JV submits planning permission for 5m sq ft logistics park in Essex

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 15:42
A joint venture between an investor and a fuel supplier has submitted outline planning permission to build a 5m sq ft industrial park on the site of the former Coryton Oil Refinery.
Categories: Property

2018 Kia Rio's added safety tech earns IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 15:35
The 2018 Kia Rio is an award-winning car for safety according to the IIHS. The insurance industry-funded crash testers gave the Rio its Top Safety Pick+ award last week, although those top marks apply only to certain 2018 Rio trim levels. Both the Rio sedan and hatchback models received “Good” ratings all around minus the...
Categories: Property

Kia Rio crash tests, Rolls-Royce Cullinan driven, VW's electric car pricing: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 15:30
2018 Kia Rio's added safety tech earns IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award The 2018 Kia Rio is an award-winning car for safety according to the IIHS. The insurance industry-funded crash testers gave the Rio its Top Safety Pick+ award last week, although those top marks apply only to certain 2018 Rio trim levels. Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Giulia recalled over...
Categories: Property

TJ Hughes takes former BHS store at Glasgow mall

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 15:13
Orion Capital Managers has let the former BHS store at East Kilbride Shopping Centre near Glasgow to TJ Hughes.
Categories: Property

French Connection up for sale by founder

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 13:35
The founder and chief executive of fashion chain French Connection has announced the business, which has 130 stores in the UK, is up for sale.
Categories: Property

Singapore's Heeton secures Glasgow's Hotel Indigo

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 13:30
Maven Capital Partners has completed the £14.5m sale of the four-star Hotel Indigo Glasgow to Singaporean investor Heeton Holdings.
Categories: Property

Metropolitan and Thames Valley Housing complete housing association team up

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 13:16
Housing associations Metropolitan and Thames Valley Housing have completed their partnership to form Metropolitan Thames Valley.
Categories: Property

L&G secures Stafford Waterfront scheme for leisure fund

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 13:13
LGIM Real Assets has acquired the new Waterfront Leisure scheme in Stafford for £10m from LXB Retail Properties on behalf of its Leisure Fund.
Categories: Property

Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Giulia recalled over fire risk

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 13:00
A control module that can allow exhaust system components to overheat prompted Alfa Romeo last week to recall its Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover SUV. Alfa Romeo said in government filings that vehicles equipped with its 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine have software that can, in isolated cases, allow the catalytic converter to overheat. The automaker...
Categories: Property

Trio of new partners for Glenny

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 12:27
Glenny has appointed three new divisional partners with William Martin, Daniel Wink and Christopher Clark all promoted to the senior role.
Categories: Property

Grainger’s Woodrow sets up own BTR business

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 11:56
Mark Woodrow has left Grainger to set up a new build-to-rent development and advisory company called BTR Partners.
Categories: Property

Toyota recalls 168,000 pickup trucks, SUVs, and sedans over airbag defect

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 11:00
An improperly programmed control unit that may prevent airbags from going off in a crash prompted Toyota last week to issue a recall for 168,000 vehicles. The recall covers 2018 and 2019 Toyota Tundra, Toyota Sequoia, and Toyota Avalon vehicles in the U.S. The automaker will notify owners of the pickup trucks, SUVs, and full-size sedans affected...
Categories: Property

2019 Toyota Tundra

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 11:00
When it comes to its 2019 Tundra, Toyota moves at a glacial pace. The full-size pickup truck has its loyalists, but its dated design and guzzling V-8 engines make it a hard sell against more modern trucks from every rival. Overall, we rate the 2019 Tundra at 5.0 out of 10 points. (Read more about how we rate cars.) The 2019 Toyota Tundra is mostly...
Categories: Property

FCA proposes new property fund rules in wake of Brexit turmoil

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 10:49
Property funds for retail investors will have to suspend trading when the independent valuer expresses uncertainty about values under proposals outlined by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Categories: Property

2018 BMW X2 vs. 2019 Jaguar E-Pace vs. 2019 Volvo XC40 Comparison

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 09:00

Your first job out of college agrees with you. You just earned a sweet raise and promotion and made a solid dent in your student loan debt. It’s time to chuck that Civic, Corolla, or Golf that your nana helped you buy when you graduated and upgrade to a brand that fellow users of the managerial washrooms will respect.

