2019 Lincoln MKZ, Porsche Taycan specs, Audi e-tron SUV orders: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 15:30
2019 Lincoln MKZ adds safety tech, drops swanky Black Label trim The first signs of Ford's commitment to streamline its lineup are now extending to its Lincoln luxury division. The 2019 Lincoln MKZ mid-size luxury sedan sees its lineup sliced from four to three trim levels, all of which now feature previously optional active safety gear as...
Categories: Property

Former Just Group and Landsec COOs join NHS Property Services

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 15:24
NHS Property Services has appointed David Godden, former chief operating officer of LandSecuritiesTrillum, and Jane Kennedy, former chief operating officer of Just Group, to non-executive director roles.
Categories: Property

BMW raises price of US-built X5, X6 SUVs in China to offset Trump trade tariffs

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:53
The ongoing trade dispute spearheaded by President Donald Trump has led BMW to raise the price of two of its U.S.-built SUVs in China as a response to 40-percent tariffs imposed by the country on American-made cars. MORE: Trump trade tirade threatens BMW, Mercedes-Benz business on a global scale BMW confirmed in a statement to Reuters on Saturday...
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2019 Lincoln MKZ adds safety tech, drops swanky Black Label trim

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:26
The first signs of Ford's commitment to streamline its lineup are now extending to its Lincoln luxury division. The 2019 Lincoln MKZ mid-size luxury sedan sees its lineup sliced from four to three trim levels, all of which now feature previously optional active safety gear as standard equipment. The moves mark a shift away from sedans in the...
Categories: Property

NHS England selects development partners for 'healthy new towns'

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 13:58
NHS England has selected development partners to deliver 60,000 new homes on its land.
Categories: Property

Teva Pharmaceuticals takes record New Jersey office letting

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 13:53
Israeli multinational pharmaceutical company Teva Pharmaceuticals has signed a 360,000 sq ft lease at P3 Properties’ Pasippanny complex in the biggest letting in New Jersey so far this year.
Categories: Property

Housing secretary calls on London mayor to revise housing plans

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 13:49
Secretary of state for housing, communities and local government James Brokenshire has called on the London mayor to revise the capital’s housing strategy in light of the recently published National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
Categories: Property

Blackrock completes £75m social housing debt issuance

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 13:49
Blackrock Real Assets has closed a £75m debt issuance by social housing and regeneration company GreenSquare Group on behalf of a third party.
Categories: Property

New partner to lead Glenny’s office agency team

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 13:29
Glenny has appointed former Colliers and Gerald Eve partner John Campbell as divisional partner to lead its office agency business covering London and the South East.
Categories: Property

Pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank finances £175m retail park deal

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 12:51
Pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank has provided a £107m loan to Korea’s Hana Financial Investments for the acquisition of Gallagher Retail Park in Wednesbury.
Categories: Property

Orchard Street buys City Fringe office

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 12:39
Orchard Street Investment Management has completed the acquisition of 80 Clerkenwell Road, in London’s City Fringe for £18.5m.
Categories: Property

China Vanke to buy 5% stake in Cushman & Wakefield

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 10:38
China’s largest real estate firm China Vanke has bought a 5% stake in Cushman & Wakefield ahead of the advisory firm’s initial public offering.
Categories: Property

Hammerson shares see marginal price uplift

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 09:04
Hammerson shares rose marginally in early trading on Monday morning, increasing 0.2% to 510.9p.
Categories: Property

Investec lends Floreat a further £29m

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 08:35
Investec Structured Property Finance has agreed to lend Floreat Real Estate, £29.1m to reposition two multi-let office buildings in Bristol and Cardiff.
Categories: Property

COLG buys landlord insurance group

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 08:02
City of London Group (COLG) has bought insurance group Acorn to Oaks Financial Services (A2O).
Categories: Property

Springfield snaps up homes site in West Lothian

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 07:53
Springfield Properties has acquired a 400 acre site in West Lothian, Scotland, to develop 1,900-homes with a gross development value of more than £400m.
Categories: Property

2019 BMW M2 Competition First Drive: A Fresh Slice

Motortrend News Feed - Sun, 07/29/2018 - 23:01

BMW is no stranger to slicing a pie into ever-thinner pieces, as evidenced by its prolific (some might say confusing) lineup of numerically inconsistent body styles, and its practice of applying coupe terminology to practically anything with four wheels.

Now, BMW has taken that power of multiplication to its performance lineup. M Competition is a new standalone model, slotting a notch above the entry-level M Performance and storied M models, and below the hardcore CS and GTS (soon to be CSL) performance rungs. That’s a total of five separate performance levels. Take that, Audi and Mercedes-AMG, with your piddling two offerings each.

