Mainstay appoints Billson to head up residential property management

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 13:29
Mainstay Group has appointed Andy Billson to head up the residential property management arm of the business.
Categories: Property

Savills Dublin makes two new appointments

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 12:32
Savills appointed Sean Ryan McCaffrey and Niall Cuddy to its offices team in Dublin.
Categories: Property

Legal challenge against Debenhams CVA rejected

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 12:05
A legal challenge against Debenhams’ company voluntary arrangement has been rejected in the high court.
Categories: Property

Landsec makes trio of restaurant lettings in Portsmouth

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 11:56
Landsec has announced that it has let three new restaurants across 9,800 sq ft of space in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.
Categories: Property

2020 Ford Escape Hybrid Review: Why It’s the Best Way to Escape

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 11:00

Quicker isn’t always better: With the new 2020 Ford Escape, one of the slower trims is also one of its best. Don’t get too excited, though, as the 2020 Escape Hybrid comes with a couple big asterisks—for now. With the tall C-Max hatch gone, the 2020 Escape Hybrid has a special surprise for compact crossover customers craving something a little different. As the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s only direct competitor until the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid arrives, we tested the 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid to see how it measures up.

The Escape’s surprise is the new plug-in hybrid, an intriguing model that promises an EV range of at least 30 miles before the four-cylinder engine kicks in to help. In the real world, this means folks with shorter commutes can drive to and from work without ever using a drop of gas. Cool. It’s promising tech we look forward to testing; the already-available Mitsubishi Outlander has a 22-mile EV range. The less expensive non-plug-in Escape hybrid starts below $30,000 in the 2020 SE Sport trim and makes the fancy-pants Titanium trim available if the 245-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four doesn’t capture your heart (and money).

Read our non-hybrid 2020 Ford Escape First Test review HERE.

The 2020 Escape Hybrid’s as-tested acceleration to 60 mph falls nearly two full seconds behind that turbocharged 2.0-liter model, at 8.7 seconds to 6.9 seconds. But the hybrid might still be the better choice between them, as the 2.0T’s swiftness and overall value pales in comparison to the Mazda CX-5 Signature, which also boasts a boosted engine under the hood. With the Ford hybrid, our AWD 2020 Escape tester fell behind a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid by just over a second (the Toyota hit 60 in 7.5 seconds). The average hybrid buyer may not have quite as much of a lead foot as Escape 2.0T buyers, though, so we suspect that won’t be a huge factor.

Fuel economy is a big deal, but as this is written, we don’t have official EPA-rated numbers. What we can tell you is that the 2020 Escape Hybrid will battle the RAV4 Hybrid, whose 2019 model is rated at 41/38 mpg city/highway in its single AWD configuration. Unlike Toyota, Ford offers its compact SUV hybrid with FWD and AWD; the plug-in model is FWD only.

As for the Escape hybrid, we credit Ford for brakes that feel like conventional non-hybrid brakes nearly to the end of travel, at which point they bite harder than drivers new to hybrids may expect. On the track, the hybrid stopped from 60 mph in 122 feet, better than the 2.0T (123 feet) or 1.5T (128 feet). The hybridized Escape also loses a little of that light, tossable feeling we appreciate on the 1.5T and 2.0T models; otherwise, it drives well. Just drive it comfortably to keep from experiencing some unrefined behavior if you shift aggressively from braking to acceleration (like making an incomplete stop before quickly darting off).

On MotorTrend’s figure-eight course, which evaluates acceleration, braking, cornering, and the transitions between them, the Escape Hybrid finished in 28.3 seconds at 0.60 g (average), almost the same as an FWD Escape 1.5T (28.2 seconds at 0.62 g, average) but not as good as the AWD Escape 2.0T (27.7 seconds at 0.64 g, average).

The hybrid feels responsive overall, but no drivetrain behavior or slick 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster can distract from the general cheapness that pervades the interior. Our 2020 Ford Escapes were pre-production prototypes, so it’s possible some of these issues may be improved in time. Even so, the SUVs we drove disappointed MotorTrend editors who expect more from vehicles in this segment. Where the 2020 Escape Hybrid performs respectably is with perceived interior spaciousness for four.

