled via touch or a new rotary controller on the center console. Lots of buttons are centered in a cluster underneath the infotainment system, but at least space is saved with a tiny shifter. Other features on tap include heated and ventilated front seats with massage function and 18-way adjustability, alloy pedals, carbon fiber interior trim, 8-inch driver information center display, three USB ports, and wireless charging. You can get the CT5 with wood accents, also pictured below.

Do you think the 2020 Cadillac CT5 is refreshing or revolting? How does it compare to the design of the ATS and CTS? Let us know in the comments on Facebook.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 Cadillac CT5 appeared first on Motortrend.

Categories: Property

Classic Comparo: Camaro SS 1LE vs. Challenger R/T Scat Pack vs. Mustang GT

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 17:05

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: In case you missed it, earlier this week, we dropped the first drive of the updated 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350  We’ve also been wrangling a new 2019 Mustang vs 2019 Camaro comparison test that you’ll see very soon. To send you galloping off into the weekend with visions of high-performance pony cars, check out this rodeo-themed three-way comparison test between 2015 the Dodge Challenger Scat Pack, 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE and 2015 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack. What a difference four years makes…

It is in fact like déjà vu all over again. This comparison test goes back decades — literally. The world first saw the Ford Mustang in 1964. Chevrolet followed up Ford’s ponycar lead with the Camaro in 1966, and Mopar mashed up A- and B-bodies to create the Dodge Challenger in 1969. The Mustang never went anywhere, but both the Camaro and the Challenger exited the bullring at some point, only to come roaring back in recent times.

Defining what exactly makes a ponycar is tricky, but you can boil it down to a few key attributes. One is they’re blatantly American. Another is long-hood, short-deck styling suggesting a corral full of horsepower. Each of the cars in this test kicks out well over 400 hp. The last bit is that they’re not pure sports cars — they’re sedan-based. The Challenger rides on Chrysler’s LX platform; the Camaro’s a cut-down Holden Commodore; and the all-new Mustang still contains traces of Lincoln LS, most notably the floorpan, which results in a high heel point.

These aren’t regular ponies — they’re stallions. You can tell by the suffixes: 1LE, Performance Pack, Scat Pack. To properly test such studs we ran them along one of our favorite driving routes, an approximately 45-mile butt-kicking collection of roads we call the Surfschleife. We start off with a super-tight, extra tortuous section that eventually turns into Mulholland Drive, a road that needs little explanation. (It’s rad!) Then we get about 10 miles of straight-up cruising next to the Pacific Ocean through Malibu along the Pacific Coast Highway. Next up is a long, high-speed section that can best be thought of as a hill climb. Finally, we get a 5-mile section of the 101 freeway in which we test things such as ride quality, cruise control, and the radio. There are also about 3 miles of city streets and traffic lights thrown in for good measure. After flogging all three on the Surfschleife, here’s what we found.


3rd Place: Dodge Challenger R/T 6.4 Scat Pack

Big Muscles, Medium Price

If life consisted of nothing but straight lines, the Challenger Scat Pack would be your winner. The car nerd world is still catching its collective breath from Dodge dropping the 707-horsepower Hellcat bomb. But by focusing all our attention on that animal, we missed the fact that the Dodge Boys are selling a car with 485 naturally aspirated ponies for less than $40K. I hope you appreciate how amazing that last sentence is. I’m not quite 40 years old, but I well remember when the Lamborghini Countach 5000S made — are you sitting down? — 449 hp, and that seemed like the most powerful car the world would ever see. This here Dodge smacks it.

The problem with the Scat Pack, like all Challengers, is its heft and girth. The car is massive. Says associate editor Rory Jurnecka, “The Challenger feels like it smothers the road. It’s big and wide and wants to wrap every inch of tarmac in a giant bear hug.” The Challenger is about 400 pounds heavier than the others, and Chevy and Ford are on the just barely acceptable side of big-boned. For you numbers freaks: Challenger, 4235 pounds; Camaro, 3886 pounds; Mustang, 3814 pounds. For who knows what reason, our Scat Pack test car came with a single option: a $1400 guzzler-tax-killing eight-speed automatic. Surely the manual version will weigh less and be the better performance car (we’ll let you know). It will sticker for $39,490.

Back to straight-line fury: You sure don’t notice the extra lard when the light turns green. Dodge holds tight to the adage that there’s no replacement for displacement (never mind the blown Hellcat). That’s because it has a big power and torque advantage over the other two. To wit: Challenger, 485/475; Camaro, 426/420; Mustang, 435/400. The Scat Pack hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and pummeled the quarter mile in 12.6 seconds at 112.3 mph. The Mustang GT was barely in second place, hitting 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and running the quarter mile in 12.8 seconds at 112.2 mph. It is interesting to note the trap speeds of these two. That Mustang 5.0-liter engine revs high and comes on strong near the finish line. The Camaro also hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and lost the quarter mile to the new ‘Stang by a tenth of a second, 12.9 seconds at 110.5 mph.

