Performance of retail-focused funds nosedives in first half

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 00:00
The worst performer was British Land’s Hercules Unit Trust, which delivered a total return of -12.4%
Categories: Property

Sophie Meeson to take over the role of FD at The Portman Estate

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 00:00
Sophie Meeson has been promoted to finance director at The Portman Estate and been given a seat on the board.
Categories: Property

Canadian retirement living giant Amica poised to enter UK market

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 00:00
Canadian retirement living giant Amica Senior Lifestyles is working up plans to enter the UK market. Amica is understood to be planning to replicate its high-end rental model in the London market, where it has been looking for sites.
Categories: Property

Bricks-and-mortar stores have ‘halo effect’ on online sales

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 00:00
Bricks-and-mortar stores are having a ‘halo effect’ on online sales, in some instances more than doubling the online sales achieved in areas lacking a physical store, new research from CACI reveals.
Categories: Property

Auction House achieves its largest-ever July sales figure

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 00:00
Franchise raises £51.8m from sale of 458 lots, taking total of lots sold to 2,195 – 8% more than last year
Categories: Property

Original 1968 Ford Mustang Bullitt Movie Car Heading to Auction

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 23:56

If Steve McQueen was still with us, you know he would have jumped at the chance to own his co-star—the 1968 Ford Mustang GT that he drove in the classic cop film Bullitt. The original Highland Green beauty is going on the block at the Mecum Kissimmee 2020 auction in Florida and is expected to sell for big bucks.

Its whereabouts were unknown for over four decades until it resurfaced at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show and we learned that it spent a good deal of time with a lucky family in New Jersey. Sean Kierman inherited the car from his father, and his family is finally ready to part with their most cherished possession.

“Through a lot of conversation and prayer my family and I have decided to sell our car, the 1968 Mustang GT fastback known as Bullitt. I can promise that we have thought this through together and decided that this is the best decision for the family,” announced Kierman via Instagram. “Bullitt has been part of my family for 45 years and we have celebrated her in the grandest way possible, and now it will have a new role and new meaning to the future owner.”

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Through a lot of conversation and prayer my family and I have decided to sell our car, the 1968 Mustang GT fastback known as Bullitt. I can promise that we have thought this through together and decided that this is the best decision for the family. Bullitt has been part of my family for 45 years and we have celebrated her in the grandest way possible, and now it will have a new role and new meaning to the future owner. Mecum Auctions will handle the sale of the car and it will headline the Kissimmee, Florida auction in January 2020. The announcement of the car will be made in Monterey, California by myself surrounded by long time friends on August 14th at 3pm Pacific. I have accomplished what I set out to do with the car; Tell my Dad’s story in the best way possible and share the car with the world. I had no idea what to expect when we unveiled the car in January 2018 in Detroit, but since then everyone has been absolutely excited and respectful to see the car and hear the story. I have met many awesome people along the way and have heard many amazing stories. Thanks to each and every one of you, and I will continue to be very active in the automotive/Mustang community. Also, I plan to take a much bigger role in Parkinson’s research and surrounding charities such as Drive Toward a Cure. The following events are where you can come and see Bullitt and myself before January 2020- Kentucky Summer Nights, Somerset Kentucky – August 24th Mecum Dallas Auction – September 4th–7th Charlotte AutoFair – October 17th–19th SEMA – November 5th- 8th MCACN – November 23rd-24th

A post shared by The Real Bullitt (@therealbullitt) on Aug 14, 2019 at 5:56pm PDT

The car is one of two Mustangs featured in the 1968 movie and it was used for one of the most famous car chase scenes of all time. Kiernan’s mother used the car as her daily driver for years before it was disassembled in 2001 by the family.

Kiernan put it back together after his father died in 2014 and it has since toured around the U.S. and beyond.

If you have a large pile of cash available, get yourself down to Florida for the Mecum Kissimmee 2020 auction in January. McQueen would totally understand.

