ReSI appoints new chief finance officer

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 08:46
Residential Secure Income’s investment manager parent company TradeRisks has appointed Richard Stubbs as chief financial officer with responsibility for financial strategy and operations.
Categories: Property

Patron puts Leeds office on the market

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 06:06
Company instructs Knight Frank to sell the eight-floor Mint building for £45m.
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Premier Inn sets sights on becoming number one in Republic of Ireland

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 05:54
Chain secures first site in Dublin city centre and plans to open 10-15 in city before rolling out across Republic.
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2019 Chevrolet Camaro Turbo 1LE First Drive: Point Me to the Corners

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 05:01

As I exit a corner with my foot nailed to the floor and all the nannies switched off, I can’t help but mutter to myself, “So much grip.” The new 2019 Chevrolet Camaro Turbo 1LE oozes it. The car combines the 2.0-liter turbo-four engine and the wizardry of the famed 1LE Performance package, which is a thing of beauty, even with the least powerful engine option. The ZL1, SS, and V-6 have had their turn; now it’s time for the base engine to get the track treatment.

Producing 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, the Turbo 1LE isn’t a straight-line speed brute, though Chevrolet claims a pretty quick 5.4-second 0–60 run. Instead, it shines in the corners. During my time in our former long-term 2016 Camaro SS, power oversteer was a worry when pushing the V-8 version hard through corners. But this isn’t the case with the Turbo 1LE. I found myself eagerly applying full throttle exiting corners, not fearing the worst. If I’d driven the SS that way, the ditch on the side of the road would’ve been my next stop. You might miss the power of a larger engine on a straight stretch of road, but the coupe makes that up with impressive cornering control. Three sports cars with “low” power outputs and superior cornering capability come to mind: the Mazda Miata, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota 86. But the Camaro is quicker and more powerful than those three and has a lower starting price than their top trims. If you’re curious, the above SS hit 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and produces 455 hp from its 6.2-liter V-8.

The $4,500 1LE package (available on all LT trims) gets you Camaro SS suspension components, including larger-diameter front and rear stabilizer bars, uniquely tuned dampers, stiffer rear cradle bushings, and upgraded rear toe links designed to improve lateral stiffness. The goodies continue with lightweight 20-inch forged aluminum wheels shod in Goodyear Eagle F1 Run Flat summer tires (245/40R20 front, 275/35R20 rear), a mechanical limited-slip differential, track cooling package (engine oil, differential, and transmission coolers), short-throw shifter, dual-mode exhaust system, an upgraded fuel system borrowed from the SS (for high-load cornering), and Touring, Sport, and Track drive modes. If that’s not enough, Competition mode enables launch control and displays performance instrument readouts and shift lights. Recaro seats, a suede-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel, and a suede-covered gear shifter are extra. Outside, you won’t find “Turbo” or “1LE” badging. Instead, the hood, front splitter, and three-piece spoiler are wrapped in satin black, distinguishing the Turbo 1LE from other, less track-focused Camaros.

To get us behind the wheel of the Camaro Turbo 1LE, Chevrolet invited us to drive a picturesque 60-mile route from our hotel in Renton, Washington, to Ridge Motorsports Park, where a 16-turn, 2.47-mile road course was waiting for us. On the way there, the 1LE provided good ride comfort, better than the Camaro SS. I expected an overly stiff ride given the performance suspension, but I was happily surprised. The throws from the Tremec six-speed manual (the only available transmission, and rightly so) are short and precise, which is a good thing because I found myself downshifting a gear or two whenever I passed on the freeway or simply to pick up some speed due to the transmission’s tall gears. Sixth gear should be used strictly for cruising, not for passing. But 30 mpg highway is nice (20 mpg city). Turbo lag doesn’t help the situation, and it’s noticeable since peak torque hits a little late at 3,000 rpm (and lasts until 4,500 rpm). Still, Chevrolet claims that 90 percent of torque is available below 2,000 rpm. Why not 100 percent? Many modern turbo engines hit max torque below 2,000 rpm. Plenty of road noise seeps into the cabin. If you don’t like it, about your only choice is to tack on the optional Bose audio system and crank it up.

With the scenic drive over, it was time for the track. Before I set out, I inserted an SD card into the optional Performance Data Recorder slot for later viewing. On the track, it’s hard to find many faults with the coupe. Almost nonexistent body roll provides for crisp and confident turn-in, and the chassis is rock-solid. Over- and understeer almost never happened unless purposely induced, something that put a smile on my face the few times I did it. Steering felt similar to that of the SS, heavy but quite telepathic. The front four-piston Brembo calipers—borrowed from the SS—bite hard and help bring the sports car to a stop from 60 mph in a Chevrolet-claimed 112 feet, not bad for a car weighing at least 3,350 pounds. Braking power never seemed to fade and the Recaro seats offered plenty of lateral support and comfort during our numerous runs.