But the Surfschleife doesn’t have that many places from which to launch a car. Usually you’re turning left or right. Says associate editor Christian Seabaugh, “Really started to feel big on Mulholland. Lots of rolls, lots of complaints from the tires, and the brakes revealed themselves not to be up to the task.” Unlike the SRT Challenger, the Scat Pack doesn’t get adjustable shocks. Once things got rocking, this Challenger was let down by subpar damping. My own notes read, “Lots of secondary movements, like a water bed.” The SRT also comes with stouter brakes. Still, like all V-8 Challengers, there’s something totally lovable about the Scat Pack. The three of us hated giving such a uniquely American machine third place. But, as the French say, such is life…


2nd Place: Ford Mustang GT (Performance Pack)

Where’s the Boss?

We’re not sure what to make of the new Mustang’s looks. While I’m happy it’s not slavishly retro, I think the new metal represents a swing and a miss. The headlights are wrong. Mustangs have always — save for Vanilla Ice’s Fox-body — had big, round eyes. This one doesn’t. The three of us also observed more people checking out the Camaro, and in particular the Challenger, than the all-new Mustang. It’s somehow sort of anonymous. Weird, right? Also, there’s way too much front overhang. But that’s what happens when your wheelbase is 5 inches shorter than the Camaro’s, even though the cars are only 2 inches apart in length.

Rory sums up why the brand-new Mustang didn’t win this way: “I’m angry because Ford didn’t benchmark the Boss for the new Mustang the way Chevy benchmarked the Z06 for the new Stingray.” I agree, and I’m going to go a step further: I’m disappointed. Specifically because the Mustang GT has packed on 196 pounds of heft compared to the last GT Track Pack we tested. That’s considerable. Then there’s the fact that, here’s Ford, about to turn carmaking as we know it on its head with the 2015 aluminum F-150 pickup, yet it decides to let its sports car gobble Twinkies? How’d that happen? I just don’t get it.

No doubt some of you are thinking, “Hey, the new ‘Stang’s 70 pounds lighter than the Camaro. If it’s all about weight, shouldn’t the GT win?” Turns out, it’s not all about weight. We’re happy that after all these decades, Ford finally switched the Mustang’s rearend away from a solid, live axle to a fully independent one, something we groused about back in August 1964! Yes, yes, there are some advantages to a live axle, but they are few and far between. There’s a reason the Ferrari 458 Italia doesn’t have a solid rear axle. Having IRS is one thing; having IRS make your car handle better is another.

To be fair, the new ‘Stang was quicker around our figure eight than the car it replaces, at 24.7 seconds compared to 25 flat. And 24.7 seconds is how long it took the Hellcat to run the figure eight, as well as the Alfa Romeo 4C. The old Boss 302, too. Trouble for the Mustang GT is that the heavier, less powerful Camaro 1LE ran it in 24.5 seconds. Not a huge difference, mind you, but faster is faster. Also, there’s a reason we don’t just publish numbers and call it a day. For instance, our figure-eight meister, Kim Reynolds, called the 1LE “a wonderful car,” while he unleashed a very un-Kim-like string of colorful language at the Mustang. Under throttle, the rear end wanted to step out, and if you lifted, the Mustang would default to understeer. There was no smooth way to run the figure eight.

But that’s limit handling. What about out on the Surfschleife? The Mustang most impressed the three of us on the freeway. This is where the IRS pays off bigtime. The ride was much better than in the other two ponycars. I know you commenter types will say different, but if you’re honest with yourself, cruising on the freeway is where most of us spend the bulk of our time. Says Rory, “Plenty of passing power. I’d road-trip this car, no problem.” When we cruised next to the beach, the Mustang more or less tied the Challenger. The ‘Stang’s ride is better, but with the windows down there’s not much to hear, whereas the Scat Pack’s mega V-8 howls. Once the road started twisting, we all liked the Mustang GT, but we’re not in love with it. Still, the new suspension has merit. From Rory, “Good thing is that with IRS, the ‘Stang is no longer tossed into oncoming traffic by mid-corner bumps. Huzzah!” Christian called it a “sweetheart” on the twisty sections.


1st Place: Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE

The Ponycar King

Iron Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth.” That’s no doubt how the good men and women at Ford are feeling right now, especially because, as tested, the winning car costs about $4500 less than the optioned-up Triple Yellow Mustang. Out of these three ponycars, the Camaro SS 1LE is better on both a canyon road and a racetrack. Sometimes these things are that easy.

