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First Drive: 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy duty puts 1,000 lb-ft of torque to work with confidence

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 05:01
The 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty trucks can tow up to 35,100 pounds and can boast a turbodiesel with 1,000 pound-feet of torque, but they do even more than those massive numbers indicate. The theme with the latest, big daddy Ram is more: More power. More gears. More technology. More refinement. More capability. More safety. Ram flew us to Las...
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Brockton wins bidding war to land Southwark office scheme

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 00:00
Real estate fund agrees deal with Janus Henderson to buy 169 Union Street for more than the £95m guide price
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Moda/Apache JV link up with North Star in York

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 00:00
Trio comes together to build £200m, 710-home scheme at former gasworks site
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One Angel Court fully let after a succession of deals with new tenants

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 00:00
Mitsui Fudosan UK and Stanhope’s City of London office building One Angel Court is now fully let after a string of lettings totalling 60,000 sq ft.
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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Gets a Face-Lift and More Power

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 23:01

Mercedes is making a lot of news at this year’s Geneva motor show, but the most important—for dealers, at least—may well be the reveal of the refreshed GLC-class small crossover, the brand’s bestselling vehicle in the U.S. Given that status, it’s perhaps not surprising that the changes are careful ones, with subtly updated styling, engine tweaks, and new in-car technology, although the tech in question is quite significant.

Let’s start outside, where the GLC receives plastic surgery to its front and rear fascias. The upper grille retains its shape but now features filler elements from the larger and redesigned-for-2020 GLE, while the lower section is now a chrome-ringed scowl. The headlights are reshaped and feature standard-fit LED bulbs. Out back, a rearrangement of the taillight elements is the only real change.

Hop in and you might not notice any differences at all, save for some alterations to the trim material on doors and dash. But wait—did you see the infotainment screen? It’s a bit bigger, now measuring 10.3 inches diagonally and featuring touch control. The old dial controller has been replaced by a touchpad, and the steering wheel controls are new. These are your clues that the GLC is now equipped with the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) interface introduced in the new A-class, and it’s a significant update.

Among the advantages to this new system are a more intuitive interface and improved voice recognition that incorporates Amazon Alexa/Siri-like functionality whereby you can say “Hey Mercedes” and tell it what you want to know or do. Options include gesture control and Augmented Reality for Navigation, which overlays moving arrows onto a view taken from the front of the vehicle, making it difficult to miss that next turn. Also new is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with high-resolution graphics and animations.

Freshly available driver-assistance technology includes adaptive cruise control that automatically slows for curves and lower speed limits (a feature we’ve sampled in the GLE and have yet to be convinced of its merits). Active Steering Assist provides lane-centering and automated lane changing. Pre-Safe Sound even goes so far as to protect your hearing in a collision by producing a noise that supposedly triggers the protective stapedius reflex in the human ear.

The GLC gets a new version of Mercedes’ 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, now tuned for 255 hp, an increase of 14. Torque is unchanged at 273 lb-ft. Mercedes says fuel consumption will be lower as well, though figures have not been announced. The engine also exhibits improvements in CO2 emissions, which is largely irrelevant in North America but a key consideration for European buyers.

Mercedes will once again offer the regular GLC in rear-drive GLC 300 and all-wheel-drive GLC 300 4Matic forms, with pricing to be announced closer to the on-sale date in late 2019. Expect the technological changes and the reshaped lighting elements to carry over to the GLC 300 coupe, as the coupe and SUV versions of the GLC 43 and GLC 63 AMG, too.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class preview

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 23:01
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class that goes on sale by the end of 2019 is something of a companion crossover SUV. The refreshed GLC adds the automaker’s latest infotainment software and screens, which means occupants can say, “Hey, Mercedes” followed by a command such as “Where’s the nearest Starbucks?” or...
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Rivian Has Been Disguising Test Vehicles as Ford F-150s

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 22:30

It’s difficult for automakers to keep their prototypes under wraps. Quite often, you can tell what vehicle is hiding under the camouflage as it tests on public roads. But apparently, Rivian doesn’t have to worry too much about prying eyes. The automaker has been testing its vehicle hardware on used F-150 bodies.

The trucks have been testing regularly in the Detroit area, says Rivian founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe. Why hide them as F-150s, though? Apparently, the wheelbase of the F-150 works out well with Rivian’s skateboard architecture, which incorporates the battery, transmissions, motors, cooling system, and front and rear suspension into a complete module that can accommodate any type of body sitting on top.

