China’s GAC Preps to Enter U.S. Market in 2019

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 20:15

Last year at the 2017 Detroit auto show, we learned that China’s GAC Motor was serious about its plans to break into the U.S. market. The timeline wasn’t yet set in stone, but with plans to open an American R&D center that year, we had a feeling it wouldn’t take long. Yesterday, we learned that GAC believes it can get here by 2019.

The Enverge electric crossover concept was supposed to be the attention-getter with its wildly futuristic styling, a promised 370-mile range from a 71-kWh battery, wireless charging, butterfly doors, and no side windows. But the Enverge won’t be GAC’s first vehicle in the U.S. That will be the Trumpchi GS8, a three-row crossover SUV.

When the GS8 goes on sale for the 2020 model year, however, don’t expect it to look like the GS8 that GAC had on the show floor. The version we’ll get will be a completely redesigned next-generation GS8 that GAC says will appeal more to American buyers’ tastes. Specs are still undecided at the moment, but we have been told that the 201-hp four-cylinder will be replaced something more powerful. GAC says price points and market positioning are also still undecided.

If past rumors prove true, GAC will partner with Fiat Chrysler to begin selling the GS8, giving it access to a much larger dealer network than it could build on its own in a few years. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is apparently ready to assist, telling journalists in Detroit, “We are talking to [GAC] about how and if we can help if they come to the U.S.,” The New York Times reports. Once it’s established here, GAC says it plans to slowly add new models to its U.S. lineup. But like the GS8, they’ll all get a redesign before showing up on dealer lots.

But while the current lineup won’t make it to the U.S., the fact that GAC brought quite a few cars to the show did give us the opportunity to get a feel for things like material quality and interior fit and finish. Those things may or may not change after the redesign, but overall, it was a mixed bag.

Panel gaps, for example, weren’t all bad, but some were pretty awful. Some of the buttons and knobs felt solid and well-built, but other switchgear felt cheap and flimsy. With the trim pieces, it was the same story. The plastic “open-pore wood” on what was supposed to be a nicer car felt awful, but some of the aluminum-looking pieces were much higher quality.

Perhaps the most noticeable issue, though, was the sharp contrast between some of the premium materials GAC used as inserts and the hard, cheap plastic right next to them. Some of the quilted leather and faux suede felt pretty nice, especially for a non-luxury car, but the material right next to those pieces was usually bargain-bin plastic.

At the same time, with so much still undecided, it’s hard to be too critical. Yes, the designs are derivative at best, and material quality is inconsistent, but we don’t know how the redesigns will change all of that. Without a big improvement, though, even ultra-cheap prices might not be enough to attract American buyers.

The post China’s GAC Preps to Enter U.S. Market in 2019 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Volkswagen Jetta Not Coming to Europe

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 19:00

For those of you in Europe looking forward to getting a 2019 Volkswagen Jetta, you’re out of luck. VW says there are no plans to offer the new compact sedan in the European market since it has been developed with the North American market in mind. Mexico will be the first market to receive the 2019 Jetta when it goes on sale there in the first quarter of 2018. In the second quarter, the car will launch in the U.S.

During a round table discussion back in October 2017, Volkswagen North America CEO Hinrich Woebcken hinted that the 2019 Jetta was specifically for the North American market. Production will remain at the automaker’s Puebla, Mexico, assembly plant after the automaker spent a good chunk of money to retool it so it can produce MQB-based vehicles. A performance-oriented GLI model is expected to return sometime withing the year, as well. At that same round table last year, Woebcken also confirmed that a new Passat midsize sedan will arrive in 2019.

Now based on the excellent MQB platform, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is slightly larger than its predecessor. It is now available with features like ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit system. The Chinese market will also get the Jetta’s sister vehicle called the Sagitar later in the year.

Under the hood is a carryover 1.4-liter turbo-four with 148 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. It can be paired to a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. At launch the 2019 Jetta will get four trim levels, S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium.