Your family needs are minimal, but you’re still outdoorsy (or seek to project that image, given the hours you’re putting in at the office), so you’re looking to join the stampede away from cars and into a fancy-brand small SUV. You demand easy, seamless connectivity to your devices, reasonable road-trip room for your pals and stuff, and sufficient style to swivel some heads.

To this demanding millennial buyer, we suggest three fetching new entries into one of the fastest growing and most vital segments in the car biz.

From BMW, the X2 reinterprets the sport-ute-coupe idea, ditching the hunchback profile of the other Bimmer X-mobiles in favor of a more hot-hatchy look.

Jaguar’s new E-Pace cloaks off-road-capable underpinnings from the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque in dashing new feline bodywork penned by Ian Callum.

And finally, Volvo offers the XC40, which makes its unique, angular exterior styling and shared Ikea-chic interior from the XC90 and XC60 affordable to younger buyers—without watering down the safety gear or losing the familiar mini-Tesla touch-tablet Sensus infotainment system.

To get the pricing and configuration as close as possible, we gathered up a top-trim BMW X2 xDrive28i (a sharp inhale at its $50,920 as-tested price), a seemingly lower-level Jaguar E-Pace P250 AWD SE (eye-watering at $54,190), and a mid-spec Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design (a seeming bargain at $45,935).

To determine which vehicle is worthiest of our hypothetical millennial manager’s attention, we rounded up writers from this oft-maligned age group, encouraged them to imagine earning junior-executive pay had they made a more lucrative career choice, and road-tripped the trio to our high-desert evaluation retreat in Tehachapi, California.


We start this comparison the way our target buyers begin their relationship with any vehicle: by pairing our phones.

Right out of the gates, BMW makes a great first impression with its cutting-edge ability to connect to Apple CarPlay via a dedicated Wi-Fi connection instead of a cord. Minor buzzkills: the $300 option cost and the prospect of paying a monthly subscription for CarPlay as part of a navigation package from 2019 onward. Oh, and Android Auto is not supported. On the flip side, Volvo provides both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration via USB for free. (Bless those socialist Swedes!)

But the Jag supports neither CarPlay nor Android Auto, offering instead a connection via the USB cord and a balky InControl app on your phone to provide some mirroring features (plus remote starting, lock/unlock, and other features using your phone). It also offers a basic connection via Bluetooth for the phone and USB for music without the app. Jaguar has since announced it will offer CarPlay and Android Auto on 2019 models as a $280 option, flash-upgradable to earlier cars like our E-Pace.

Our BMW X2 features a $500 optional Qi wireless phone charger, but its holder is too small to accommodate self-appointed infotainment guru Stefan Ogbac’s Samsung S9+ phone—and there’s but a single USB charging port in the entire car. The Volvo’s wireless charging pad fits big phones and comes bundled in a comprehensive $900 premium package (along with Pilot Assist smart cruise and lane centering, HomeLink, etc.), and there are three USB ports. The Jag doesn’t offer wireless charging, but our E-Pace features an impressive five USB ports (three of which are included as a $230 option).

In living with these infotainment systems over the course of a week, several of us experienced bugs in the Jaguar’s InControl Touch Pro interface. On multiple occasions our music feed via the USB cord suddenly turned to static. Sometimes disconnecting and reconnecting the cord restored full functionality; other times it resulted in silent “playing” of the music, evidenced only by the progress bar on the screen. A few times the rearview camera feed suddenly dropped as we were reversing.

Even when the Jaguar’s system was working properly, associate online editor Collin Woodard was vexed by its habit of defaulting to FM radio whenever the cord gets disconnected. Worst of all, absolutely nobody could see the sharply angled screen with the midday sun shining on it.

But enough complaining: BMW’s iDrive system has been refined to a point where we all find it fairly user-friendly; nobody ended up experiencing any glitches. But it’s the Volvo Sensus system that draws universal praise from users of all ages. The swipe-left, swipe-right user interface is quickly learned, and the icons are well marked and functional.


Our millennial judges agree that it’s vital any such move-up vehicle have the seating space to carry three or four pals, plus cargo room to support the occasional camping excursion or road trip, because this will often be an owner’s only vehicle.

