Ford offers dealers $1,000 to find and fix Ranger pickups with Takata airbags

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 13:28
Ford is paying its dealerships to track down about 10,000 Ranger pickup trucks that the automaker and the NHTSA have told owners to stop driving until their faulty airbag components are replaced. Automotive News reported Wednesday that Ford will pay its dealers to locate and repair certain 2006 Ranger pickup trucks with Takata airbag sensors...
Categories: Property

Regional REIT makes Merrion Way sale to Unite Students

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 10:51
Regional REIT has exchanged on a deal to sell a development site in Leeds on a subject-to-planning basis to Unite Students for £12.2m.
Categories: Property

Atrium posts robust half-year figures

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 09:00
Atrium European Real Estate has posted a 3% rise in net rental income (NRI) for the first six months of 2018, sparking a 1.1% rise in earnings.
Categories: Property

Zorin passes £400m in lending following first student accommodation deal

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 08:52
Zorin Finance, the alternative property lending specialist, has passed the £400m milestone of loans funded.
Categories: Property

IWG share price continues to slide

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 08:26
IWG’s share price continued to slide on Tuesday falling 2.14% over the day to 233.4p.
Categories: Property

Bellway breaks 10,000 sales barrier as revenue leaps 16%

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 08:23
Housebuilder Bellway has broken through the 10,000 annual sales barrier for the first time.
Categories: Property

2019 Dodge Challenger: 5 Things to Know

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 05:01

The 2019 Dodge Challenger entices buyers with new, high-performance variants, but how much do you really know about the updated muscle car? Find out what connection this Dodge has with the new BMW M5, and discover what distinguishes the Charger Hellcat from the Challenger Hellcat below.

About that 203-mph Top Speed Claim…

If you’re dubious about the need for a 203-mph speed limiter (set just below the tires’ 205-mph safety limit), our computers suggest that even with the Widebody’s brick-like 0.384 drag coefficient and barn-like 29.96-square-foot frontal area, the total horsepower requirement at that speed should be about 650, which the Hellcat HO engine has covered at 5,500 rpm in seventh gear. That’s with the standard 2.62:1 axle—the optional 3.09:1 gearing complicates matters, as the engine redlines at 201 mph in seventh, and 203 mph equates to 5,150 rpm in eighth, which could pose a challenge. Naturally, the narrow-body Redeye (0.382/25.87) will win the race to 203 mph, as it only requires 565 hp at 203 mph, so it should easily hit its limiter with either axle ratio.

Nipping at Viper GTS

Perhaps largely because the racing is fun, the SRT team incorporates endurance racing at the slightly rough 2.0-mile, 13-turn Nelson Ledges track in Ohio. This past year the team’s pace in a Redeye Widebody was just 0.6 second off the pace of the 640-hp Viper GTS—a track-optimized coupe that’s 1,000 pounds lighter. Not surprisingly, the time was all made up on the straights.

M5 Shoes

Fun fact about the 305/35ZR20 Pirelli P Zero tires that go on all current Widebody Challengers: Dodge and SRT were developing the compound at the same time that BMW was developing a P Zero for the M5, and the two teams independently arrived at essentially the same compound.

Electric Power Steering Required

Hellcats once had hydraulic steering, but now only the Charger Hellcat SRT retains it. The Widebody tires and the large scrub radius that comes with them presented too many challenges for the hydraulic assist system, so all Challengers now get EPS. The SRT team tuned the EPS assist curve to work with the tires’ sidewall stiffness to minimize the otherwise huge nonlinearity that would be felt off center waiting for the sidewalls to settle into a curve. Heuschele freely admits that we are probably never going to feel the delightful little twitches and wiggles that once described minute variations in surface friction via the steering wheel rim with modern electric assist. On the plus side, he notes, we’re also being spared all the negative feedback that used to come through—the frequent need to correct for road crowns or side winds, feeling kickback on single-wheel bumps, etc. He reckons that drivers who are happy to be rid of those attributes vastly outnumber those who miss the friction feedback.

