Cain lends £56m on London retirement scheme

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 08:32
Cain International has made a £56m loan on the Landsby, a 101-home later living project located in Stanmore, north-west London.
Categories: Property

Yardley quits Capco

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 08:20
Gary Yardley has quit Capital & Counties Properties (Capco) the day after it was revealed the group was in talks with Canary Wharf Group to sell its troubled Earls Court development.
Categories: Property

Profit falls 20% at Berkeley

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 08:05
Profit at up-market housebuilder Berkeley Group has slumped more than 20%, and the group is warning a further fall for the current year.
Categories: Property

2020 Cadillac CT6 Gets Big Price Bump, But More Standard Content

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 23:38

Cadillac’s large luxury sedan is hanging in there despite slowing sales. And for 2020, it’s about to become a lot pricier, according to a report from CarsDirect.

Dropping the 2.0- and 3.0-liter engines, Cadillac will offer the CT6 with two powerplants: the 3.6-liter V-6 and twin-turbo 4.2-liter Blackwing V-8. This move puts the cheapest CT6, the V-6-powered Luxury model, at $59,990, an increase of $8,500 from the starting price of the 2019 model. The Luxury model gains a Driver Awareness and Convenience package, which adds automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and other features. This package was previously a $3,500 option.

In a statement to MotorTrend, Cadillac said about the price changes, “The important thing to note is the increased standard content for the various trims—it’s not simply a jump in price,” adding that “The new standard content features high penetrating options that are in most demand from customers.”

The mid-level Premium Luxury is $11,900 more expensive than last year’s model that cost $63,590. But for the extra money, it gains Super Cruise; a 34-speaker Bose Panaray sound system; a Rear Seat package, which currently includes a rear-seat infotainment system and quad-zone climate controls; and Comfort and Technology package, which nets heated rear seats and ventilated front seats. The top Platinum model will be priced from $97,490 and will only be available with the Blackwing V-8 making 500 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. It gains special 20-inch wheels that were once optional.

After selling out quickly the first round, the CT6-V will return. But prices will go up $3,100 to $95,890. The 550-hp sedan gains the previously-optional Driver Assist package, which boasts adaptive cruise control, night vision, and front and rear automatic emergency braking.

Cadillac confirmed to MotorTrend it has extended production of the CT6 at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant through January 2020. But after that, it’s unclear what will happen to the sedan. Meanwhile, Cadillac is filling out its sedan lineup with the CT4, CT4-V, CT5, and CT5-V. Looking farther ahead, Cadillac has been tapped to become GM’s lead EV brand, and will launch an electric SUV by 2022.

Source: CarsDirect

The post 2020 Cadillac CT6 Gets Big Price Bump, But More Standard Content appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Revealed! Is the 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe the Variant to Get?

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 23:01

Some cars are secrets, their reveals big surprises. The 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is not. You remember it from the 2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe concept (which wasn’t really a concept), a litany of spy photos, and a teaser last month that pretty much gave it all away. After two years of teasing and nearly three months after BMW previewed it to the media, the four-door Gran Coupe version of the excellent 8 Series is finally here.

You didn’t need the concept or the teasers to guess what the Gran Coupe might look like, though. As it’s done in the past with the 4 and 6 Series, BMW simply stretched the 8 Series Coupe we know and love 9.0 inches to make room for rear doors. In fact, the entire car ahead of the windshield is exactly the same as the Coupe. It’s the same general structure in the rest of the car, too, just longer. And don’t worry, this stretch was baked into the engineering plans from day one.

Naturally, there were a few details in addition to the rack. The windshield is laid back slightly, but the roof is 2.4 inches higher than the Coupe’s. You’ll never notice it unless you park next to one, though. The rear track is also 1.2 inches wider, a change BMW claims was necessary to maintain the shape of the Coupe’s rear fenders while accommodating the Gran Coupe’s new roofline and extra doors.

Like the Coupe, the Gran Coupe will be offered in two trims and two drivetrain configurations. Most will go for the M850i xDrive with its 523-hp 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 and all-wheel drive, though the price- or weight-conscious will prefer the new 840i trim level (also newly announced for the Coupe) and its 3.0-liter twin-turbo I-6 with 335 hp and either rear- or all-wheel drive. Expect an M8 Gran Coupe, in line with the concept and packing either 600 or 617 hp from an uprated 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8. No matter the engine or driven wheels, you’re working through an eight-speed automatic.

