Green light for Crosslane to create new student accomm in Cardiff

Property Week News Feed - 2 hours 29 min ago
Crosslane Student Developments has unveiled plans to deliver a 384-bed purpose-built student accommodation development at Howard Gardens in Cardiff.
Categories: Property

L&G completes India Buildings acquisition

Property Week News Feed - 3 hours 22 min ago
The 500,000 sq ft, grade II listed building will be home to HMRC from 2019, when the government department will move in around 3,500 staff into a 270,000 sq ft space.
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Hammerson rejects informal £5bn bid from Klépierre

Property Week News Feed - 4 hours 48 min ago
Hammerson has rejected a £5bn takeover bid from French property giant Klépierre, that could yet threaten to derail the British property company’s proposed merger with retail rival Intu.
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THE WEEK AHEAD: Hansteen, Empiric, and Regional REIT set to report finals

Property Week News Feed - 5 hours 2 min ago
It’s another busy week for property groups on the London Stock Exchange this week, with three high profile property groups reporting full year results.
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Pacific Industrial & Logistics REIT confirms £50m fundraising

Property Week News Feed - 5 hours 35 min ago
Pacific Industrial & Logistics REIT has confirmed the launch of a £50m fundraising this morning to acquire 16 properties for £73.6m, as revealed in Property Week last Friday.
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Motor Trend en Español? – The Lohdown

Motortrend News Feed - 6 hours 14 min ago

The May 2018 print-magazine cover riffs on the magic of internet searches and automobiles, and although it’s a bit cheeky, it hints at how a significant portion of Motor Trend content is delivered and consumed every day.

Readers like you help drive our monthly magazine circulation to an average of 1 million copies (thank you), but in a good month, nearly twice as many readers find our news, reviews, and buyer’s guide insights on via search engines like Google.

And that’s just if you want our content in English; we license print versions of Motor Trend in Chinese and Korean, and produce a Spanish-language version of our website.

Motor Trend en Español began in the early 2000s and served our Spanish-speaking audience with both a magazine and a website, Our colleague Sidney Hidalgo’s careful stewardship has kept MTEE and our other international offerings alive all of these years—but the growth of our Spanish-language version really took off when Miguel Cortina joined our team in January 2015.

If that name sounds familiar, it is because Miguel is an active contributor to both the English and Spanish versions of Motor Trend. His byline and insights have appeared several times online, and he’s been a juror on both our SUV of the Year and Truck of the Year programs.

Prior to Miguel’s arrival, our Spanish-language offerings consisted almost entirely of third-party translations of Motor Trend content. He now manages that process, but he also publishes original drive reviews and news on that target the growing Latino audience in America and abroad. If that’s not enough, Miguel is Motor Trend’s one-man wrecking crew when it comes to Spanish-language social media. You can find it on the Motor Trend en Español Facebook and Instagram accounts and on Twitter.

Or, you know, just Google it. Gracias for your support.

La portada de este mes cubre la magia de las búsquedas de internet y los automóviles, y aunque es un poco descarada, insinúa cómo se entrega y se consume una porción importante del contenido de Motor Trend todos los días.

Lectores como usted ayudan a que nuestra revista mensual tenga una circulación de 1 millón de copias en promedio (gracias), pero en un buen mes, casi el doble de lectores encuentran nuestras noticias, reseñas y consejos de nuestra guía del comprador en a través de buscadores como Google.

Y eso es únicamente si quiere leer nuestro contenido en inglés; tenemos versiones impresas de Motor Trend en chino y coreano, y publicamos una versión en español de nuestro sitio de internet.

Motor Trend en Español comenzó a principios de los años 2000 y sirvió a nuestra audiencia de habla hispana con una revista y un sitio de internet, El trabajo cuidadoso de nuestro colega Sidney Hidalgo ha mantenido vivo a MTEE y nuestras otras ofertas internacionales durante todos esos años – pero el crecimiento de nuestra versión en español realmente se disparó cuando Miguel Cortina se unió a nuestro equipo en enero de 2015.

Si ese nombre suena familiar, es porque Miguel es un contribuidor activo de nuestras versiones en inglés y en español de Motor Trend. Su nombre y sus perspectivas han aparecido muchas veces en esta revista, y él ha sido juez en nuestros programas SUV del Año y Camioneta del Año.