Source: Volkswagen

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Categories: Property

Lavanda teams with Hunters to start ‘super short-term’ lettings service

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 18:23
Proptech firm Lavanda has formed a partnership with UK estate agent Hunters that will enable users of the platform to manage rentals with a minimum stay of two nights.
Categories: Property

Former HSBC head of real estate finance comes to Cloudscraper as CFO

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 18:22
Proptech firm Cloudscraper has appointed former HSBC global head of real estate finance Matthew Webster as its new CFO, stepping out of its ‘stealth’ period.
Categories: Property

Current BMW i3, i8 May be the Last

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 18:00

BMW may have ushered in a new era of electrification with the i3 and i8, but that doesn’t necessarily mean these vehicles will stick around for another generation. Speaking with Autocar, executives from the BMW i brand are still undecided on the long-term fate of the two cars it launched with.

“With new i3 and i8, I don’t know; for now, we don’t think about it,” said BMW i design boss Domagoj Dukec. “For i, there won’t always be an i3, then an i3 after–i is not a parallel universe of BMW.”

Dukec also compared the i8 to the short-lived M1 supercar. “The i8 could be the M1–it doesn’t have to always be a name at BMW. We always give an answer to what people and customers are requiring at that moment in time,” he said.

BMW i boss Robert Irlinger confirmed this approach. “We’re still deciding [about] the i8,” said the i boss. “We see a market for new kinds of sports cars. Whatever it’s called, or if it’s a new kind of sports car, is still in discussion.”

Future i cars will showcase technologies that the brand will introduce into its standard models. Similarly, these vehicles have also served a bigger purpose in the past. The i3 demonstrated BMW’s capability to produce a modern electric vehicle, and the i8 proved electric power can increase a vehicle’s performance.

To this end, BMW won’t offer an entire family of i cars spanning every segment. At a given time, the brand could have one or just a few i vehicles that reflect current demand.

BMW will launch the iX3 in 2020. This SUV is based on the standard X3 and will be the first of 11 new BMW electric vehicles to arrive by 2025. A production version of the BMW i Vision Dynamics concept is likely to come to life, possibly with the i5 badge.

In the future, BMW will use two platforms for its vehicles. Each will accommodate a regular internal combustion engine, plug-in hybrid setup, or fully electric powertrain. The automaker will also offer four sizes of electric motors with outputs of around 134, 255, 335, and 402 hp.

Source: Autocar

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Categories: Property

Property Partner to offer shares in commercial properties

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 17:57
Real estate crowdfunding platform Property Partner is to offer investors the opportunity to buy shares directly in commercial properties.
Categories: Property

Spaces brings coworking model to Edinburgh

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 17:52
IWG brand Spaces has let 29,707 sq ft of office space at the recently refurbished One Lochrin Square in Edinburgh for its first co-working hub in the city.
Categories: Property

Cars Under $35,000 at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 17:39

Although trucks dominated the 2018 Detroit auto show, affordable vehicles of all types filled the auto show floor. From the near-production prototypes and a compact crossover concept to new midsize trucks and funky hatchbacks, a number of cars and crossovers provided great variety to this year’s show.

Keep reading to learn about 2018 Detroit auto show debuts that will start below $35,000.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen’s bread and butter model, the Jetta sedan now offers cool features including a digital instrument cluster, an updated multimedia system with full smartphone integration, heated and ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and standard full LED headlights. Most models will come with a 1.4-liter turbo-four paired to a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. Expect a performance-focused Jetta GLI later in the year to cater to those who want a sportier daily-driver. Pricing will start below $20,000.

2019 Kia Forte

The 2019 Kia Forte is looking sexier and more aggressive than ever. Featuring a more coupe-like fastback silhouette, the 2019 Forte has more interior and trunk space than its predecessor. Its interior now has a minimalistic appearance and features an 8.0-inch touchscreen as standard. The 2019 Forte will be the first Kia to use the brand’s new CVT and with the 147-hp 2.0-liter I-4, is expected to get 35 mpg combined. Expect a hatch to follow suit and return with an available 201-hp turbo-four option along with a sportier suspension setup.