Future Auction-Value Optimization

It’s hard to look at today’s vast lineup of Challengers and not muse about putting one of these babies away for a few decades hoping it might turn into the 1971 Hemi ’Cuda four-speed convertible that hammered at $3.5 million at a Mecum auction in 2014. The Dodge folks are expecting the vast majority of Hellcat Redeye buyers to opt for the cooler-looking, higher-limit Widebody package. So for rarity, we recommend the Redeye standard body in a low-take color like F8 Green, maybe with orange calipers, Brass Monkey wheels, and the Black Satin Graphics package. Make it fast by specifying the 3.09:1 axle, the rear seat delete package, and no convenience/luxury options (remember, you’re socking it away, not driving it). Oh, and to guarantee uniqueness, order the block heater.

The post 2019 Dodge Challenger: 5 Things to Know appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 392 and Hellcat Redeye Review: Muscle Mass

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 05:01

There’s a purity of purpose and a refreshing honesty about the Dodge Challenger that is further enhanced by the features that define these latest model variants. While Chevy put the Camaro on a diet and sharpened its agility with 1LE Nurburgring-tuned handling packages and Ford developed track-rat Performance Packages 1 and 2 for its Mustang and has a Shelby GT500 in the works, Dodge is lowering the lap times of its big, hulking Challenger the Gold’s Gym way—by adding even more muscle and making the widest, heaviest pony car wider and heavier.

The new R/T Scat Pack 392 Widebody’s regimen worked the muscles that get the car through the turns; the new Hellcat Redeye trained the muscle groups responsible for sprinting between the corners. As we noted in our First Look, the Redeye basically gets a Demon engine breathing through a more restrictive twin-nostril hood. This trims horsepower to 797 at 6,300 rpm and torque to 707 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm. (The Demon’s giant-mail-slot hood permitted too much lift at speeds above its 168-mph limiter; Hellcat Redeyes are allowed to probe the safe limits of the tires, so they get a 203-mph limiter.) The Hellcat Redeye Widebody adds much of the Scat Pack Widebody’s corner-carving capability.

Yes, these models have trained extensively on handling circuits. No, they are not claiming to outrun a Camaro SS or ZL1 1LE or a Mustang GT Perf Pack 2, Shelby GT350, or a future GT500. Rather, these new Challengers remain unapologetically large and comfy GT cruisers with roomy back seats and spacious trunks. But they are without a doubt the most track-capable Challengers to date, and each is a hoot to hoon around a track. Especially the Scat Pack Widebody.

“This started out as a project to just put the Widebody package on the Scat Pack, but then we thought, ‘Why don’t we try to go a bit further,’” explains SRT vehicle dynamics chief Erich Heuschele. His team ended up with a completely new spring/damping/roll-stiffness setup. At 359 lb/in, these are the stiffest front springs on any Challenger, up from 313 on the Hellcats and 284 on the base Scat Pack. Its rear springs are shared with the Hellcats. The anti-roll bars are stiffened by increasing their diameters from 32 to 34mm in front and from 19 to 22 in back relative to base Scat Packs. These hollow bars are now the same diameter as the Hellcat’s solid ones. New Bilstein three-mode adjustable shocks are borrowed from the Hellcats but are uniquely tuned to match this spring/bar setup, the weight of the lighter naturally aspirated engine, and to work with the big 305/35ZR20 Pirelli P Zero three-season (or P Zero Nero all-season) tires. Note that by contrast, the Redeye Widebody is just a Widebody package on a Redeye with no fundamental tuning changes.

Ticking the box for the Widebody option adds $6,000 to a Scat Pack, a Hellcat, or a Hellcat Redeye—each of which comes standard with the slimmer look. It includes the aforementioned tires wrapping forged 11.0 x 20-inch Devil’s Rims wheels and a unique wider front splitter that connects to the obvious fender flares needed to envelop these steamrollers. On Scat Packs it also includes the custom-tuned adaptive-damping suspension outlined above plus the Hellcat’s 15.4-inch vented and slotted front brakes and six-piston calipers and the dedicated ductwork to cool them—an upgrade from the Scat Pack’s 14.2-inch four-piston Brembo setup (in back all Scat Packs and Hellcats get 13.8-inch vented/slotted discs and four-piston calipers).