Source: Mecum

The post Original 1968 Ford Mustang Bullitt Movie Car Heading to Auction appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Volvo is Looking to Add Two More SUVs to its Lineup

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 21:42

It seems like Volvo is set to grow its SUV lineup in the wake of strong sales. In an interview with Auto Express, Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson revealed that the Swedish automaker is considering adding two more models to its SUV lineup.

“Our strategy has been growth, but not through adding pure volumes,” Samuelsson told Auto Express. “We have been going in hard and being better in segments where we have a really strong offering. That is the basic assumption. And now we also have the production capacity to grow this company. But we are not excluding the idea of additions, especially in very core segments, like the SUV. I think we are looking into this possibility now. You should not exclude the idea that there might be a bigger one, but maybe also a smaller one. We will surprise you about that in the future”

A smaller SUV would slot under the XC40 while a larger model would sit above the XC90 as the new range topper. If both SUVs do get the green light, the entry-level model will likely be underpinned by the CMA platform and be similar in size to the Audi Q2, which slots below the Q3 and isn’t sold in North America. An all-electric Volvo XC40 is expected to arrive for the 2020 model year.

The larger SUV could use the second generation of Volvo’s SPA platform, which is expected to arrive in three years and can reportedly handle vehicles larger than the XC90. All 60 and 90 series Volvos use the first-generation SPA architecture, which was first introduced on the second-generation XC90 for the 2016 model year. An SUV larger than the XC90 would expand Volvo’s reach in the U.S. and China where such vehicles are in high demand. With Volvo’s commitment to electrification, both the entry-level small crossover and range-topping full-size SUV should offer electrified powertrains, possibly including full EVs.

Source: Auto Express

The post Volvo is Looking to Add Two More SUVs to its Lineup appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2020 Corvette costs less than $60K all-in, 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 performance, 2020 E-tron smashed: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 21:00
2020 Chevrolet Corvette costs $59,995 to start, including fees Chevy said Thursday that its new mid-engine Corvette would cost less than $60,000—no surprise charges. Ford backtracks on Fiesta, Focus transmission claims, offers extended warranties Ford said it would add two years and 40,000 miles to warranties for a clutch in its problematic...
Categories: Property

2020 Chevrolet Corvette costs $59,995 to start, including fees

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 20:00
Chevrolet on Thursday confirmed a surprise. Although the automaker announced last month that the mid-engine 2020 Chevy Corvette would cost less than $60,000, many expected that price would exclude the mandatory destination charge that would add another $1,000 or so. Not so. When it goes on sale later this year, the 2020 Chevy Corvette will cost...
Categories: Property

Refreshed 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback Starts at $22,580

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 18:19

Honda refreshed the Civic sedan and coupe last year, and now it’s the hatchback’s turn to receive some TLC. The 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback goes on sale this week with updated styling and expanded availability of the six-speed manual transmission.

To give the hatchback a sharper look, Honda revised the grille crossbar and provided the headlights with a new blackout treatment. The lower bumper foglight housings now feature a body-color crossbar, as do the lower bumper openings in the rear. You’ll find a new set of wheels on every trim, painted in either black or dark gray. Honda says it improved the LED headlights on the Sport Touring model with wider and longer light beams.

The Sport Touring is also available with a six-speed manual transmission for the first time. Previously, you could only get it on the Sport trim. Buyers who don’t choose the manual will get a CVT.

The base model starts at $22,580, up $200 from last year. At this price, the Civic hatch is more expensive than the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, which starts at $21,095 with a six-speed manual or $22,195 with a CVT.

The Civic hatch Sport trim starts at $23,680 with the manual or $24,480 with the CVT, and it now has more standard features. These include a 7.0-inch touchscreen with eight speakers, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and push-button start with keyless entry. There is also new seat upholstery unique to the model, as well as updated interior trim. When paired with the CVT, it now gets remote start.