Perfect? No. The usual Camaro complaints were heard loud and clear over lunch—cheap interior built from materials (seemingly) sourced from Happy Meal toys, and you can’t see out of it. Rory felt the shifter is too notchy and high-effort. Yeah, the interior’s not made from the best stuff on Earth, but at least the steering wheel and shift knob are swaddled in Alcantara. As for not being able to see out of the Camaro, that’s only when you’re turning left. As such, it’s not a constant problem (kidding). Also not so hot: The 1LE is way too high-strung to transform into a beach cruiser, and the ride is beat-you-up rough on the freeway. Easily the worst of the three in terms of day-to-day comfort. Of course, a Camry is even more comfy.

The biggest difference between the Camaro and the others on the fun-to-drive portions of tarmac was confidence. The three of us were all inspired to push the white and black Chevy harder than we dared in the Mustang or the Challenger. Says Seabaugh, “The 1LE is unflappable. So. Much. Grip. It’s so planted to the ground that it might as well be magnetically attracted to the road.” Rory adds quite a bit more: “Wow, this thing feels small and light — which, for a Camaro, is nuts! The car is so well-balanced; it’s neutral most of the time with easily provoked — and controlled — oversteer. Brakes feel strong with no fade. Zero body roll, well-controlled damping. The 1LE filled me with confidence. The Camaro SS is hands-down the best driver’s car of the group.” My notes said things like, “Superb steering. Could handle 100 more horsepower, easy. So much grip, so much confidence — outstanding! How much per month?” Rory showed up at the rodeo in the 1LE, got out of the car smiling, and said, “I’m thinking about buying one.” Chevy and the Camaro team have turned a massive corner.

Special props are due for the engine. Sure, numbers-wise, it’s the weakest, both in terms of power and straight-line bravado. But there’s something magical about a Chevy small-block. The 6.2-liter cam-in-block V-8 in the Camaro reminds me of a scene from the film “Ronin.” Sean Bean’s Spence character is bugging De Niro’s Sam about his favorite gun. After some hostile banter, Sam says, “You know, I actually favor the old 1911.” Spence replies, “Forty-five. Old gun.” To which Sam counters, “It’s served my country well. For a long time.” Exactly. Jurnecka gets a bit less metaphoric in his praise: “The most road-racer-sounding engine in the group. Tough to put into words, but it reminds me of watching old Trans Am Series races. It crackles and spits more than the others, and generally sounds more raw.” Gotta love crackling spit. Christian was more economical with his sentiments: “This engine is a beast.”

Disappointed, disheartened, and angry Ford fans can take solace in the knowledge that this is only the beginning of the new Mustang story. Turn your minds back half a decade and remember how bad the Camaro was when it launched, or even years after it launched. Here’s what I wrote about the Camaro SS convertible versus the Mustang GT convertible back in 2011: “While the Chevy is much improved, it’s still not competitive with the Ford. As a driver you feel more confident in the Mustang. Not only that, but it’s more fun and a better dance partner in the corners.” The more things change, they then change right back. Rumors of a Mach 1 Mustang keep pouring in every day, and we’re pretty sure the upcoming Shelby GT350 will be a track stud/thug.

As for the Challenger, we love it as-is. Because of its plus-sized nature, it’s never going to be the back road all-star the 1LE is, or that the Mustang is sure to morph into. The Challenger thinks different. For now. Word is that a new Challenger is coming in 2017 on an all-new platform, and will be at least 300 pounds lighter and 8 inches shorter, with a smaller wheelbase. In other words, the next Challenger will be the same size as the current Camaro (the Alpha platform Camaro is coming in 2016). The new aluminum-intensive Camaro will be significantly lighter than the current car. The future is anyone’s to win, as is a future ponycar comparison test. Until then, we advise you to go grab a Camaro SS 1LE. It rocks.


Ponycar Express Lane

Our trio’s speed traces through Streets of Willow’s very first turn are basically a performance synopsis of each car. The Challenger’s immense power deposits the big red Dodge into the corner’s entry at a substantially higher speed than the others, but driver Randy Pobst then has to drastically rein it all in to transit the turn’s heart. The closely matched Mustang and Camaro approach it more slowly but go deeper, with the Ford checking its speed first though decelerating far less drastically than the Dodge. And while both the Challenger and Mustang are feathering their throttles, the Camaro briefly accelerates farther, needing only a modest lift before they all brake together. There, in a nutshell, are these three cars: one with tremendous power, another, amazing grip, and the third, somewhere in the middle. It’s a pattern repeated throughout their best laps. (Note also their speeds negotiating Turns 5 through 7.) Around the flat, skidpad-like Turn 14, the Camaro’s cornering grip is 15 percent higher than the Challenger’s — that’s a massive advantage.