Escape-ing does mean a slight sacrifice in terms of cargo carrying capacity, however. The RAV4 Hybrid can hold 37.0–37.6 cubic feet of your stuff with the rear seats in place, compared with the 30.7–34.4 cubic feet of the 2020 Escape hybrid and plug-in hybrid (the space is the same in both models; the variation comes from how far forward the rear seats are moved). And we’ll answer your next question: Escape hybrids have 2.8–3.1 cubic feet less space than non-hybrid models.

Not a strong showing if you’re comparing the Escape hybrid back to back with the RAV4 hybrid, but then again, you may not be. The new Ford is as far removed from the boxy first-gen model as you can get, with a soft and suburban appeal that’s also a world apart from the more rugged-looking RAV4. That RAV4 is quicker and has more space for your stuff, but whether it or the upcoming CR-V Hybrid are also more efficient is a question we’d love to answer. Until EPA numbers on the Escape hybrid arrive, we can tentatively recommend the new Ford. If its shortcomings don’t bother you, the Escape’s styling and hybrid powertrain may just make it the best pick of the new SUV’s expansive lineup.

2020 Ford Escape SE Hybrid AWD BASE PRICE $30,850 PRICE AS TESTED $34,840 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 2.5L/168-hp/170-lb-ft Atkinson cycle DOHC 16-valve I-4 plus elec motor; 198 hp comb TRANSMISSION Cont variable auto CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,773 lb (58/42%) WHEELBASE 106.7 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 180.5 x 74.1 x 66.1 in 0-60 MPH 8.7 sec QUARTER MILE 16.7 sec @ 84.7 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 122 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.77 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.3 sec @ 0.60 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON Not yet tested ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY Not yet tested CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB Not yet tested

The post 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid Review: Why It’s the Best Way to Escape appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

​High industrial weighting boosts UK Commercial Property REIT

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 09:18
UK Commercial Property REIT has reported a NAV total return of 1.9% in half-year results, boosted by its strong weighting to industrial.
Categories: Property

Swan Song: The Porsche 911 GT3 Celebrates 20 Years – Reference Mark

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 09:00

Typically, when a vehicle comes to the end of its five- to seven-year production cycle, folks are relieved to see it go. With dated styling and obsolete technology, it is almost archaic in its form and function. There’s rarely celebration for the last car off the line.

That counts double for most sports cars, whose actual lifespan typically lasts a mere 18 months before competitors shave its lap time record and designers create something even more outlandish upon which well-heeled buyers may feast their eyes.

Not so with the Porsche 911, generation 991.2.

Yes, we’ve been graced with the new 992-era Carrera S (with an estimated as-tested price of $143,350), and it is indeed awesome. We dynoed it at 487 hp and 478 lb-ft at the crank. Tractable, endlessly powerful, almost graceful in its assured movements, the 992 responds precisely to your every input. And it will do so forever and always.

Which means the few remaining 991.2 versions are weak sauce by comparison, right? Wrong.

As part of Monterey Car Week festivities, Porsche had our group of journalists drive up from L.A. in a trio of outgoing 991.2 GT3 editions—the standard GT3, the Touring model, and the ferocious GT3 RS. If someone were going to make a bunch of noise while being thrown out of the clubhouse, the GT3 does just that.

For those unfamiliar, the GT3 label essentially means Porsche converted a 911 into a street-legal race car, complete with the vestigial back seat ripped out.

All GT3 doors close with the requisite, confident “chunk.” Firing up the 4.0-liter naturally aspirated engine brings a snarl of God’s Own Sawzall delivering 500 horsepower (520 for the RS) and a ludicrous 9,000-rpm redline.

On offer in the base GT3 and Touring models is a six-speed manual transmission with a short-throw gearshift carrying the confidence of a bolt-action rifle, not to mention rev-matching downshifts and an almost unstallable clutch. However, the GT3 also offers the magnificent PDK that will make you forswear manuals forever.