Dodge’s internal testing suggests the Scat Pack Widebody’s skidpad grip improves from 0.93 to 0.97 g, that the six-piston Brembo front brakes help shorten stops from 60 mph by 3 feet (now 108 ft), and that improved traction even trims 0.2 second from the quarter-mile time. Heuschele’s proud of the fact that the wide Scat Pack can match the lap time of the original 707-hp Hellcat on the 2.14-mile GingerMan Raceway circuit. That’s a testament to the Scat Pack’s swiftness through the track’s 11 turns, given its 222-horse power deficit on two straights that are each longer than a quarter mile. This setup, with more roll stiffness in front, rewards careful corner entry while the looser rear end and heavy-duty limited-slip differential puts more power down and allows a much more aggressive return to throttle for a hastier corner exit.

Almost the exact opposite cornering style is rewarded by the Hellcat Redeye Widebody we sampled at Club Motorsports Park in Tamworth, New Hampshire. The standard Hellcat suspension affords a bit less total front roll-control under that heavier engine, so you can charge into a corner a bit hotter. But then, holy jeepers, do you need to be judicious with the loud-pedal on the way out. This power-oversteer-y setup might not suit MT race consultant Randy Pobst, but Heuschele likes to initiate his turns with the steering wheel and then fine-tune his exit line with the throttle.

On the roads leading to and from Club Motorsports Park the heavy front springs on the Scat Pack exact very little kidney trauma with the suspension in its default Auto mode, and to these ears the sound of the naturally aspirated 6.4-liter is preferable to the shrieking whine of the Hellcats’ supercharger. The Hellcat Redeye Widebody seems equally comfortable on these roads. Another pleasant surprise with both cars—these 305-section street-compound tires are far less prone to following truck ruts and hound-dogging around within the lane than were the sticky R-compound 305s on a lighter Mustang GT Perf Pack 2 we recently tested. The steering feel and effort also suited me perfectly in the lowest-effort Street setting.

On the 15 undulating curves and multiple hills of Club Motorsports’ 2.5-mile course, the Scat Pack Widebody’s limits feel a bit more accessible—or perhaps just better aligned with my natural slow-in-fast-out driving style. The Redeye Widebody’s combination of mechanical grip, huge straight-line speed, and looser nose had me charging into some corners too hot and blowing the exits. We ran with the traction control in Street mode, and I felt it intervening frequently in the Redeye; almost never in the Scat Pack. I also preferred the quicker, crisper shift quality of the 392’s 8HP70 transmission to that of the Redeye’s beefier 8HP90, which is fortified with stronger clutches and larger shafts. The programming is the same, so the difference is likely attributable to higher engine and transmission inertia. Both transmissions self-selected the optimal gear for every corner when left to their Track mode programming. Neither car really seemed to “shrink” on the track. They both still felt huge, and their size would surely be intimidating in wheel-to-wheel racing, but they’re great fun for club runs against the clock.

I close out the day by riding shotgun with Heuschele in each car with all nannies slumbering in Track mode. It was a great chance to witness his throttle-tuning of the driving line in the Redeye, and to also feel how much earlier he reached full throttle in the Scat Pack—at or before the apex in most turns. Heuschele mentioned that back home on the flatter GingerMan circuit, the Redeye Widebody’s improved lap times are about equitably attributable to the added power and improved grip. It laps 1.0 second faster (six car lengths at the finish line) than the narrow-body Redeye, and 2.0 seconds (12 car lengths) ahead of the 717-hp narrow-body Hellcat. Where will Mr. Universe finish relative to a ZL1 1LE and a Shelby GT500? Heuschele doesn’t lose any sleep worrying about such a race. “Drive them each across country to the track and tell us which one you like best.”


2019 Dodge Challenger BASE PRICE $47,390 $72,745 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 2-door coupe Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 2-door coupe ENGINE 6.4L/485-hp/475-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8 6.2L/797-hp/707-lb-ft supercharged OHV 16-valve V-8 TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual, 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT 4,250-4,300 lb (mfr) 4,400-4,500 lb (mfr) WHEELBASE 116.2 in 116.2 in LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 197.5 x 78.2 x 57.5 in 197.5 x 78.2 x 57.5 in 0-60 MPH 4.5 sec (mfr est) 3.4 sec (mfr est) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 14-15/23-25/17-18 mpg 13/22/16 mpg ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 225-241/135-147 kW-hrs/100 miles 259/153 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.06-1.14 lb/mile 1.22 lb/mile ON SALE IN U.S. Fourth Quarter 2018 Fourth Quarter 2018

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Categories: Property

IIHS Finds Flaws in Active Driver Assistance Features

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 01:26

Over the past few years, driver assistance features such as automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist have become increasingly more common. But how effective are they? According to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), these features still aren’t substitutes for actual human drivers, and the results varied significantly from brand to brand.