Antes de que Miguel llegara a nuestro equipo, nuestras ofertas en español consistían prácticamente en traducciones de Motor Trend hechas por terceros. Él todavía maneja ese proceso, pero también escribe reseñas originales y noticias en que están dirigidas al creciente público Latino en Estados Unidos y el mundo. Por si eso no fuera suficiente, Miguel es un batallón de una persona cuando hablamos de redes sociales. Lo puede encontrar en las cuentas de Motor Trend en Español de Facebook e Instagram y en Twitter en @MTEspanol.

O, ya sabe, búsquelo en Google. Gracias por su apoyo.

More from Ed Loh:

The post Motor Trend en Español? – The Lohdown appeared first on Motor Trend.

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2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost First Test: Chip On Its Shoulder

Motortrend News Feed - 6 hours 14 min ago

We’ve tested nearly half a dozen first-gen EcoBoost Mustangs around here, so we’re pretty familiar with how the car drives and performs. The 2018 model, a midlife refresh, has picked up a 10-speed automatic, an extra 30 lb-ft of torque, and a whole lot more attitude.

To date, the EcoBoost-equipped Mustang has been a confident performer, especially equipped with the optional Performance package. In a comparison test against the turbo four-cylinder Camaro, I wrote it “can be driven as fast as its motor will carry it down a winding road with complete confidence.” Apparently, that’s too tame for the Mustang engineering team. This new car drives like it has something to prove.

It’s obvious the moment you start driving the car hard. The optional limited-slip differential locks up aggressively, and the optional summer tires don’t always have the grip to handle it. You must be careful with the throttle in tight corners; it will try to put all 350 lb-ft down at once and pop you sideways. Leave the stability control on until you’re familiar with the car because it’ll let you rotate more than you expect before it steps in. This car now requires a delicate touch. Manhandling it turns a race horse into a bucking bronco.

You can make life easier on yourself by staying away from the Sport+ and Race driving modes. Both make the throttle hyperaggressive and the steering too heavy, making it needlessly difficult to drive the car smoothly. Those modes also lock out the selectable steering settings, so you can’t customize the car to your taste. Sport or Custom modes are best but don’t let you change the firmness of the optional magnetorheological dampers, which work best in Sport+ and Race. In Sport and Custom, they leave the car underdamped and a little too bouncy for serious driving.

The new 10-speed auto is one thing that doesn’t need fixing on the street. On our favorite roads, it was perfect. Even with its software update, the EcoBoost still runs out of breath at high rpm, but you wouldn’t know it because this transmission knows exactly how to use all its gears to keep the engine in the meat of its power. That include both shifting at the horsepower peak and downshifting under braking so you’re right at the torque peak when you’re ready to accelerate out of the corner.

Regardless of which mode you prefer or how you dial in the settings, there’s no denying the EcoBoost Mustang is damn quick on a back road once you figure out how to drive it right. It’s a sweaty-palms experience, but it’ll surprise a lot of fast cars.

This was born out at the test track, as well. At 5.3 seconds to 60 mph and 13.9 seconds in the quarter at 97.2 mph, this is the quickest EcoBoost Mustang we’ve ever tested and nicely reverses a trend we discovered and reported of EcoBoost Mustangs getting slower. Our test team found Drag Strip mode, unsurprisingly, returned the best results, though it surprisingly doesn’t have launch control. A little brake torque up to 1,500 rpm netted the best launch. If you’re curious, the last V-8 Mustang we tested hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and ran a 12.6-second quarter mile at 115.1 mph.

We’ve long praised the EcoBoost Mustang’s braking for being stronger and more precise than you’d expect in what is now the base model, and this one is no exception. Its stop from 60 mph in 106 feet is right on par with its predecessors.

Things didn’t go so well in our handling tests, though. Pulling 0.96 g on the skidpad and lapping the figure eight in 25.1 seconds at 0.75 g average, it did about as well as the last EcoBoost with an automatic transmission we tested. Thing is, it’s significantly slower and pulling a lot less g than the best EcoBoost Mustang we’ve tested, and it’s not just the numbers. The test team reports things started out all right, with great braking, good road holding, and strong traction coming off the corners, but the laps were still nearly a second off the pace. Going for another try, everything “went pear-shaped,” as the notes have it. “Times did not improve, and the transmission started really hiccupping,” our test team wrote. “A couple of times, after pulling the paddle for a downshift, it literally freewheeled, no throttle response, as if it was in neutral. Then it popped into second and the revs jumped (no matched revving), and it totally upset the car. Also, I don’t think the LSD was working properly because going to throttle at the same rate in the same place spun the car once—a really slow-mo spin, but still it was a surprise.” No doubt, our Figure Eight test is very hard on cars, but these sorts of things don’t usually happen.