The steering is scalpel-precise. You don’t wrestle the GT3, you caress it, and in turn the GT3 caresses the road. If you need to get darty, it can be darty. The Touring model lacks the standard GT3’s carbon-ceramic brakes, but its steel binders still pack enough stopping force to avoid a flock of wild turkey chicks unexpectedly crossing the road.

Yes, your dampers may bark against the bump stops as the ground sharply undulates beneath you, and the tires may skitter across bad pavement, but the GT3 delivers the undefinable feeling that this 911 will not be defeated under any circumstance. It is an indomitable creation.

At $164,020 as tested for the base model and $168,840 for a well-equipped Touring edition, this mystical, magical beast is a life-changing experience.

See images from 20 years of the Porsche 911 GT3 in the gallery below.

Now, let’s talk GT3 RS, which is a reality-changing experience. Despite its track intentions, it will likely be purchased by hedge fund poseur bros who can afford its as-tested $204,980 price and take residence nowhere near such speedways, which is a shame.

The RS is skatey in your hands. Its track breeding brings immediate brake bite, but there’s no sharp dive in the nose; it merely decelerates the car firmly. Some might sneer at its race-ready PDK, but it’s faultless aside from its desire to chuff-chuff-chuff in slow-and-go traffic.

At speed, the RS feels like it’s constantly clutching, grabbing, chewing at the asphalt. Guttural and savage, this is 4.0 liters of naturally aspirated defiance against the imminent hegemony of the turbocharger. It is an angry beast, one that’s not meant to be kept in the cage of the city.

Which would I choose, one of the “old” 911 GT3 series or a gleaming-new 911 Carrera S? Although I like being at the head of the line, the GT3 is also the ultimate refinement of the species. It is a true shopper’s dilemma. Pick ’em.

More by Mark Rechtin:

The post Swan Song: The Porsche 911 GT3 Celebrates 20 Years – Reference Mark appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Top 10 Affordable Sports Cars Under $40,000

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 09:00

With the definition of a sports car now including everything from convertibles and coupes to more practical sedans and hatchbacks, there are more vehicles to choose from than ever. Even if you’re on a budget, you can satisfy your speed fix with an exciting vehicle that’ll provide thrills at every corner. Here are 10 affordable sports cars under $40,000.

And if you’re specifically looking for sedans, check this out: 11 Sporty Sedans Under $40,000

2019 Honda Civic Type R – $37,230


When it first arrived, the Honda Civic Type R shook the performance world and immediately became the benchmark among hot hatches. Even today, it’s still under $40,000 (if you can find a dealer to sell at MSRP), and its level of performance makes it a bona fide giant killer. If you can get over its anime-inspired looks complete with a massive wing on the back, you’ll be happy.

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI – $28,490

The Volkswagen Golf GTI helped create the hot hatch segment, and it remains one of the most well-rounded performance cars available. Fully equipped, the 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI checks in under $40,000, but our pick is the midlevel SE. That way you’re just over $30,000.

2020 Subaru WRX – $28,395

All-wheel drive usually means a premium when it comes to performance cars, but the 2020 Subaru WRX bucks that trend. Starting at $28,395, the Subaru WRX is one of the most affordable sports cars you can buy with all-wheel drive standard, and it comes with punchy 268-hp 2.0-liter turbo flat-four.

2020 Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ – $27,940 (Toyota 86); $29,745 (Subaru BRZ)

We’re bending the rules by counting these twins as one. With their high-revving engines, slick manual transmissions, playful chassis, and rear-drive configurations, the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ emphasize driver enjoyment over numbers. They’re both super affordable sports cars, too. Even in their most expensive form or when (blasphemously) equipped with the optional six-speed automatic transmission, you won’t pay over $35,000, making them solid bargains for the performance you get.

2020 Ford Mustang – $27,765

A longtime favorite, the Ford Mustang gives you muscle car looks and sports car performance without breaking the bank. A base EcoBoost Fastback starts under $30,000, and if you’re careful with how you option it, you can get all the go-fast goodies and it’ll still be one of the most affordable sports cars you can buy.

