2019 Mazda CX-9 to offer Apple CarPlay, Android Auto

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 13:19
Mazda said Monday that it will add Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, cooled front seats, and a surround-view camera system as options to the 2019 CX-9 crossover SUV, all for a very slight cost increase of just $150 over last year’s model. MORE: Mazda adds Apple CarPlay, Android Auto capability to global, but not US models The very mildly updated...
Categories: Property

Colliers expands Czech operations with THREESIXTY acquisition

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 13:12
Colliers International has made a signifcant expansion in the Czech Republic with the acquisition of the THREESIXTY Agency and subsequent recruitment of its full team to Colliers in-country operations.
Categories: Property

Brookfield's SACO secures two new sites for aparthotel expansion

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 12:59
The Serviced Apartment Company (SACO) has acquired its first two sites since being bought by Brookfield in a £430m deal as it looks to expand its Locke aparthotels business.
Categories: Property

LaSalle sells Wickes-let Ealing retail warehouse

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 12:36
LaSalle Investment Management has sold a 30,918 sq ft retail warehouse unit on South Ealing Road, London to clients of CBRE GI for £14.5m, reflecting a net initial yield of 3.99%.
Categories: Property

Clearbell lets Churchill Court office to Regus

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 12:17
Clearbell Capital has let 27,309 sq ft of office space to Regus at the CC3 building at Churchill Court in Crawley.
Categories: Property checks in to new £100m Manchester HQ

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 12:16 is set to consolidate four of its offices into a new 222,000 sq ft global headquarters building at Allied London’s St John’s scheme in Manchester.
Categories: Property

Investment into Europe falls for first half of the year as UK investment rises

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 12:13
Inbound real estate investment to Europe fell 8% in the first half of the year, according to CBRE.
Categories: Property

Legal & General and North Somerset Council buy £21m shopping centre

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 11:10
North Somerset Council and Legal & General have bought The Sovereign Shopping Centre in Weston-Super-Mare for £21m.
Categories: Property

Boxpark reveals plans for Brighton scheme

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 11:04
Boxpark has launched a bid to create a retail, leisure and hotel development at Madeira Terrace on Brighton’s beachfront.
Categories: Property

IWG shares plummet on end of takeover talks

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:20
IWG’s share price plummeted 22% over Monday and early trading Tuesday after the company, formerly known as Regus, announced it has ended takeover talks with Starwood, Terra Firma and TDR.
Categories: Property

Regional REIT raises £50m to pay off debt

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:16
Regional REIT has raised £50m in a bond issue to pay off some of the group’s debt.
Categories: Property

2018 Lamborghini Huracán Performante Spyder First Drive Review

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

It’s no secret. We love us some Lamborghini Huracán Performante. From our camouflaged first drive on the Imola circuit in Italy where we said, “The Huracán Performante has such high levels of performance that mere mortals can feel as if they know what they’re doing on an old F1 track. How can you put a price on that?” To the debut where it was revealed that “the Performante’s real party trick is its trick ALA system (Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva). Forged carbon fiber is used in the Huracán Performante’s active aero elements in the front splitter, rear diffuser, and wing.” Finally, it was announced with video proof that the car had (then) set the production-car lap record (6:52.01) on the infamous Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring. Finally, in our first test where the “Mantis” green, winged wedge tied or set some of our own performance records, we wrote, “Supercars are special, and they make you feel special. Measured on that scale, the Lamborghini stands apart. Not just because of its radioactive paint and unmistakable style but also because it offers a driving experience unique even among the ranks of the world’s best supercars.” We recently included one as a contender for Motor Trend’s 2018 Best Driver’s Car (stay tuned for the results). So, where did Lamborghini go from there?

Super Spyder

They removed the top, making this the sixth iteration (not counting the Polizia, Pope, and Avio special editions) of the Huracán that was introduced in 2014. Unlike the larger Aventador S Roadster that has fixed, manually removable roof panels, the Huracán Performante Spyder features a button-operated electrohydraulic system that opens the rear deck and neatly folds and stows a cloth top beneath—at speeds up to 30 mph, in less than 20 seconds. Compared to the coupe, the Huracán Spyder’s rear deck lid is necessarily redesigned, and there’s a pair of integrated passthrough ducts on the B-pillars that are said to reduce cabin turbulence. With its power rear window up and soft top down, we can attest to the ease with which two people can have a conversation at super-legal speeds. “Excuse me, fellow professional driver, can you believe we are now traveling in excess of 100 mph on this closed road with the top down and having this hushed conversation?”