The EX trim, priced at $25,080, adds an eight-way power driver’s seat this year as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The EX-L lands at $26,280, getting brushed black interior accents along with the Sport Touring, which starts at $29,980 with the manual or $29,780 with the CVT.

Fuel economy tops out at 31/40/34 mpg city/highway/combined on the LX, EX, and EX-L trims. Sport and Sport Touring models top out at 29/37/32 with the manual and 29/35/32 with the CVT. All Civic Hatchbacks receive a 1.5-liter turbo-four engine. Standard output is 174 hp, but Sport and Sport Touring models max out at 180 hp.

Source: Honda

The post Refreshed 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback Starts at $22,580 appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Sports Direct announces closure of eight Jack Wills stores

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 16:16
Following its acquisition of Jack Wills, Sports Direct has announced the closure of eight of its 98 UK stores.
Categories: Property

2020 Honda Odyssey

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 14:30
Cool after kids is possible. The 2020 Honda Odyssey is more about convenience, and less about capitulation. This year, the van is standard with a 10-speed automatic in all trims and celebrates its 25th anniversary with some special badges and wheels, if you like. The basic formula hasn’t changed over two and a half decades. The Odyssey still...
Categories: Property

2019 Audi E-tron earns IIHS' first Top Safety Pick+ award for an electric car

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 13:00
The first electric car to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest award is the 2019 Audi E-Tron, the insurance industry-funded group announced Wednesday. The IIHS said the E-tron crossover earned top "Good" scores in every crash test, including the driver- and passenger-side small overlap crash tests. The group noted that every...
Categories: Property

Flatfair raises $11m to expand its deposit-free renting platform

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 12:37
Flatfair has raised $11m (£9.1m) in a funding round led by index venture for its platform that allows tenants to rent a home without placing a deposit.
Categories: Property

Gazeley announces 146,000 sq ft development at G-Park Biggleswade

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 12:34
Gazeley has announced the development of two logistics warehouses at its G-Park Biggleswade site in Bedfordshire.
Categories: Property

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Officially Starts at $59,995

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 12:00

Finally, official pricing for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is out. True to its promise, Chevrolet is making the sports car available for less than $60,000. It will start at exactly $59,995 when it goes on sale early next year.

The 2020 Corvette price has increased from the C7 Corvette Stingray, which started at $56,995. Still, the new model is definitely a bargain. The Porsche 718 Cayman S, Jaguar F-Type, and BMW Z4 sDrive M40i are included in a long list of sports cars with higher price tags.

The base Corvette Stingray is the 1LT, which comes with plenty of standard features, as listed below. The 2LT trim package starts at $67,295, while the 3LT is priced from $71,945.

Prices increase quickly with options. For $1,195, a performance exhaust raises output from 490 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque to 495 hp and 470 lb-ft. Meanwhile, a front suspension lift system can be added to the 2LT and 3LT trims for $1,495. With this system, you can press a button when approaching an obstacle such as a speed bump, and the location is stored in cloud memory. The next time you approach the location, the lift system activates automatically. Up to 1,000 locations can be stored.

The Z51 Performance Package is a $5,000 option, bringing the base model to just below $65,000 when so equipped. It is available on any trim, and Chevy says models with the package can hit 60 mph in under 3 seconds. This package adds a performance exhaust and suspension, electronic limited slip differential, front splitter, rear spoiler, larger disc brakes, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer only performance tires, updated axle ratio, enhanced cooling, and front brake cooling inlets.

As you probably know, you can now configure the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette on the automaker’s consumer site. See how we configured ours here. And read below for a list of key standard features on each trim level of the Corvette Stingray.


