Picton pays down debt

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/27/2018 - 08:14
Picton has reduced the group’s debt by £33.7 million, which has led to a drop in its loan to value (LTV).
Categories: Property

Inland Homes bolsters board

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/27/2018 - 08:05
Inland Homes has appointed two non-executive directors, Laure Duhot and Brian Johnson, to its board with immediate effect.
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Expansion plans hit IWG profits

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/27/2018 - 07:55
IWG, the flexible workspace group in the midst of takeover talks, has warned profits for 2018 will be £15m to £20m less than previously forecast.
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2019 Chrysler Pacifica

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 22:20
The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica is proof that America still knows minivans. The jack-of-all-trades family hauler remains unchanged for 2019, which means it keeps all the things that made Best Car to Buy 2017. The Pacifica elevates the minivan aesthetic with a sleek, attractive design that all but hides its utilitarian underpinnings. The 2019 Pacifica...
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2019 Hyundai Kona Electric preview

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 22:13
The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric is a step in the right direction. The battery electric crossover due toward the end of 2018 offers up to 250 miles of range in a tall-riding vehicle: the right range in the right type of car for many shoppers. So what’s wrong? Initially, the Kona Electric only will be available in a limited number of states...
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Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Packs 715 HP

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 22:06

Aston Martin is right in the middle of a huge product offensive that will continue through 2023. The latest model to arrive is the DBS Superleggera, the brand’s new flagship Super GT.

Essentially, this car replaces the Vanquish S. But this time around, Aston Martin uses turbocharging and raises the power output. The new 5.2-liter twin-turbo V-12 engine, which sits low in the car, makes 715 hp instead of the old model’s 595 hp. Torque is a healthy 664 lb-ft. Aston Martin says the DBS Superleggera can hit 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 211 mph.

A new rear-mounted ZF eight-speed automatic transmission brings torque to the rear wheels. For improved handling, the model uses a mechanical limited-slip differential with torque vectoring. The DBS Superleggera also features a lightweight bonded aluminum chassis structure inspired by the new DB11. Drivers can adjust the settings of the chassis and the powertrain to three different modes: GT, Sport, and Sport Plus.

Compared to other Aston Martins, the DBS Superleggera looks particularly potent with its gaping grille, black exterior accents, and hood vents. It also features a quad exhaust and standard 21-inch wheels. Carbon fiber body panels help keep the model’s dry curb weight as low as possible at 3,732 pounds. To boost aerodynamics, the model has an F1-inspired double diffuser. This GT can generate a whopping 397 pounds of downforce at Vmax, which Aston Martin says is the highest figure it has achieved for a series production car.

Deliveries begin in the third quarter of 2018. In the U.S., you’ll be paying at least $308,081.

For that money, you get a sumptuous interior with standard features including leather and Alcantara upholstery, front and rear parking sensors, DBS-embroidered headrests, and Piano Black trim inlay. On the options roster, you’ll find multiple trim inlay options, seat back veneers, and seat belt colors as well as a carbon fiber steering wheel and full leather interior.

Source: Aston Martin

The post Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Packs 715 HP appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Jeep Wrangler Transformed into Beach Patrol Vehicle

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 19:30

It’s no Lamborghini cop car, but this Jeep Wrangler definitely looks more fun than your average law enforcement vehicle. The automaker has presented the Italian Carabinieri with a custom Wrangler that will patrol the beaches of Romagna, Italy, this summer.

The Wrangler wears the livery of the military police force. Other upgrades include a flashing light, siren with telescoping mounting, machine gun holder, portable radio, and two signaling disc holders. Under the hood is a 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine with an automatic transmission. To increase its off-road chops, the vehicle receives a 2-inch lift kit by Fox Performance, front steering stabilizer, front and rear molded splash guards, and side mudguard extensions. Then there are the wheels: 17-inch x 8.5-inch Performance Gladiator black alloy rims wrapped with 32-inch all-terrain tires.