2020 Fiat 124 Spider – $26,935

The Miata’s Italian cousin gives you a different flavor for your two-seat affordable sports car. With its turbocharged engine and an available snarky exhaust, the Fiat 124 Spider has more aural drama. Its suspension calibration also gives it a more planted feel and less body motion, which further distinguishes it from the Miata.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI – $26,890

Think of the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI as a Golf GTI with a trunk, as it has the same powertrain and suspension setup. Even fully loaded in Autobahn guise, the Jetta GLI is one of the most affordable sports cars you can buy, especially if you need a practical one. Additionally, the GLI Autobahn is packed with many creature comforts such as heated and ventilated front seats to keep you comfortable during your commute or spirited drives on your favorite roads.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata – $26,650

Quite possibly the quintessential affordable roadster, the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata has been providing thrills for more than 30 years, making it an enthusiast darling. The base Sport trim of the soft top starts at $26,650, making it a solid bargain by sports car standards. Even if you go for the RF with its retractable hard top, the Miata still tops out under $40,000, making it one of the most affordable sports cars available.

2019 Chevrolet Camaro – $26,495

You don’t need to get a V-8 in order for your Chevrolet Camaro to be fun. A nicely equipped Turbo or V-6 Camaro 1LE with the standard six-speed manual are some of the best bargains among sports cars when carefully configured. Both the Camaro Turbo 1LE and V6 1LE are on the lighter end of the spectrum, ideal for drivers prioritizing handling over outright performance or brute force.

2020 Hyundai Veloster R-Spec and N – $24,070; $28,320 ($30,420 with Performance Package)

The second-generation Hyundai Veloster gave the quirky three-door hatch truly sporting credentials with its new independent suspension in all four corners and two spice levels: hot and hotter. If you’re after an all-around performer, the Veloster R-Spec gives you everyday usability and exciting road manners for under $25,000. Want more? Opt for the Veloster N with the Performance package, a scrappy little beast that costs around $30,000 and gives you track-ready capability.

Top 10 Affordable Sports Cars Under $40,000

The post Top 10 Affordable Sports Cars Under $40,000 appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Review: Retro to the Bone

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 09:00

Sports cars tend to go the longest between redesigns because they sell in such low volumes that it takes forever to amortize the tooling and development costs. The venerable Nissan 370Z, for example, was new in 2009 and hasn’t seen much updating. If I’m honest, I was slightly surprised that Nissan still sells the car when this 2020 370Z 50th Anniversary special edition arrived in our weekly fleet.

As we noted during its New York Auto Show debut, the Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary package is available on the Sport or NISMO trim levels, with a manual or automatic transmission, but it adds no performance. What it does add is $2,600 worth of graphics and retro-reminders that it’s been five decades since Mr. K (Yutaka Katayama), president of Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A., first brought the Nissan Z-car to America. Believe us, the retro runs WAY more than skin deep. Here are eight positive and negative features of the 50th Anniversary car that struck us as perhaps unintentionally retro.

More on the Z: Read our 2017 Nissan 370Z Coupe review HERE.

Racy VQ V-6 Growl

Nissan’s venerable VQ V-6 engine has been in production since 1994, offered globally in displacements ranging from 2.0 liters to 4.0 liters (North America examples always displaced 3.0-4.0 liters). While these engines were state of the art in their youth, the larger displacement ones have felt a bit unrefined in “polite-car” sedan duty of late. But this one’s rough and racy nature and baritone wail totally befit the Z-car’s mission.

No Screens

It’s SO weird to find the center of any new-car dash NOT dominated by a screen delivering information in crystal-clear iPad resolution, controlled either by touch or some sort of remote twirl-and-push wheel or touchpad. There’s not even a screen in the instrument cluster displaying virtual gauges or trip-computer info. Instead the 2020 Nissan 370Z has a big bin located high on the center stack that seems sure to have been intended as a temporary placeholder for a soon-to-arrive center display screen, but none ever arrived. Instead, there are…

Orange-on-Black Dot Matrix Displays

You may think all such remaining displays have found their way to the Smithsonian’s Electronics of Yesteryear show, but this Compaq III computer technology is how the car communicates info such as average speed and fuel economy, instantaneous fuel economy, range, etc.