During the study, IIHS senior research engineer Jessica Jermakian and her team evaluated the driver assistance technologies in five vehicles—a 2017 BMW 5 Series, 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, 2016 Tesla Model S, 2018 Tesla Model 3, and 2018 Volvo S90. All vehicles were rated Superior by the IIHS on the front crash prevention test when equipped with front crash prevention technologies.

On a controlled test track, the researchers put the cars through four tests to evaluate their adaptive cruise control systems. In the first scenario, each vehicle was driven at 31 mph toward a stationary target to test automatic emergency braking performance with adaptive cruise control off. Only the Teslas failed to stop in time. When the same test was performed with adaptive cruise control on, all cars were able to avoid the target. Researchers noted, however, that the Volvo S90 braked later and more abruptly than the other cars. In the third test, the cars had to follow a vehicle that slowed to a stop, something all five test vehicles were able to do smoothly. When the test vehicles followed a car that changed lanes to reveal a stopped vehicle, the Volvo again slowed down more abruptly than the other four vehicles.

On the road, the safety systems showed more inconsistencies. All cars except the Model 3 failed to respond to stopped vehicles ahead of them, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class only detected a stopped truck at a traffic light for a short time before losing sight of it. “At IIHS we are coached to intervene without warning, but other drivers might not be as vigilant,” said Jermakian, in a release. “ACC systems require drivers to pay attention to what the vehicle is doing at all times and be ready to brake manually.” IIHS researchers noted that the Model 3 had a tendency to brake unnecessarily and counted 12 different times where it did so for oncoming traffic and vehicles changing lanes. Jermakian noted that unnecessary braking could pose a safety risk in heavy traffic especially if it’s more forceful. Due to the systems getting confused easily, the IIHS study concluded that adaptive cruise control systems require drivers to stay attentive behind the wheel.

The second active safety feature that IIHS looked at was lane keeping assist. Using real roads, the team put the cars through traffic, hills, and turns to evaluate each system’s performance. All five cars offer steering assistance on roads with clear markings and can use the vehicle ahead as a guide at low speeds or when lane markings are blocked. Between the five vehicles, only the Model 3 stayed in its lane during all tests while the Model S overcorrected during one run, which caused it to cross the inside line of the turn. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class stayed in its lane nine out of 17 times but disengaged during one run and crossed the inside line twice. The Volvo S90 crossed the inside lane eight times while the BMW 5 Series only stayed in its lane three of the 16 runs and was the most likely to disengage instead of steer outside the lane.

The Model S, S90, and 5 Series all came up short when hills were added to the equation. The 5 Series had a tendency to steer toward or across the lane line and even disengaged steering assistance in certain conditions. As a result, it failed to stay in its lane in all 14 of the hill trials. Tesla’s Model S was only able to stay in its lane in five of the 18 trials and had a tendency to swerve left and right when going uphill until it found the correct place in its lane and rarely warned the driver to take over as it was struggling to center itself. The Volvo S90 stayed in its lane for nine of the 16 trials, with the car crossing the lane line twice and disengaging steering assistance four times when it was cresting hills. The system automatically turned back on once lane markings were detected, however.

But not all test vehicles were as confused by hills. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class stayed in its lane 15 out of 18 times and provided steering assistance without many erratic moves when the car wasn’t able to see lane lines. Meanwhile, the Tesla Model 3 only drifted out of its lane once when it hugged the lane line. IIHS researchers noted that some of the vehicles had a tendency to follow slow-moving vehicles into the exit lane. This is due to the lane keeping assist system using the vehicle in front as a guide instead of the lane lines at lower speeds. The IIHS sees a big potential for lane keeping assist systems to save lives but the evidence isn’t as pronounced as it is with adaptive cruise control and forward collision avoidance technologies. Lane keeping assist system have the potential to save 8,000 lives per year, according to the IIHS, while lane departure warning systems have been credited with an 11-percent drop in sideswipe and head-on collisions, as well as a 21-percent reduction in injury rates for those accidents.