Moving at a very quick pace, we stayed in third gear for most of the lap, only going to second gear once or twice and hitting fourth at the end of the long straightaway. Automatic rev-matching is not available, so ready your heel-and-toe action. I never noticed the engine temperature creeping up, even though we were at wide-open throttle for a significant amount of time. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because Camaro engineers claim the Turbo 1LE can survive 24 hours of cumulative track time in 35-minute sessions (not counting consumables like tires and brakes). Furthermore, due to the engine’s efficiency, the Camaro can potentially run on a track for 60 minutes using a single tank of gas. Don’t expect that from the V-8.

The starting price of $30,995 is a performance bargain that could potentially turn the heads of hot-hatch buyers, Chevy’s surprising target market. That’s correct: The maker of some of the most famous examples of American muscle wants to attract Golf R, WRX STI, Focus RS, and Civic Type R buyers to the lineup. The Camaro is a little short on horsepower but has a lower starting price than the above four-doors. If it had competed in our latest hot-hatch comparison, the claimed 0–60 time would have fallen midpack. Furthermore, some potential hot-hatch buyers might appreciate the Turbo 1LE’s non-boy-racer look. Chevy could be onto something. The Camaro’s latest track-happy example is a sports car gem: You can comfortably cruise to work in morning traffic and take it to the track afterward to blow off some steam. Let’s hope Chevrolet never stops cranking out these fun machines.

The post 2019 Chevrolet Camaro Turbo 1LE First Drive: Point Me to the Corners appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Volvo Teases Mysterious Finned 360c Concept

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 01:30

Last week, a very cryptic audio clip from Volvo kept everyone guessing what new product it has hiding up its sleeve. Recently, the Swedish automaker gave us a little more to go off of with a short video clip showing shadowy glimpses of an upcoming concept vehicle. Judging by the 360 in the name and the Blade Runner-esque lighting, we suspect this will be an autonomous concept equipped with an electric powertrain.

The video first shows what appears to be the front of the vehicle, which sports an illuminated Volvo badge and two thin strips of lighting that stretch all the way to the edges to join a group of vertically stacked light bars that could simulate headlights. The front end’s cascading light also spills out onto a thin piece that juts out from the body, possibly a sensor or camera (or both) replacing the traditional side view mirror.

Coming soon: our vision for the future of travel. #360c

A post shared by Volvo Cars (@volvocars) on Aug 28, 2018 at 12:03am PDT

The last clip in the brief video shows what is likely the rear end of the vehicle, with what looks like a red taillight that connects to a fin that extends from what might be the rear glass or liftgate. Red lighting continues onto the fin, which bears the 360 logo. It’s unclear if this is merely a design element or if it’s somehow part of the vehicle’s autonomous systems. Whatever the case, we’re not opposed to fins making a comeback. Out of focus and in the background, you can once again see the thin, illuminated bit protruding from the front of the Volvo.

Volvo hasn’t given us any clues as to what this is besides the few words accompanying its Instagram post: “Coming soon: our vision for the future of travel.” But based on what we can see in the video, the front end looks very upright and pod-like, meaning this could be a large, multi-passenger autonomous shuttle. The concept could tie into Volvo’s recently announced M mobility brand, which the automaker says “aspires to deliver a better alternative to car ownership for urban and metro consumers.”

Then again, we could be getting our first sneak peek at a bizarrely styled Volvo SUV. But one thing we’re pretty sure this won’t be is a revival of the Volvo 360 hatchback that the U.S. never got. Oh well.

In a comment on its latest Instagram post, Volvo says it will share details on the 360c “very soon.”

Source: Volvo via Instagram

This could be the sound of your future ride. What do you think it’s saying? #360c

A post shared by Volvo Cars (@volvocars) on Aug 21, 2018 at 6:33am PDT

The post Volvo Teases Mysterious Finned 360c Concept appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

BMW 8 Series Convertible Teased for the First Time

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 00:30

BMW revealed the 8 Series coupe body style earlier this summer, and now it’s beginning to tease its next variant of the flagship two-door: the 8 Series convertible. While hot weather testing in Las Vegas and Death Valley, BMW snapped its own spy shots of a camouflaged 8 Series drop-top.