2020 Chevrolet Corvette 1LT standard features

-8-way power GT1 seats with Mulan leather
-removable body-color roof panel
-traction control with active handling and launch control
-8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
-12-inch instrument cluster display
-dual-zone electronic climate control
-rearview camera and Rear Park Assist
-keyless access with push-button start
-cruise control
-Drive mode selector: Tour, Sport, Track, Weather, MyMode, Z-Mode
-10-speaker Bose sound system
-SiriusXM three-month trial
-OnStar one-month trial

2020 Chevrolet Corvette 2LT standard features

-head-up display
-wireless phone charging
-power lumbar and wing seat adjustment
-heated and ventilated seats
-heated steering wheel
-14-speaker Bose Performance Series audio system
-navigation with traffic
-rear camera mirror with auto-dimming
-power folding mirrors
-Performance Data Recorder
-one-year subscription to SiriusXM
-side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert
-driver and passenger side seat memory package
-front curb view camera

2020 Chevrolet Corvette 3LT standard features

-GT2 seats with Napa and Mulan leather seating surfaces and carbon-fiber trim
-custom leather-wrapped interior
-suede-wrapped upper interior trim

Source: Chevrolet

The post 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Officially Starts at $59,995 appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Cadillac CT6-V vs. BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes: Just the Numbers

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 09:00

We had some nice things to say about the new Blackwing-powered Cadillac CT6-V, but a car like this doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The strongest competition comes from the Germans, specifically, the Mercedes-AMG S63, Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive, and the BMW 7 Series–based Alpina B7. Each of these four cars are giant four-door sedans powered by their respective automaker’s take on a 500+ hp hot vee turbocharged V-8, and each sends power to all four wheels. Sound like they’d be pretty similar? Not quite.

Size: Length, Wheelbase, and Weight

All of these cars are based on their manufacturers’ largest sedans, but just how big are they? Short answer: huge. The shortest car in the group is the CT6-V at 204 inches long—that’s 17 feet, or 5.2 meters for you metric-minded folk. (We’ll use the specs of the comparison test–winning Honda Civic for context because it’s also a four-door, five passenger sedan, but it’s an example you’re more likely to have experience with. A Honda Civic is 186.7 inches long and has a 106.3-inch wheelbase. Its curb weight is 2800 lb.)

The Cadillac is closely followed by the Panamera Executive at 204.7 inches, but the Porsche’s 122.0-inch wheelbase undercuts the Caddy by 0.4 inch. At 208.5 inches, the AMG-modified S-Class is the longest of the bunch, but the slightly shorter 207.4-inch Alpina has the longest wheelbase at 126.4 inches. The S63’s 124.6-inch wheelbase is right in the center of the pack.

Remember, 17 feet of luxury shant be taken lightly, and these cars are far from featherweights. The 4,850-lb Alpina is the heftiest, closely followed by the S63 at 4,800 lb. (That’s just the manufacturer suggested curb weight; the last S63 we tested weighed in at 5,105 lb.) Next comes the stretched Panamera at 4,650 lb. The comparatively dainty CT6-V is the lightest here by some margin, weighing in at just 4,500 lb. That’s the same curb weight Mercedes-AMG claims for its one-size-smaller E63 S.

Interior Space: Legroom and Trunk Volume

These are luxurious grand touring super-sedans; the goal here is to be able to transport four or five passengers at high speeds over long distances in absolute comfort. That’s why they’re as huge as they are. A longer wheelbase means more room between the front and rear axles for passengers so as a general rule, more wheelbase equals more leg room. (Context: A Honda Civic sedan has 42.3/37.4 inches of front/rear leg room and 15.1 cubic feet of cargo volume.)

It should come as no surprise that the Alpina, the car with the longest wheelbase, has the most rear legroom at 44.4 inches. The S63 is next at 43.1 inches of room in back and both cars have 41.4 inches of front foot space. Cadillac’s newcomer doesn’t measure up to the larger Germans in the back seat with only 40.4 inches of legroom, but 46.4 inches up front means the CT6-V has the most combined legroom of any car here. Even in the extended-wheelbase Panamera Executive, 39.6 inches of rear legroom is the fewest among this competition, and 41.9 inches up front doesn’t do much to sweeten the deal.