Things are just as familiar inside. In fact, the front half of the cabin is again identical to the Coupe’s, so hopefully you already like it. The view in the rearview mirror is little more than a mail-slot view of the world behind thanks to a tall trunk. It’s a deceptively large trunk with a smallish opening, sort of like opening a shoebox at the end rather than the top.

In between is the Gran Coupe’s reason for being. An extra 7.9 inches of wheelbase makes for substantially more rear-seat legroom. What it doesn’t make is a fifth seat—the roof is just too low to make that work. As such, you sit low and deep in the rear buckets with fairly generous headroom for such an aggressive roofline. You won’t be sharing that legroom, either, as there’s a massive console separating the prom dates.

Although it’s indisputably more comfortable for the rear-seat passengers, don’t think the 8 Series has gone soft in Gran Coupe guise. BMW says the long wheelbase may make it ride a little better than the Coupe, but it’s tuned for the same mission. The 7 Series is the luxury barge; as a BMW rep put it, the Gran Coupe is a “large sports car for the buyer who wants a coupe but needs four doors.”

If that sounds like you, you’ll be able to pick one up in September 2019 starting at $85,895.

The post Revealed! Is the 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe the Variant to Get? appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Honda Celebrates its Heritage by Restoring…a Chevy Pickup?

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 21:57

Honda is celebrating its 60th anniversary in the United States with a blast from the past with classic motorcycles and a replica of the delivery truck it used during its early years. When it first arrived into the U.S. market back in 1959, Honda bought a fleet of Chevrolet Apache 10 pickups to use as delivery vehicles for the products it was importing over from Japan. Back then, Honda only sold motorcycles and would use its trucks to ship its two-wheeled goods across its dealership network in Southern California. Last week, Honda celebrated its 60th anniversary in the U.S.

In an attempt to recreate a photo of one of the delivery trucks parked in front of its old headquarters on 4077 Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA, Honda bought a 1961 Chevrolet Apache pickup and restored it to like-new condition, painting it in the same livery as the original delivery trucks by referencing archival images and getting insight from employees of that era. The truck was powered by a 160-hp V-8 engine mated to a three-speed manual transmission. Additionally, two restored classic motorcycles, a Honda 50 and CB160, are placed on the truck bed, and the recreation is now on display at Honda’s headquarters in Torrance, CA.

It took a few years before Honda expanded into the automobile sector. From 1959 to 1968, the company only sold motorcycles. The first Honda vehicle imported to the U.S. was an N600, a modified version of the N360 kei car that went on sale as a 1970 model.

The Chevrolet Apache delivery truck with the two vintage Honda motorcycles in its bed will also be displayed at the 2019 SEMA Show. Additionally, Honda is planning to showcase its retro creation at classic car gatherings around Southern California before it moves to the American Honda Collection Hall, which is located in Torrance. There, a replica of the front of the automaker’s Pico boulevard office will be built to serve as a backdrop for the truck.

Source: Honda

The post Honda Celebrates its Heritage by Restoring…a Chevy Pickup? appeared first on MotorTrend.

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Say Hello to Truckla, a Tesla Model 3 Pickup

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 21:10

Inventor and YouTuber Simone Giertz, a.k.a. “The Queen of Shitty Robots,” didn’t want to wait for Tesla to build its electric pickup, so she built one herself. Chopping up a Model 3, she turned it into what she says is the “world’s first functional Tesla” electric pickup.

“I got tired of waiting for Tesla to release their pickup truck, so I cut up my Model 3 and made my own,” said Giertz on Instagram. She calls her new wheels “Truckla” and fitted it with a personalized California black plate to match.

Giertz had been planning to build a Tesla pickup with artist/mechanic Marcos Ramirez for more than a year, but a noncancerous brain tumor she previously suffered returned and scuttled the project for several months, according to Wired and several of her videos that chronicled her ongoing health battle. While battling the tumor, she continued to post videos and discuss her plans, eventually ordering a base model Tesla 3 in April. You can watch a half-hour summary of the build here:

The video details her online order of the Model 3, its delivery, and the strategy for the build. Giertz rented a garage for 12 days of initial conversion work, first keying “Truckla” into the EV’s trunk lid to keep from turning back. Day two sees the crew removing the rear window, stripping the interior, and Giertz cutting into the Model 3’s structure. Later the team added support beams, a roll bar, a used Ford F-150 bed, roof rack, a rear window from a GMC Canyon, an LED light rack, and more.