2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS (1LE) 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T 6.4 Scat Pack 2015 Ford Mustang (Performance Package) POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD Front-engine, RWD Front-engine, RWD ENGINE TYPE 90-deg V-8, aluminum block/heads 90-deg V-8, iron block/alum heads 90-deg V-8, aluminum block/heads VALVETRAIN OHV, 2 valves/cyl OHV, 2 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 376.1 cu in/6162 cc 391.1 cu in/6410 cc 302.1 cu in/4951 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 10.7:1 10.9:1 11.0:1 POWER (SAE NET) 426 hp @ 5900 rpm* 485 hp @ 6000 rpm 435 hp @ 6500 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 420 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm* 475 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm 400 lb-ft @ 4250 rpm REDLINE 6250 rpm 6000 rpm 6500 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 9.1 lb/hp 8.7 lb/hp 8.8 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual 8-speed automatic 6-speed manual AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.91:1/1.96:1 3.09:1/2.07:1 3.73:1/2.43:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar Control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 16.1:1 12.3:1 16.0:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.7 2.4 2.6 BRAKES, F;R 14.0-in vented, disc; 14.4-in vented disc, ABS 14.2-in vented, grooved disc; 13.8-in vented, grooved disc, ABS 15.0-in vented disc; 13.0-in vented disc, ABS WHEELS 10.0 x 20-in; 11.0 x 20-in, forged aluminum 9.0 x 20-in, cast aluminum 9.0 x 19-in; 9.5 x 19-in, cast aluminum TIRES 285/35R20 100Y Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 245/45R20 99Y Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 255/40R19 96Y; 275/40R19 101Y Pirelli P Zero DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 112.3 in 116.2 in 107.1 in TRACK, F/R 63.7/63.7 in 63.4/63.8 in 62.3/64.9 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 190.6 x 75.5 x 54.2 in 197.9 x 75.7 x 57.5 in 188.3 x 75.4 x 54.9 in TURNING CIRCLE 37.7 ft 38.8 ft 40.0 ft CURB WEIGHT 3886 lb 4235 lb 3814 lb WEIGHT DIST., F/R 53/47% 55/45% 54/46% SEATING CAPACITY 4 5 4 HEADROOM, F/R 37.4/35.3 in 39.3/37.1 in 37.6/34.8 in LEGROOM, F/R 42.4/29.9 in 42.0/33.1 in 44.5/30.6 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 56.9/50.4 in 58.5/53.9 in 56.3/52.2 in CARGO VOLUME 11.3 cu ft 16.2 cu ft 13.5 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 1.7 sec 1.6 sec 1.7 sec 0-40 2.4 2.3 2.4 0-50 3.4 3.2 3.4 0-60 4.4 4.2 4.4 0-70 5.6 5.4 5.7 0-80 7.1 6.6 7.0 0-90 8.7 8.1 8.7 0-100 10.6 9.9 10.5 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.1 2.1 2.2 QUARTER MILE 12.9 sec @ 110.5 mph 12.6 sec @ 112.3 mph 12.8 sec @ 112.2 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 99 ft 108 ft 107 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.98 g (avg) 0.89 g (avg) 0.96 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 24.5 sec @ 0.87 g (avg) 25.5 sec @ 0.81 g (avg) 24.7 sec @ 0.84 g (avg) 1.55-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 82.81 sec 85.77 sec 84.32 sec TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1450 rpm 1500 rpm 1800 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $38,000 $39,490 $35,420 PRICE AS TESTED $41,880 $39,890 $46,380 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/yes Yes/yes Yes/yes AIRBAGS Dual front, front side, f/r curtain Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, driver knee Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, front knee BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/100,000 miles 5 yrs/100,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 5 yrs/100,000 miles 5 yrs/100,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles FUEL CAPACITY 19.0 gal 18.5 gal 16.0 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 16/24/19 mpg 15/25/18 mpg 15/25/19 mpg ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 211/140 kW-hrs/100 miles 225/135 kW-hrs/100 miles 225/135 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.03 lb/mile 1.06 lb/mile 1.06 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium Unleaded premium Unleaded premium


The post Classic Comparo: Camaro SS 1LE vs. Challenger R/T Scat Pack vs. Mustang GT appeared first on Motortrend.

Categories: Property

2020 Nissan 370Z

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 16:15
The 2020 Nissan 370Z is old enough to be an awkward 12-year old middle school student. With an interior that was barely modern in 2009 and a gravely powertrain to match, the Z’s old-school approach may put some potential buyers off. As far as pure sports car experiences go, however, sometimes age is a merit. We give the 370Z 4.8 overall...
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The Car Connection's Lowest Rated Cars of 2019

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 16:12
Bad things happen to the best among us. Just ask U2. Automakers are no strangers to bad compositions themselves. Although some of the lowest rated cars on our list for 2019 have withered over time, some were never fruitful in the first place. There’s no common denominator among our dogs—poorly performing cars come in all shapes and...
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The Car Connection's Best Looking Cars of 2019

