Impact secures £50m credit line

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:42
Impact Healthcare REIT has agreed a £50m five-year loan facility with Metro Bank.
Categories: Property

Singapore group buys AXA’s Ropemaker for £650m

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:06
AXA Investment Managers-Real Assets has sold Ropemaker Place, in the City of London, to a subsidiary of Singapore’s Ho Bee Land for £650m.
Categories: Property

A New Ford Concept Helps Blind People “Look” Out the Window – Technologue

Motortrend News Feed - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 09:00

My own love of travel incubated in the back seat of a 1969 Chevy Townsman wagon, as it racked up 170,000 miles performing numerous Homeric crisscrossings of the United States. In an era before rear-seat video, onboard Wi-Fi, and smart devices, my sisters and I mostly looked out the windows. We drank in the amber waves of grain, purple mountain majesties, and endless fruited plains for hours at a time.

I shudder to imagine how tedious and cruel such slogs would have seemed had any of us been blind. But Ford just unveiled a concept that promises to help blind passengers enjoy the passing scenery as well.

Dubbed “Feel the View,” this emerging technology springs from a tiny corner of the Blue Oval empire: Ford of Italy, ad agency GTB Roma, and an Italian tech startup called the Aedo Project. Aedo was recently founded by a couple of professors from the University of San Marino to develop devices that assist visually impaired people, especially children.

The initial prototype for Feel the View is a clear 9.8-inch-square touchscreen that sticks to the vehicle’s side window without obscuring the view of sighted passengers. Along the top of the screen is a control panel that incorporates a camera. To “see” what’s out the window, the user presses a button to snap an image of the passing scenery. The device pixelates this image and converts it to grayscale. This image is then reproduced on the clear touch screen by means of vibrating individual pixels comprising the image. The tiny vibrators can generate 255 discernable levels of intensity representing as many shades of gray. The darkest blacks give the strongest vibration; pure white is completely still.

The device integrates with the vehicle’s Wi-Fi internet connection and audio system to provide the user with added context for interpreting the image (the device only renders still images, not moving video). The photograph is sent to the cloud, where artificial intelligence interprets the many various elements in the scene. Then as the user’s fingers pass over various features in the image the audio system describes the image in basic terms, like “snowy mountain” or “tree.”

According to Ford Italia spokesperson Marco Alù Saffi, patents are still being filed for this emerging technology, so the parties are not yet ready to share the specifics of how Feel the View is generating those vibrations. We do know that light-emitting diodes incorporated into the screen provide proximity sensing that activates the vibration generators in only those areas of the screen that are being touched.

This certainly isn’t the first attempt at rendering graphic images on a tactile display. Disney Research developed TeslaTouch (no relation to Elon Musk’s automaker), using an “electrovibration” technology that simulates texture as a finger passes over a screen’s surface via tiny discharges of electrostatic energy. Nothing actually moves, and a stationary finger wouldn’t feel much, so this isn’t likely to be Ford’s approach. Apple has patented a haptic touch pad (indicating potential use in future CarPlay applications) that locally deforms areas of the screen by forcing fluid out through a grid of tiny orifices just beneath the surface. “Bubble displays” like this tend to be on or off, black or white. They’re great for temporarily defining buttons or ridges or producing temporary Braille text (as Bitlab’s Android-based tablet does), but such fluid bubbles aren’t going to be able to oscillate fast enough to produce 255 frequencies of vibration.

If I were setting out to design such a gizmo, I’d probably try to make piezoelectric nanostructures do my vibrating work. Of course, if I were blind, I wouldn’t give a rip how it worked, I’d just be eager to try any new two-dimensional haptic display promising this many “shades of gray” after so many years of haptic black and white.

Read more by Frank Markus here:

The post A New Ford Concept Helps Blind People “Look” Out the Window – Technologue appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Kia Niro hybrid earns Top Safety Pick+ award

The Car Connection News Feed - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 12:00
The IIHS said last week that the 2018 Kia Niro is among the safest cars it has tested, at least when equipped with optional active-safety gear and headlights. The insurance industry-funded crash-testers found that the Niro and Niro Plug-In Hybrid both have a strong safety structure and they hold occupants in place well during a crash. Importantly...
Categories: Property

2017 Mazda CX-5 Long-Term Update 5: Road Trip to Utah

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 09:00

As my girlfriend and I loaded up the CX-5, which was already 10 months into our one-year loan with 25,000 miles on the odometer, I realized this was my first non-work-related road trip with the Mazda. We were headed to Utah to visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Monument Valley, which are all about 10 hours away from our Orange County home. We filled up all 30.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row with camping gear, firewood, food, drinks (and beer, duh), and snacks for the road and made sure our Spotify playlists were at the ready.