According to Giertz, Truckla is usable now but will be fully drivable and finished in July once it receives additional waterproofing for the battery pack, a bed liner, final interior and body work, and paint. She also wants to add a lift kit, which we wholeheartedly endorse. Your move, Elon.

The post Say Hello to Truckla, a Tesla Model 3 Pickup appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2020 Lexus GX Gets a Makeover, New Off-Road Package

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 18:42

Having been introduced for model year 2010, the current-generation Lexus GX is quite an old vehicle. And it continues this way into the 2020 model year, although the three-row SUV gets a few key updates.

First up are the design changes. The 2020 Lexus GX dons an updated version of the brand’s signature spindle grille, with a new 3-D pattern inside. Complementing the bolder mouth are new triple-beam LED headlights. Inside the cabin, Premium and Luxury models receive new Gray Sapele wood with aluminum trim. A new interior color theme available in the lineup is Rioja Red with a black headliner. On the tech front, there are now a total of four USB ports.

Luxury models are available with a new Off-Road package, which includes crawl control, transmission cooler, fuel tank protector, and multi-terrain select, which offers different driving modes for different surfaces including loose rocks, mud and sand, and moguls. Also included are the Multi-Terrain and Panoramic View monitors, which will prove handy while navigating off-road obstacles. These monitors provide a view of the front, rear, side, and now underneath the vehicle on the navigation screen.

Lexus Safety System+ is now standard on all versions of the GX. This package includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, intelligent high beams, and high-speed adaptive cruise control. Some of these safety features were previously offered only on top-trim models.

The 2020 Lexus GX still has the same engine: a 4.6-liter V-8 making 301 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque. In a 2017 First Test, the SUV hit 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. While the powertrain and interior design can use an update, the GX boasts a comfortable ride and strong off-road capability despite its age, we noted.

Source: Lexus

The post 2020 Lexus GX Gets a Makeover, New Off-Road Package appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2020 Ford Explorer rated as high as 24 mpg combined

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 18:00
The 2020 Ford Explorer is frugal for a full-size SUV, even with optional all-wheel drive. EPA ratings indicate it may be the thriftiest of its direct rivals. The EPA last week released its fuel economy estimates for the new SUV and show the 2020 Explorer will return up to 21 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined. Those figures come with...
Categories: Property

English National Opera looking for 100,000 sq ft new home

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 17:17
English National Opera (ENO) has launched a search for a new 100,000 sq ft world class production and office facility to become its next home in London.
Categories: Property

M&G Real Estate buys Industrial Estate in Northampton

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 16:34
M&G Real Estate has acquired a 274,000 sq ft industrial estate in Northampton from Pears Property Group for an undisclosed sum.
Categories: Property

2019 BMW X5, Porsche's 414-hp Cayman and Boxster GT4, Hummer revival proposed: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 15:35
Review update: Tonight, let’s just 2019 BMW X5 and grille BMW didn’t invent the SUV—they don’t even like to use the term. But they have made some crossovers and SUVs worth loving. Florida will allow autonomous test cars to operate without a human backup driver "Florida man" headlines may be a thing of the past when it comes...
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2019 Mazda 6 crash tested, earns Top Safety Pick award

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 15:35
The 2019 Mazda 6 sedan is a Top Safety Pick, according to the insurance industry-funded IIHS. Mazda's mid-size sedan earned the accolade when equipped with optional headlights, as is often the case for vehicles that win the award. However, the 6 fell short of the Top Safety Pick+ award because even its best headlights aren't up to par. The IIHS...
Categories: Property

ID Manchester scheme bids postponed by University of Manchester

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 15:03
The University of Manchester has postponed bids for the £1.5bn development opportunity at ID Manchester.
Categories: Property

Helical repays £100m convertible bond

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 13:24
Helical has repaid its £100m convertible bond in a move that will reduce its cost of debt.
Categories: Property