With the rear window lowered, both wind and engine noise (more like music) dramatically increase in volume. “My gawd! Listen to that!” Nor does the top, when up, cause any booming or flutter. Adding 0.6 inch to the car’s height, it’s a well-engineered convertible. And, despite the approximately 275-pound penalty, Lamborghini estimates only a 0.2-second difference in acceleration to 60 mph. From our prior testing, this means it should take just 2.8 seconds. That’s adequate, right? Simply access launch mode (Corsa + ESC off), two pedals in, jump off the brake, and blammo! We’ll take Lamborghini’s word that Spyder’s top speed is identical to the coupe’s at 202 mph. Globally, Lamborghini expects the Spyder to account for 40 percent of Huracán Performante sales but predicts that the U.S. market take rate will be closer to 50 percent despite a whopping $33,069 premium over the coupe.

Curves Ahead

Not just a straight line fiend, the Huracán Performante Spyder retains the coupe’s ability to bend the countryside to its will. This time, however, there’s more landscape and soundscape to enjoy. When the Anima three-mode drive selector is in Strada, it has a profoundly mellowing effect on the exhaust loudness. In either Sport or Corsa, it’s all manic all the time, and in Corsa, you’ll need to pull the paddles to shift gears. The Spyder driving experience reminds me of riding a motorcycle. As you drive, your body senses changes in temperature; your eyes, the light and shadow; your nose, the smell of fields and grass; your ears, the octaves the engine produces. It really is a feast for the senses, adding another dimension to the already intensely satisfying Huracán Performante experience.

Our previous drives and tests of the Huracán Performante coupe all came with the optional magnetorheologic suspension. The Spyders we drove had traditional dampers, and although the optional ones work miracles, the standard suspension is remarkably capable, as well. On the wide variety of roads we drove in and around Napa, California, the car never once felt hard, harsh, or out of its depth. Our test cars, however, did feature the dynamic steering option (variable-rate front rack and rear-steer). Seamlessly, this system definitely helped the car negotiate slower, tighter corners, steering in opposition at these speeds and in phase at higher ones. Unlike our dynamic steering experience in the Aventador S Roadster that left us feeling as if the front and rear steering systems weren’t on speaking terms, the Huracán Performante’s system works invisibly and so well that one might not even know it was at play. And at speeds between 43 and 193 mph, the ALA active aerodynamics come online, as well. If you’re not familiar with it, there are ducts in both the front splitter and the rear deck that can be opened and closed in 0.5 second. Depending on their position, the car can make differing amounts of downforce, front, rear, and side to side. We wish there was a way to turn the system on and off so we could tell you how well it works, but we’ll simply point to a 2.64-second lap time advantage we recorded at Big Willow Springs Raceway between a Huracán Performante (1:22.53) and a Huracán LP610-4 (1:25.17). It can’t be just the result of a 20-hp advantage. There’s clearly more to it than that.

The optional carbon-ceramic brakes on our Spyder are about as good as those available on any production car. The pedal is, indeed, as firm as expected and doesn’t need to travel much to begin slowing the car. The hard part with carbon-ceramics is what happens as the driver eases off the pedal. Do the pedals release predictably, gradually, or all at once in a free-fall feeling? Lamborghini got this part right, too. The brakes are confidence inspiring both for their power and fade resistance, and also for their predictable release, allowing trail-braking to feel natural.

Adding Through Subtraction

Lamborghini could’ve simply left the Huracán Performante coupe alone as the best supercar it has ever produced. Sure, the cubic-dollars ALA-equipped Aventador SVJ recently reset the lap record at the Nürburgring, but the tidier, more affordable Huracán Performante will stand the test of time and remain the one that started it all. By offering a convertible version with the Spyder, Lamborghini did very little to take away from the Performante’s inherent greatness. Removing the top only adds to the experience, offers a broader range of emotions to enjoy, and succeeds in pleasuring more of your senses. Almost as a rule, I prefer the coupe over the convertible variant of the same car. The convertible is often less rigid, less practical, and less capable. However, given the choice, if I had an extra 33 grand lying around, I think I’d be one of the 50 percent who’d opt for the drop-top version of the Huracán. I’d lose essentially nothing and gain a motorcycle in the deal.

2018 Lamborghini Huracán Performante Spyder BASE PRICE $314,654 VEHICLE LAYOUT Mid-engine, AWD, 2-pass, 2-door convertible ENGINE 5.2L/630-hp/443-lb-ft DOHC 40-valve V-10 TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,800 lb (mfr) WHEELBASE 103.2 in LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 177.4 x 75.8 x 46.5 in 0-60 MPH 2.8 sec (MT est) EPA ECON CITY/HWY/COMB 13/19/15 mpg ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 259/177 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.28 lb/mile ON SALE IN U.S. Currently

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Categories: Property

No Sergio, No Stelvio – The Lohdown

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 08/06/2018 - 22:41

The first time it happened, I was hovering curbside—illegally—in the LAX arrivals area waiting for my betrothed to land. A backpacker sidled up alongside my passenger side on the diagonal. Our eyes met and she looked away—to the front of the car as she walked around it. I could see her brow furrow at the four-leaf clover on the fender and again when she saw the nose. Curiosity apparently satisfied, she wandered away.