The test team’s notes end with, “Feels like a good eight-tenths car, but ask ten-tenths and it won’t like it.” Which, really, kind of jibes with our road impressions. Although we had no mechanical issues on the road, the car did not like to be driven to within an inch of its capability. My own notes read, verbatim: “This thing grabs you by the collar and screams in your face, ‘I’m sporty, mother******!’ It’s like trying to wheel a classic Mustang hard. You’ve gotta know what you’re doing.”

Harping on the handling aside, there are a few other aspects of the 2018 refresh to talk about. My favorite is the optional digital dash, which has a lot of cool graphics and a different skin for every drive mode. My only request would be a more intuitive user interface, as there are multiple buttons on the steering wheel and dash that control it and it takes a while to figure out how to access all the hidden menus. Similarly, I’d like to know if there’s some hidden volume control for the parking sensors. They’re painfully loud.

The standard seats are as deserving of praise as the digital dash. They’re plenty supportive for back road shenanigans and still quite comfortable for the daily commute. The optional leather isn’t the fanciest stuff on the market, but it’s very nice for a non-luxury vehicle.

As long as we’re talking fancy stuff, we ought to address the green elephant in the room. Our EcoBoost Premium tester priced out at $39,880, and a lot of you will be quick to point out you can have a V-8 for that money. That’s certainly true, and if your priorities are power and exhaust note, there’s no reason not to. Of course, if you want these heated and cooled seats, the navigation system, the digital dash, the dampers, etc. on your V-8, it’s going to cost you plenty more than $40,000. The GT Premium starts at 40 grand, after all. If you’re looking to balance performance and features, the EcoBoost isn’t a bad way to go.

The 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost, at least when equipped with the Performance package, is not the docile base car you might expect. It’s not even the bargain sports car it used to be. It’s an ornery foal waiting to be broken to the saddle, and you have to respect that. It used to be that people looked down on base-engine Mustangs, but anyone who dismisses the 2018 EcoBoost out of hand hasn’t driven one.

2018 Ford Mustang Coupe (EcoBoost) BASE PRICE $26,485 PRICE AS TESTED $39,880 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass, 2-door coupe ENGINE 2.3L/310-hp/350-lb-ft† turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 10-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,709 lb (54/46%) WHEELBASE 107.1 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 188.5 x 75.4 x 54.3 in 0-60 MPH 5.3 sec QUARTER MILE 13.9 sec @ 97.2 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 106 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.96 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.1 sec @ 0.75 g (avg) REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 18.8/27.2/21.8 mpg EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 21/32/25 mpg† ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 160/105 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.78 lb/mile †Horsepower and torque values derived from 93-octane fuel; EPA fuel economy from 87-octane fuel

The post 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost First Test: Chip On Its Shoulder appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Ford Mustang Photos! See Motor Trend-Taken Sixth-Gen Mustang Pics Right Here

Motortrend News Feed - 6 hours 14 min ago

Ford Mustangs are tough to ignore. Thanks to a healthy rivalry with the Chevrolet Camaro and monthly sales that always number in the thousands—not the hundreds—the Mustang has survived through six generations. The muscle car’s appeal goes beyond the allure of an available eight-cylinder engine at a somewhat affordable price. It’s also the bold styling. And since the sixth generation made its debut for the 2015 model year, Motor Trend has thoroughly covered the Mustang with reviews and comparison tests. Check out some of them below, along with Mustang photos you won’t find anywhere else.


 2018 Ford Mustang Ecoboost

2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE vs. 2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 vs. 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R: The Forever War 2016 Best Driver’s Car Contenders Part 1: AMG GT S, M4 GTS, Shelby GT350R, and 570S 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost First Test and Comparison Test 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang First Test Review 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 vs. 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang 2016 Ford Mustang GT First Test Review and Comparison Test 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost 2.3 Manual First Test 2015 Ford Mustang GT First Test 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost 2.3 First Test

The post Ford Mustang Photos! See Motor Trend-Taken Sixth-Gen Mustang Pics Right Here appeared first on Motor Trend.