Review update: Tonight, let’s just 2019 BMW X5 and grille

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 13:00
BMW didn’t invent the SUV—they don’t even like to use the term. But they have made some crossovers and SUVs worth loving. The early X1s were E90s that wore platform shoes, the early X5s had leftover Land Rover DNA tucked below its beltline. The newest X3 is arguably the most consumer-focused luxury car on the road, and the X6M is...
Categories: Property

Canary Wharf Group in talks to buy CapCo’s Earls Court

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 12:13
Capital & Counties is in negotiations to sell most of its Earls Court holdings to Canary Wharf Group.
Categories: Property

Spaces completes 125 Deansgate letting

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 12:05
Spaces has completed its letting of new office building 125 Deansgate in Manchester.
Categories: Property

Review: New Ford Explorer Goes Telluride and Highlander Hunting

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 11:00

After selling more than 7.7 million to date, one of the most iconic three-row family SUVs of all time has been reinvented yet again. The 2020 Ford Explorer gets a major overhaul, as the latest in a line of SUVs that stretches back three decades.

The 2020 Explorer is now on a new platform, and surprisingly, it’s a rear-drive architecture with all-wheel-drive capability available on all trims. And the Explorer family has exploded into new realms. In addition to the regular trim levels, the 2020 lineup includes the first Explorer hybrid and adds an ST performance variant.

Needless to say, we were extremely intrigued when we headed to Portland, Oregon, for our first drive.

There are still 3.6 million Explorers on the road, and the ones arriving in dealerships this month are arguably Ford’s best effort to date.

The look is sleeker with a different grille for each trim level, starting with black mesh and adding more chrome with each upgrade and then blacked out for the ST. It has a wider stance and a sloping roofline for a racier side profile. A huge single body side panel extends to the middle of the C-pillar, which is split down the middle, and the rear quarter panel cuts into the metal. Passive entry on all four door handles add to a sleeker look, and the face is brightened by standard full LED headlights. Overall, the look is not as boxy, but it does pale in comparison to its luxury counterpart, the Lincoln Aviator, or the new Kia Telluride in terms of wow factor.

Benefits of the short overhang were abundantly clear on an off-road course on a hill with an 18-degree grade. The outgoing Explorer’s nose would have received a snootful of dirt at the bottom.

Base engine is a four-banger

The base engine is Ford’s 2.3-liter turbo I-4 that generates 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. That proved to be enough power to pass, and the 10-speed automatic transmission easily found the right gear for each task. It was adequate and uneventful in its performance.

The top-end Platinum gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 that produces 365 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. That engine is tweaked for the Explorer ST to coax 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. Driving impressions of the ST will be coming June 20, so check back with us later this week.

Although the new Explorer has roughly the same dimensions as the 2019 model, it has lost 200 pounds, and being rear-drive, there was a higher expectation of agility. It feels like a race car compared with the old model, an engineer said. We wouldn’t go that far, but the rear-drive platform and lightening do liven up the drive.

We started with a rear-drive Limited, which has a base price of $49,225. This particular one, however, was optioned to $52,820 with 20-inch wheels and a tow package. The cabin was quiet enough and the suspension adequately supple. Although there’s little body roll, the Explorer is a big vehicle and felt that way. It was not sluggish, but it was no track imp, either.

The hybrid that could

The capability of the Limited Hybrid was impressive. With a 318-hp, 336-lb-ft 3.3-liter V-6 mated to a 10-speed modular hybrid transmission, this is the first hybrid for Explorer—and the first hybrid the Ford brand has offered in six years.

The electric motor is packaged between the engine and the transmission’s torque converter and can drive about 3 miles in electric-only mode. The liquid-cooled 1.5-kW-hr battery pack is under the floor between the front seat and second-row footwell on the passenger side, so there is no encroachment on cabin space.

The hybrid claims a range of 500 miles. We only averaged 22.4–22.5 mpg. Other colleagues reported as little as 18 mpg or as much as 32. It speaks to different driving styles and that the vehicles were used in a variety of ways, including off-roading and towing. EPA certification is expected any day; we’ll see how it competes with the Toyota Highlander hybrid, which gets 29/27 mpg city/highway but is only rated to tow 3,500 pounds.