Research and evaluations will continue as the IIHS moves toward making a rating system for active driver assistance features. David Zuby, chief research officer at the IIHS, says that the organization isn’t ready to say which automaker has the best implementation of active driver assistance tech and stresses that none are able to drive autonomously in a safe manner. “A production autonomous vehicle that can go anywhere, anytime isn’t available at your local car dealer and won’t be for quite some time. We aren’t there yet,” said Zuby.

Source: IIHS

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Elon Musk Proposes Taking Tesla Private

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 00:33

Earlier today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet he was considering taking the company private. The puzzling announcement left many unsure if he was serious, but an official statement posted on Tesla’s website confirmed Musk is indeed looking into taking the company private at $420 a share. Tesla stock has been publicly traded since 2010.

Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018

In the statement, Musk made clear that a final decision hasn’t been made yet, but listed the reasons why he thinks going private is a good idea.

“As a public company, we are subject to wild swings in our stock price that can be a major distraction for everyone working at Tesla, all of whom are shareholders,” Musk wrote. “Being public also subjects us to the quarterly earnings cycle that puts enormous pressure on Tesla to make decisions that may be right for a given quarter, but not necessarily right for the long-term.”

Musk went on to say he believes Tesla is at its best when its employees can focus on the company’s long-term mission rather than worry about stock value taking a hit from short-sellers.

“As the most shorted stock in the history of the stock market, being public means that there are large numbers of people who have the incentive to attack the company,” he said.

Musk then outlined how he imagines a privately held Tesla would work. Shareholders would be given the choice to either remain an investor or be bought out at $420 a share, a 20-percent premium over the company’s stock price after its second-quarter earnings call last week. Employees would still be able to sell shares and exercise stock options periodically.

The move could be seen as a way for Musk to gain more control over Tesla, but the CEO says that’s not his intent. “I own about 20 percent of the company now, and I don’t envision that being substantially different after any deal is completed,” he said.

“Basically, I’m trying to accomplish an outcome where Tesla can operate at its best, free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible, and where there is as little change for all of our investors, including all of our employees, as possible,” he went on to say.

The proposal comes on the heels of Tesla’s Q2 earnings report, which revealed the company lost more than $700 million during the three-month period. Still, the company was optimistic about achieving profits in the third and fourth quarters thanks to Model 3 production finally getting on track. Following the release of the earnings report, Tesla’s stock price shot up nearly 10 percent. At close of trading on Tuesday, Tesla’s stock was up nearly 11 percent at $379.57 per share.

Questions remain as to where Tesla will get the funding for a buyout deal—though Musk claims to have it already—and whether or not the CEO violated any laws by announcing the plan via tweet before notifying investors. According to MarketWatch, a buyout to make Tesla a private company would be the largest in history, costing $72 billion excluding debt. But as Musk pointed out on Twitter, all of this is contingent on shareholders agreeing to go private in a vote.

Source: Tesla, MarketWatch 1, 2

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Categories: Property

2019 Chevrolet Camaro V-6, SS Somehow Get Worse Gas Mileage Than Last Year

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 23:01

Earlier this year, Chevrolet gave the Camaro a midcycle refresh. Most of the changes were cosmetic, but the 2019 Camaro got a few functional updates, as well. The reworked front end was said to make the car more aerodynamic, for example, and the SS got the ZL1’s 10-speed automatic transmission. You’d think those changes wouldn’t hurt gas mileage, but you’d be wrong.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s official figures, the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS with the 10-speed auto is rated at 16/27/20 mpg city/highway/combined. Fifteen years ago, that was the kind of gas mileage you got out of a V-6 family sedan, so it’s seriously impressive to see a 455-hp sports coupe with a 6.2-liter V-8 does so well. But the 2018 Camaro SS with an eight-speed auto actually did slightly better, earning a city rating of 17 mpg.

The automatic V-6 is also interesting. Chevrolet kept the same transmission, and both the city and highway numbers stay the same, but for some reason, its combined rating is 1 mpg worse than in 2018. Choose the manual V-6, and your combined rating stays the same, but highway economy drops slightly. The automatic ZL1, however, did manage to increase its combined rating from 15 to 16 mpg. The gas mileage for the rest of the Camaro lineup stayed the same.

At the moment, we’re not sure what caused the Camaro’s slight drop in fuel economy, especially since the changes were so inconsistent from model to model. We know the EPA changed the formula it uses for the 2017 model year, but we’re not aware of any additional changes for 2019. It’s hard to imagine the vast majority of drivers noticing a difference in the real world, though. In most cases, traffic level and driving style have a much bigger impact on gas mileage.