It happened again minutes later, after I finished loading up the luggage. As the tailgate came down, I caught a guy on the curb staring before mouthing “Stelvio?” Yeah buddy, Quadrifoglio, in Misano blue with black 20-inch wheels.

On the way home, we stopped at Trader Joe’s. As we loaded up our groceries, a gentleman came around to say, “I just have to tell you, you have the most gorgeous car—really gorgeous,” before getting into his Infiniti FX45.

At my local surf spot the next morning, a father and son were loading boards into a rusty red FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser parked next to the Stelvio. When I keyed the remote, the father looked up and asked what I thought about the Alfa. I told him what I tell you now: I’ve never had so many people show so much interest in an SUV.

As you can divine from Detroit editor Alisa Priddle’s touching tribute to Sergio Marchionne, it’s hard to imagine how Alfa Romeo could have come back to America, or how this Quadrifoglio would have been built, without Marchionne’s leadership. No Sergio, no Stelvio.

I first met Marchionne in December 2012 when I had the honor of presenting the Ram truck team Motor Trend’s 2013 Truck of the Year award. For the occasion, Marchionne called an all-hands meeting at FCA’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. I found out later this was only the second all-employee meeting since his arrival in June of 2009 after Chrysler’s tumultuous bankruptcy. It was also the largest public speaking engagement of my life to that point, and I was nervous as hell. I learned that day that my fears were misplaced; I was there to present the best kind of news, and nobody cared if my jokes were bad or if my fly was down.

Much harder was what Marchionne and his lieutenants had to do to get FCA to that moment in time. It takes a special kind of leader to steer a company out of Chapter 11, fuse its culture with that of another multinational operation, all while keeping the rank and file motivated and charging in the right direction.

Marchionne wasn’t an easy guy to work for; stories of his temper, stratospheric expectations, and all-night, trans-Atlantic poker games are legend. But he could also be disarmingly candid and personable. I remember watching him work the last handful of journalists long after his Detroit auto show press conference had ended. These were local writers, mostly from small papers and outlets in FCA factory towns, yet he called out each journalist by name and pulled production numbers and financials without consulting notes. When he needed to disagree, during a press conference or earnings call, he did so without being disrespectful—or taking it to Twitter. I can think of industry execs and heads of state who could learn a lot from Marchionne’s style.

You may not agree with what has happened to all of the FCA brands under Marchionne’s leadership, but you cannot dispute that he brought Chrysler and Dodge back from the brink and helped Ram and Jeep flourish by challenging his most talented department heads to do their utmost. Thanks to acolytes Tim Kuniskis, Ralph Gilles, Reid Bigland, Steve Beahm, and Sergio’s successor Mike Manley, we are flush with Cherokees, Hellcats, Redeyes, Power Wagons, and Giulias—and have driverless Pacificas, hybrid Rams, and Jeep pickup trucks to look forward to. And don’t forget all the attention you’ll get if you spring for a Stelvio. Thank you, Sergio.

More from Ed Loh:

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Categories: Property

2019 Mazda CX-9 Offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 08/06/2018 - 22:00

When Mazda announced that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were coming to the 2018 Mazda6, we wondered when we might see the features roll out to other products in the lineup. Now, we know the 2019 Mazda CX-9 will be next to receive the popular smartphone-mirroring capabilities when it goes on sale in September.

Mazda announced that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will come standard on the CX-9 Touring trim and above for the 2019 model year, skipping only the base Sport model. Once connected, your Apple or Android device will be controllable via the 8-inch Mazda Connect infotainment screen (lower models get a 7-inch screen as standard). Also new to the Touring trim is a frameless rearview mirror with auto-dimming. Meanwhile, the Grand Touring trim gets a new 7-inch TFT display in the gauge cluster and adds a surround-view camera system to its list of features. Additionally, all 2019 CX-9s receive better sound insulation and a revised suspension that’s been tuned for a smoother ride.

The 2019 Mazda CX-9 starts at $33,275 including destination for a front-wheel-drive Sport model, an increase of $205 from last year. The Touring trim starts at $36,325 and the Grand Touring starts at $41,835. Topping the range is the CX-9 Signature, which starts at $46,360 and comes standard with all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is a $1,800 option across the board.