Surprisingly, the engine does not run on the Atkinson cycle. Engineers tell us the twin independent cam timing is already close to the Atkinson cycle, that it would not work well with the 10-speed, and that the small improvement in efficiency would come at the expense of performance. Ford did not want to sacrifice horsepower or torque on the Explorer. It’s an even bigger issue for police vehicles, which would have lost horsepower, torque, and pursuit performance. The Explorer and Aviator are the firsts to use this new powertrain architecture, which includes the engine, disconnect clutch, e-motor, torque converter, and transmission. The F-150 hybrid will use a version of this architecture next year.

At times the pedal felt a little heavy and the ride a bit jerky, but the brakes were smoother than many hybrids. And it has some serious capability. It’s rated to tow 5,000 pounds and was not even breathless during a stint with a 3,500-pound trailer behind us. It’s not much of a compromise, as the regular Explorer with the I-4 and a towing package brings towing capacity to 5,300 pounds and the V-6 tows 5,600 pounds.

Equally impressive was the hybrid’s off-road prowess, where it was as capable as its regular counterpart. With optional AWD and a tight turning radius, it tackled a challenging course in Trail mode. With hill descent control activated, it led the SUV down a steep decline with controlled speed. The vehicle also held firm on a bank with a 25-degree incline and forded a water hazard 12 inches deep with a rocky and unstable river bottom. Washers keep the cameras on the front and rear clean.

More room inside

While the Explorer stayed roughly the same size, the wheelbase grew 6.3 inches, which makes the cabin more spacious—a big improvement over the outgoing model, which felt cramped despite being such a large SUV. Designers rectified the complaints with thinner doors and a redesigned center console so the driver is better positioned and less cramped even though the vehicle did not get any wider. Space is also freed up by switching to a rotary-dial gearshift dial, which took some getting used to.

The 12.3-inch customizable digital cluster on the top trims has graphics that change to reflect which mode you’re in. The standard screen is 6.5 inches.

An 8.0-inch touchscreen replaces the old 4.0-incher; the upgrade is a 10.1-inch capacitive screen that is upright like a tablet. Designers chose a portrait layout because it mimics the way people use their phones and it’s easier to stack CarPlay and other information. The screen is well integrated into the dash, and designers used the extra inches below the smaller screen to create a shelf for phones. A number of USB ports and wireless charging are placed cleverly against the outside wall of the center storage bin.

The Sync 3 system was slow to load on the preproduction vehicles, but Ford is already sending an over-the-air software update. Hopefully the fix also addresses the nav system, which would shout out instructions late enough to induce frequent last-minute tire squealing or overshooting the mark and turning around during our evaluation drive.

The heated and cooled eight-way adjustable seat is comfortable. All but the base model has standard bucket seats in the second row instead of a bench. Second-row passengers can place their iPads in the ridges in the center storage area. Second-row cupholders are square to accommodate juice boxes.

Getting in and out

The Explorer sits high, so those with short legs can be challenged getting in and out. Passengers get a grab handle. To ease entry into the second and third rows, the scuff plate was widened for a sturdier step. And the second row folds and slides forward with the single push of a button. The Limited trim and those above it have buttons in the cargo area to fold the power third-row seats flat.

A nice touch is a lip to keep items from rolling out the back, and the carpeted cargo cover is reversible; the underside is a rubber mat. The cover can also be slotted at different heights to create assorted-sized storage areas. There is a standard power liftgate, a handy little triangle in the bumper so you know where to put your hand to activate it, and a skidplate to prevent scratching the rear bumper when loading and unloading.

Co-Pilot360 is standard, offering an array of driver assistance safety features such as pre-collision alert with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and lane keep systems and a rear camera.

All flavors of Explorer continue to be built in Chicago and are shipping to dealers now, with the exception of the hybrid, which awaits EPA certification. The base model starts at $33,860, XLT starts at $37,770, Limited is $49,225, Platinum is $59,345, and the ST starts at $55,835.

Overall, the 2020 Explorer has more style, capability, and breadth than its predecessor. Whether it vaults to the top of the segment is the subject of future comparisons, but this latest model packs enough goods to retain its status as an American sweetheart.

The post Review: New Ford Explorer Goes Telluride and Highlander Hunting appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Florida will allow autonomous test cars to operate without a human backup driver

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 11:00
"Florida man" headlines may be a thing of the past when it comes to cars. The Sunshine State will become home to the nation's least stringent autonomous car legislation come July 1. Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation into law last Thursday that does not require a self-driving test car to have a human driver present, Fox 13 reported. The law...
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