The post 2019 Chevrolet Camaro V-6, SS Somehow Get Worse Gas Mileage Than Last Year appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Automotive Fine Arts Society Gears Up for 2018 Pebble Beach Exhibit

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 22:00

You worked hard this year to prepare for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, didn’t you? Your Sunday best is steamed, and pressed. Shoes shined, and the spiders shaken out of your boater hat. Your favorite watch is wound, your mid-century roadster is detailed to perfection, and your envelope of event passes is as thick as a book. Here’s something you might have missed—make sure you clear some wall (or desk) space. After all, you’ll have to make a visit to the annual Automotive Fine Arts Society exhibit, located right off the 18th hole.

For the past 30 years, members of the exclusive AFAS host an expansive pop-up gallery parallel to the concours, offering attendees a chance to enjoy automotive beauty on a smaller, more interpretive scale. Hundreds of works go on display, ranging from dynamic and streamlined sculptures to impressionist paintings depicting legendary racers in action. If you went last year, don’t worry about seeing the same stuff–participants are required to exhibit at least three never-shown pieces.

According to AFAS Secretary Treasurer Jay Koka, its role as a debut show is a huge part of the appeal. “This is a new works show, that’s crucial,” Koka said in an interview. “We want someone who saw work at St. Johns [concours] last month to see new stuff from the same guy at Pebble.”

A large portion of the attending artists are existing members of AFAS, but the annual show is the best chance to join the crew for those interested in joining. During the year, AFAS fields applications from artists, allowing a handful to strut their stuff at the Pebble Beach show. Out of twenty applicants, seven new artists made the cut, coming from all corners of the globe. Three are from Japan, two from the U.S., one from France, and one from Germany.

Monterey Car Week is hectic, but thankfully, it’s hard to not find time for AFAS. The show takes place in a large tent parallel to the Pebble Beach Concours on Sunday, August 26, so you’ve got no excuses not to stop by.

The post Automotive Fine Arts Society Gears Up for 2018 Pebble Beach Exhibit appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Next-Gen Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok Could Share Underpinnings

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 20:30

A Ford Ranger for the U.S. market is just around the corner, but the Blue Oval is already working on the next-gen midsize pickup coming in the mid-2020s. Now, in a strange twist of formerly forbidden fruit colliding with current forbidden fruit, a new report suggests that the truck could be co-developed with the second-generation Volkswagen Amarok.

Speaking with Australia’s GoAuto, Volkswagen Group Australia managing director Michael Bartsch revealed that the German automaker is looking at “all options” to bring the Amarok’s cost down. Ford and Volkswagen recently formed a joint venture for manufacturing commercial vehicles, and some have speculated the partnership could eventually include a midsize truck. “All avenues are being explored,” Bartsch told GoAuto. “I think it would be disingenuous of me to say there is nothing going on with Ford, otherwise Ford wouldn’t be making the comments that they are making, but I am not in a position at the moment to say what it may or may not be. What I think is very clear is, in order to be competitive in Australia, we have to get the cost base of [Amarok] down. It’s being produced in Argentina and Germany and both of those are high-cost markets for a product that is in the most competitive environment that you can be in.”

Bartsch sees Argentina as a problem due to its unstable currency while Germany’s high manufacturing costs make it less than ideal for exporting around the world. These factors contribute to the Amarok’s high price point relative to Australian competitors built in Thailand and Japan.

Should the joint venture between Ford and Volkswagen lead to the next-generation Ranger and Amarok being developed together, Bartsch said that VW would do “a better job at differentiating the products,” a reference to the Nissan Navara-based Mercedes-Benz X-Class. The executive said brands should be careful in maintaining their position in the market, especially when it involves co-developing vehicles with other automakers. Bartsch said that any joint venture would have to conform to each manufacturer’s brand values.

Bartsch praised Ford for doing a great job on the global Ranger, which he believes is well-positioned in the market. Should Ford and Volkswagen work together for the next Ranger and Amarok, this wouldn’t be the first time that these two automakers have collaborated. In 1987, Ford and Volkswagen co-developed two platforms for the South American market, and in Europe they co-developed a number of vans that included the Ford Galaxy and Volkswagen Sharan.