Here, the Volvo handily wins the space race. The numbers show superlative leg- and shoulder room front and rear, and the XC40 has the only back seat that accommodates three in moderate comfort. The cargo area is also the largest, both by SAE’s measurements and via our own tape measure. It’s the only one to offer electric releases to fold the seat backs flat with the load floor, and it boasts the largest hatch opening. There’s a generous 3.5-inch-deep well under the floor, and—with the Premium package—a load floor that folds to form a cargo-area divider with three integrated bag hooks (in addition to the two on the side walls). There’s also a broad elastic strap to hold items against the passenger sidewall and the group’s only pass-through for skis.

Noticeably smallest is the BMW, which feels tinier than its numbers suggest, with tight head- and shoulder room in back and the smallest tailgate opening. Our judges also ranked the X2 worst in terms of ingress and egress, and once aboard everybody rides lower than in a “traditional” crossover. It’s the only one with its load floor sunk 3.5 inches below the hatch opening. On the plus side, the rear seats recline, and there’s a convenient 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat and a 7-inch-deep, 3.7-cubic-foot well beneath the rear floor where the $150 optional spare would otherwise go. (Our other contestants have standard spare tires.)

The Jag is our tweener, splitting the passenger space difference and measuring smallest in cargo volume by the SAE’s rulers while offering slightly more space beneath its two-piece cargo cover than even the Volvo by our own measurements. It’s the only one that doesn’t allow you to lock the car while closing the power hatch.

Stylin’ ’n’ Profilin’

The whole point of stepping up to these brands is to treat yourself and to tell the world you’re adulting—otherwise, a larger Honda CR-V Touring accomplishes the same tasks at considerably lower buy-in and operating costs.

Each of our contenders does its gol-dangdest to scale its brand’s bucks-up styling cues down to size-and-price petite, and we think each pulls it off successfully on the exterior. In terms of style, our judges ranked them Volvo, Jaguar, then BMW.

Testing director Kim Reynolds, who’s old enough to have shared the road with AMC Gremlins, drew an unflattering comparison between the C-pillars of that car and the XC40, but features editor and bona fide millennial Christian Seabaugh found the exterior “unique, young, and distinctive.”

Inside, the degree of success varies a bit more. Only the Jaguar features genuine supple leather, but it’s a $1,530 option that includes 18-way front seats. It looks rich, and the cockpit comes off as a touch swankier than even the F-Pace’s, though some find the plastic of the touchscreen surround and steering wheel console to be a bit ratchet.

BMW’s interior telegraphs its spiffed-up-econobox origins. Sure, BMW has somehow faked the look of contrast French stitching using real thread in a molded plastic instrument panel, but placing it inches from materials that are genuinely sewn on the center console highlights the difference. It also strikes us that with pricing that starts $3,200 above the XC40’s base and ends up $4,985 higher than its test price, the X2 should include leather seating, but nope. That amenity would add another $1,450.

Volvo uses egregiously hard plastic in some areas of its instrument panel and doors, but Seabaugh was willing to forgive this, finding the overall design “unexpectedly fashionable for a car at this price point.” The Volvo’s suede-look Nubuck inserts on supremely comfortable seats don’t have us pining for the full leather that comes on the $2,050-pricier Inscription trim. And although most of us loved the Orange Lava carpet and door inserts, they’re a $100 stand-alone option that H8ers can easily cancel.


We’ve come this far without mentioning what these cars are like to drive because—and this is Seabaugh speaking—“it’s arguably the least important aspect of the experience for its target market.”

But for those who traffic in such details, the X2’s UKL2-platform running gear is shared with the roomier second-gen X1 and two Mini siblings, the Countryman and Clubman. Our objective tests indicate that the featherweight 3,684-pound, 228-hp eight-speed X2 accelerated quickest, stopped shortest, cornered hardest, and circled our figure eight most adroitly. If you are the rare enthusiast millennial, this might be the ride for you.

Relative to that “Ultimate Driving” cute ute, the others aren’t far behind. The 246-hp Jag weighs 528 pounds more but runs on a shorter-geared nine-speed; the 248-hp Volvo comes in a slight 170 pounds heavier and uses the exact same transmission as the BMW. Respectively, they’re 5 and 6 percent slower through the quarter mile, their stopping distances from 60 mph are 7 and 8 percent longer, and they run our figure-eight course 5 and 4 percent slower. Not exactly a hare versus two tortoises. For most drivers, these are rounding errors; your passengers likely won’t notice the difference.

