Citing fuel-economy benefits, automakers push for 95 octane gas

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 00:43
Touting lower greenhouse gas emissions and higher fuel economy, Detroit's automakers want the U.S. to boost its octane. GM, Ford, and FCA are working with the U.S. Council for Automotive Research on a plan to switch from the three octane choices at most pumps to just one: 95 octane. Such a move would put the U.S. in line with Europe. Automotive...
Categories: Property

Ken Block Debuts His 1993 Ford Escort RS Cosworth Rally Car

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 00:00

Last year, Ken Block announced that he would no longer race full-time in the World RX rally series. But he’s not ready to retire from rallying completely, of course. The Gymkhana star will compete in four stage rally events this year, including his first World Rally Championship (WRC) stage since 2014. In the WRC Spain rally this October, Block will pilot a 2017 Fiesta RS WRC. But it’s the car he’ll be driving in the other events this year that has us most excited: a 1993 Ford Escort RS Cosworth.

Originally a European-market exclusive, the Ford Escort RS Cosworth, which was built as a homologation special so that it can qualify for Group A in the WRC. Under the hood of the Escort Cosworth was a 227-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four paired exclusively to a five-speed manual and putting power down to all four wheels. Between 1993 and 1998, the Escort Cosworth won eight events as a Group A racer and two as a WRC-spec car. It was later replaced by the Ford Focus WRC.


Block’s Escort will wear a special livery created by Death Spray Custom. The rally-prepped Escort Cosworth is completely road-legal but the lack of a muffler and catalytic converter meant the side-mounted exhaust had to go in favor of a rear-mounted one. Under the hood is a modified 2.0-liter turbo-four that’s good for about 350 hp paired to a seven-speed sequential gearbox, which is right on par with other cars in its group. The car also gets its own special wheels that look very similar to the once the production Escort Cosworth wore back in the ’90s. Block is no stranger to turning vintage cars into incredible racing machines. In 2015, he built an Escort MkII with 333 hp, and last year he raced his 1,400-hp Hoonicorn 2.0 1965 Ford Mustang coupe up Pikes Peak.

In addition to the WRC race, Block plans to compete in three U.S. stage rallies with the vintage racer, including this weekend’s Oregon Trail Rally, the New England Forest Rally in the summer, and the Idaho Rally International this fall. As for how he expects to place in each event, Block says that he’s competing against modern vehicles and that the experience is more important than actually winning. He’s also more interested in seeing how the Ford Escort Cosworth does against modern vehicles in stage rallying. We’re interested, too, so we’ll be following Block’s progress a little more closely this season.

Check out the video below.

Source: Hoonigan

The post Ken Block Debuts His 1993 Ford Escort RS Cosworth Rally Car appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Volkswagen Will Update its Logo

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 22:30

Right now, change is the strategy at Volkswagen Group. As it moves past dieselgate, the automaker plans to offer an electrified version of all 300 or so of its models by 2030. Leading the charge will be Herbert Diess, the company’s newly elected CEO. Now, we learn another part of the company’s revival, albeit a smaller part, will involve changing the logo of its namesake brand.

The Volkswagen brand will debut a new logo next year, reports Bloomberg. Jochen Sengpiehl, VW’s chief marketing officer, says the logo must help the brand appear more approachable. It must also signify the car’s technological innovations that will help VW command higher prices for vehicles in the future. In the coming months, advertising and communication agencies will pitch ideas for the new badge that will be key to shaping VW’s image in a new era of electromobility.

“The big challenge is: How do we get people into the electric world,” said Sengpiehl. “We want people to have fun with us. We need to get more colorful.” Sengpiehl also said, “the brand is not in good shape compared to previous years,” losing much of its emotional appeal by trying to be “too German.”

Volkswagen last changed its logo in 2012. But even after the update, it still looks quite similar to the one VW rolled out in 2000, just slightly more three-dimensional. Given that VW’s new EVs represent a significant departure in design from the current lineup, we wouldn’t be surprised if the change was a little more noticeable this time around.

Globally, VW will roll out an electric I.D. hatchback in 2020 followed by an electric SUV, modern interpretation of the microbus, and sedan. The automaker is also making a big push into autonomous driving, as it plans to introduce a fully driverless feature on its cars starting from 2025.

Source: Bloomberg

The post Volkswagen Will Update its Logo appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Spied! Ford Focus ST Prototype Caught Testing on the Nurburgring

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 19:30

When Ford revealed the new Focus earlier this month, we were happy to hear it will go on sale in the U.S. next year. It’s an attractive car, especially in hatchback form, and the interior looks like it will be a welcomed upgrade over the current generation. More importantly, that also means a redesigned Focus ST should be just around the corner. Ford hasn’t confirmed that yet, but based on these spy photos, the next Focus ST is already being developed.

Despite the wrap, this prototype is clearly a new Focus. The wing and dual exhaust, however, suggest we’re looking at something a little more special than the regular car. There’s always a chance Ford skipped right to developing the new RS, but the sporty-but-restrained styling says Focus ST to us. If so, that would mean Ford is dropping the ST’s center exhaust.

Information on the redesigned Focus ST is still scarce. In fact, Ford hasn’t even announced which engines the regular Focus will get yet. But according to AutoGuide, the Focus ST will be a 2020 model and will go on sale shortly after the non-ST version lands on dealer lots. Power will reportedly come from a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder that beats the outgoing 2.0-liter four in both horsepower and fuel economy. If the rumors are true, it will make 275 hp.

We haven’t heard either way, but hopefully, Ford will still offer a manual transmission. Let’s just cross our fingers the product planners don’t do what they did with the redesigned Fiesta ST and make it a European exclusive. We’re still a little bitter about that one.