We hit the road just in time for L.A. traffic, which is any time of day, really. California State Route 91’s eastbound lanes were clogged, as usual, so I activated Mazda’s handy adaptive cruise control to ease the pain of sitting in traffic, a luxury I now look for in any new car I drive.  We eventually escaped traffic and cruised to our motel in St. George, Utah, but not without a stop in Las Vegas for some delicious hand-pulled noodles.

We started early the next day to make it in time to find a first come, first served campsite in Moab. Our campground was still 5 hours away—thank goodness for Utah’s 80-mph speed limits. The CX-5 was laden with stuff and inhaling thin air at an elevation of 6,000 feet, and its engine really struggled, especially on steeper grades. It downshifted to maintain 80 mph, and at times it got a bit scary to pass semis. On the upside, the CX-5’s quiet interior (16.3 sones average at 65 mph, according to a previous test) and thumping Bose sound system made the long drive bearable. And we made it just in time to snag the very last campsite. Phew. We unpacked and set up camp next to the Colorado River under the shade of red canyon walls and cracked open a celebratory beer.

We spent the next two days exploring the touristy sights of Arches, Canyonlands, and the quaint little town of Moab. But my favorite part was traversing down Shafer Trail in Canyonlands. It’s a narrow dirt road that connects to White Rim Road with sheer drops and tight switchbacks sans guardrails. It took a bit of convincing to get my girlfriend to agree to the drive because she doubted the CX-5 could manage. “No faith! We’re in an off-roading beast!” I sarcastically exclaimed. From what I read, we wouldn’t even really need four-wheel drive, though that didn’t stop passing Jeep drivers from throwing puzzled looks our way. Obviously, we didn’t die. The CX-5 felt surefooted the entire time, and its modest 7.6 inches of ground clearance was never an issue.

The next day we continued to our next campsite three hours away in Monument Valley, overlooking the iconic buttes jutting from the desert floor. We did more soft-roading on the Valley Drive, a 17-mile dirt road that passes through the beautiful Navajo Tribal Park. Hollywood should do some filming here. Oh, wait. We made it back to camp in time to watch the sunset over dinner and drinks, stargazed, and watched the Milky Way appear from behind the buttes. Tired, a little buzzed, and still amazed at the day’s sights, we headed to bed.

After watching the sunrise, we packed up and began the 10-hour drive home. The drive itself was pretty uneventful, but after a few hours I was reminded of how uncomfortable the CX-5’s seats are. I’m not a big guy—5-foot-8 and 160 pounds—but I feel like the seat bottom is too small and flat. Other than that, the CX-5 handled our 1,700-plus-mile road trip like a champ and averaged an indicated 26.3 mpg. That’s not the greatest mileage, but overall I’m still impressed with Mazda’s best-seller.

Read more about our long-term 2017 Mazda CX-5:

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Categories: Property

Special Ferrari 488 Pista Celebrates Racing Success

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 23:00

We recently drove the Ferrari 488 Pista, and it left us wanting more. After all, it’s the most powerful road-going V-8 ever built by the Prancing Horse. Now, the automaker is rolling out a “Piloti Ferrari” version, featuring the same performance with cosmetic updates. The special model is available exclusively for customers involved in Ferrari’s motorsports programs, and it celebrates the brand’s success in the FIA World Endurance Championship last year.

The “Piloti Ferrari” 488 Pista features stripes in the colors of the Italian flag. This detail points to the racing version of the 488 GTE. Other details include a laurel celebrating the WEC win, PRO badging to indicate the class the winning car raced in, a matte black S-Duct, and natural carbon fiber dovetail suspended rear spoiler and vent surrounds. Each customer will also be able to put their specific race number on the car. The vehicle pictured features the number “51,” honoring the car that won the WEC Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles last year. Buyers can choose between four exterior colors: Rosso Corsa, Blu Tour De France, Nero Daytona, and Argento Nürburgring.

Peek inside the cabin and you’ll find black Alcantara seats that also pay homage to the Italian flag. The number shown on the car’s exterior also appears on the base of the steering wheel. There is a unique identification plate and “Tailor Made” badging as well.

The Ferrari 488 Pista features a 3.9-liter twin-turbo V-8 that makes 710 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque. It has the best weight-to-power ratio of any road-going Ferrari, and it sheds around 200 pounds over the standard 488 GTB.