Fiat Chrysler presented the vehicle to the Italian Carabinieri during a ceremony in Rome. Here, CEO Sergio Marchionne and EMEA Region COO Alfredo Altavilla met with Commander-in-Chief Giovanni Nistri and Vice Commander Riccardo Amato.

Keeping people safe during the busy summer season, the Wrangler will patrol an 18-mile area of the Romagna Riviera that includes popular resorts. This is the first time such an operation will have been conducted in Italy.

The Carabinieri has enlisted other FCA vehicles into service, including the Renegade. Meanwhile, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio has helped with special missions including the transport of organs and blood as well as escort duties for ceremonies. Fiat’s Ducato is used by the bomb disposal team.

Source: FCA

The post Jeep Wrangler Transformed into Beach Patrol Vehicle appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Watch: 7 Reasons Why the Honda Civic Type R Demolishes the Civic Si

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 18:30

The Honda Civic Type R has become the performance king of the Civic lineup, dethroning the Civic Si.

As the highest performing Civic, the Type R is put together with a dual-axis strut suspension in the front, a multilink unit in back, and electronically adjustable dampers on all four corners.The Type R is also equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 that has 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. In a Motor Trend test, the 2018 Civic Type R was able to go 0-60 in 5.0 seconds, which is 1.7 seconds faster than a Civic Si sedan we tested with summer tires.

The Civic Type R is cheaper than its hot-hatch competitors, including the Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI, and Volkswagen Golf R. Unlike most hatchbacks, the Type R makes no compromises, good for both backroading and the highway.

In our First Drive, we boasted, “There’s not any one thing that makes the Civic Type R so special, but rather it’s Honda’s holistic approach to building what’s not only arguably the greatest hot hatch the world has ever seen but also the best front-wheel-drive sports car ever.”

Check out the video to find out how the Civic Type R beats the Civic Si.

The post Watch: 7 Reasons Why the Honda Civic Type R Demolishes the Civic Si appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Marsh & Parsons founder joins Savills resi team

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 17:57
Savills has boosted its London residential team with the appointment of Marsh & Parsons founder Liza-Jane Kelly.
Categories: Property

Behind the Lines of the 2019 Audi Q8

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 17:00

For designer Sascha Heyde, the biggest challenge behind the all-new 2019 Audi Q8 was the creation of the model itself. Developing a spacious SUV coupe isn’t easy, according to Heyde, whose first work as an exterior lead designer is Audi’s new flagship SUV. “We wanted to create a completely new model that would stick out from our current Audi range and from our competitors. So we had to create an iconic car that you would immediately notice,” he said.

For the Q8, proportions play a big role. The short rear overhang, long wheelbase, and low roof, along with a wide track and new 22-inch wheels are technical innovations that brought a new footprint to Audi’s portfolio. “It’s immediately clear that this is something new, and I think this was a challenge to bring it in a nice character,” said Heyde.

The Q8’s profile isn’t as dramatic as the BMW X6 or Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, and that’s because Audi was focused on interior space. Headroom in the second row is superb, and since there isn’t a third row, the Q8 feels like a living room in the back. “With our roofline, we don’t drop that much like the others [competitors]. We start very low and continue to the rear, so we actually keep the roominess and then later it drops down to this coupe pillar,” Heyde added. “On the one hand, it’s very iconic, and on the other is super functional because we offer the space in the rear.”

Sascha Heyde chatting with Miguel Cortina

As surprising as it may sound, the Q8 was inspired by Audi’s iconic Sport Quattro. The emblematic Sport Quattro’s black panel, its C-pillar, straight roof, and recognizable face are all elements that are reinterpreted in the Q8. “It’s kind of an Audi DNA, but we said, ‘Maybe we have to take some of this architecture over,’ and we reinterpreted it in a new version in the Q8’s design,” Heyde said.

And it’s one of those elements—the rear black panel with the integrated taillights—that is the designer’s favorite feature. “You see it outside when you’re driving and it’s like, ‘Whoa, it’s the Q8.’ It really shows the maximum width, and I love that,” he said.