However, the similarities vanish once you hit real-world twists and turns. Real-world millennial Woodard proclaimed the Jaguar the only one of the three he wants to keep driving: “It feels like it could use stickier tires, but with the best-sounding exhaust note and its sport-tuned suspension, the E-Pace is legitimately fun to drive.” Ogbac noted, “Ride and handling balance is excellent; it keeps you comfortable without sacrificing the dynamics you expect of a Jaguar.”

Most agreed that the E-Pace drives way better on-road than its Land Rover siblings, but Motor Trend en Español managing editor and Mex-ennial Miguel Cortina was less impressed: “The E-Pace feels heavy and underpowered compared to the XC40 and X2.” He’d undoubtedly change his tune with the zippier 296-hp E-Pace P300 model, which opens at $49,995, but among the existing trio he preferred the BMW’s dynamics.

The XC40’s acceleration performance trails the pack by a slight margin, and when flogged, its engine’s “angry Hoover” exhaust note struck some as a plea for mercy. Some judges find the steering and brake inputs to be slightly nonlinear, resulting in the need for occasional course correction. But Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires much like the ones used on the Jaguar squeal a lot less on the Volvo and might contribute to better performance on our figure eight. The XC40 is just not happy being driven at ten-tenths on our closed handling track, but how often are you going to do that? It’s perfectly happy keeping up with the others at a brisk pace on public roads, and in these conditions it feels far nimbler than the Jag. Of course, some of the weight difference relative to the Jag might come courtesy of skimping on sound deadening, as the Volvo’s highway tire and engine noise ranked only slightly better than the BMW’s.

Millennials will enjoy letting Volvo assume some of the tasks of driving. Its Pilot Assist, which activates with a press of the unidentified left or right arrows on the left steering wheel multifunction switch, does the best job of keeping the vehicle centered in its lane while providing decisive, minimally harsh acceleration and deceleration during adaptive cruise control operation. Jaguar’s lane keep assist nudges you away from the lines, and BMW merely nags you when you veer over a line.

The Volvo’s parking assist function is also superior to those in the Jaguar and BMW; it cleanly executes parallel park-in and park-out maneuvers and backs the vehicle into a perpendicular spot with relative ease. The Jaguar’s system functioned as well, but it displays driver instructions on the instrument panel when the driver should be monitoring the camera views on the center display (where Volvo overlays its instructions). BMW’s system doesn’t provide park-out assistance in parallel parking and cannot do perpendicular parking at all.


This category is likely even less pertinent to our target audience, but in the interest of science (and trips to the family ski lodge in Breckenridge) we venture into deep sand as a substitute for slushy snow, rattle our molars over washboard gravel, and climb steep, slippery hills. All three vehicles survive our tests unscathed.

Each has a hill-descent control system to regulate downhill speeds. Volvo boasts the greatest ground clearance (8.3 inches) and offers an off-road mode that optimizes traction at low speeds and places a compass in the center of the instrument cluster. Jaguar cribs some Land Rover tech for its All Surface Progress Control (off-road cruise control), and it worked flawlessly. BMW is least prepared for serious off-roading with but 6.8 inches of clearance and no off-road modes.


The Volvo is the most affordable of these three, with the 187-hp T4 front-drive model opening at $34,195 and a fully equipped T5 Inscription topping out at $47,490. Next up is the front-drive BMW at $37,395, with fully loaded all-wheel-drive models topping out at $53,520. All E-Paces get all-wheel drive, with the base model starting at $39,595 and a loaded P300 HSE topping out north of $68,000.

Don’t dig traditional buy/lease plans? Subscribe to the Care By Volvo plan, and pay $650 or $750 a month (depending on trim level) for 24 months, including insurance and maintenance. (Access by BMW also offers subscriptions, starting at $1,099 a month, but the service is only available in Nashville as of press time.) Regardless of whether it’s a sale, lease, or subscription, the Volvo will be easiest on the wallet, with the highest (26 mpg) EPA combined fuel economy. (Maintenance is free for the first three years at BMW and Volvo or five years with Jaguar.)

After a week of intense evaluation, our millennial consultants concluded that the cramped, loud, but fun-to-drive BMW just didn’t have the chops (or the USB ports) to win them over. The beautiful and dynamic (but pricey) Jaguar’s glitchy infotainment tech and second-best packaging earned it the silver. Which leaves our stylish, tech-savvy, value-conscious Volvo in the winner’s circle.

POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS 2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i 2019 Jaguar E-Pace P250 AWD SE 2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD Front-engine, AWD Front-engine, AWD ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head Turbocharged I-4, alum block/heads Turbocharged I-4, alum block/heads VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 121.9 cu in/1,998 cc 121.9 cu in/1,998 cc 120.2 cu in/1,969 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 10.2:1 10.5:1 10.9:1 POWER (SAE NET) 228 hp @ 5,000 rpm 249 hp @ 5,500 rpm 248 hp @ 5,500 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 258 lb-ft @ 1,450 rpm 269 lb-ft @ 1,200 rpm 258 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm REDLINE 7,000 rpm 6,100 rpm 6,000 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 16.2 lb/hp 16.9 lb/hp 15.5 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic 9-speed automatic 8-speed automatic AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.20:1/2.15:1 4.54:1/2.18:1 3.33:1/2.24:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 15.9:1 Not available 15.8:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.7 2.3 2.7 BRAKES, F; R 13.0-in vented disc; 11.8-in vented disc, ABS 12.8-in vented disc; 11.8-in disc, ABS “13.6-in vented disc; 11.9-in disc, ABS
WHEELS, F;R 8.0 x 19-in cast aluminum 8.0 x 20-in cast aluminium 8.0 x 20-in cast aluminum TIRES, F;R 225/45R19 92W Pirelli Cinturato P7 (run flat) 245/45R20 103W M+S Pirelli Scorpion Zero (JLR) 245/45R20 103H M+S Pirelli Scorpion Zero (VOL) DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 105.1 in 105.6 in 106.4 in TRACK, F/R 61.6/ 61.6 in 64.0/63.9 in 64.0/64.0 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 172.2 x 71.8 x 59.7 in 173.0 x 78.1 x 64.9 in 174.2 x 75.2 x 65.3 in GROUND CLEARANCE 6.8 in 8.0 in 8.3 in APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE 15.7/24.5 deg 22.8/29.4 deg 21.7/30.4 deg TURNING CIRCLE 37.2 ft 37.6 ft 37.4 ft CURB WEIGHT 3,684 lb 4,212 lb 3,854 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 57/43% 59/41% 58/42% TOWING CAPACITY Not rated 3968 lb 4,630 lb SEATING CAPACITY 5 5 5 HEADROOM, F/R 39.2/37.0 in 39.2/39.2 in 39.0/39.1 in LEGROOM, F/R 40.3/36.7 in 40.0/35.1 in 40.9/36.1 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 55.6 /53.9 in 56.1/55.8 in 56.7/56.3 in CARGO VOLUME BEH F/R 50.1/21.6 cu ft 43.6/20.4 cu ft 57.5/20.7 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 2.4 sec 2.3 sec 2.5 sec 0-40 3.5 3.8 4.0 0-50 5.0 5.8 5.6 0-60 6.8 7.8 8.2 0-70 9.1 10.5 10.8 0-80 11.7 13.7 14.3 0-90 14.8 — — PASSING, 45-65 MPH 3.8 4.3 4.7 QUARTER MILE 15.2 sec @ 91.1 mph 16.0 sec @ 85.2 mph 16.1 sec @ 84.6 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 118 ft 134 ft 125 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.86 g (avg) 0.80 g (avg) 0.79 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.0 sec @ 0.66 g (avg) 28.4 sec @ 0.60 g (avg) 28.1 sec @ 0.61 g (avg) TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,600 rpm 1,500 rpm 1,600 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $39,395 $45,295 $38,695 PRICE AS TESTED $50,920 $54,190 $45,935 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes AIRBAGS 6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain 6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain 6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/Unlimited miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles 4 yrs/Unlimited miles FUEL CAPACITY 16.1 gal 18.1 gal 14.2 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 21/31/25 mpg 21/28/24 mpg 21/31/26 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 160/109 kW-hrs/100 miles 160/120 kW-hrs/100 miles 160/109 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.79 lb/mile 0.82 lb/mile 0.79 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium Unleaded premium Unleaded premium

The post 2018 BMW X2 vs. 2019 Jaguar E-Pace vs. 2019 Volvo XC40 Comparison appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe First Drive: Family Hauler

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 09:00

Before we get too far, I need to make one thing clear: The official name for this car is the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. You don’t have to like it, but that’s the way it is. It has coupelike styling, it’s a four-door liftback, and when AMG was picking out the name, it went with GT 4-Door Coupe. If you’re a prescriptivist who loves getting internet-angry anytime usage evolves, you may want to stop reading now.