“We need something to keep the weather out while we put a lot of miles on our skateboard, so they’re driving around in Detroit right now, too,” Scaringe told the Detroit Free Press. “They’re all over the place, but nobody knows. We’re very quiet about that.”

The Rivian R1T pickup is expected to arrive in late 2020. Each wheel gets an electric motor rated at 197 hp for a total system output of 788 hp. Rivian estimates a 0-60 time of just 3 seconds with the medium-sized battery. Range should max out at more than 400 miles depending on the model. The automaker also has an SUV, the R1S, in the works.

Design and engineering operations take place in Michigan, but Rivian is developing its technology and batteries in San Jose and Irvine, California. It will build vehicles at the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois.

Scaringe says there’s no corporate connection between Rivian and Ford. But Amazon has just confirmed a $700 million investment in the company. In other Rivian news, the automaker applied for a patent on an auxiliary battery module that may boost range. This extra battery would sit in the cargo area and supply power to the electric motor, and it is removable.

Source: Detroit Free Press

The post Rivian Has Been Disguising Test Vehicles as Ford F-150s appeared first on Motortrend.

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Meet Elon Tusk: Tesla Chief Changes Twitter Display Name

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 22:00

Feb 27 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk changed his Twitter display name to “Elon Tusk” and promised news from his electric carmaker later this week in another late-night flurry of tweets between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

In a series of tweets to his 25 million followers following charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this week, Musk accused the regulator of failing to read Tesla’s annual reports and said its oversight was “broken.”

Overnight, he changed his display (https://twitter.com/elonmusk) name and added an elephant tag (which has since been removed –MT).

Shares of the company were up nearly 5 percent at $312.15 in afternoon trading on Wednesday, after Musk said Tesla would have “news” at 2 p.m. California time on Thursday.

California

— Elon Tusk (@elonmusk) February 27, 2019

The company, which is deep in debt as it ramps up production of its popular Model 3 sedan, is due to repay a $920 million convertible bond a day later.

Convertible issues give bondholders the right to trade their debt for equity after shares rise over a certain price. Tesla shares are currently about $48 below the $359.87 conversion price.

Tesla had $3.7 billion in cash and cash equivalents at the end of December, according to the company’s annual filing.

Musk had promised last year to have his public statements vetted by the company’s board, as part of a settlement with the SEC that headed off demands for him to resign as Tesla CEO.

Tesla did not immediately respond to request for comment.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Kate Duguid in New York; Editing by Patrick Graham, Bernard Orr)

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Seinfeld Sues the Dealer That Sold Him the Alleged Fake Porsche

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 20:30

A few weeks ago, we learned that Jerry Seinfeld had been sued over the sale of a 1958 356 A 1500 GS/GT Carrera Speedster that the buyer believed was actually a fake. Now, the AP reports that Seinfeld has sued the dealer who originally sold him the car, alleging that European Collectibles knowingly defrauded him. As the lawsuit points out, “Mr. [Seinfeld], who is a very successful comedian, does not need to supplement his income by building and selling counterfeit sports cars.”

When Fica Frio Limited, the car’s new owner, filed the initial lawsuit, Seinfeld reportedly reached out to European Collectibles, insisting that it work things out with Fica Frio directly. When that didn’t happen, Seinfeld decided to sue. But based on some of the allegations in the lawsuit, it sounds like this is more than a simple disagreement over the definition of “restoration.” Seinfeld seems to believe the deception was actually intentional.

The lawsuit claims this isn’t the first time European Collectibles has sold a fake car, and he hopes to “reveal the extent to which European Collectibles deploys fraudulent practices in connection with its restoration and sale of classic cars.”

“Jerry has no liability in this matter, but he wants to do the right thing, and is therefore bringing this action to hold European Collectibles accountable for its own certification of authenticity, and to allow the court to determine the just outcome,” said Seinfeld’s lawyer in a statement.

Source: The Associated Press

The post Seinfeld Sues the Dealer That Sold Him the Alleged Fake Porsche appeared first on Motortrend.