The post Behind the Lines of the 2019 Audi Q8 appeared first on Motor Trend.

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2019 Audi Q8 First Drive: Facing Challenges

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 17:00

When I first arrived in Northern Chile to drive the new 2019 Audi Q8, it was hard for me to draw any similarities between the town of San Pedro de Atacama and the SUV. Located in the heart of the Atacama Desert—one of the driest places on Earth—San Pedro de Atacama sits 7,900 feet above sea level and is home to roughly 3,000 people. There are no paved roads, most of the houses are made of adobe, and dozens of dogs make the street their home. But once I drove a Q8 , the connection became clear. The singularity of the landscape—from the Licancabur volcano dressed in a thin layer of snow to the eye-catching rock formations of the Moon Valley—clicks with the capabilities of Audi’s newest SUV.

Most people who visit the Altiplano come here to explore its geography and culture. The blue sky contrasting with the copper color of the rocks, mixed with the rich Incan history and the colorful textiles sewed by local artisans give this region a character that’s not found in any other corner of the world. The Atacama Desert is known for its extreme climates; during our drive, temperatures ranged from 23 to 73 degrees, and we drove on snow, pavement, and dirt roads at elevations of over 14,000 feet.

Once it launches in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of this year, the 2019 Audi Q8 will be propelled by a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6. The engine produces 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, and—for the first time in an Audi SUV—it’s mated to a mild-hybrid technology that integrates a lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter into a 48-volt electrical system. During braking, this system—essentially the same one as in the A8 sedan—can recover up to 12 kW of energy. The only transmission available is an eight-speed automatic that sends power to all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro system. A mechanical center differential sends 60 percent of the torque to the rear wheels and the other 40 percent to the front. Depending on the driving conditions, the center diff can send up to 85 percent of the torque to the rear wheels or up to 70 percent to the front.

This recipe, along with the adaptive air suspension and four-wheel steering, stood out on Atacama’s twisty dirt roads. The Q8 feels quite stable on tight corners, and the well-balanced steering provides good road feedback. The peppy engine doesn’t disappoint at high altitudes and got us moving quickly. The Q8 didn’t seem to suffer as much as I did from the high altitudes, and the air suspension did a great job keeping the vibrations to a minimum inside the cabin. Depending on the driving mode , the air suspension can adjust the ride height by as much as 3.5 inches; Offroad mode offers the highest ground clearance—10.0 inches.

Although most owners will drive their Q8 on paved roads, Audi prepped a short off-road section that consisted mostly of gravel. I used this opportunity to try the hill descent control, which controls acceleration and braking, leaving the driver to focus on the steering. Another nice feature: The Q8 displays the inclination and roll angles on the infotainment screen. During our time on the off-road track, we saw roll angles of up to 21 degrees.

The Q8 is Audi’s version of a premium four-door coupe-like SUV. Even though it looks more like a lifted hatchback, the Q8 is a looker on the road. The SUV’s 22-inch rims—the biggest standard rims on an Audi model—along with the muscular wheel arches, give the Q8 a lean look. From the back, the taillights connect via a black panel that’s easy to distinguish from afar. “We wanted to create a completely new car that would stand out from our Audi range,” said lead exterior designer Sascha Heyde. Adding to that, the new octagonal front grille with its vertical chrome struts gives the Q8 a more aggressive look in contrast with other Q models.

The Q8 rides on the MLB platform shared with the Q7, but Audi’s flagship SUV is shorter, lower, and wider. There’s great visibility from the driver’s seat—even to the back, where the rear windshield drops dramatically to create the coupelike look Audi was aiming for. The cabin is remarkably quiet thanks to a double-layer windshield and acoustic windows, and all of the occupants will enjoy the Q8’s spaciousness. This 6-foot journalist had plenty of legroom in the second row when the driver’s seat was set to my driving position, and there’s plenty of headroom and shoulder room. Another plus, the second row folds in a 40/20/40 configuration and slides both forward and backward, increasing the space for legroom or cargo room. Two adults can ride comfortably in the back, with a third passenger in the middle straddling a notable drivetrain hump. One thing we hope to see in the future is more USB ports, as there are only two in the center console; backseat passengers get two 12V ports.