But if you choose to dismiss the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe based entirely on its descriptive name, you should also know you’ll be missing out. Why? For the same reason this Eastern North Carolina native happily eats Memphis-style ribs and keeps his mouth shut when someone calls grilling burgers “having a barbecue.” If it’s still good, who cares?

If you’re in the market for a four-door sports car, the GT 4-Door Coupe is very good. Especially in 63 S form. And although AMG started with the same MRA platform Mercedes uses for the E-Class, it designed and developed the car independently. The result is a car with its own distinct look even though it uses familiar Mercedes design cues.

Because of its fastback roofline, the GT 4-Door Coupe will inevitably draw comparisons to the new CLS, and in a sense, it is Mercedes’ replacement for the CLS 63. Park both cars next to each other, though, and the previously sleek CLS suddenly looks dull in comparison. Opinions will inevitably be split on whether the GT 4-Door Coupe is good-looking or not, but it’s certainly more muscular than a CLS 63 ever would have been.

Plus, the GT 4-Door Coupe has a liftback, which Automotive Law has declared automatically better than the CLS and its conventional trunk.

Inside, AMG used a familiar layout seen in most modern Mercedes cars, but the wide center console is a clear reference to the original AMG GT. As you would expect, the materials all feel incredibly high-quality, as does the fit and finish. Even better, if you’re tired of faux-suede everything and carbon-fiber trim, AMG offers several interior packages that will let you decide how luxurious or sporty you want the GT 4-Door Coupe to be. Several exterior packages are available, as well.

The rear seats are also surprisingly spacious. And no, I don’t mean usable. Unless they’re extremely tall, two full-grown adults could easily fit back there with plenty of room. Because it’s a liftback, there’s space for all your luggage, too. If you have more than three friends, though, you may want to move to Europe. That market will get a five-seat configuration not offered here in the U.S. You know, for all those times five people need to lap the Nurburgring in the same car.

Sure, it’s a ridiculous idea, but it’s far from the worst idea in the world. Your three rear-seat passengers might not have an abundance of shoulder room, but with the suspension in Comfort mode, the car would make the drive to the track surprisingly, well, comfortable. The suspension is stiff but not punishing.

In Sport+ or Race mode, though, the GT 4-Door Coupe becomes a more than capable track car.

The 63 S makes 630 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque from AMG’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, and you feel (and hear) every bit of it. But with the nine-speed automatic sending power to all four wheels, you can actually use that power without roasting your tires. On the other hand, if you really do want to hang the tail out and burn through tires, there’s an available drift mode for doing exactly that.

With a firmed-up suspension, rear-wheel steering, torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, active aero, and optional carbon-ceramic brakes, the GT 4-Door Coupe feels much more suited to track driving than you’d expect. It’s still a heavy car, but it handles its weight well. Unlike some other large performance cars, the GT 4-Door Coupe makes you want to go faster and push it harder. That’s not always a guarantee, even with tons of power.

If we’d gotten more time behind the wheel, the GT 4-Door Coupe’s weaknesses may have started to show. But it made a solid first impression on both the road and the track, and when it goes on sale, the Panamera’s going to have some serious competition.


The post 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe First Drive: Family Hauler appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Nan Fung ups UK exposure with Endurance Land investment

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 09:00
Hong Kong investor Nan Fung Group has taken a majority shareholding interest in London developer Endurance Land.
Categories: Property

GVA posts strong profit rise as accounts confirm takeover talks

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 08:58
GVA has posted a 24% rise in pre-tax profit off the back off a 4% rise in revenue, according to its latest accounts for 2017 filed at Companies House.
Categories: Property

Royal London buys office scheme in Soho for £73m

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 07:25
UK Commercial Property REIT has sold 15 Great Marlborough Street, in London’s Soho, to Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) for £73.2m in an off-market deal.
Categories: Property

Knight Frank profits bounce back

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 01:01
After falling for two years in a row, full-year profits at Knight Frank have bounced back, climbing 14% thanks to strong growth in the UK and overseas.
Categories: Property