Mega-Lo-Res Digital Clock

Stepping down a notch in resolution from the trip-computer display is the clock’s square-dot-matrix “screen.” At least it gets its own prominent location under a dedicated visor, front and center on the top of the dash.

Clock Radio Odometer Readout

The seven-segment LED technology employed in the main and trip odometer looks ripped directly from an old clock radio. We can cut Nissan some slack here, though, as they’re not alone in clinging to this elderly LED technology for tiny odometer displays.

A Glorious Stick Shift


Now that practically every vehicle from econoboxes to supercars has abandoned the third pedal, it’s getting to be a rare treat to row your own. The 2020 370Z heightens that treat, providing a good-old-days mechanical shifter feel, the likes of which you can only get when the stick is stirring gears that are directly below it in a front-engine, rear-drive car. S-Mode rev-matching is a feature added in the twilight of the manual transmission’s life, but it’s one I enjoy and always switch on so pedestrians can marvel at what appears to be my heel-and-toe downshifting mastery.

LED Fuel/Temperature Gauges

Who needs needles—real or virtual—when you can simply light up one of 16 LED light bulbs to indicate temperature, or turn LEDs off sequentially on a gas gauge as the fuel level drops. Very old school…

Key Cozy

Wow, cool—it has push-button start! But what’s this down by my left knee, a place to stow the key? Not exactly, but back when this car was new there was a lot of concern about dead batteries in key fobs. So this is an “Intelligent Key System” slot, which allows you to start the car if the fob’s battery runs down. It does NOT recharge the fob battery, however. (These days most fob batteries seem to last two-plus years anyway.)

The post 2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Review: Retro to the Bone appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Barwood gets off the mark with fifth fund

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 08:56
Barwood Capital has raised £48m of equity for its Regional Property Growth Fund IV, putting it on track to achieve its target of £100m.
Categories: Property

2019 Tesla Model 3 Earns Top Safety Pick+ Rating From IIHS

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 05:01

As we wait for the Tesla Model S to record a Nürburgring lap time, there’s news about the smaller Model 3. The 2019 Tesla Model 3 has been named a Top Safety Pick+, IIHS announced today. This is Tesla’s first safety award from the agency.

The Tesla Model 3 earned “Good” safety ratings in all crash test categories. It also earned top marks in the difficult headlight evaluation, as well as a “Superior” rating in front crash prevention. With its standard front crash prevention system, the Model 3 avoided crashes in the 12-mph and 25-mph tests.

The Model 3 joins the Audi e-tron as the second battery-electric vehicle to enter the IIHS winner’s circle. Hyundai’s Nexo fuel cell vehicle also earned the top award. IIHS didn’t release a full set of scores for the 2018 Model 3, only rating the headlights and front crash prevention system. The agency hasn’t listed ratings for the 2019 Model S, but the 2017 version it tested didn’t receive the award.

Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Model 3 a five-star safety rating. Tesla has claimed the Model 3 has the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by NHTSA, based on data from the agency. NHTSA apparently disagrees with that assessment, however. It said Tesla was making “misleading statements,” and it even sent the automaker a cease-and-desist letter over the claims.

Source: IIHS, Reuters

The post 2019 Tesla Model 3 Earns Top Safety Pick+ Rating From IIHS appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Test Drive Video: Revisiting the 612-HP Widowmaker

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 00:42

We’ve already established that the modern 991-generation Porsche 911 GT2 RS is an absolute monster. It’s only one hundredth of a second slower than the fastest car ever to lap our figure-eight (the $986,000 McLaren Senna) and it’s captured more than a few lap records at racetracks around the country.

But let’s not forget, the generation before the 991, model code 997, had an ass-kicking twin-turbocharged animal of its own. The 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, appropriately nicknamed the “Widowmaker,” makes 612 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbo flat-six, and the RS model weighs 154 pounds less than a standard GT2.

But what really separates the last-gen GT2 RS from its successor is its transmission. Porsche offers only the fabulous PDK dual-clutch in the modern GT2 RS but the 997 version was available exclusively with a six-speed manual. That’s right; you could buy a rear-drive Porsche with over 600 horsepower that had three pedals and a stick between the seats.