Cargo volume also matters in cars like these and for trunk space, the Alpina is the winner again, with 18.2 cubic feet. It’s closely followed by the hatchback-equipped Panamera at 17.6 cubes. That said, manufacturers measure hatchback cargo volume differently than they measure a sealed trunk, so take that one with a grain of salt. Next comes the S63 with 16.6 cu-ft and the CT6-V rounds out the pack with 15.3 cu-ft of space for of junk in its trunk.

Engine: Power, Torque, and Displacement

What’s installed under their hoods is what separates these cars from more common versions of the same models. It’s not hard to explain that a four-cylinder 237-hp CT6 2.0T is a very different animal than a CT6-V with more than twice the power. Each car here has a V-8 ranging between 4.0 and 4.4 liters of displacement—relatively small compared to the C8 Corvette’s 6.2-liter non-turbo V-8.

If an engine is just a big air pump, (it is) than more displacement means the engine can pump more air, combust more fuel, and make more power, right? All things being equal, yes, but forced induction is the great equalizer. Each one of those V-8s has two turbos to stuff more air into the cylinders and they’re crammed between the cylinder banks for better throttle response and less turbo lag.

(Context corner: the Honda Civic sedan is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 174 hp and 162 lb-ft.)

Despite being tied for the smallest-displacement engine, the S63 has the most powerful and torquiest powerplant of the group. Its 4.0-liter V-8 puts out 603 horses and a monsterous 664 lb-ft. The Panamera Executive also has a 4.0-liter engine, but it’s tied with the Cadillac for the least power (550 hp) and has the lowest torque output at 567 lb-ft. Despite the Cadillac’s comparatively low power output, the 4.2-liter Blackwing V-8’s 640 lb-ft torque figure is second only to the bruiser Benz. The 4.4-liter V-8 in the Alpina B7 is the largest displacement engine of the bunch but in terms of output, it’s middle of the pack with 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque.

Performance: 0–60 and Top Speed

The acceleration stats of these four sizeable sedans exceed those of mid-engine supercars from not so long ago. Don’t believe me? Check out our Ferrari F430 Spider review.

Cadillac claims a 3.8-second 0–60 sprint for the CT6-V but in terms of turbo V-8–powered limousines, that’s just the tip of the acceleration iceberg. The Panamera is next with an estimated 3.7-second time, but if it’s equipped with the $2,530 Sport Chrono package, drivers have an option for launch control. Specced as such, the Panamera Executive is claimed to hit 60 mph in the same 3.5 seconds that Mercedes and BMW quote for the S63 and Alpina B7.

Not that it matters to most of us, but for those with an Autobahn or abandoned airstrip as part of their commute, top speed could factor into your buying decision. The CT6-V and S63 are both electronically limited, the Cadillac to 149 mph and the Mercedes to 186 mph. Porsche’s elongated Panamera tops out at 190 mph but the real luxo-missile here is the Alpina. BMW claims a 205-mph top speed for the B7.


Without question, the biggest difference between these cars is the price. Case in point: the least expensive of the bunch, the CT6-V, starts at $95,890—almost $70k less than the $163,150 you’ll pay to get into a Panamera Turbo Executive. Plus, Porsche charges extra for features that are standard in the CT6-V, like adaptive cruise control ($2,890) or ventilated front seats ($840). The S63 is barely better, coming in at $152,595, but it’s just as easy to tack on thousands of dollars to have the features that match the Cadillac. Things are no better in the Alpina B7, and though it’s the cheapest German in the group at $142,695, it’s still 49% more expensive than the humble CT6-V.

The post Cadillac CT6-V vs. BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes: Just the Numbers appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Is the Volvo XC60 a Better Commuter or Road Trip SUV?