Like many other automakers, BMW tests in Death Valley for its unique climate and extreme conditions. The temperature can climb to more than 120 degrees in the summer, which by itself would challenge any drivetrain. Combine that extreme heat with the region’s dry, dusty landscape and you get a punishing testing ground unlike any other in the world. To mix things up, the convertible also spent time inching along in stop-and-go traffic on the Las Vegas strip to see how the cooling system holds up with limited airflow.

As pretty as these shots are, they don’t really tell us anything new. They are the first official teasers from BMW, however. Like other prototypes we’ve seen, this mule wears a black cloth top, which is stowed in most of the photos. And just as you’d expect, the interior looks pretty much the same as the 8 Series coupe, featuring the same wide central touchscreen and all-digital instrument cluster.

BMW gives no details on drivetrain options for the convertible, but you can expect the M850i xDrive coupe’s twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 and eight-speed automatic transmission to be one available combination. In the coupe, the boosted V-8 is tuned to make 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system.


We don’t have an official date for the 8 Series convertible’s debut, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see the topless variant show up at the Paris Motor Show next month. That would give BMW some space between this model and the third body style in the lineup, the four-door 8 Series Gran Coupe, which could debut next year in Geneva.

Source: BMW

The post BMW 8 Series Convertible Teased for the First Time appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

The Bugatti Divo Couldn’t Get Much Lighter and Still be a Bugatti

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 20:45

When Bugatti finally revealed the Divo, a $5.7 million Chiron-based coachbuild project, it ended up looking a lot more like the Chiron than we thought it would. But that wasn’t the only surprise. Despite Bugatti claiming the Divo’s development had prioritized handling, the new car is only 77 pounds lighter than the Chiron. Considering the Chiron weighs about 4,400 pounds, we wondered why the weight loss wasn’t more substantial.

At the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last weekend, we got our answer during a conversation with Pierre Rommelfanger, the Divo’s project leader. When asked if there were any battles he lost during development, he immediately brought up the car’s weight.

“The battle is we start from a very high level,” said Rommelfanger. “So of course we would like to reduce weight more, but this is very difficult if you start with a car like the Chiron where nearly everything is carbon fiber. I would not say we lost any battle, but of course, there is always the thinking to find the right balance of how much to do because we want to give a car to the customer which still can be used for driving long distances. You could have done some things more extreme, but I think that’s not matching our customer expectation.”

Theoretically, Bugatti could have stripped out the interior to further reduce weight, but as Rommelfanger pointed out, “That was not the target.”

So despite being the most track-capable Chiron derivative, the Divo is still first and foremost a Bugatti. Besides, those who can afford one of the 40 Divo models are likely to have another supercar dedicated for the track, so the missed weight savings might not be that big a deal to owners.


The post The Bugatti Divo Couldn’t Get Much Lighter and Still be a Bugatti appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

This is the McLaren 720S GT3 Race Car

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 18:48

A road-going McLaren 720S is already plenty quick around a race track, so we can only imagine how quick a racing version might be. We’ll find out during the 2019 racing season, when the McLaren 720S GT3 makes its competition debut. First announced way back in November, the 720S GT3 has now been fully revealed.

McLaren says track testing for the GT3 is currently underway, and will hit circuits in the U.S. and Middle East before the end of the year. McLaren engineers, working together with tire partner Pirelli, have put race car prototypes through a gauntlet of trials, including 24- and 36-hour torture tests to ensure durability. In total, the two 720S GT3 development prototypes will cover more than 18,500 miles at a variety of tracks before the first cars are delivered to customer racing teams in 2019.

As we reported previously, the GT3 is based on the same carbon-fiber MonoCage II monocoque as the standard 720S, but gets unique carbon-fiber body panels that have been optimized for aerodynamics. In addition, the GT3 gets a new splitter, dive planes, and large rear wing. A race-prepped version of McLaren’s twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 is tuned to GT3-class specifications, but instead of being paired to the road car’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, the engine is backed by a six-speed sequential gearbox. The race car also receives an externally adjustable Salisbury-type limited-slip differential and racing-spec traction control and ABS systems. All GT3s are left-hand-drive and come with a carbon-Kevlar racing seat with winged headrest, six-point harness, and FIA-approved roll cage. The chassis also has a built-in air-jacking system for quicker pit stops.

The GT3 cars will be hand-assembled at a new dedicated GT racing facility at McLaren’s headquarters in Woking, Surrey, U.K. If you want to race a 720S GT3 in one of the various GT3-spec series, you’ll need at least $564,000, not including shipping.