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2019 Volvo S60 preview

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 19:56
The 2019 Volvo S60 is what happens when a car is left in the dryer too long. The long-awaited heir to Volvo's aging compact luxury sedan lineup that dates back to its iconic 240, the 2019 S60 rounds out Volvo's several-year effort to remake its entire range. At first glance, the wait was worth it—even at the S60's roughly $37,000 base price...
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2019 Volkswagen Golf

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 19:53
The 2019 Volkswagen Golf is what we would all drive if we were all rational people. We’re not, so we buy three-row SUVs to take to Kroger and convertibles for family cars. We’re imperfect. So is the VW Golf, but not as much as we are. On our scale, the 2019 Golf rates 6.5 out of 10. That figure is for the lineup as a whole, but...
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2019 Volkswagen Tiguan

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 19:50
Among crossover SUVs, the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan stands out for its spacious interior—so long as every seat isn’t filled in seven-seat versions. The VW Tiguan aces real-world utility with its excellent outward vision, comfortable interior, available active safety gear, and good infotainment system. It’s less thrifty than some...
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2020 BMW M340i xDrive Prototype Review: Almost an M3, With AWD

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 19:29

Patient folks who wait a few months after the launch of the 2019 BMW 330i will be rewarded with the arrival of the M340i—the nearest thing to an M3 you’ll be able to get for a while.

After a day of driving the redesigned 330i in M Sport trim on the scenic roads of southern Portugal, BMW cleared the challenging, technical racetrack at Portimao for us to blast around in early-build versions of the M340i xDrive.

Yes, xDrive. Although you can get a rear-drive version of the M340i, BMW is also making a sport sedan for those who deal with inclement weather—or who want that extra layer of protection on track days.

Our group of journalists hustled around the track, chasing BMW factory test driver and dynamics czar Jos van As, who was flogging an M2 Comp as hard as he could. BMW says the torque-splitting AWD (with an electronically locking rear differential) allows for some initial drift on corner entry, which then gets caught by the AWD system as it transmits more power to the front wheels out to corner exit. The result is some initial drift and slip but likely not the lurid slides achievable with just the rear-drive version.

I’m pretty conservative when it comes to drifting unfamiliar prototype cars around high-speed racetracks (writing apology notes is such a hassle), so I didn’t explore the ultimate limits of the system. That said, I found that on tight corners, being hesitant upon initial slide was rewarded with a rather aggressive snap-back and a lost line through the corner.

The xDrive much preferred it if I kept my right foot applied harder, rather than feathering. I seemed to get better feedback on lengthier drifts through broader-angle corners requiring less steering input and correction, as opposed to hairpins that require more interaction between driver and car. Also, as the day wore on and the tires wore out, initiating drift became easier, and intriguingly the xDrive became more tolerant of my shenanigans (or maybe I was expanding my comfort zone to better match the abilities of the car). Obviously, as you select Sport and Sport+ drive modes, the system provides more freedom to play.

When I wasn’t trying to get the back end out, I found the steering to be far more responsive and direct than that of the outgoing F30 model. Sure, the M340i ain’t the point-and-shoot of the second- or third-generation models, but then again, you weren’t contending with keeping 382 hp under control back then.

Yes, I said 382 horses. Just as impressive as the chassis dynamics is the retuned 3.0-liter twin-scroll single-turbo inline-six, which punches 369 lb-ft. (The outgoing version of the engine makes 320 hp and 332 lb-ft.) That translates to a claimed 0–60 time of 4.2 seconds when run through the eight-speed ZF Steptronic automatic. Sadly, no stick shift will come to America.

A hot car is only as good as the brakes that slow it down, and the 13.7-inch discs and four-piston calipers in front and 13.6-inch discs with single-piston calipers at the rear are firm and sturdy.

Priced at $54,995, the M340i XDrive is not the screaming performance deal of the Genesis G70 3.3T, which is a solid 10 grand less. But if I were wailing around Portimao in a race for pink slips, my gut (and buttocks) say the BMW’s suspension, brakes, and AWD system would carry the day.

Under pressure from zippy rivals like the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, BMW knows it needs to win back the hearts of enthusiast compact sedan drivers. Until the next M3 arrives, the M340i goes a long way toward achieving that goal.

See our 2019 BMW 330i M Sport review HERE.

The post 2020 BMW M340i xDrive Prototype Review: Almost an M3, With AWD appeared first on Motortrend.