Sure, the manual doesn’t shift as quickly as Porsche’s dual-clutch and no, it’s not as fast or as powerful as the new one, but come on! There’s a good chance we will never drive a manual transmission 911 this powerful again. Plus, the 997 still exhibited all of those old-school Porsche driving characteristics (light steering, trail-braking corner-entry oversteer, all the good stuff) that makes older 911s so unique to drive.

The 997 GT2 RS is an incredibly special car and the market seems to have taken notice. Choice examples are trading for around $600,000 right now—more than double what they sold for when new—and that price just might be worth it.

Check out the video above to watch our own Jonny Lieberman behind the wheel of a 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS on the streets of Miami! Also check out the gallery for photos of the 991-generation Porsche 911 GT2 RS.

The post 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Test Drive Video: Revisiting the 612-HP Widowmaker appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Ford Performance Offers Off-Road Lift Kit for 2019 Ford Ranger and F-150

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 00:26

Trucks are the best-selling vehicles in America, and the Ford F-150 has been king of the hill for some time now. Its baby brother, the Ranger, was recently reintroduced to the North American market. Now, Ford is looking to beef up the off-roading credentials of its non-Raptor F-150 and Ranger.

For the first time ever, Ford Performance is offering lift kits on 4WD Ford Ranger and Ford F-150 models. The new “Performance Off-Road Leveling Kit With Tuned Suspension” essentially borrows suspension tech found on the F-150 Raptor. The dealer-installed option consists of a set of FOX shock bodies that are designed to provide better cooling over rough terrain, an optimized spring rate, unique internal valving for the dampers, and truck-specific upper front mounts with polyurethane bushings to help limit noise and vibrations.

According to Ford, Rangers with the lift kit will get an approximate 21-percent increase in approach angle and a 10-percent increase in breakover angle. F-150s with the 145-inch wheelbase see a roughly 22-percent increase in approach angle and 7-percent increase in breakover angle. The kit also levels off the suspension, taking away the 2-inch rake of the standard suspension on both trucks.

Ford says the kit, which was developed in tandem with FOX, was tested for both high-speed off-roading and low-speed rock-crawling to optimize it for a variety of off-road driving experiences. The new suspension is compatible with any 2019 4WD Ranger and F-150, and will be made available later this fall. The off-road lift kit retails for $1,495, not including installation costs.

The post Ford Performance Offers Off-Road Lift Kit for 2019 Ford Ranger and F-150 appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

JLL’s head of EMEA flex space quits to set up own flex firm

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 00:00
Dan Brown leaves after less than a year and is replaced by Ben Munn as new global head of flex space
Categories: Property

Investors set to pump £3.2bn into UK’s PBSA sector by end of 2019

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 00:00
Investors are on course to pump £3.2bn into the UK’s purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) sector by the year-end, according to new research by Knight Frank.
Categories: Property

Property ‘not enemy’, says Lib Dem’s Farron

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 00:00
Housing spokesman backs developers but calls for end to planning loopholes
Categories: Property

McCloud: SMEs need more support from government

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 00:00
The government needs to do more to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) if it wants them to play a part in delivering desperately needed homes, Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud told delegates at RESI 2019.
Categories: Property

2020 Honda CR-V First Look: Hybrid at Last

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 21:36

After the world got its first look at the fifth-gen Honda CR-V Hybrid at the 2017 Shanghai auto show, Japanese and European buyers have been tooling around in them for quite a while now. Starting in spring 2020, U.S. buyers will get a chance to own an Americanized hybrid version of this (retail) sales-leading crossover. The 2020 Honda CR-V hybrid system we’ll get is essentially this same Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (iMMD) two-motor e-CVT powertrain found in the Euro CR-V and Accord Hybrids.

What’s the Americanization include? Well, for one thing we won’t be getting a front-drive CR-V Hybrid. With 70 percent of all gas-CR-V buyers here opting for AWD, and an expectation that 10 percent of 2020 buyers will opt for the Hybrid, the number of potential front-drive Hybrids was too small to justify. Good news: the mechanical AWD system is essentially the same one found on gas CR-Vs, not an electrified rear axle like the RAV4 Hybrid uses.