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 09:00

We’re nearing the end of our time in the Volvo XC60, and it’s been smooth sailing all year. Currently at around 24,000 miles, the compact crossover has visited the dealership twice for regular maintenance. I’m impressed by the airy, eco-chic feel of my local Volvo dealership, but I’m even happier about the fact that the first three services are free of charge. This means free maintenance at the 10,000-, 20,000-, and 30,000-mile recommended intervals.

For some buyers, the XC60 is the family car, and for others, it’s the road trip car or the second vehicle. For me, it is primarily a commuter car. So how well does it perform in this role?

First things first: fuel economy. In our Real MPG tests, our Volvo managed 20.3/32.5/24.4 mpg city/highway/combined. This is considerably better than the EPA’s rating of 20/27/23 mpg. And it also outperformed the Real MPG estimates for our long-term Acura RDX (19.4/30.9/23.3 mpg). Not bad for a compact SUV. Of course, if you’re really looking to maximize fuel economy, these 10 small SUVs will do the job. One is the plug-in hybrid version of the XC60.

To be a good commuter car, a vehicle must have features that make the driver’s life easier. The XC60’s head-up display and 12.3-inch multi-configurable instrument cluster help achieve this goal. You can control many functions via buttons on the steering wheel, making the finicky infotainment system just a little more palatable for the driver. One thing works against the XC60’s effectiveness as a commuter car. When switching lanes at low speeds in traffic, there’s a slight delay in acceleration when you need it.

There are arguments to make for the XC60 as a road trip vehicle. It has a spacious back seat, although a high floor hump makes it a bit tricky for the middle seat occupant to rest his or her legs. The XC60’s cargo area will fit luggage for the whole family, and as we noted in a previous update, we generally like the cruise control system.

Up next: our final verdict on the XC60.

Read more about our 2019 Volvo XC60 T5 AWD long-termer:

The post Is the Volvo XC60 a Better Commuter or Road Trip SUV? appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Chevrolet Corvette C4 History: The Technologically Advanced, Black Sheep of the Family

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 09:00

Love it or hate it, the fourth generation Corvette (1984 – 1996) is next in our series of Corvette history features. These cars are commonly the whipping boy of America’s sports car, however, for their time, they were highly advanced compared to their domestic peers and even outperformed some of their European counterparts. This was due to a complete overhaul of nearly every aspect of the car done by a new team of engineers and designers, who all had a new mantra to follow. You get the theme, right? It’s all about new, new, new.

This article was originally featured on HOT ROD. For more stories like this, check out the HOT ROD Network. Interested in the 2020 Corvette Stingray? Get the full story on the C8 here.

For the three prior generations, the Corvette was only slightly altered from the original design. Body styles changed, but the guts and engineering philosophy had not, and by the early ‘80s, the Corvette was showing its age. In fact, the C3, a car that had a 14-year production run, was essentially a facelifted C2. It was time for a change and GM knew it. There were plans to end C3 production in favor of the Aerovette, but that was quickly swept under the rug.

Replacing legendary engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, was new Corvette Chief Engineer David McLellan and Jerry Palmer stepped in as Lead Designer following Bill Mitchell’s retirement. These two, along with their teams, worked seamlessly and followed their new mantra: Form follows function. For gearheads it’s easy to only care about going fast and if you have an ugly car, make it fast so people won’t see it. At the time, the Corvette faced tough competition from the likes of the Lotus Esprit, Ferrari 308, and Porsche 944 — all cars that looked as fast as they went.

Read more about Corvette History:

Palmer’s design team set to work updating the look of the car while retaining the iconic Corvette vibe. The curvaceous fender flares remained along with the swooping hood-line, but the doors of the car were pushed outward, making for more interior space and a smoother body. Nearly nine inches were removed from the overall length of the car, most of which was cut out of the tail. Remember the one-piece removable roof from the early designs of the C3 that was tabled in place of the T-Tops? It returned for the C4, which was able to accommodate it because of the reinforced steel unibody construction, a first in Corvette’s history.