Source: Ferrari

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Categories: Property

Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 Kia K900

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 22:00

Kia still has a ways to go if it wants to make a name for itself in the luxury vehicle category. But the second-generation K900 is a step in that direction. It adopts a modern exterior and interior, even taking a few cues from the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But are the changes enough to make us desire the K900 over other luxury sedans?

The K900’s front face looks less generic than the old model. The new grille features a similar shape to the old one, but inside there is a new pattern that implies motion, and the individual cells inside the grille are concentrated in the center. They have been redesigned to resemble a water splash, in which ripples move away from the center of the impact. The K900 also features a new “duplex” headlamp design, reminiscent of the multi-tiered lighting elements on the headlamps of the S-Class. There are also new cut lines on the hood that suggest a more fluid look.

The 2019 Kia K900 is a bit longer and wider than its predecessor. A new thick chrome line runs across the side of the vehicle near the bottom portion of the doors. Is it garish or elegant? We’ll let you decide that one. From the side profile, you can also see the K900 has lost the decorative vent that was previously positioned between the front door and the hood. Keeping with the old model, the K900 still has flashy wheels and brightwork around the windows.

From the rear, we can really tell the K900 has been channeling the S-Class. The taillights are shaped similarly to those on the S-Class, and they have the same dual light elements as in the K900’s headlamps. More chrome has been added, right above the exhaust area. The old K900 looked like any regular mainstream car from the back, but this new model adds a lot more luxury to the rear.

Now onto the interior. It’s hard to argue the K900 hasn’t improved in this area. The K900 gets a new wraparound cabin design in which the trim on the side doors blends into the trim on the dashboard. A new 12.3-inch touchscreen is perched on the center stack, and the shifter is now smaller. A number of open pore matte wood choices are available, including Walnut, Beige Olive Ash, Brown Olive Ash, and Engineered Wood. For the new model year, Kia improved rear seat comfort with reclining capability, height-adjustable headrests, and available 12-way and 14-way adjusters for the driver side rear seat and passenger side rear seat, respectively. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is available.

Do you think the 2019 Kia K900 is refreshing or revolting? Let us know on Facebook.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 Kia K900 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe Delivers 523 HP

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 20:26

After a 20-year hiatus, the BMW 8 Series coupe is returning to the U.S. The range-topping two-door made its official debut today and will go on sale this fall.

BMW hinted at the new model’s appearance last year when it debuted the 8 Series concept. Unfortunately, the production version doesn’t look quite as sleek as that model, but BMW took the most important design themes to heart. The model features a low-slung body, large air intakes, and a bold front spoiler. The model brings along LED laser headlights, which are the slimmest headlights of any BMW model to date. The roof gets subtle double-bubble contouring inspired by classic race cars, and it also features conventional trapezoidal twin exhaust tailpipes. Twenty-inch M light alloy wheels finish off the look.

At launch, the model will be available in the M850i xDrive variant. Equipped with a revised 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, the comely coupe produces 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims it can hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, meaning it should be significantly quicker than a V-8-powered 7 Series. We tested a 7 Series with the 445-hp twin-turbo V-8 reaching 60 mph in 4.3 seconds.

The 8 Series utilizes an eight-speed automatic gearbox that has been enhanced with a wider gear ratio. This feature works in conjunction with an all-wheel-drive system that has a rear-wheel bias. Top speed is 155 mph.

The 8 Series comes in at a curb weight of 4,478 pounds, although BMW has made efforts to shed heft where it can. Many parts, including the doors and hood, are made of aluminum. To reduce weight, buyers can opt for a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic roof. Or they can splurge for the optional Carbon package, in which the rear spoiler, rear diffuser insert, air intake bars, and exterior mirror caps are made of CFRP.

Because it’s an M Performance model, although not a full M vehicle, the car boasts features befitting the title. Other than the M wheels, it gets an Adaptive M suspension and M Sport brakes.

Inside the cabin, you’ll find standard Merino Individual leather upholstery and folding rear seats. Other features include a standard head-up display, standard cruise control and optional stop and go functionality, standard parking assistant, standard gesture control, and standard ambient lighting.

Pricing information will be released closer to the model’s on-sale date this fall. Check out the full gallery below for a closer look at the 2019 BMW 8 Series.

The post 2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe Delivers 523 HP appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 BMW M850i xDrive brings back the '90s

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:30
The dream of the 1990s is alive in Munich. Thirty years after the original BMW 8-Series replaced the shark-nosed BMW 6-Series, the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive unveiled Friday at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France takes the place of the automaker's recently discontinued 6-Series coupe. The new 8-Series revives an historic nameplate, but it looks toward...
Categories: Property

Ford Eagle Squadron Mustang GT Honors Fighter Pilots in WWII

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:14

Ford has created a special Mustang to honor American fighter pilots who served in the Royal Air Force during World War II. The Eagle Squadron Mustang GT will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed before heading to the auction block.