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 16:00
Beauty isn’t abstract, it’s a formula. For cars, beautiful is measured in the number of heads turned on the street, multiplied by the number of parking lot stares, divided by the number of right angles, which is added to the inverse of its general availability. It’s all very scientifical mathematism, you see. The prettiest cars...
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2020 Elantra gets a price bump, Cadillac XTS bites the dust, and California considers EV only: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 15:30
270K Ford Fusion sedans recalled over rollaway risk Ford announced Wednesday that it would recall hundreds of thousands of Ford Fusion sedans for a shifter cable that could split and cause the car to roll away. 2020 Hyundai Elantra adds safety tech, to cost $19,870 New safety tech and a dropped standard manual transmission are the reasons for the...
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NHTSA investigates Chevy, GMC pickups over power steering loss

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 15:00
The NHTSA has opened an investigation into the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size trucks to determine if a previous recall left out thousands of pickups. Automotive News (subscription required) reported on Tuesday that the probe aims to uncover more details about power steering loss in both of General Motors' mid-size trucks after the...
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Morgan Stanley launches £236.4m UK CMBS

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 14:14
Morgan Stanley has launched a £236.4m CMBS securitising a loan to Blackstone and M7 Real Estate, secured against 112 UK industrial assets.
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2020 Ford Police Interceptor Hybrid Review: 2020 Explorer with a Badass Badge

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 11:00

Yup, I’ve already been in the latest cop car. As the old joke goes, I was in the front seat—not the back. In fact, I am one of the first civilians to drive the 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid, which is a 2020 Ford Explorer modified for police use. It’s also the first hybrid engineered to be pursuit rated, meaning it’s up to hardcore police work when it goes on sale later this summer.

Getting to this point has been an interesting evolution for Ford, which was synonymous with cop car for years when the sight of Crown Victoria made you instantly check your speedometer and hope you weren’t over the limit enough to be worth pulling over. Ford stopped taking orders for the Crown Vic–based patrol car in April 2011 after 19 years and offered men in blue their choice of an Interceptor based on the Ford Taurus sedan or Explorer SUV.

The other evolution is Ford’s hybrid system, which becomes a first for police duty. The Interceptor Utility uses the automaker’s fourth-generation hybrid system. The first one dates back to the 2005 Ford Escape, a favorite among New York cabbies who anticipate its return with the new 2020 Escape.

A Police Interceptor Hybrid contributes to the scale Ford seeks for its fourth-generation modular hybrid system, which was designed to fit into vehicles of assorted sizes, from the compact Escape to the F-150 hybrid due next year, with 90 percent of the parts shared despite the size of the vehicle. The system can go in even larger vehicles, but Ford is not talking about potential future use for heavy-duty pickups or the seemingly logical application across the commercial vehicle lineup.

For the 2020 Police Interceptor Utility, the standard drivetrain is the 3.3-liter V-6 hybrid with a combined 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque. Optional powertrains are the 285-hp, 260-lb-ft naturally aspirated 3.3-liter or the 400-hp, 415-lb-ft 3.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V-6. All are mated to a 10-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive is standard.

Ford had some standard hybrids at its test track in Dearborn for us to take a quick spin. Explorers are modified to become Interceptors, including upgrading the engine so when the controller senses pursuit driving, it engages special tuning optimized for quicker throttle response, transmission logic, and reduced concern for fuel consumption. A short course was set up to give us a chance to accelerate hard, slam on the brakes, and corner around some cones. The time behind the wheel was only a few minutes, but it was enough to discern a few things.

Tossing the SUV into gear is via a traditional column shifter for police duty—the civilian Explorer has a rotary dial, which you don’t want to be fiddling with when every second counts.

The larger brakes on the police vehicle have serious bite. Coming to a hard stop was effortless. Trying to brake gently was not: They grabbed hard with the slightest touch. Ford vehicle dynamics engineer Shin Scott said he has spent a lot of time in the Explorer and the Interceptor and appreciates the ability to brake late in the police vehicle and still negotiate turns. “You get really used to them, and then you find that you really enjoy them. You know that they are there, especially at the really high-speed braking points.”

The Interceptor’s immediate torque, providing an initial jump in response, brings it to high speeds quickly and requires more from the brakes, Scott said. “To be able to get the brakes right when you want them is really important.” We also noticed how quickly the vehicle decelerates when you lift your foot off the gas. The engineer said the police hybrid is tuned for track work, and the regen is programmed to produce power at different times than the regular Explorer. Cooling upgrades include special ducts to cool the brakes.

Michigan State Police testing recorded a top speed of 137 mph for the hybrid and 149 mph for the EcoBoost, with 0–60 mph taking just 7.8 seconds for the hybrid, 7.3 for the 3.3, and 5.8 for the 3.0-liter EcoBoost. Overall performance was deemed superior to even the V-8 competition from Dodge and Chevy.