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2018 Kia Optima modified to ace crash tests

The Car Connection News Feed - 14 hours 3 min ago
After adopting some mid-year changes, the 2018 Kia Optima earned top marks in independent crash-testing last week. The Optima previously earned the Top Safety Pick Award but now qualifies for the more challenging Top Safety Pick+ after Kia made some changes to improve the mid-size sedan's performance in passenger-side impacts. The Top Safety Pick+...
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2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited Long-Term Update 4: How the Transmission is Tuned

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 08:00

Last July, I drove to San Diego in our long-term 2017 Hyundai Tucson to attend the launch of the 2018 Sonata and Elantra GT. The latter shares the same 1.6-liter turbo-four and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with our Tucson in Sport guise but makes 26 hp more. In that application, the transmission is smooth, responsive, and snappy even in manual mode, doing exactly what you want. However, in the Tucson, it’s like a different unit, slow to respond and laggy. Why such a drastic change between the two cars? It’s all in the tuning.

Whereas the Elantra GT Sport has been calibrated for enthusiastic driving, the Tucson is efficiency-minded.  On the highway, the powertrain is unobtrusive, but once you hit congested areas, things start to get clunky. At low speeds, the gearbox hunts frequently, shudders, and shifts roughly. You grow to expect but perhaps not accept it after a while; it will remain annoying because we’ve driven eco-minded powertrains that are less noticeably clunky. It also doesn’t help that the Tucson’s throttle response is sluggish, making it feel even more unresponsive. The best solution is to not put your foot down suddenly, because the transmission will get confused and ease into the throttle when you’re in traffic to keep it from shuddering. Sport mode also alleviates things slightly and makes city driving slightly smoother.

As a result of its transmission tuning, the Tucson lags behind its rivals when it comes to on-road refinement. The Honda CR-V doesn’t jerk you around at low speeds, and the CVT operates nearly invisibly. The Mazda CX-5, on the other hand, is more agile and responsive. City driving is where the Tucson’s weaknesses appear, and it doesn’t help that despite the economy-minded transmission, it’s EPA-rated at 24/28 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive and 25/30 mpg with front-wheel drive. That’s right in line with most of the class but behind the most efficient entries, the CR-V and the Nissan Rogue, both of which are rated 2 to 3 mpg higher, so there’s no efficiency gain with the eco-tuned transmission when matched against the competition.

Read more about our 2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD:

The post 2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited Long-Term Update 4: How the Transmission is Tuned appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Refreshing or Revolting: Lexus UX vs. BMW X1 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLA

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 23:45

Lexus has gained a reputation for polarizing design over the past several years. And whether you like or don’t like the look of other Lexus crossovers, you’ll likely feel the same way about the new 2019 Lexus UX. When it arrives in the U.S. this December, it will compete against the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. But does it have a more compelling design than these two rivals?

The 2019 Lexus UX features the much contended spindle grille that permeates throughout the automaker’s lineup. It takes on an interesting 3D appearance with a mesh pattern. The grille takes up most of the front fascia, although the headlights and side vents also try and grab your attention. Take a look at the BMW X1, and you’ll notice it bears a less controversial dual-kidney grille design that’s simple, unobtrusive, yet almost too expected. The lights inside the headlamp housings take on a rounded shape. On the GLA, the rounded headlamps are almost as tall as the grille, which itself features soft lines. Because it doesn’t have sharp edges, the GLA looks less imposing than its rivals from many angles.

From the side profiles, the three models look quite different. Comparatively, the UX features a lot of cladding around the wheel arches. It has a more bulbous rear than that on the X1, which is flatter. The GLA has pleasant character lines running across its body and looks particularly diminutive from this angle. It’s the shortest of the bunch, measuring 173.9 inches long compared to the BMW’s 175.4 inches. Lexus says the UX that debuted in Geneva measures in at 177 inches in length.

Strong fender flares characterize the back end of the UX. Its full-width taillights project a “nighttime signature” using 120 LEDs and tapers toward the center, Lexus says. Below the light strip, character lines form a trapezoid. This angle of the UX is also a bit polarizing since the rear protrudes so much, and is arguably overly sculpted. Meanwhile, the BMW features a much more conventional rear end that is more upright. For the GLA, the taillights are so big that they dominate the rear end. A silver trim piece joins the two lights together in the very compact rear.