2019 Hyundai Veloster

The quirky Hyundai Veloster returns for a second generation, and this time all models receive independent suspension on all four corners. For now, the most potent version is the Veloster Turbo with its updated 1.6-liter turbo-four that now has an overboost function, 24-mm front and 19-mm rear stabilizer bars, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer performance tires (on the manual-transmission model). Should that not be enough, an even more potent N Performance model will be available with the same powertrain and chassis as the European market i30 N Performance, and with 275 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

2019 Honda Insight Prototype

Honda is hitting the reset button with the third-generation Insight, ditching the hatchback body style in favor of a traditional sedan. Powering the new Honda Insight will be a version of the two-motor hybrid system coupled to a 1.5-liter I-4 running on the Atkinson cycle. Expect the 2019 Insight to top 50 mpg combined and rival the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq when it comes to fuel economy. The production version of the Honda Insight Prototype should start at around $25,000 when it goes on sale later this year.

2019 Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger nameplate returns to North America ready to take on the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. Under the 2019 Ranger’s hood is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo-four paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which should make the Ranger competitive with its peers. Want to take your Ranger off-road? An FX4 Off-Road package adds a skid plate, off-road tires, off-road-tuned shocks and suspension, the Terrain Management system, and the Trail Control system to help you crawl over obstacles.

2019 Jeep Cherokee

No longer sporting the controversial Nissan Juke-like front fascia, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee gets a more conventional look. Under that more mainstream appearance is a host of new updates like the latest version of FCA’s UConnect infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a new 2.0-liter turbo-four option with 270 hp and 295 lb-ft. As with every Jeep, you’ll be able to get a trail-rated model in the form of the Cherokee Trailhawk, which should offer the best performance when the pavement ends.

2019 Mini Hardtop/Convertible

If you don’t look at its rear end, the refreshed 2019 Mini Hardtop and its sibling, the Convertible are nearly indistinguishable from the pre-refresh model. Like every other Mini model, the Hardtop and Convertible are highly customizable. The engine choices carry over, so you can pick between a 134-hp 1.5-liter turbo-three or a 2.0-liter turbo-four in two flavors paired to a standard six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.

2019 Ford Edge

The 2019 Ford Edge gets a new look and a new ST model that replaces the Sport model. Powered by a 335-hp 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6 coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Edge ST also adds a sport-tuned suspension to help you handle the corners and highly bolstered sport seats. All Edge models also get an available suite of active safety tech including evasive steering assist, lane centering, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning and pedestrian detection.

2018 Volkswagen Passat GT

Before the current-generation Passat gets redesigned, Volkswagen will offer the spicy Passat GT, which features sportier suspension tuning, lower ride height, and a sport exhaust. Under the hood is a 280-hp 3.6-liter V-6 coupled to a six-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission putting power down via the front wheels. The 2018 Passat GT is visually distinguished by its black roof, black side mirror covers, two-tone 19-inch alloy wheels, and red brake calipers. If you want one, you better act quickly because production of the Passat GT is limited.

2019 Toyota Avalon

Longer, wider, and lower than the car it replaces, the 2019 Toyota Avalon has been split into two distinctive variants, the comfort mind XLE and Limited, and the sporty XSE and Touring. Featuring a new iteration of Toyota’s Entune multimedia system, the 2019 Avalon is the first Toyota to feature Apple CarPlay integration and Alexa capability (though not Android Auto). Under the hood is an updated 3.5-liter V-6 paired to an eight-speed automatic or a fuel efficient hybrid system featuring Toyota’s new 2.5-liter I-4, an electric motor, and a compact battery positioned under the rear seats.

2019 Ram 1500

Although it is larger than the truck it replaces, the 2019 Ram 1500 is lighter and more aerodynamic. Perhaps the biggest news is the addition of a mild hybrid system with both the standard 3.6-liter V-6 and optional 5.7-liter V-8 that adds a smidge more horsepower and a generous serving of electrified torque. Inside, there’s an optional 19-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system and a massive 12.0-inch touchscreen for the latest version of FCA’s UConnect infotainment system. Like its predecessor, the 2019 Ram 1500 will also be offered in high-end luxury variants and the off-road-oriented Rebel.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Sporting a fresh exterior that’s aggressive in certain trims, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is lighter than the truck it replaces and will be offered with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel I-6, in addition to the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8 gas engines. The truck is up to 450 pounds lighter and will offer six engine and transmission combos. There will be eight models to choose from including the utilitarian WT model, the off-road-oriented Trail Boss, and the more luxurious High Country.