Wanting more time in the cruiser, I joined Scott for a hot lap, compete with a bit of drifting but no curb jumping even though the Interceptor has uniquely sized 265/60R18 108V Goodyear Eagle Enforcers on steel wheels that are capable of surviving an 8-inch curb jump as well as providing better performance. Ground clearance of the hybrid is 7.4 inches, which is 2.0 inches lower than the non-hybrid version and 2.0 inches higher than the SUV with the 3.0-liter EcoBoost.

At top speeds, Scott said he has more body control in the police vehicle, which provides the confidence to drive faster.

On the longer handling course with the engineer, my butt cheeks got a better read on the stiffer suspension: The shocks and springs are tuned to handle pursuits, so the vehicle does not ride as comfortably, but when it goes airborne at high speeds, even on off-camber jumps, the vehicle lands with authority and aplomb.

Most of the time a police vehicle is not going anywhere. The hybrid is billed as ideal for a job where 60 percent of the time the car is idling. Onboard electrical equipment is powered by the lithium-ion battery so the engine can be shut off much of the time and officers can continue to work, running the vehicle intermittently to charge the battery. The hybrid drivetrain will save between $3,500 and $5,700 per vehicle per year, Ford calculates. There can be a $3,509 savings from using 1,200 fewer gallons of gas at $2.75 a gallon in a hybrid getting 24 mgp in combined city/highway driving. The Interceptor Utility hybrid starts about $41,000; deleting the hybrid option saves about $3,500, and upgrading to the 3.0-liter EcoBoost adds about $700 to the sticker price.

A Ford-exclusive feature is 180 pounds worth of structural reinforcement to withstand a 75-mph rear impact—an all too common occurrence for police vehicles stopped on the side of the road or at an accident scene. The regular Explorer only needs to meet the 50-mph federal standard.

The police vehicles go on sale this summer. Of the roughly 8,000 orders in the system already, about 1,100 are for the hybrid. Ford executives expect that number to increase with awareness. Ford is the largest supplier of police vehicles, with about two-thirds of the market, and sells close to 30,000 a year.

The post 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Hybrid Review: 2020 Explorer with a Badass Badge appeared first on Motortrend.

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270K Ford Fusion sedans recalled over rollaway risk

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 11:00
Ford on Wednesday said that it will recall about 270,000 2013 through 2016 Ford Fusion sedans to fix transmissions that could slip out of gear and allow the vehicles to roll after they've been put in park. A shifter cable bushing can degrade over time and may eventually detach from the transmission. Should the bushing separate, the transmission...
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Urban Land Institute announces new chairwoman

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 10:51
The Urban Land Institute (ULI UK) has announced that its new chairwoman will be BNP Paribas director of research Vanessa Hale.
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JLL head of development moves to Hampton Brook

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 10:28
JLL’s head of development management Matthew Connor has left the business to join midlands developer Hampton Brook.
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JLL head of development moves to Hampton Brock

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 10:28
JLL’s head of development management Matthew Connor has left the business to join midlands developer Hampton Brock.
Categories: Property

Trio of retail park lettings paves way for redevelopment in Essex

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 09:55
Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (SREF) has signed three lettings at its retail park in Chelmsford, paving the way for a redevelopment of the site.
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6 Cool Electric-Tech Features of the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 09:00

The EQC isn’t just a new SUV from Mercedes-Benz—it’s the start of a completely new line of electric cars from the luxury automaker. And when it comes to the 2020 EQC 400’s electric powertrain, Mercedes has thought about the details.

Keep reading to learn about six cool electric-tech features on the new EQC, and read our review here.

Intelligent Nav

EQC drivers can plan their journey from home or office using the ‘Mercedes me’ app. They can enter a departure time to ensure the interior is heated or cooled to the desired temperature, and can target the state of charge they want in the battery at their destination. Accessing a cloud-based data pool, the system will take into account traffic, topology, consumption, battery temperature, and charging station availability and power to determine the optimal route, including charging stops, if necessary. The system can also be programmed directly in-car via the MBUX interface.

Voice Control

The EQC’s MBUX interface features a voice control function tailored to operating an electric vehicle. Like Amazon’s Alexa, the system is activated is activated by speaking a key phrase. In this case it’s “Hey Mercedes.” A few examples of the sorts of questions that can be asked of the EQC’s electronic brain: “Show me the energy flow”; “What charging settings have been made?”; “Charge the vehicle to 85 percent”; “Where is the nearest charging station?”

Eco Assist

EQC engineers say up to one-third of an electric vehicle’s energy consumption is directly impacted by driver behavior. The car’s ECO Assist function is thus designed to help EQC drivers to achieve maximum efficiency. The system networks data from the navigation system, traffic sign recognition, and safety hardware such as the radar and stereo camera, and prompts the driver to lift off the accelerator at appropriate times, such as when the vehicle is approaching a changing speed limit. The system also automatically adjusts regen modes to ensure optimal energy recovery.