Each model features a luxurious cabin. On the UX, Lexus made it so the upper part of the instrument panel appears to extend out beyond the windshield. The large, low screen sits above the dashboard, and there is an old-school analog clock on this unit. Below the big screen, there are neat rows of buttons and a touchpad. The BMW features perhaps the oldest-looking screen of the bunch, and probably the starkest interior of the group as well. On the GLA, you’ll notice playful circular air vents and a stand-alone, square infotainment system.

Which crossover takes the cake: the 2019 Lexus UX, BMW X1, or Mercedes-Benz GLA? Let us know on Facebook.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: Lexus UX vs. BMW X1 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLA appeared first on Motor Trend.

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The Nissan IMx is Going Into Production, Will Essentially be a Leaf SUV

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 23:00

The name “Tesla” may be synonymous with electric cars, but since the end of 2010, Nissan’s been quietly selling the fully electric Leaf hatchback. It was even popular enough to earn a second generation. But from the sound of it, Nissan thinks sales of its next electric car will blow Leaf sales out of the water. That’s because it’s reportedly planning to turn the Leaf into an SUV.

According to Autocar, Nissan’s developing an electric SUV that looks a lot like the IMx concept we saw last year. Despite being larger and offering more ground clearance, Autocar believes this electric crossover will be built on the Leaf’s platform. And when it finally goes into production, Nissan expects the electric crossover to be extremely popular.

“Of course, we have the new Leaf, but I think the [production version of the] IMx concept will become a breakthrough model.” Mamoru Aoki, Nissan’s head of European design, told Autocar. “The IMx is not just a concept car. In a few years, it will appear.”

According to Aoki, removing the engine will make the production IMx much more spacious than its gas-powered competition. “The interior is notably bigger than with a conventional vehicle and there’s much more usable space, thanks to the totally flat floor allowed by the battery pack,” said Aoki. “The dashboard is also pushed right back because the HVAC unit is under the bonnet.”

So far, there’s no word on how much Nissan’s electric SUV will cost or what kind of range it will actually offer. But Hyundai’s Kona Electric may soon face some serious competition.

Source: Autocar

The post The Nissan IMx is Going Into Production, Will Essentially be a Leaf SUV appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Volkswagen Bringing Small “Volks-SUV” to U.S. Instead of T-Roc

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 22:00

Now we’re starting to understand why Volkswagen didn’t bring the T-Roc to the U.S. market. The automaker apparently has a different small SUV in mind for us, one that is currently under development and will come from Mexico.

Although we don’t have an official name yet, VW calls the model “Volks-SUV,” or People’s SUV. “We call it internally Volks-SUV – the production car won’t have that name – because it turned from a regional project into a global project,” said VW brand sales boss Juergen Stackmann, reports Automotive News.

The model, to be sold globally, is slightly more compact than the Tiguan. It will sit on the MQB architecture for cars with front transverse engines. VW just approved the design last week, so the process is already pretty far along.

Volkswagen will initially build the model through a joint venture in China, and sales for this market will begin in August. Production will expand into Mexico, Russia, and Argentina starting from 2020. The automaker didn’t say when we can expect to see it in the U.S., but VW brand CEO Herbert Diess revealed Mexico will supply the crossover for the U.S.

Small crossovers are hot in the U.S. right now, and VW clearly needs a competitor in this space. So why didn’t the T-Roc make the cut, you ask? VW says its smaller size and lower roof make it more compatible with Europe. Meanwhile, the automaker will sell the “Volks-SUV” in various different markets, but there are no plans to introduce it in Europe.

According to Diess, VW wants to sell 400,000 copies of the new crossover globally each year. If it sells well, the model can help fund VW’s extensive electric vehicle lineup planned for the future.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

The post Volkswagen Bringing Small “Volks-SUV” to U.S. Instead of T-Roc appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Ford Really Wants This Focus Sedan Prototype to Be Seen

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 19:45

It has been about seven years since Ford redesigned the Focus, and despite receiving an update for 2015, it feels a little outdated. Past spy shots have shown that Ford is hard at work developing a new Focus, but it hasn’t been clear when the car would officially be revealed. Based on these photos, that date is probably just around the corner.

Our spy photographer caught this Focus sedan prototype on the road in Europe, and while they’re technically spy shots, it’s clear Ford wanted this car to be seen. Instead of wearing traditional camouflage, the car is covered in a bright, colorful wrap with comics. Really, we shouldn’t even call it a prototype since it’s being used as more of a marketing vehicle.

From what we can see, the new Focus is curvier and looks a little more mature than the current car, while the headlights and taillights have a more upmarket feel. Of course, it also looks a lot like the Focus hatchback that was caught completely undisguised last month.