Regardless of how many people ride in the second row, every occupant will enjoy the technology and the cabin’s clean design. Step into the sleek interior, and you’ll notice the simple, elegant lines. What appear to be black panels on the center console light up when the Q8 powers on—they’re actually two touchscreens. Just like in the new A6, A7, and A8, the lower screen displays the HVAC controls and can also be used as a writing surface for the navigation system. When you touch an icon on either display, you’ll feel a smooth vibration, confirming that you’ve actually touched a button, which is useful when you’re driving. Once it gets dark, the slim ambient lighting illumination along the door panels, center console, and dash are a treat for every occupant.

Instead of saying a command while using Audi’s new voice control, you can simply talk as if you were having a conversation. For example, if the temperature is too cold, you simply press the voice control button on the steering wheel and say, “It’s getting chilly.” The system will ask you what temperature you want the A/C at, and once you respond, will change it for you. The system can also suggest restaurants when you say, “I’m hungry,” and works like this for other commands, as well. I tried it with a few different commands and, even with my strong Spanish accent, the system worked flawlessly.

While the Atacama Desert might be known for its breathtaking landscapes and difficult terrains, the Audi Q8 proved to be the right chariot to take on the adventure. With its superior ground clearance, useful technology, and decent power, Audi’s flagship SUV is a sporty model that enjoys being outdoors. And with a look that’s different from the rest of Audi’s lineup and its competition, it offers buyers a new alternative that’s attractive and dynamic.

The post 2019 Audi Q8 First Drive: Facing Challenges appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Ram 1500 Classic Will Be Sold Alongside New Model

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 16:51

The next-generation Ram 1500 pickup went on sale earlier this year, but this doesn’t signal the end for the old model. The previous generation will soldier on as the Ram 1500 Classic, available in the fourth quarter of the year.

Buyers can choose from a wide selection of previous-gen models. The 1500 Classic is available in multiple cab configurations (Regular, Quad, and Crew) and bed sizes (8 feet; 6 feet 4 inches; and 5 feet 7 inches). There is also a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive and the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 or the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8. At a later date, the 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel will become available. Four trim levels are up for grabs: Tradesman, Express, Big Horn/Lone Star, and SSV. The model also wears “Classic” badging on the fenders.

By opting for the old model, customers won’t receive upgrades such as the revised eight-speed automatic, next-gen air suspension, and the new mild hybrid system that improves fuel economy. The new 2019 Ram 1500 also loses around 225 pounds from its predecessor thanks in part to a new frame made of 98 percent high-strength steel, improving rigidity for better handling.

Ram says the Classic is aimed at entry and commercial buyers. “As we launch the all-new 2019 Ram 1500, we didn’t want to walk away from a key part of the light-duty truck market,” said Ram boss Mike Manley in a recent statement.

The Classic will offer three new packages. Available on the Tradesman trim, Chrome Plus bundles together 17-inch wheels, chrome bumpers, a body-color upper front fascia, remote keyless entry, and carpet floor covering. Tradesman SXT brings chrome bumpers, a body-color front fascia, fog lamps, a 5-inch radio, 20-inch chrome wheels, and a dual exhaust on V-8 models. On the Express trim, there is a Black Accent package that includes black wheels, black headlight bezels, and black badges.

Pictured below is the all-new 2019 Ram 1500.

Source: FCA

The post 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Will Be Sold Alongside New Model appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Saudi Arabia finally lets women hit the road and drive

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 16:37
On Sunday, women finally took to Saudi Arabia’s roadways for the first time, marking a major step toward gender equality in the conservative middle eastern country. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the powerful royal described as both liberalizer and authoritarian, has been pushing a series of reforms to modernize the Arab state. It was...
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