2017 BMW M2 Long-Term Update 6 Review: Grabbing Seventh Gear

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 18:25

This is will be the last update before the 2017 BMW M2’s long-term verdict. In the spirit of report card season, here’s a list of notes I’ve been keeping, some of which might not make it into the verdict.


  • Speed limit in nav screen” An Executive package feature displays the speed limit, but rather than in a corner of the navigation screen, it’s one of nine choices in the lower part of the instrument panel. Relatedly, a digital speedometer is another option in that display, but it’s rendered in a small, red font that makes it rather pointless.
  • Highway-only traffic flow” I love being able to see real-time highway traffic flow, but I don’t like to see all the surface streets’ traffic simultaneously. It makes it difficult to “see the highway for the streets.”
  • Volume knob by iDrive” Others have migrated their volume knobs to the console between the seats, adjacent to the infotainment controller. BMW?
  • Retain last drive mode” The M2 remembers where I left the heated seat level; why not preferred drive mode?
  • Rear cupholder” The carpool kids want a cupholder molded into the plastic tray between the rear two seats.


  • Shifter(s)” Many offer paddles and a manual mode on the shift lever. Only a few get their orientation/function right.
  • Steering wheel” I love the contour of the wheel, the obvious thumb rests, the intuitive operation of all the buttons, and two barrel wheels (especially to change radio stations). And of course I love the feel of the steering itself, which was only improved with a new set of Michelin PS4S tires.
  • Bendy lights” That’s what my daughter calls them. The adaptive automatic high-beam LED headlamps (also part of the Executive pack) do an excellent job pointing through corners in my curvy, non-streetlamp neighborhood.
  • Heated seats” Because who doesn’t like these on a chilly morning? They heat quickly, and the three levels are distinct.
  • 8 preset buttons” BMW’s allowance to program eight buttons with various functions is sublime, especially due to the sometimes-complexity of iDrive. For instance, I’ve programmed audio tone adjustment, check-oil level, and tire-pressure display with three of them.
More on our long-term BMW M2:

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Categories: Property

HRE targets £100m with second fund

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 18:11
Hillview Real Estate (HRE) has launched its second fund, Hillview Partners Property Fund II (HPPF II), targeting acquisitions in excess of £100m in the regional offices sector.
Categories: Property

The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is This Year’s Indy 500 Pace Car

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 18:00

After what felt like years of buildup, Chevrolet finally revealed the Corvette ZR1 in November of last year. With 755 hp on tap and an extreme aero package, the ZR1 has already set a lap record at Virginia International Raceway. Based on our first ride impressions, we have a feeling that won’t be the last record it breaks. Next month, at the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500, the ZR1 will also hit the track as the race’s official pace car.

This will be the 15th time a Corvette has been the Indy 500’s pace car and the 29th time a Chevy has had the honor. Last year, a Corvette Grand Sport paced the race. The bowtie brand’s history supplying pace cars for the race dates back to 1948 when a Fleetmaster Six convertible led the pack. However, it wasn’t until 1978 that a Corvette was first used.

“Chevrolet is proud to once again pace the Indianapolis 500,” said Steve Majoros, head of marketing for cars and crossovers, in a statement. “The ZR1 is the most powerful and fastest Corvette ever made. It’s the perfect choice to pace ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’”

The automaker is also proud to point out that one of its founders, Arthur Chevrolet, competed in the first 500-mile race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1911. A few years later, Gaston Chevrolet won the 1920 race.

This year, the Indy 500 takes place on Sunday, May 27, with coverage beginning at 11 am Eastern.

Source: Chevrolet

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Categories: Property

Barnard Marcus sales slip in April auction

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 17:22
Barnard Marcus raised almost £9m less than last year at its 16 April auction. The auction house sold 112 of the 190 lots offered, reflecting a 59% success rate and raising £20m.
Categories: Property

Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Still Two Years From Showrooms

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 17:00

Speed is not of the essence when it comes to the Hyundai Santa Cruz crossover pickup.

The lifestyle truck will not go into production this year or next year, confirmed Brian Smith, chief operating officer of Hyundai Motor America.

“We love it,” he said of the four-door Santa Cruz that seats five and would be based on the Tucson compact crossover. “We talk about it a lot.”