Source: McLaren

The post This is the McLaren 720S GT3 Race Car appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Malaysian fund KWAP enters UK student sector with £39m buy

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 18:11
Malaysian pension fund Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (KWAP) has acquired two UK student accommodation assets from IP Investment Management (IPIM) and Maven Capital Partners for £39m.
Categories: Property

Moodys removes WeWork bond rating

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 18:08
Moodys has withdrawn its credit rating of WeWork’s bonds, issued in April, citing ‘insufficient or otherwise inadequate information to support maintenance of the ratings’.
Categories: Property

Allsop and SDL Auctions set to hold online sales in September

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 17:30
Allsop and SDL Auctions will both hold online auctions in September, as the alternative to traditional ballroom sales continues to gain popularity.
Categories: Property

New managing director for Clarion

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 17:06
Housing association Clarion Housing Group has appointed Sue Cocking as its new regional managing director for the Midlands and North West.
Categories: Property

Stacked DAC: A Direct Air Capture CO2-to-Gasoline Scheme that Works? – Technologue

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 16:07

Twice now I’ve been dazzled by schemes for scrubbing CO2 out of the atmosphere and turning it into fuel. In July 2008 it was NaOH scrubbers and exotic catalysts; in March 2012, it was ionic amine fluids and a formic-acid fuel cell. Both were tricky to describe, energy intense, and costly; years later, neither is yet ready for prime time. Then this June my newsfeed lit up with tales of a refreshingly simple new direct air capture (DAC) CO2-to-fuel scheme that’s already running in a pilot plant.

Canadian energy company Carbon Engineering—founded by Harvard professor David Keith with venture capital funding from Bill Gates—has been scrubbing CO2 for three years now in Squamish, British Columbia, for conversion to liquid fuels. An obvious secret to CE’s success is its reliance on existing industrial technology. The scrubbing operation is essentially a power-station cooling tower grafted onto a pulp/paper mill, augmented with tweaks from the water-treatment and gold-extraction industries. The fuel conversion involves universally understood Fischer-Tropsch gas-to-liquid tech.

Instead of condensing steam, air in this cooling tower flows past an alkaline solution of potassium hydroxide and water. Mildly acidic CO2 gloms onto the basic potassium hydroxide, forming potassium carbonate. Calcium is then used to grab the carbon from the potassium in a pellet reactor borrowed from the water-treatment biz. Finally, pure CO2 is liberated the way gold is separated from ore in a gold-ore roasting calciner. A paper mill’s caustic recovery loop keeps the potassium and calcium in continual reuse.

The process above is expected to consume between 1.5 and 2.4 megawatt-hours of energy per metric ton of CO2 depending on plant configuration, with the lion’s share heating the roaster. Energy is a major driver of the operation’s cost, which, when scaled up for larger commercial production, is estimated to cost $232 per metric ton in the near term, falling to as low as $94 per metric ton in five to 10 years—a significant savings relative to chief rival, Zurich-based Climeworks, which is currently converting CO2 via solid-oxide fuel cell at a cost of $600 per metric ton.

Carbon Engineering’s cost projections, published in the energy journal Joule, are based on scaling up the Squamish plant from its current 1-metric-ton-per-day scrubbing rate. Oh, and if you’re wondering why CE doesn’t just tap the CO2-rich stream from a coal or natural-gas smokestack, it’s because that carbon originates underground—fuel produced from it wouldn’t qualify with regulators as carbon neutral. That’s bureaucracy for you.

One indication that CE’s pricing is in the ballpark: It aligns nicely with the $94 to $185 per metric ton that companies are currently paying for offset credits to comply with the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard. That standard will likely assign a carbon-intensity figure of about 30 to CE’s fuel—down from 53 for California corn ethanol and 100 for crude-based gasoline. Selling this fuel is what will eventually pay back Bill Gates’ investment.

Of course, carbon harvested from the sky has no energy value until hydrogen atoms are attached via Fischer-Tropsch, and that hydrogen accounts for about 70 percent of the cost of the resulting fuel. Keith expects Carbon Engineering to generate hydrogen using electrolyzers that are similar to proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells, powered by solar or wind electricity. He projects that PEM costs will drop from $1,000 per kilowatt to less than $500 in five years when his commercial plant comes online. He’s designing that plant for an annual scrub of at least 300,000 metric tons of CO2—enough to produce 2,000 barrels of gasoline per day. His projected gasoline cost target is within 50 percent of today’s crude-oil refined product.