Source: CarPix, AutoGuide

The post Spied! Ford Focus ST Prototype Caught Testing on the Nurburgring appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Jaguar F-Type

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 18:13
The 2019 Jaguar F-Type defines beauty without beastliness. This shapely two-door, available as a coupe or as a convertible, has an engine and a transmission for nearly everyone and it splits the line between sports car and touring coupe. We rate the F-Type lineup at 7.0 out of 10 points for its generous customizability, its solid driving dynamics...
Categories: Property

Henley launches €200m Irish JV

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 17:22
Henley has launched a €200m (£172.6m) joint venture in Dublin with Irish investment management company Bartra Capital Property Group.
Categories: Property

LRIS acquires £11m Academic House

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 17:18
Herne Hill Students has sold Academic House in south east London to clients represented by LRIS Investment Management for £10.7m.
Categories: Property

Mercedes-Maybach SUV Interior Previewed in New Sketch

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 17:15

Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it will debut a Maybach SUV concept at the Beijing auto show later this month. A teaser sketch reveals the model will feature a simplified dashboard layout with a large screen and copper-colored accents.

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury demonstrates “how the typical strengths of an exclusive high-end saloon and an SUV can be combined,” the automaker said in a statement. A previous teaser Mercedes released before revealing the identity of the vehicle showed off quilted leather seats, floral decor, and plenty of headroom in the rear.

Luxury at its finest. Coming soon.#MercedesBenz #MercedesMaybach #UltimateLuxury #MBcars #MBdesign #AutoChina

— Mercedes-Benz (@MercedesBenz) April 13, 2018

The Mercedes-Maybach SUV will sit on the same platform as the new GLS. According to Autocar, it will debut in production form at the Los Angeles auto show before going to market in 2019.

Also confirmed to debut in Beijing is the Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan. Like the hatch, it receives Mercedes’ new infotainment system that leverages artificial intelligence and augmented reality. The hatch also receives a head-up display, massaging seats, and other features that belie its status as an entry-level model, and the sedan could follow suit. It will likely also feature S-Class driver assistance features including adaptive cruise control, steering assist, and lane change assist functions as well as autonomous emergency braking and evasive steering assist that can help a driver avoid pedestrians. The model that will debut in Beijing is for China, but our own version of the A-Class sedan will make its way to the U.S. later this year.

The Beijing auto show begins April 25.

Source: Daimler

The post Mercedes-Maybach SUV Interior Previewed in New Sketch appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

PRS needs radical reform to cater for millennials facing lifetime of renting

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 16:38
The private rented sector must undergo radical reforms to make it fit for millennials who face a lifetime of renting, according to a report by Resolution Foundation.
Categories: Property

Sedans falling out of favor, Ram Rebel TRX on its way, Electric car fees: What’s New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 15:30
Slowing sedan demand forces GM to cut up to 1,500 jobs in Ohio It's a trend that shows no sign of slowing: consumers are ditching sedans in favor of crossover SUVs, and now it's affecting the workers who assemble sedans. Cadillac targets Lincoln, offers $10,000 discount on 2018 Escalade SUV Cadillac has put a price on loyalty: $10,000. That's the...
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Tesla turns to local machine shops to fix parts before they're installed on new cars

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 14:05
Struggling to meet production goals, Tesla is reportedly outsourcing repair of parts—brand new parts, that is—before they are installed on its electric cars. Just 30 minutes from Tesla’s main factory, a machine shop in San Jose, California, has racks stacked with Tesla parts waiting to be re-machined. MORE: Read our 2018 Tesla...
Categories: Property

West End & City investment slows on lack of stock

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 13:35
Commercial property investment volumes in the West End and City of London markets slowed in the first quarter of 2018 with the £1.37bn invested in the City across 20 transactions marking an 11% fall on the 10-year average.
Categories: Property

Squarestone secures Manchester business park for £21m

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 13:32
South African investment fund Squarestone Growth has acquired a business park near Manchester Airport for £20.5m from Barwood Capital and db symmetry, representing a net initial yield of 8.57%.
Categories: Property

Thor secures mixed-use Madrid asset for £75m

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 13:29
Thor Equities has exchanged on the £75m acquisition of a mixed-use asset on Madrid’s Gran Via from Angelo Gordon, Property Week can reveal.
Categories: Property

New head of UK operations among 50 promotions for Colliers

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 13:27
Colliers International has appointed Kate Morgan to the newly created role of UK head of operations with a remit to target opportunities for future planning and strategic growth.
Categories: Property

Record year for Glasgow office market fuelled by international investors

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 13:09
International investors pumped £300m into Glasgow’s office market last year as the city recorded its busiest 12 months for investment since the financial crash.
Categories: Property

First North West Cos comes to Liverpool ONE

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 12:28
Fashion brand Cos has signed to open a North West regional flagship store at Grosvenor Europe’s Liverpool ONE.
Categories: Property

Herts Living targets 500 homes with £2bn Morgan Sindall JV

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 11:46
Hertfordshire County Council’s recently formed property company has agreed a 50:50 joint venture with Morgan Sindall Investments with plans to create £2bn worth of residential schemes over the next 15 years.
Categories: Property

Abercrombie & Fitch to make UK regional debut

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 11:10
US casualwear brand Abercrombie & Fitch will open its second UK store at intu Trafford Centre in Manchester.
Categories: Property

PGI completes Internos acquisition

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 09:06
Principal Global Investors (PGI) has completed its acquisition of Internos Global Investors, the UK-headquartered pan-European real estate investment manager.
Categories: Property