Other differences relative to the global CR-V Hybrids are limited to system tuning tweaks tailored to local regulations and buyer expectations. Honda says the electric motor in our market’s 2020 CR-V Hybrid makes 181 hp—same as the Euro-spec one and the one in the Accord Hybrid. The 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine’s output hasn’t been confirmed, but both the Euro CR-V Hybrid and the Accord Hybrid it quote 143 hp and 129 lb-ft for this engine. And although Europe doesn’t quote a combined output, the 212 hp and 232 lb-ft being claimed for the 2020 CR-V Hybrid matches that of Accord Hybrid.

EPA testing has yet to be concluded, but we’re told to expect about a near-50 percent improvement in the City figure. Your results may vary but in Europe, using the tighter new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure, the AWD Hybrid’s gains over the 1.5-liter turbo gas models with AWD and the CVT range from 2.3 to 53.8 percent across three trim grades and five tests.

We can probably also assume that the CR-V shares the Accord’s 1.3-kW-hr lithium-ion battery pack. Honda claims this pack will propel the CR-V farther in EV mode than “competitor” models (read RAV4), but there is no standard for measuring such range on a non-plug-in hybrid, so who knows?

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Trims and Expected Pricing

The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid will come in four trim grades: LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. Pricing has not been announced yet, but their chief competitor, Toyota, charges about 3 percent more for the hybrid option on a RAV4, which would mean starting at about $27,750 for the LX and $36,500 for the Touring.

Honda assures us that because the Hybrid model was planned for from the beginning, all the body stampings are the same for gas and hybrid models, and hence cargo and passenger space are unchanged.


You’ll be able to tell the 2020 CR-V Hybrid models from their unique grille treatment with blue “H” badge, hidden exhaust outlets, five-LED fog lamps (Touring models), and badging. Inside, there’s a new push-button transmission shifter and steering-wheel paddles that increase or decrease the regenerative braking power. The digital instrument cluster will also present similar hybrid energy flow and eco-scoring screens to those in the Accord Hybrid.

The rest of the CR-V lineup gets a host of upgrades too. Honda Sensing is now standard on all models, The 2.4-liter is gone from the lineup, leaving all other CR-Vs powered by the 1.5-liter turbo. The center console is redesigned with a storage bin/sliding-shelf system that can better accommodate a larger purse, and on Touring models there’s even a Qi wireless phone charging pad and woodgrain trim. Outside, there’s a new grille design, new projector and LED headlights, revised fog lights, new 18- and 19-inch wheel designs for the top two trims, tinted taillights, dark chrome trim, and chrome exhaust tips (Touring only). The gas-powered 2020 Honda CR-V goes on sale this fall.

The post 2020 Honda CR-V First Look: Hybrid at Last appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Jessi Combs Honored With Special Exhibit at Petersen Automotive Museum

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 20:44

The Petersen Automotive Museum has created a special exhibit honoring Jessi Combs, “the fastest woman on four wheels.” Opening September 22, the exhibit will feature several of her motorcycles, her accolades including Baja and Great Race medals, personal notebooks, original Chip Foose drawings from her tenure on Overhaulin’, and other memorabilia highlighting her career as a fabricator, racer, and TV personality.

Combs tragically passed away on August 27 while attempting a new land-speed record. She was driving the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger, repurposed F-104 fighter jet which she had piloted to previous women’s four-wheeled speed records. She is greatly missed by her Discovery and MotorTrend family, as well as auto enthusiasts around the world.

“Jessi Combs was an inspiration to the entire automotive community,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges, in a statement. “This exhibit is an opportunity to move people, especially the future generation of women builders and enthusiasts, through Jessi’s incredible life story.”

“Jessi Combs: Life at Full Speed” runs September 22-25 at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The exhibit is free, but donations are encouraged. Proceeds will benefit The Jessi Combs Foundation, a new organization that aims to inspire “the next generation of female trailblazers and stereotype-breakers.”

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Categories: Property

GM/UAW Strike: Will the Strike Save the Cadillac CT6?