Max Range Mode

In addition to the traditional Mercedes-Benz drive modes—Eco, Comfort, Sport, Individual—accessed via a switch on the center console, EQC drivers can select Max Range mode. In this mode the EQC’s neural network figures out exactly how much energy is needed to keep the vehicle rolling along at the speed limit and at maximum efficiency until the next charge point, and instigates a haptic pressure point in the accelerator’s travel arc to ensure you don’t use more. Drivers can push past the pressure point if they need to accelerate in an emergency. It’s not fun driving, but for those taking their EQCs to the edge of the range envelope, it’s a useful tool to ensure they won’t be stranded by the side of the road.

Easy Charging

EQC customers in Europe are able to access more than 300,000 charge points across the continent, and make payment via the ‘Mercedes me’ charge card, the ‘Mercedes me’ app, or directly from the car. No separate contracts are required, and apart from authentication, customers benefit from an integrated payment function with simple billing. Owners choose their preferred payment method only once, and then every charging procedure is debited automatically. Individual charges are clearly listed in a monthly invoice. The ‘Mercedes me’ charge card also allows access to the quick-charge stations being rolled out across Europe by the Ionity joint venture between Daimler, BMW, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen. U.S. EQC customers can expect to be offered similar services.

High-Voltage Safety

The EQC’s liquid-cooled, 384-cell, 80 kW-hr battery, which is made by Daimler subsidiary company Deutsche Accumotive, is surrounded by a robust frame with an integral crash structure. Deformation elements are installed between the frame and the battery, and a guard at the front of the battery is designed to prevent it from being pierced by foreign objects. The high-voltage system will also shut down automatically in a crash, with the EQC’s electronic brain able to decide with the shutdown should be reversible or irreversible. When it is shut down, the voltage outside of the battery quickly drops to a safe limit. The system will also automatically stop the charging process if an impact is detected while the EQC is stationary at a quick-charging station.

The post 6 Cool Electric-Tech Features of the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 appeared first on Motortrend.

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10 Small SUVs That Get Excellent Real-World Fuel Economy

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 09:00

Small SUVs are hot right now, and they can be a great choice for customers who want a raised ride height and more cargo space without the large footprint of a bigger vehicle. We love small crossovers that are quick, but for many people, it’s even more important that they’re fuel-efficient.

We looked through our extensive Real MPG test data and compiled a list of 10 crossovers and SUVs with impressive fuel economy. Unlike the EPA, our results are produced in the real world, not on a dyno. Keep reading to find out which small SUVs achieve great real-world gas mileage.

2018 Chevrolet Equinox diesel

Combined Real MPG: 38.1 mpg


The diesel variant of the Chevrolet Equinox isn’t quick—it takes a languishing 9.0 seconds to reach 60 mph. After all, the crossover makes only 137 hp. But it’s one of the most fuel-efficient crossovers we’ve ever tested, returning an impressive 33.1/46.7/38.1 mpg city/highway/combined. This crossover is tuned for comfort, providing a smooth ride and insulating occupants from road noise.

2019 Lexus UX 200

Combined Real MPG: 34.1 mpg

This Millennial magnet stands out on the road with its small proportions, almost looking like a hatchback. Powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, this subcompact crossover saunters to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds. It’s often described as a small crossover for the city, but based on its real MPG numbers, we think its true home is the highway. In our tests, it nets 28.7/44.2/34.1 mpg.

2018 Nissan Kicks

Combined Real MPG: 32.8 mpg


It’s hard to beat the Nissan Kicks when it comes to value. Not only does it carry a low starting price, it also boasts impressive fuel economy. It gets 28.7/39.8/32.8 mpg according to our tests.

2018 BMW X2 sDrive28i

Combined Real MPG: 31.0 mpg


The BMW X2 is stylish and fun to drive, although you’ll have to compromise on rear seat and cargo space. Plus, its ride quality could be better. But this cute ute doesn’t compromise on fuel economy, netting 27.5/36.7/31.0 mpg with a 228-hp four-cylinder engine.

2019 Hyundai Kona 1.6T

Combined Real MPG: 30.8 mpg


We really like the Hyundai Kona for its nimble handling and excellent range of powertrains. If you want the greenest Kona, you’ll have to go for the slightly expensive, but highly competent, Kona Electric. Still, the 1.6-liter with a respectable 175 hp impresses with 26.4/38.7/30.8 mpg.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Combined Real MPG: 30.5 mpg


The Crosstrek borrows its 152-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the Impreza. And yes, it’s one of few crossovers still available with a manual transmission. We tested a row-your-own Crosstrek achieving 25.9/38.9/30.5 mpg.

2019 Honda HR-V

Combined Real MPG: 30.2 mpg


The HR-V takes a cringeworthy 9.6 seconds to reach 60 mph. That makes it one of the slowest vehicles in its segment, whose other entrants aren’t particularly quick to begin with. But at least it’s pretty spacious inside, and it gets a favorable Real MPG score of 24.9/40.8/30.2 mpg.