The special Mustang GT features the Eagle Squadron emblem on the hood in addition to other unique details throughout the body. The three Eagle Squadrons consisted of American volunteer pilots who fought in the skies over northern Europe, including the British coast and France, before the U.S. entered the war.

Thanks to a Ford Performance supercharger, the bespoke Mustang GT delivers 700 hp from its 5.0-liter V-8. To further customize the vehicle, Ford partnered with world champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. and his company RTR Vehicles, giving the mustang a special RTR carbon fiber wide-body kit. The model also receives a Tactical Performance suspension package.

Gittin will pilot the Eagle Squadron Mustang GT at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K. on July 12. After this event, the muscle car will make its way to a fundraising fly-in event hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on July 26. Here, it will go up for auction, and all proceeds will support EAA’s youth education programs for the next generation of pilots. The highest bidder will also take home a plaque autographed by Gittin and members of Ford’s design team, as well as tickets for the upcoming Ford Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit.

“Supporting young pilots through the EAA charity auction reflects Ford’s aviation history, tracing back to the company’s early days and the Arsenal of Democracy during WWII,” said Darrell Behmer, Ford Mustang design chief, in a statement. “The Eagle Squadron Mustang GT build with Vaughn and the Ford design team is a great way to honor our heroes and keep the spirit of aviation alive for the next generation of American pilots.”

Ford has a history of introducing special edition vehicles with the EAA. Last year, Ford auctioned off a bespoke F-150 Raptor that paid tribute to the Lockheed F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft. Other bespoke creations include an Apollo Edition Mustang and the Mustang F-35 Lightning II Edition that was inspired by the Lockheed Martin F-25 Lightning II fighter jet.

Source: Ford

The post Ford Eagle Squadron Mustang GT Honors Fighter Pilots in WWII appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Jaguar I-Pace, Racing brakes, Ford's new taxis: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 15:30
2019 Jaguar I-Pace Review The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace marks a moment in time. When the first copies find a home in American garages this fall, the I-Pace will be the first real challenger to the Model S and Model X. And then, Tesla’s control over the future narrative of electric-car adoption will end. Volvo to invest in lidar company for its...
Categories: Property

New regional HQ for Metro Bank as TK Maxx takes space on Bristol's Broadstreet

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 13:05
Metro Bank and retailer TK Maxx have taken space with Hammerson on Broadstreet in Bristol’s shopping quarter.
Categories: Property

Learn these 8 basics about towing before hitching up

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 13:00
Summer is here, and that means it’s time to break out boats, jet skis, and four wheelers. Those fun machines won’t get to the lake or the trail on their own. GM says that its research indicates about three-quarters of all light-duty pickup owners actually put their trucks to work towing things. Of those, nearly a third tow more than...
Categories: Property

Sly hire from Berkeley sees L&G boosts housebuilding arm

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 12:59
Legal & General Capital has made a duo of key hires for its housebuilding arm, Legal & General Homes, including recruiting finance director Chris Sly from Berkeley Homes.
Categories: Property

Wynnstay Properties sees 12% rise in NAV per share

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 12:08
Wynnstay Properties has revealed double digit increases in both net asset value per share and profit before tax in its full-year results to 25 March.
Categories: Property

WeWork Property Advisors secures planning for two City redevelopments

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 11:25
WeWork Property Advisors, the joint venture set up by WeWork and Rhone Capital, has secured planning permission for the refurbishment and re-development of two offices in the City of London: 51 Eastcheap and 120 Moorgate.
Categories: Property

Central London office market sees 15% uplift in take-up

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 11:11
Office take-up in central London hit 1.3m sq ft in May, well above the 10-year average of 1m sq ft and taking the year-to-date total to 4.9m sq ft, 15% higher than at the same point in 2017.
Categories: Property

Dublin Landings office building hits market for €99m

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 11:03
Joint developers Ballymore and Oxley are set to offer their No. 2 Dublin Landings property to the market for €98.8m (£86.3m).
Categories: Property

CBRE GI secures industrial double from Hillwood

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 10:33
CBRE Global Investors has acquired two recently completed distribution centres in Germany in a portfolio forward purchase from US-based developer Hillwood.
Categories: Property

Samsung signs for 20,000 sq ft King’s Cross ‘playground’

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 10:15
Samsung is to open a “creative and digital playground” within the Kings Cross regeneration scheme after signing a deal with Argent to take a 20,000 sq ft space at Coal Drops Yard.
Categories: Property