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 18:35

General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck and Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plants are reportedly in play as part of the ongoing contract negotiations between GM and the United Auto Workers union, whose roughly 49,000 members nationwide went on strike against the automaker at just after midnight Monday morning. It’s a development that offers a glimmer of hope for one of GM’s better cars, the Cadillac CT6, which has been slated to be discontinued.

GM has been in the process of winding down the Hamtramck plant’s operations, but reportedly offered to keep it open to build an electric pickup truck there as part of last-minute bargaining just before UAW workers hit the picket lines, according to the Associated Press. Hamtramck, which is the only remaining automotive assembly plant within Detroit’s borders, had been previously classified as “unallocated” for future product when GM announced budget cuts of around $6 billion earlier this year to take effect by the end of 2019. Along with the reported Hamtramck concession, GM is also said to have pledged to build a battery plant next to the Lordstown factory. The automaker has been in negotiations to sell Lordstown, which opened in 1966, to The Workhorse Group, a startup that wants to build an EV pickup of its own there.

By the end of April 2019, GM had transferred 593 workers from Detroit-Hamtramck to other factories, as the plant assembled the last Chevrolet Volts and Buick LaCrosses there. But 700 workers remain to assemble Cadillac CT6 and Chevy Impala sedans.

Here’s where it gets interesting for enthusiasts. GM just built a small run of the 2019 Cadillac CT6-V, a $90,000-plus full-size sport sedan with Cadillac’s all-new, hand-built 4.2-liter twin-turbo “Blackwing” V-8 rated for 550 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque. But by the time I got to drive the 2019 Cadillac CT6-V and its CT6 Platinum sibling with a slightly detuned version of Blackwing, the car was scheduled to end production when the Hamtramck plant closed in January 2020. GM brass said it could not find another assembly plant to build the CT6, including versions powered by the milder 500-hp Blackwing or GM’s 3.6-liter and twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6s.

Since it went on sale for the 2017 model year, the CT6 has claimed the mantle as Cadillac’s flagship. Without it, Cadillac again retrenches from plans to gradually grow its reputation as a direct competitor for the German luxury brands.

Any future for the CT6 hinges on negotiations with the UAW about what happens with Detroit-Hamtramck, though at this stage of the talks, there are too many variables in play to predict the car’s ultimate fate. It’s obviously a sufficiently flexible plant to have once accommodated big Chevy, Buick, and Cadillac sedans as well as the electrified Volt (the Cadillac ELR was also briefly built there). For sure, initial volumes for a GM EV pickup from Detroit-Hamtramck would be low, but will the contract call for the plant’s current employment level of 700 UAW members, or would it be closer to the 1,300 it once had?

That question is tied into other, more substantive points of negotiation. The UAW wants GM to reduce or eliminate its temporary worker program, which allows the company to adjust production levels to better match the ebb and flow of certain models.

Even after all the efficiencies GM realized after the 2009 bankruptcy, when UAW and salaried workers alike suffered major cuts as the company restructured, the U.S. auto industry was left with too much capacity. The industry is underutilized by about 3 million units, the Center for Automotive Research’s Kristin Dziczek told NPR. GM accounts for 1 million of that. Lordstown, for example, had the capacity to annually build 400,000 units of the recently dropped Chevy Cruze. It wouldn’t have been a bad call for GM to withhold any offers to keep open any plants not allocated for new products.

Conversely, GM posted a $10.8-billion pretax profit for 2018, and there’s no better time for the UAW to get what it can out of the automaker (as well as Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, when they generally fall into line after the model is set by the strike target). But like every other major automaker, GM is preparing for a future in which fat pickup truck and SUV profits will be devoured by the cost of bringing electric and semi-autonomous vehicles to market. The burgeoning UAW scandal, in which a federal investigation has extended all the way up to union president Dennis Williams, gives GM a bit of an edge this time.

No matter what happens, I predict this will be the last old-line, traditional contract negotiations between a U.S. automaker and the UAW. While fate of the Cadillac CT6 is a trivial piece of the high stakes bargaining now taking place, from an enthusiast perspective at least, its continued production could do a lot to improve the reputation of GM’s luxury division.

This story originally appeared on Automobile Magazine.

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Categories: Property