The C4 was one of the most seamless looking cars of the time, which was achieved in part via a rub strip that circled the entire car. It hid the clam-shell hood gap in the front of the car as well as the main seam in the fiberglass bodywork. GM also subjected the car to wind tunnel testing to maximize aerodynamic efficiency, the first time GM had done any testing of the sort.

It didn’t stop there. The interior was given the same meticulous treatment. The instrument panel featured digital interfaces which drivers could cycle through while sitting in the comfort of their reclining and multi-adjustable seat, another first for the Vette. The driver and passenger could enjoy tunes from a premium sound system, an element of the sports car driving experience seldom focused on by other manufacturers of the time.

All of the design elements came together, from sketches to final concept, in less than two years with Palmer leading the charge. McLellan’s engineering team had their work cut out for them. Things like Zora’s independent rear suspension was retained and updated, but the biggest change was what Chevrolet cleverly referred to as the “birdcage.” Yes, the Corvette was now a unibody car that boasted a galvanized steel skeleton for the fiberglass panels to attach to.

The front suspension now used a transverse leaf spring mounted to each lower control arm as opposed to individual coil springs, and for the first time, a rack and pinion steering system was installed which tightened up the handling. Zora’s three-link, independent rear suspension, though revolutionary at the time of its creation, was improved upon with a five-link system that further triangulated the back of the car, increasing stability and performance. A Z51 handling package was also available that included “gymkhana” type components (yeah, you read that right) for further improved handling. This, coupled with tires straight out of Goodyear’s Indy and F1 rain tire program, allowed the car to turn at 0.95g on the skidpad. Directional alloy wheels were introduced to increase brake efficiency and cooling.

Initially, the anemic 350ci small-block carried over from the C3 with a whopping 205 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque in the base models. It was coupled with the so-called 4+3 transmission- a four-speed manual transmission with a hydraulically-actuated overdrive bolted to the tailshaft. Designed to increase fuel economy during highway cruising, the hydraulic clutch was actuated in second through fourth gear and was later changed to an electronic toggle switch on the dash. This was basically what you’d call a gear splitter which was automatically disengaged under heavy acceleration.

After several years of work, the car was ready to go on the show circuit in 1983 where it was met with high praise. Sadly, Chevrolet missed a key marketing opportunity with car’s 30th anniversary being 1983, however, that didn’t seem to hinder its popularity as it entered a 12-year production run from 1984-1996.

The biggest changes to the C4 came in the form of special editions and a few engines over those 12 years. The ZR-1 from 1990-1995 was a considerable leap forward in terms of engine technology. GM teamed up with renowned UK racing outfit Lotus, which designed an aluminum block, dual-overhead cam, 32-valve V8 that made 375 hp; the most power under the hood of a Vette in a number of years. This is engine would be dubbed the LT5 and sent the ZR-1 from 0-60 mph in under 5 seconds. Other special editions included a 35th and 40th anniversary cars, Indy Pace cars, the Grand Sport, and the Brickyard 400 Parade Car, to name a few.

With all of the effort put into world class design and engineering the C4 it is a shame that it didn’t stand the test of time. In secondhand form these cars are either falling apart, have questionable electrics at best and are tough to get working with the original equipment. They can also end up meeting their demise in the hands of the dudes at Roadkill who chopped it up into what is now the “Vette Kart.” Not that that’s bad, in fact their antics helped revive interest in the cars. Unless you find a mint example, or have a love as deep as your pockets, these cars are good for a late-model engine swap. Do that and throw some new suspension parts under it and you’ve got yourself some epic, cheap thrills. Regardless of what you can do now, the C4 was a total departure from its predecessors and paved the way for even more advances to come.

The post Chevrolet Corvette C4 History: The Technologically Advanced, Black Sheep of the Family appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

WeWork reveals full scale of ambitions in IPO prospectus

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 07:52
The We Company revealed the full scale of its global ambitions for WeWork in a prospectus filed on Wednesday ahead of its planned initial public offering (IPO).
Categories: Property