Mazda still hasn’t said which other models are due to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but here’s hoping the upgrades aren’t far behind for the rest of the lineup.

2017 Mazda CX-9 pictured.

Source: Mazda

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Categories: Property

Head Designer Says Hyundai’s Future Lineup Will be “Sexier Than Alfa Romeo”

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 08/06/2018 - 20:45

For the Geneva motor show last March, Hyundai showed off an eye-catching four-door coupe concept called the Le Fil Rouge. Hyundai said the concept previewed a new design language that will be used in future products. At the time, though, it wasn’t clear how watered down the styling would get by the time production designs were finalized. But based on a recent interview, it sounds like Hyundai really does intend to take some big design risks over the next few years.

In an interview with Automotive News, SangYup Lee, Hyundai’s head of styling, said we’ll see a Le Fil Rouge-inspired vehicle sometime next year and that the brand plans to move away from its current same-sausage-different-length approach to design. Lee also said to expect future Hyundais to come with some Italian flair.

“That emotional, sensuous beauty, you don’t find that in the volume brands,” he told Automotive News. “For Hyundai to be sexier than Alfa Romeo, this is the mission we want to achieve.”

Lee also said he doesn’t see Hyundai abandoning sedans, even as crossovers get more popular. “The sedan is not going to die,” he said. “That means you’ve got to do more on the sedan than the conventional three-box with a boring look. What are you going to do to make your sedan special? The SUV has to be very distinctive and is very important. But where do you want to take the sedan in the future?”

When it comes to Hyundai’s current reputation for offering good value, it doesn’t sound like Lee sees that changing anytime soon. Instead, he’d like Hyundai to be known for design in addition to value. “The value is a given already. I’d like to see people [say], ‘Hyundai has some sexy cars. Sexier than Alfa Romeo.’ That is the message I’d like to give to the world.”

That’s certainly a tall order for a mainstream car brand, but if Hyundai wants to give it a shot, we say go for it. With the designer of the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept in charge, what’s the worst that could happen?

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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Categories: Property

Spied! Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 Caught Testing

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 08/06/2018 - 18:45

When the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 first went on sale back in 2013, its 2.0-liter turbo-four made an impressive 355 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. With a base price close to $50,000, it certainly wasn’t cheap, but it sure was a hoot to drive. Five years later, the CLA 45 makes 375 hp and is due for a redesign. Based on these spy shots, it’s probably safe to assume the next-gen CLA 45 will up the aggression even further.

Our spy photographer caught this prototype out testing in Europe, showing off an AMG GT-inspired “Panamericana” grille. Heavy camouflage makes it difficult to get a clear view of the headlights, but a close look at the daytime running lights suggests an A-Class-inspired design. As with other AMGs, this CLA prototype sports massive air intakes, swollen fenders, large wheels, and a quad-exhaust. There’s also a rear spoiler, diffuser, and a set of vents behind the rear wheels.

According to the photographer, there’s a chance Mercedes will change the name to CLA 50 to match the top AMG-badged A-Class and reflect an increase in power. Supposedly, it’s going to make at least 400 hp. With that much power on tap, assume all-wheel drive will be standard.

One thing we still haven’t figured out, though, is how exactly the CLA will fit into Mercedes’ lineup. With the new A-Class finally coming to North America, we initially assumed Mercedes would phase out the CLA. After all, there’s only about a $7,000 difference between the CLA’s base price and the C 300. But as spy shots continue to show a next-gen CLA being tested, it’s starting to look like Mercedes plans to sell both.

How that will work, we’re still not sure, but it never hurts to have more options.

Photo source: CarPix

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Categories: Property

Capital & Regional finance director steps down

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 08/06/2018 - 16:48
Retail REIT Capital & Regional has appointed Stuart Wetherly as its new interim group finance director after long-time FD Charles Stavely announced he was stepping down to “pursue other interests”.
Categories: Property

JLL's Casebourne comes to Howard de Walden Estate as head of retail

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 08/06/2018 - 16:37
The Howard de Walden Estate has expanded its focus on retail with its 92 acre estate with the appointment of Jenny Caseborne as its new head of retail.
Categories: Property

Denton to lead new Legal & General affordable homes division

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 08/06/2018 - 16:17
Legal & General has appointed former Sovereign Housing executive property director Ben Denton as the first managing director of L&G Affordable Homes, its new division launched in April.
Categories: Property

Thomas takes top job at BNP Paribas REIM Germany

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 08/06/2018 - 15:52
Claus Thomas has been appointed as the new chief executive of BNP Paribas Real Estate Investment Management Germany, replacing Reinhard Mattern from the start of 2019.
Categories: Property