Here’s why we should all be rooting for projects like this to work: As liquid fuels approach carbon neutrality, we can burn them virtually guilt free. This will be a boon for difficult-to-electrify air and sea transportation, and it could allow us to continue driving our beloved combustion engine vehicles forever.

Read more by Frank Markus here:

The post Stacked DAC: A Direct Air Capture CO2-to-Gasoline Scheme that Works? – Technologue appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2018 Infiniti Q60S 3.0t Long-Term Update 2 Review

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 15:55

Even a few months and 5,000 miles into my year with the Q60, I’m still checking out all it has to offer. But one thing that jumped out at me almost immediately, that I frankly find perplexing, is the poor resolution of the Infiniti’s cameras.

It’s odd because Infiniti really moved the needle on this kind of technology in 2007 with its awesome Around View Monitor multi-camera system that still impresses to this day. So it’s disappointing to see this high-powered graphic display with a subpar image. In daylight the vehicle’s cameras are pretty good and get the job done, but at night they’re awful, bordering on pointless. Usually a vehicle’s rear lights help illuminate the area behind the car enough for the camera to get a good image, but not with the Q60. Maybe the rear design doesn’t focus the light where it needs to be, but images from the rear and side monitors oftentimes appear pitch black.

Also, the screen seems to be an older-generation model; I’ve seen better screens in vehicles decidedly not in the luxury segment. For example, the Chrysler Pacifica and Volkswagen Atlas have beautifully crisp and vibrant screens, and their images really pop.

Maybe I’m spoiled, but I don’t think an Infiniti owner should be jealous of a minivan driver when it comes to elegance and presentation.

Despite the resolution, the addition of a side camera helps keep the tires free from curb scuff, and the front cam stops me from scraping the bumper on parking bumps, a real concern with such a low-sitting car. For those, I’m grateful. By the way, I predict forward cameras are an emerging front in the infotainment arms race. Why they aren’t in all trucks is a real safety miss, but I digress.

Now, a note about the Q60’s color since one or two readers have disputed my calling the Q60 “bluish.”  Infiniti lists the official color as Hagane Blue. So that argument is over quicker than a Mike Tyson fight in the late ’80s. Additionally,  a quick search from this gaijin shows hagane is Japanese for steel, making the Q60s official color “Blue Steel.” Lifestyle-wise this changes everything. I expect now I’ll be taking the Infiniti on coffee runs for my daily fix of Orange Mocha Frappucinnos and the occasional gasoline fight with my crew. Just don’t ask me about my Magnum, because I don’t think Dodge even makes those anymore.

And to the readers who doubted my ability to distinguish one color from another … thank you for reading.

Read more about our long-term 2018 Infiniti Q60S 3.0t:

The post 2018 Infiniti Q60S 3.0t Long-Term Update 2 Review appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Lyft celebrates 175 years of the Oregon Trail with covered wagon rides

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 15:35
The dream of the 1840s is alive in Portland, Oregon, this week. That's because ride-share service Lyft is offering covered wagon rides downtown to commemorate 175 years of the Oregon Trail from Tuesday to Thursday. Lyft admits that the service isn't as much about efficient transportation as it is about celebrating history. Riders who use the promo...
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8,400 VW Atlas SUVs and VW Passat sedans recalled over loose brake parts

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 15:33
VW will recall 8,400 crossover SUVs and mid-size sedans built at its Chattanooga, Tennessee, assembly plant to tighten brake system components that may not have been tightened correctly at the factory, the automaker said Monday. The recall covers certain 2017-2018 Passat sedans and 2018 Atlas SUVs that VW said had already been "reworked at the...
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Lower speed limits, Faraday Future production starts, Electric car costs: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 15:30
IIHS: Lower urban speed limits mean less speeding At the annual Governors Highway Safety Association meeting Tuesday in Georgia, the IIHS released the results of a study showing Boston's recently lowered speed limits reduced the number of cars unsafely speeding. More luxury, more money: 2019 Lincoln Continental to cost $47,140 At $47,140, the 2019...
Categories: Property

RLA appoints new chief executive

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 15:12
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has appointed Andrew Dixon as its new chief executive.
Categories: Property

Sidra Capital buys Holborn office for £97m

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 14:37
Sidra Capital UK has completed the acquisition of Weston House in London’s Midtown for £97m.
Categories: Property

Study: Gen X drivers more likely to use phones while driving than younger drivers

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 13:55
The results of an online study released Tuesday contradict the popular stereotype that younger drivers are more likely to be distracted by their cellphones than older drivers. In every use case—from talking on the phone to checking social media—Generation X and millennial drivers showed a higher propensity to use their phones than the...
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