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Kia’s Latest Electric Concept Car Has 21 Screens

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 19:13

Last week, we got our first look at the concept car Kia will show at the Geneva Motor Show next month. At the time, Kia said it would be a sporty EV, and that was about it. The shadowy teaser image only showed the car from one angle, but the design looked intriguing from that vantage point. After seeing this latest teaser, Kia has caught our attention once again.

That’s because, in addition to a side-shot of the front end, Kia also chose to release an interior image that shows off the concept’s screens. All 21 of them. It’s absurd, over the top, and somehow one of the most interesting approaches to cabin design that we’ve seen in years. Does any car actually need 21 screens? Of course not. Will something like this ever make it to production? Probably not. But is it cool? Absolutely.

For years, we’ve seen screens getting larger and larger, especially on concept cars. Heck, Chinese automaker Byton plans to sell the production version of its M-Byte crossover with a 48-inch screen that stretches from A-pillar to A-pillar. Kia’s concept just takes that trend and riffs on it in a way we never expected. It’s also nice to see that Kia isn’t taking itself too seriously, with the release calling the idea “a humorous riposte to the industry’s current obsession with ever increasing dashboard screens.”

When Kia reveals the full vehicle on March 5, at least we know it won’t be boring.

Source: Kia

The post Kia’s Latest Electric Concept Car Has 21 Screens appeared first on Motortrend.

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2019 BMW Z4

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 18:55
With the darty new 2019 Z4, BMW dives back into a sports-car slipstream. The latest two-seat roadster spins its turbo-4 like a DJ’s steel wheels and dubs over it with sweet handling. The mix may all not be enough to distract Porsche 718 drivers—but it’s enough to spawn a new Toyota Supra from the same running gear in a...
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2019 Nissan Titan

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 18:54
The 2019 Nissan Titan is a full-size pickup truck that gets the basics right: it’s a hauler with plenty of power and a spacious cab. What it doesn’t do is offer many compelling reasons for loyal truck buyers to jump ship after years behind the wheel of its chief rivals. We land at a 4.5 out of 10 for Titan, awarding it praise for its...
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2019 Nissan Versa

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 18:54
The 2019 Nissan Versa sedan and hatchback deliver a new car smell and three-year warranty at rock-bottom prices. The old maxim, “You get what you pay for” applies otherwise. Overall, the 2019 Versa is good for 3.8 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.) The $13,000 base Versa S is just that—basic, almost...
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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Is Reasonably Priced Starting at $26,890

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 18:06

For 2019, the Jetta GLI sedan finally receives the same performance upgrades as the Golf GTI. And despite the improvements, the GLI can be had for much less now compared to last year.

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI goes on sale this spring for $26,890 with a six-speed manual transmission. With the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, that price goes up slightly to $27,690. Last year’s GLI started at $30,440 and came standard with a six-speed automatic. Only one trim was offered.

The new model is available in three trims: S, 35th Anniversary Edition, and Autobahn. The base S model comes with ample standard features including LED projector headlights and taillights, cloth upholstery with red stitching and grey piping, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, one USB port, 10-color ambient lighting, six speakers, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Blind spot monitor, rear traffic alert, forward collision warning, and autonomous emergency braking are standard.

On the 35th Anniversary Edition, buyers get 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels with red rim accents and a black roof. Special badging adorns the exterior as well as scuff plates, seat tags, and front floor mats. Volkswagen’s DCC adaptive damping system is also standard. Prices start at $27,890 with the manual or $28,690 with the DCT.

The Autobahn model is the most expensive version at $30,090 with the manual or $30,890 with the DCT. These models upgrade to leather seating, an 8-inch touchscreen, 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, two USB ports, and ventilated front seats. The model also brings along an upgraded audio system with eight speakers and a subwoofer, as well as a panoramic sunroof.

All GTI models feature the same 2.0-liter turbo inline-four as the Golf GTI. It also shares a VAQ limited-slip differential with the hot hatch. The GLI sits 0.6-inch lower than the standard Jetta, and it receives a bolder exterior with revised bumpers, red accents, a unique black grille, and a rear spoiler.

The Jetta GLI is priced favorably compared to the Golf GTI, which starts at $28,490. The top-of-the-lineup Autobahn model goes for $36,890.

Meanwhile, the GLI is priced similarly to the Honda Civic Si sedan priced from $25,220. However, it’s more expensive than the Hyundai Elantra Sport at $22,685.

Source: Volkswagen

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