The post Cars Under $35,000 at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

LEO takes nearly 50,000 sq ft of prime London lettings

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 17:05
Serviced office provider London Executive Offices (LEO) has signed more than 46,000 sq ft of leases in prime central London.
Categories: Property

2018 Ford Mustang

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 15:31
The 2018 Ford Mustang is America’s muscle car. Available with four or eight cylinders, in coupe or convertible form, and boasting a track-ready Shelby model, this two-door, rear-drive icon saunters into 2018 with some mild style updates, new transmission and suspension features, a digital display. Left on the cutting-room floor: the...
Categories: Property

2019 Jeep Cherokee, Bullitt Mustang, Fisker EMotion: What’s New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 15:30
2019 Jeep Cherokee goes mainstream, turbocharged The 2019 Jeep Cherokee addresses its controversial design head on with an updated fascia and rear end that bring it more in line with its siblings, both big and small. Along with a new turbocharged engine, Jeep’s middle child should be better to drive and less polarizing to look at. 2019...
Categories: Property

2019 Jeep Cherokee preview

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 15:27
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee represents the first significant change to the popular compact crossover since its polarizing redesign in 2014. But alongside the more conservative looks, there's a new turbocharged engine and small interior refinements, all aimed at helping the Jeep climb higher—figuratively and literally. Style and Performance The...
Categories: Property

2019 Volkswagen Jetta video preview

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 14:38
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is here, and even if it doesn't look at that different from its predecessor, it's what's underneath that counts. And there are some major changes that make the 2019 Jetta ride and handle like the pint-size luxury sedan it once was. First, some inside baseball. The 2019 Jetta now rides on the same, sophisticated...
Categories: Property

2019 Infiniti QX50 Starts at $37,545

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 14:00

The 2019 Infiniti QX50 midsize crossover will start at $37,545 when it goes on sale this spring.

The model sits on a new platform and features a pioneering VC-Turbo engine that adjusts compression ratio to optimize efficiency and performance. This 2.0-liter turbo-four unit makes 268 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Also look for available ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous technology, which helps drivers steer, accelerate, and brake in a single lane in highway traffic. It also includes Direct Adaptive Steering, a steer-by-wire system that’s a first for a front-wheel-drive Infiniti.

With these updates, the starting price of the QX50 has gone up $1,900 compared to the previous model. After the base Pure model, Infiniti also offers Luxe and Essential trims, with the latter starting at $44,345. Opting for all-wheel drive adds $1,800 to any trim.

In addition to pricing information, Infiniti has announced a reservation rewards program for the QX50. Those who pre-order a QX50 will redeem gifts related to audio, home, and tech in three stages. The first tier of rewards became available when Infiniti received 4,000 reservations, and the second and third tiers will unlock at 8,000 and 12,000 reservations respectively. Customers are eligible to receive goodies if they reserve a QX50 by February 28 and buy or lease it by May 31.

Source: Infiniti

The post 2019 Infiniti QX50 Starts at $37,545 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Landbanking review to be led by Letwin

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:34
The government’s review of why hundreds of thousands of homes with planning permission have not been built has commenced with the appointment of an independent panel of experts.
Categories: Property

Gaps identified in Greater Manchester's brownfield registers

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:08
Greater Manchester local authorities that failed to identify enough brownfield land to meet their housing needs are reviewing underused green space and Green Belt sites.
Categories: Property

Metropolitan and Thames Valley announce partnership plans

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:03
Thames Valley Housing and Metropolitan have formed a partnership to increase their delivery of housing, improve services to the community and strengthen their financial positions.
Categories: Property

Chelsea FC to proceed with £1bn Stamford Bridge plans after injunction ruling

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:31
Chelsea Football Club has moved a step closer to starting its £1bn stadium redevelopment after Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council used a temporary planning loophole to overturn a High Court injunction.
Categories: Property

Buccleuch releases land for 52 acre affordable housing & school scheme in Kettering

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:20
Buccleuch Property has released land at its 52-acre development in Kettering to develop a care home, affordable housing, and a new primary school in deals worth £15m.
Categories: Property

Stenprop targets further growth after £13.5m aquisitions

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:12
Investment firm Stenprop has set its sights on further growth in the multi-let industrial sector after completing the aquisition of three assets.
Categories: Property