Source: GoAuto

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2019 Range Rover Sport Plug-In Hybrid Gets 31-Mile EV Range

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 19:15

Last year, Land Rover updated the Range Rover Sport, tweaking the styling, upgrading the interior, and increasing engine power. We especially enjoyed the SVR version, with its 575-hp supercharged V-8 and vented carbon-fiber hood. For 2019, the updates are less significant, but Land Rover did add a new model to the Range Rover Sport lineup: a plug-in hybrid.

We’ve known for a while that the Range Rover Sport PHEV, officially called the P400e, was coming. Land Rover included plenty of details when it announced the 2018 refresh last year. But with 2019 models already on dealer lots and the P400e arriving closer to end of the year, it’s good to see the specs haven’t changed. The P400e pairs a 296-hp turbo-four with a 141-hp electric motor for a total system output of 398 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. With power sent to all four wheels, the P400e is powerful enough to hit 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and has a top speed of 137 mph.

By default, the hybrid system uses a mix of engine and motor power to maximize efficiency, but thanks to a 13.1-kWh battery, there’s a separate EV mode that allows the P400e to drive up to 31 miles on electricity alone. Drivers also have the option to only use the engine, saving the battery for situations where it will be more helpful such as in stop-and-go traffic. On a 220-volt charger, Land Rover says it takes about two hours and 45 minutes to fully charge the battery.

In addition to the plug-in hybrid version, the Range Rover Sport gets a few other updates for the 2019 model year. An optional wade-sensing system that uses sensors under the door mirrors to monitor water depth has been added to U.S. models for the first time. There’s also a new Driver Assist Pack that bundles steering-assisted adaptive cruise control with the Drive Pro Pack and Park Pack. Land Rover increased the size of the armrest compartment, too, giving owners about 2 gallons of hidden storage.

Pricing stays the same for 2019, with the base Range Rover Sport starting at $67,745 including destination and the range-topping SVR starting at $114,595. The P400e will be a mid-range model, starting at $79,295 and slotting between the HSE Td6 and the HSE Dynamic.

Source: Land Rover

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Categories: Property

CBRE GI acquires Milan shopping centre for SanZeno Fund

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 17:15
CBRE Global Investors has acquired the Campo dei Fiori shopping centre located in Gavirate near Milan on behalf of its SanZero Fund.
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Jaguar Land Rover May Drop V-8 Engines From its Lineup

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 16:54

Jaguar Land Rover’s V-8-powered lineup may not be especially fuel-efficient, but at wide-open throttle behind the wheel of an F-Type SVR or Range Rover Sport SVR, we doubt many people will care. The invigorating exhaust note simply drowns out any negative feelings. But in a few years, a V-8 may not even be an option on the most expensive Jaguar Land Rover products.

Autocar reports that JLR plans to completely revamp its lineup between now and 2024. Beyond introducing redesigned models built on new platforms and increasing electrification, it will reportedly overhaul its engine offerings. Autocar says a new inline-six and inline-three are in the works, with electric turbochargers coming standard across the board. But there’s one thing JLR reportedly isn’t working on: a V-8. Without citing sources, the report says the British marque will eventually kill off the eight-cylinder option.

Autocar doesn’t give a timeline for the phase-out, but if it does happen we’d guess it won’t be anytime soon. The good news is, even without a V-8 in its lineup, it doesn’t sound like JLR plans to abandon sporty models altogether. Instead, Autocar reports that a high-performance version of its new inline-six will be used. If so, it won’t be the same, but we trust JLR to at least make it sound good. Plus, with electric turbochargers, throttle response should be impressive.

When asked for a comment, a spokesperson for JLR said they “remain committed to offering a variety of powertrain options to satisfy the needs of our customers in the U.S. and around the world. That means a variety of ICE engines—4-, 6-, and 8-cylinders, both turbocharged and supercharged, gas and diesel—hybrids and even full EVs, like the I-Pace, are on offer in our lineup.”

The spokesperson reiterated JLR’s intent to offer some form of electrification on every one of its models by 2020, but said, “The internal combustion engine still very much remains a planned part of our product portfolio for the foreseeable future.” We hope that includes V-8s, because we’d really miss that sweet, sweet supercharged growl.

Source: Autocar

The post Jaguar Land Rover May Drop V-8 Engines From its Lineup appeared first on Motor Trend.

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