But the differences only matter if they’re meaningful, and BMW believes it can carve out distinct niches for each of these levels. For 2019, BMW has taken the M2 and elevated it to the M2 Competition.

More than any other car in the BMW lineup, the M2 represents the emotional and dynamic purity that have been the brand’s defining characteristics for decades. Indeed, we fell in love with our M2 long-termer, calling it a “Goldilocks ‘just-right’ benchmark, not only for the high-performance coupe segment but also for BMW itself.”

So what happens when Goldilocks is bestowed with a hotter engine and suspension bits from the M3/M4? Does it lose the balanced luster that makes it so special? On the contrary. The 2019 M2 Competition is better than the car it succeeds, retaining the magic that makes it so brilliant yet still benefiting from a number of substantial changes to the powertrain and platform.

Let’s start with that engine. Out with the rorty twin-scroll turbocharged N55 3.0-liter inline-six, and in with the M3’s single-scroll twin-turbo S55 3.0-liter inline-six, which ups the horsepower from 365 to 405 hp—a decent bump in a car that weighs around 3,500 pounds. As before, power is put to the rear wheels through either a standard six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. BMW estimates a 0­–60 time of 4.0 seconds flat when equipped with the DCT.

Scrubbing off the power are new optional brakes, featuring six pistons clamping down onto massive 15.7-inch rotors up front, and a four-piston setup with 15-inch rotors out back.

BMW could have literally stopped there, but in keeping with M Competition’s mission of being a more track-focused variant, it also upgraded a fair number of bits throughout the chassis, pilfering bits from the M3 and M4 parts bin. Front-end rigidity is increased through a gorgeous lightweight carbon-fiber strut that arcs around the engine, augmented by a bulkhead strut from the M4. The M2 Competition also benefits from lightweight aluminum axles front and rear, and the rear five-link axle is bolted directly to the subframe without the use of rubber bushings.

These changes add up to a package that delivers a shot of caffeine to an already lively vehicle. The M2 Competition doesn’t feel so much transformed as it does reinvigorated, like it returned to its day job after a month of massages and personal training.

That refreshing spirit is echoed in the M2 Competition’s exhale. I was worried that the S55, combined with an electronically controlled twin-flap sport exhaust, would produce the same mechanical bleating that befalls the M3. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by a seductive growl that builds into a silken frenzy as the revs crescendo. There’s no mistaking the fact that a BMW inline-six is under the hood.

On the track, the M2 is right at home, with inputs and reflexes that are direct and satisfying. It’s ridiculously easy to explore the limits at any speed or angle and still have the confidence to rein it back in. There’s even more steering feel than before, though BMW could still use a master class in the art of servo tactility.

This playful nature is possible with the stability control set to M Dynamic mode, working in harmony with the Active M limited-slip differential to allow greater wheelspin before intervening. If you feel like a true hero, the stability control can be fully switched off. BMW has made it easy to cycle through various drive settings by placing dedicated buttons on the console to adjust steering, engine, and stability preferences. Further personalization is possible by programming your favorite two-mode combinations into the M1 and M2 buttons located on the steering wheel.

The six-speed manual features light, direct throws, though the movement between gears feels a bit rubbery. Each downshift is accompanied by a zesty blip from the rev-matching function whether you like it or not. The only way to defeat the system is to engage the aforementioned true hero mode. It would be nice to turn off rev-matching without risking a loss of traction. How about it, BMW? There’s room for one more dedicated button on the console.

Dial everything to Comfort, and out in the real world, the M2 Competition settles down to deliver a ride that somehow manages to be both sharp and supple. Best of all, despite the increased performance, this is a car that could handily work as a daily driver.

Visually, the M2 Competition incorporates both functional and cosmetic updates. Adaptive LED headlights flank the iconic twin kidney grille, which stretches even further out to the sides, now framed in high-gloss black trim. Wider openings in the valance encourage greater airflow, and an additional engine oil cooler is tucked underneath. Inside, the optional M Sport bucket seats are supremely supportive and comfortable, and there’s an illuminated M2 badge just below the integrated headrest, which I’m sure is great to look at when you’re not sitting in the seat.

For 2019, the M2 will only be offered in Competition form. Starting at $59,895, it’s not the performance bargain it once was, though it still handily undercuts the Audi TT RS ($65,875) and the 2019 Porsche Cayman S ($70,350) while trumping them both on horsepower. True, the Audi comes within 5 hp of the M2 Competition’s rating and has all-wheel drive, but it doesn’t offer a stick at any price.

Now that we’ve seen the outline of BMW’s performance hierarchy, it’s tantalizing to think what an M2 CS or CSL might look like. But in the meantime, the M2 Competition’s balance of power and poise earns it the right to stand at the top of the 2 Series lineup.

The post 2019 BMW M2 Competition First Drive: A Fresh Slice appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property