Ford has yet to confirm an exact date for the official reveal, but we do know the new Focus won’t be shown at the New York Auto Show. Last we heard, it will get an event of its own somewhere in Europe next month.

Source: CarPix

The post Ford Really Wants This Focus Sedan Prototype to Be Seen appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Lincoln Aviator SUV Makes a Comeback

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 18:30

Resurrecting a nameplate we haven’t seen since 2005, Lincoln will preview a new Aviator SUV at the New York auto show later this month.

Lincoln last used the Aviator name on an SUV based on the Ford Explorer. Although short-lived, running from the 2003-2005 model years, the SUV provided Lincoln customers with a slightly smaller alternative to the Navigator. It featured a 4.6-liter V-8 engine delivering 302 hp, and fuel economy topped out at 11/17 mpg city/highway. We should see downsized, but still powerful, engines on the new Aviator, and expect a big improvement in fuel economy.

Judging from the past, we can expect the Aviator will slot between the Nautilus and Navigator in Lincoln’s current lineup of recently updated SUVs. The current Navigator, which we really like, has been on sale since late last year while the Nautilus will go on sale this spring as a replacement for the MKX crossover.

Lincoln is expected to offer an electrified version of the new vehicle. “The Aviator, which will make its world debut at the New York International Auto Show, is the first of two all-new utilities that Lincoln will bring to market in the next two years as it grows its utility portfolio and commits to electrification across its lineup globally,” the automaker said in a press release.

We don’t know much about the Aviator, but we have to say we like the name and Lincoln’s move away from vehicles starting with “MK.” We’ll learn more about the Lincoln Aviator when it debuts in New York on Wednesday, March 28. In the meantime, check out the teaser video below for a look at parts of the exterior design.

Source: Lincoln

The post Lincoln Aviator SUV Makes a Comeback appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Jeep Built a Jeepster Concept for This Year’s Easter Safari

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 17:45

Every spring, Jeep builds a handful of wild concepts and heads to Moab, Utah, for the Easter Jeep Safari. Last year, we saw a Wrangler that had been modified to look like a ’60s gasser hot rod, a tastefully restored 1993 Grand Cherokee, and several others. Jeep hasn’t revealed which concepts it will bring to this year’s event, but the teasers it released today definitely have our attention.

The first image shows a JL Wrangler with a retro two-tone paint job. Look a little closer, and you’ll see a badge on the fender that says “Jeepster.” To us, it looks a little more like the Commando from the ’70s that had dropped the Jeepster name, but we’ll reserve judgment until the concept is revealed in full. Jeepsters are cool, and so is this concept’s retro look.

The Wrangler in this second teaser definitely looks more off-road-focused. It appears to have been lifted, given larger tires, and fitted with a bull bar and lights. Since it’s also got a hood scoop, there’s a chance Jeep swapped in a Hemi V-8. And while the image is far too blurry to be certain, it kind of looks like there’s a truck bed out back.

According to Jeep, we’ll get more details, as well as more images, next week before the 52nd annual Easter Jeep Safari kicks off on Saturday, March 24.

Source: Jeep

The post Jeep Built a Jeepster Concept for This Year’s Easter Safari appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Here’s Aston Martin’s Future Product Pipeline Through 2023

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 16:45

Attention lottery winners and blockchain bros: British luxury brand Aston Martin is engaging in a massive product offensive that will result in an all-new or seriously redesigned vehicle arriving pretty much every year through 2023.

The surge will include Aston Martin’s entry into the SUV market as well as two pure battery-electric vehicles under the Lagonda brand name. It also means a new mid-engine sports car.

2019 Aston Martin Vantage

In a far-reaching interview at the media introduction of the Vantage in Portugal (driving impressions of which are embargoed until April 10), Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said that the brand is looking at portfolio expansion as a way to dramatically increase global sales and brand recognition past that of Ferrari.

The expansion into mid-engine sports cars could result in the brand’s traditional front-engine, rear-drive layout going away after the current generation, Palmer said.

Although Aston Martins will retain their classic dimensions—yes, even in SUV form—“we unleashed the designers on Lagonda,” Palmer said.

Aston Martin Lagonda Vision Concept

Make no mistake—Lagonda will be “fully electrified,” as in having only battery-electric propulsion—not hybrids—with development done in-house. Palmer adding that Aston Martin has “help wanted” positions for 400 Lagonda battery propulsion engineers.