The Santa Cruz is targeted at car and crossover buyers who want a car-like ride and fuel efficiency but like the added utility of having a pickup bed.

But getting it from concept to showroom is proving painfully slow, and the automaker is missing heady days for truck and SUV sales in North America.

Hyundai showed a concept of the “crossover truck” at the 2015 North American International Auto Show and it garnered enough positive feedback to act on. Then-CEO Dave Zuchowski pushed hard for it to be added to the brand’s car-heavy portfolio, and in late 2016 the decision had been made to greenlight the project to arrive in 2018 as a 2019 model. An announcement was coming soon, Zuchowski said.

Then things fell apart. Its champion was lost and the plan stalled. Ironically it was Hyundai’s preponderance of cars, which dragged down Hyundai sales in the U.S. which led to Zuchowski being replaced as CEO.

It took until 2017 to confirm the board had given its approval to proceed. And now we are looking at 2020 to see it in showrooms.

“We have a lot of product development going on,” said Smith. “We need to prioritize.”

We don’t have any updates on how the look has evolved since the 2015 concept nor do we expect the Santa Cruz to have the diesel engine that was in the concept –which was unveiled before the VW diesel emissions scandal was uncovered.

Meanwhile the Honda Ridgeline, now in its second generation after a two-year hiatus, is seeing sales down almost 30 percent through the first three months of the year. And similar past experiments such as the Subaru Brat and Baja remain defunct. At the New York show, Volkswagen unveiled the Atlas Tanoak concept, a truck built on the same MQB platform as the three-row Atlas crossover. Just as Hyundai did at the 2015 Detroit show, Volkswagen is testing the waters to see if there’d be enough interest in a pickup variant of the Atlas.

Hyundai’s early studies suggested the automaker could sell at least 50,000 units a year while other research suggested it could be as high as 70,000, a figure that Zuchowski said was viable at the time.

Regular body-on-frame compact pickups have seen a resurgence in the U.S., spurred by GM’s Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Ford is bringing the Ranger back to the U.S. market and FCA has a Jeep Wrangler pickup in the pipeline.

At the 2018 New York auto show, Hyundai executives confirmed plans for eight new or updated SUVs by 2020 including the fourth-generation Santa Fe midsize crossover that goes on sale this summer alongside the stretched three-row Santa Fe XL. The Kona, including an electric version, is a new nameplate for the crossover lineup and a redesigned Tucson is expected in 2020.



The post Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Still Two Years From Showrooms appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

House of Fraser brings in advisers for restructuring plan

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 16:59
Department store chain House of Fraser has brought in advisers at KPMG to advise on a restructuring plan, including a potential Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
Categories: Property

Ford F-150 diesel, Jaguar XE and XF 300 Sport, Fast charging stations for electric cars: What’s New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 16:09
2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel rated at 30 mpg highway, with a big catch A new turbodiesel V-6 gives the rear-wheel drive 2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel fuel economy akin to a mid-size sedan, but the four-wheel drive version is much thirstier. Congress likely to repeal consumer protection regulation for auto loans An Obama-era regulation...
Categories: Property

US investor makes UK debut with King William St buy

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 14:00
Beltane Asset Management and Angelo Gordon have exchanged contracts for the sale of 24 King William Street to an American investor client of Ella Valley Capital in an off-market transaction, Property Week can reveal.
Categories: Property

Berry becomes new CBRE senior director with focus on Asian investors

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 13:54
CBRE Global Investors has appointed Justin Berry as its new senior director for EMEA separate accounts with a remit to build pan-European real estate portfolios for Asian institutional clients.
Categories: Property

Labour proposes £4bn a year for affordable homes

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 13:32
Labour has unveiled its housing proposals to build a million “genuinely affordable” homes over a decade should they come into power.
Categories: Property

Labour propose £4bn a year for affordable homes

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 13:32
Labour has unveiled its housing proposals to build a million “genuinely affordable” homes over a decade should they come into power.
Categories: Property

TH Real Estate acquires EDGE assets to launch €1bn partnership

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 13:14
TH Real Estate’s Cityhold Office Partnership (CHOP) has acquired a duo of assets from EDGE Technologies to seed a strategic partnership with the technology-led developer targeting €1bn (£870m) growth in the next three years.
Categories: Property