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid

Combined Real MPG: 28.7 mpg


The Nissan Rogue Hybrid AWD is EPA rated at 31/34/33 mpg. Our results proved it actually performs worse in the real world: 27.8/29.9/28.7 mpg. But it’s still a respectable number.

2018 Volvo XC60 T8 E-AWD Plug-In

Combined Real MPG: 28.6 mpg


It’s remarkable how fuel efficient this plug-in hybrid small crossover is given its power. With 400 horses under the hood, this crossover can reach 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. It got 28.3/29.0/28.6 mpg in our tests.

2018 Ford EcoSport 1.0L

Combined Real MPG: 28.4 mpg


This SUV packs a tiny 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine making 123 hp. With such meager output, the EcoSport takes a painful 10.7 seconds to reach 60 mph. Although we don’t like the engine, we like the Sync user interface and reasonable interior space. Fuel economy is very reasonable at 24.7/34.7/28.4 mpg, although these numbers probably don’t make up for its slowness.

The post 10 Small SUVs That Get Excellent Real-World Fuel Economy appeared first on Motortrend.

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Volvo, BMW Earn 2019 Best Overall Value Awards from IntelliChoice

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 09:00

You don’t usually associate luxury cars with value. Between insane levels of depreciation, high purchase prices, and outrageous maintenance expenses, luxury cars’ upkeep costs tend to skyrocket over time. IntelliChoice has released its 2019 Best Overall Value of the Year winners, and we’ve teamed up to see if you can get a premium-badged car that doesn’t demand a fortune to keep running.

IntelliChoice chooses its winners based on a number of factors including: insurance fees, depreciation, maintenance, fuel, and a number of other factors over five years. These are all taken into account to determine how much it actually requires to operate a particular vehicle relative to its segment. Even factors like a car’s financing and state fees figure into ownership costs. IntelliChoice notes that trim level also affects how much a car costs to own, and in some cases, the difference can be staggering.

Continue on below to learn how the Volvo S60 and BMW 5 Series clinched the 2019 Best Overall Value of the Year awards for their respective family-sedan segments.

Read about more IntelliChoice Best Overall Value Winners here:

Volvo S60—2019 Best Overall Value of the Year Premium Compact Passenger Car

Among compact premium cars, the Volvo S60 stood above the rest with its low insurance, financing, and ownership costs over five years. Compared to the second- and third-place finishers, the BMW 430i and 440i Gran Coupes, respectively, insuring the Volvo is $6,647—that’s $3,735 cheaper than the former and a whopping $6,753 less than the latter. At $1,120, the Volvo S60’s repairs are also $288 less than the two BMWs over five years. This is a good example of how trim level affects the five-year overall ownership costs; at $62,990, you’ll be spending $8,028 extra on the 440i versus the 430i and a massive $12,399 more than the Volvo S60.

As for driving, we love the Volvo S60 and its wagon sibling, the V60, for their attractive exterior design, an example of Scandinavian minimalism at its best. The interior sports a clean look with minimal buttons and some of the best wood trim you’ll ever lay your hands on. Volvo’s Sensus interface, which uses a 9.0-inch portrait-style touchscreen for nearly every function, looks slick. It takes time to learn how to use, though, and getting simple tasks done requires too many steps. The base 250-hp 2.0-liter T5 turbo-four is a solid all-around performer. However, the T8 Hybrid’s unnatural brakes makes stopping smoothly a chore, and the T6’s super- and turbocharged 2.0-liter’s power delivery isn’t very linear.

BMW 5 Series—2019 Best Overall Value of the Year Luxury Passenger Car

BMWs, like most German luxury cars, are associated with high upkeep, but the 5 Series seems to have bucked the trend. Based on IntelliChoice’s data, the BMW 5 Series comes to $67,244 to own over five years, which is $3,819 cheaper than expected. Even its insurance is on the lower end of the spectrum (less than $10,000 over five years). Compared with the second-place Lexus GS 300 and third-place BMW Alpina B7, the 5 Series was among the cheapest to insure, and it didn’t take as big of a hit on depreciation—$35,990 over five years—which is better than most luxury cars, especially European ones.

The current-generation BMW 5 Series moved closer toward the luxury space when it debuted. It now shares its underpinnings with the full-size 7 Series sedan. Its disconnected feel means it no longer drives like the tight 5 Series of yore, which was the benchmark for driving dynamics (the M550i model is shown below). It’s more at home cruising on the autobahn at high speeds than stringing one corner after another on a road like Angeles Crest Highway. But its interior is lovely, and its infotainment system interface—with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto—is intuitive and user-friendly, although some controls require diving through several menus to access.

The post Volvo, BMW Earn 2019 Best Overall Value Awards from IntelliChoice appeared first on Motortrend.

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