“It will not be a compromised platform,” Palmer said. “It will have no tailpipe. We want to do our own cells. We want to master the battery controller.”

By not having the restriction of a powertrain at the front axle, the designers have more freedom to create unique new vehicle designs—as seen with the Lagonda Vision concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show.

Aston’s product roll-out
  • 2018 Vantage, DB11 Volante redesigns
  • 2018 Vanquish redesign, Vantage roadster
  • 2019 DBX SUV intro
  • 2021 Mid-engine sports car into
  • 2022 Lagonda sedan intro
  • 2023 Lagonda SUV intro

Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s chief designer, said that “without the lump of a V-8 or V-12, we can design from the inside out.”

The new lineup also means the withdrawal of the Rapide sedan from the lineup. The Rapide is at the end of its cycle but will fulfill a crucial duty in being transformed into a battery-electric fleet of 155 vehicles to test consumer wants and needs for the upcoming Lagondas.

That said, Aston Martin will still be in the business of building V-12 flagship sports cars, although future V-12s might be hybrid-powered (but not plug-in hybrids, which Palmer sees as inefficient).

In addition to the series production vehicles, Aston Martin will also create two “limited series” vehicles a year, such as the Valkyrie hypercar or design variations with outside coachbuilders like Zagato, Palmer said.

The track-only Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro that debuted in Geneva

Aston Martin sold 5,100 vehicles in 2017, a 58 percent increase, but Palmer is not satisfied with that volume level. With the home plant in Gaydon, England, soon to be maxed out for capacity building sports cars, Aston Martin is building a new 7,000-unit plant in Wales to account for 4,000 DBXs and 3,000 Lagondas annually. Palmer expects volumes to reach 14,000 units in 2023—which would be nearly double that of Ferrari’s 8,398 sold in 2017.

Although the automaker is in the midst of its heaviest R&D spend in its history, it posted a £207 million EBITDA profit in 2017 on £1.2 billion in revenue. The only previous annual profit in Aston Martin’s 105-year history was in the global boom year of 2007—and that comes with an asterisk as a chunk of Aston’s costs were dispersed throughout then-owner Ford Motor Co.’s larger structure. The automaker also has refinanced its debt, shaving its borrowing rate from 10 percent to 6 percent senior securitized debt, Palmer said.

“The chapter of loss making is done,” Palmer said. “The money is spent. Now we will reap it in.”




The post Here’s Aston Martin’s Future Product Pipeline Through 2023 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Skinnydip opens five new stores

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 16:09
Accessories brand Skinnydip has opened five new stores within Intu shopping centres.
Categories: Property

Secure Income REIT raises £315m in oversubscribed share placing

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 15:53
Secure Income REIT has announced an early close on its latest share placing having raised £315.5m to fund two portfolio acquisitions totalling £436m.
Categories: Property

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Looks Ready to Swallow Rivals

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 15:45

After months of waiting, Ford has finally given us a sneak peek at the new Mustang Shelby GT500 in this teaser photo. One thing is for sure: This won’t look like a standard Mustang.

Arriving in 2019, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 receives more visual differentiation than any other car in the automaker’s pony car stable. The large, gaping grille completely dominates the front fascia. Compared to previous Shelby GT Mustangs, the Cobra logo is more prominent. Curiously, the headlights appear to take after the pre-refresh Mustang rather than the face-lifted 2018 model.

Ford has confirmed the new Mustang GT500 will be its most powerful production car to date. A teaser video released by Ford at the Detroit auto show announced the GT500’s return and revealed the car will pack more than 700 hp. If the leaked images we’ve seen are any indication, that power should come from a supercharged engine. The previous GT500, which concluded its run after the 2014 model year, made “just” 662 hp from a 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine. The coupe version managed to hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds in Motor Trend tests, and we can only imagine the new version will be even quicker.

Right now, Ford only offers the GT350 and GT350R, which are impressive in their own right. We tested the GT350R, which makes 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque from a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter flat-plane-crank V-8, hitting 60 mph in 4 seconds. The GT350, GT350R, and past GT500 have all come with manual transmissions, so it’s likely the new GT500 will follow suit.

In other Mustang news, Ford confirmed plans for a hybrid version of the pony car. But even more interesting will be an all-electric SUV with Mustang-inspired styling. That model is destined to arrive in 2020.

Source: Ford

The post Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Looks Ready to Swallow Rivals appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property