Greystar in discussions to buy £1bn Inhabit BTR sites

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:43
Build-to-rent giant Greystar is in talks to buy a portfolio of sites that could accommodate around 3,500 apartments from developer Inhabit.
Categories: Property

Double green light for Harworth to deliver more Midlands homes

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:29
Regeneration specialist Harworth Group has secured outline planning consents to build 485 extra homes across two schemes at at Bilsthorpe in Nottinghamshire and Market Warsop in Mansfield.
Categories: Property

Munroe scores as Perform picks Optim for new HQ

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:24
Global sports media company Perform Media has agreed terms on a 15-year lease to fully occupy Munroe K’s 40,000 sq ft Optim building in Leeds.
Categories: Property

Polestar 1 is Beijing-Bound After Arctic Circle Testing

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:00

After icy laps in the Swedish Lapland—the next stop for the Polestar 1 is Beijing. Volvo’s spin-off electric performance hybrid survived its first winter test drive in Northern Sweden and will make an upcoming appearance at Auto China 2018 next week.

The marque’s debut car was revealed to the media in Shanghai last year and it was also rolled out for the public at the Geneva motor show last month.

A Polestar 1 prototype survived a two-week winter test drive north of the Arctic Circle by test drivers and engineers in temperatures as low as -18 degrees Fahrenheit, we are told.

The sporty performance coupe features a four-cylinder engine and two rear electric motors that produce a combined total of 600 hp and 758 lb-ft of torque.

It can do 93 miles on battery power alone when running in pure electric mode. During its frigid winter test out on the ice, Polestar says the drivetrain and batteries were tested under close scrutiny.

“Our test drivers have given us some enthusiastic feedback on the handling and dynamics especially,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath, in a statement. “Besides being very happy with the balance of the chassis, they are particularly excited about the torque vectoring. We are now very confident about how this enhances the Polestar 1’s cornering responsiveness and accuracy. This is a driver’s car.”

The company states that prototype testing will continue throughout the year and Polestar 1 is expected to start production in mid-2019. Auto China 2018 runs from April 25 to May 4.

Source: Polestar

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Categories: Property

Davies Group signs deal for Stoke’s Smithfield

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:41
Operations and digital solutions business Davies Group has completed a 40,000 sq ft letting at No.2 Smithfield in Stoke-on-Trent, which is owned by Stoke City Council.
Categories: Property

TRIUVA takes Dublin's Treasury building

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:10
Patrizia-owned TRIUVA has acquired the fully-let No.1 Dublin Landings office building on behalf of a separate account mandate for a German pension fund
Categories: Property

Stanhope hires Blackstone’s Grant as managing director

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:00
Stuart Grant will take up the newly created position in September after an 18-year career at Blackstone.
Categories: Property

2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid First Test: Flagship Charting its Way

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 09:00

The Acura RLX probably isn’t the first, second, or third car that comes to mind when you think of midsize luxury sedans. How do you boost the relevancy of a sedan with few buyers in a segment with slow sales? You give it a bolder look and drop the price.

If this was the strategy, it might just be working. After slipping in the sales charts every year since its debut in 2013, the RLX is now on the upswing. First-quarter sales this year jumped 58 percent from 2017. Acura sold 463 copies of its midsize sedan, still well below the 10,000+ sales BMW garnered for its 5 Series.

A 2018 refresh brings a polarizing new design. I noticed it draws attention, but it’s overwhelming to the eyes if you look at it too long. Like other new vehicles in Acura’s stable, it has a diamond pentagon grille with an enormous badge in the middle. New headlights, a redesigned hood, restyled LED taillights, a gloss black rear diffuser, and exposed dual exhaust finishers are just some of the other updates to the exterior. To simplify the lineup, Acura is offering only two trim levels, one for each powertrain option: the all-gas RLX and the RLX Sport Hybrid. The hybrid model made up 13 percent of total RLX sales before the refresh, but Acura says that figure is up to more than 40 percent now.

We recently tested the Sport Hybrid, which uses a 3.5-liter V-6 paired to three electric motors for a total system output of 377 hp and 341 lb-ft of torque. The powertrain carries over from the 2017 model year, backed by a familiar seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. In Motor Trend tests, the sedan hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.

“I really like the power delivery on this thing,” associate road test editor Erick Ayapana said. “It’s smooth and linear, and it feels quicker than its acceleration numbers suggest.”

The Acura’s time matched a 335-hp 2017 BMW 540i we previously tested. In the figure eight, the RLX Sport Hybrid fell short of the BMW’s time of 25.7 seconds at an average of 0.73 g, clocking 26.9 seconds at an average of 0.67 g.

Perhaps a more direct competitor is the Lexus GS 450h, given it’s a fellow hybrid. Making 338 hp, the Lex took 6.0 seconds to reach 60 mph, yet it managed a superior figure-eight time of 26.3 seconds at an average of 0.70 g.

“I did feel the AWD doing a nice job of shuffling the power around on the skidpad where normally I’d be adjusting my line with the steering wheel,” road test editor Chris Walton noted of the RLX during testing. “There’s not a lot of grip from the tires, however.”

On the road, the RLX doesn’t feel floppy like many other large sedans. Instead, you’re able to steer the car precisely to where you want it to go. It benefits from Acura’s torque-vectoring Super Handling-All Wheel Drive, which doles out power as needed between the front and rear wheels as well as the individual back wheels. That said, this 4,341-pound sedan feels pretty heavy at low speeds, and steering requires a bit more muscle than usual.

Unlike many hybrids, this RLX benefits from sharp, not deflated, brakes, although they are perhaps a bit oversensitive. Our test team also praised the RLX for its reasonable body control under hard braking.

The RLX Sport Hybrid boasts better EPA fuel economy figures than the most efficient BMW 540i (21/30/24 mpg city/highway/combined), but it doesn’t perform as well as the Lexus GS 450h (29/34/31 mpg). The Acura’s 28/29/28 mpg rating from the EPA matches pretty closely with our Real MPG tests, which came in at 26.4/29.3/27.8 mpg.

The cabin remains relatively insulated from wind and road noise while cruising on the highway, although it’s not the quietest luxury sedan we’ve encountered. Plush materials encompass you once you’re inside, but all that fine leather is surrounded by old technology. One week with Acura’s infotainment system will have you eyeing the system on the Honda Accord. The two-screen setup is cumbersome and eats up free space on the center stack. Old graphics on the top navigation screen reduces its appeal, and the bottom screen is slow to respond to touch. Also, you won’t find Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on this sedan.

Despite its Acura badge, but don’t be fooled—this sedan is priced up there with competitors from BMW and Lexus. At $63,265, our tester was admittedly fully loaded with standard 12-way power front seats, a power moonroof, a head-up display, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, a 14-speaker Krell audio system, a surround-view camera, a heated steering wheel, and navigation. Many of these features are offered on the standard Advance package. Standard safety features include adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, collision mitigation braking, lane keeping assist, and a new traffic jam assist feature that helps drivers keep centered in their lane and at a set distance from the vehicle in front. The only extra feature on our tester was a premium $400 red paint job. For the new model year, Acura lowered the price on the Sport Hybrid by $4,050 compared to the outgoing model with the Advance package. The automaker previously offered a less expensive, lower-contented RLX Sport Hybrid with the Technology package, but it had a take rate of just 1 percent.

The RLX is Acura’s lowest-selling model shy of the NSX supercar. Acura sells way more MDX and RDX crossovers, but the RLX holds its own as a spacious flagship and unlikely cruise missile with solid cornering abilities. That said, the refresh fails to address the model’s aging technology and “large barge” feeling.

2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD BASE PRICE $62,865 PRICE AS TESTED $63,265 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan ENGINE 3.5L/310-hp/273-lb-ft SOHC 24-valve V-6 plus 47-hp/109-lb-ft front elec motor; 377 hp/341 lb-ft comb TRANSMISSION 7-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,341 lb (57/43%) WHEELBASE 112.2 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 198.1 x 74.4 x 57.7 in 0-60 MPH 4.9 sec QUARTER MILE 13.6 sec @ 101.4 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 120 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.85 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.9 sec @ 0.67 g (avg) REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 26.4/29.3/27.8 mpg EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 28/29/28 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 120/116 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.68 lb/mile

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Categories: Property