Bagatelle makes UK debut with Mayfair restaurant

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 12:06
French restaurant Bagatelle will make its UK debut on Mayfair’s 34 Dover Street this month.
Categories: Property

Swedish menswear brand on March for UK sites

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:36
Swedish menswear brand A Day’s March has appointed agents to seek sites to expand across Europe having signed for a debut UK store in Soho, London.
Categories: Property

Carluccio's owner offers investment if CVA backed

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 10:43
Italian restaurant chain Carluccio’s could close up to 34 UK restaurants as part of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) being pushed by owners Landmark Group.
Categories: Property

Celebrity Drive: Captain Wild Bill Wichrowski of Discovery’s ‘Deadliest Catch’

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 09:00

Quick Stats: “Wild” Bill Wichrowski, “Deadliest Catch”
Daily Driver: 2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4 Squared (Bill’s rating: 9 on a scale of 1 to 10)
Other cars: see below
Favorite road trip: Blue Ridge Parkway
Car he learned to drive in: 1965 Oldsmobile F-85
First car bought: 1966 Lincoln Continental

When he’s not king crab fishing in the Bering Sea on Discovery’s hit Deadliest Catch, Capt. “Wild” Bill Wichrowski enjoys some rather expensive four-wheeled rides including a 2017 Mercedes-Benz 4×4 G550 4×4 Squared.

“It’s a Mercedes G550 on steroids,” he says. “I don’t have a home in [the U.S.]; my home is in Mexico, so my tax guy says, ‘Go crazy on a car.’ So … for the last three years I’ve gotten a new one when these things are released and it’s a maniac,” he tells Motor Trend, proudly.

He rates the Mercedes a 9 on a scale of 10 and says he knows he’s never going to use the vehicle for what it’s designed to do. “It can go in a meter and a half of water, it’s made for going through the Alps,” he says. “The capabilities of it are so great, it’s so damn expensive I would never push it through those extreme conditions that it’s designed to travel in. I had an AMG S63. It’s the ultimate touring car but the value drops like a rock,” he says, adding that G550 4×4 Squared SUVs hold “their value, which not many cars do. It’s an amazing off-road rig.”

Wichrowski is hoping to drive it on an off-road trail at Nemacolin in western Pennsylvania.

2016 Ford F-150 Raptor

Rating: 9

Wichrowski calls this an event truck. “All the affiliates that I use threw some money together, it’s the real deal for off-road,” he says. “It’s the eye-catcher rig that I run in some of the events I do. I go to the Bassmaster Classic here in South Carolina, and I’m driving it up to that.”

He says it’s tough to push both the Raptor and Mercedes G550 down the highway at 75. “They’re geared so low. But other than that, they’re pretty amazing vehicles,” he says.

2005 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty Duramax

Rating: 8

Wichrowski is based about 300 miles south of Nogales, Mexico, where he keeps his 2005 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty truck powered by a Duramax diesel engine.

“I’m always hauling parts and pieces back and forth between the Mexican border and my house, up to the States and back and forth,” Wichrowski says. “The thing just goes and goes and goes. I’ll change tires on it, it’s been real solid for me over the years. As far as the run of the mill vehicle, it does have an 8-inch lift and 37s all the way around, so it’s a beast. It’s never let me down, it’s never gotten me stuck.”

1972 K5 Chevrolet Blazer

Rating: 5.5

This rare Blazer belonged to just one family before Wichrowski bought it. “I took the interior out, and I took it to Mexico and did a crazy seven coats of white, five coats of clear on it; it’s got a great paint job.”

It definitely needs a little bit of work, however. “It’s one of those garage projects that eventually I’ll get back to. It’s a daily driver, but it wanders across the road like a drunken mule. The front end’s a little loose on it, but it’s one of those dream cars. I’ve always liked the early ’70s K5.”

This Blazer is a work in progress for Wichrowski. “It is what it is. It’s a ’72, and the technology was in ’72. There’s a lot of stuff that could be improved on it,” he says.

1981 Jeep CJ-7

Rating: 5.5

Wichrowski likes the fact that his CJ-7 is “a beater,” he says. “It has one of 1500 race motors, it’s a 282 instead of a 258. There’s no doors, there’s no top, it’s got 33s all the way around. It’ll climb a tree,” Wichrowski says. “You have a cooler and you head out into the desert and … just go till you get tired and your teeth rattle, and you get home and rinse it off and put it back in the garage.”

For Wichrowski, his CJ-7 sounds like an old tractor. He rates it an 8 for the fun factor alone, but his overall rating is a 5.5. “You have an inline-six, it’s real throaty,” he says. “It makes people turn their heads when it goes by.”

Car he learned to drive in

Wichrowski grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He learned to drive in his mom’s 1965 Oldsmobile F-85, but he would later log more drive time elsewhere.

“My buddies worked as valets. The day after I had my driver’s license, I was parking cars, so I learned to drive in OP—other people’s cars,” he says, laughing.

Although Wichrowski’s dad taught him to drive, he also took driver’s ed. “Four days after I had my license, I ended up rear ending my driver’s ed instructor’s daughter in her Fiat on the way to school,” he says. “She called her dad, I called mine, and I saw my driver’s ed instructor pull up and I had this big lump in my throat.”

Wichrowski recalls how easy it was to drive before one turned 16 in those days. “I’m old, I’m 60, back then it wasn’t such a big deal, you’d go out in the country. You’d go hunting and fishing on country roads, your dad would let you get behind the wheel,” he says. “It was a different world back then.”

Photo courtesy of the Discovery Channel, Jason Elias

Wichrowski learned to drive a stick with some help from his restaurant valet friends. Whenever a manual Volkswagen would pull up, he’d get a chance to practice.

“My buddy got in the passenger seat and I got in the driver’s seat, and we figured out how to drive a clutch. They would drag their feet until the people went into the restaurant and then after they were inside, they would step aside and let me learn on that, then I’d run it around the parking lot a little bit, and get used to it. I picked it up pretty quick,” he says.

First car bought

When he was in San Diego, Wichrowski bought a 1966 Lincoln Continental with suicide doors, baby blue paint, a black leather interior, and a black vinyl top. It had been in Arizona and was a one-owner car.

“I’d crashed by dad’s Buick 225 into a cemetery and blew up about 13 tombstones and hit an oak tree. I was supposed to go to Slippery Rock State University for college, but I skipped school and joined the Navy,” he recalls.

He went out to San Diego for training and these well-preserved west coast cars surprised him.

“I’m from Pennsylvania where every car in the world rusted away, I get out to San Diego, my dad was always a big car guy, the big Buicks, the big Oldsmobiles, Chrysler wagons, so when I saw this four-door Lincoln, being an unintelligent kid, I put up the $1,300 that I had in the bank to buy this thing and it was quite the land yacht,” Wichrowski says. “It was in perfect shape because it was an Arizona car. It caught my eye, so I had the big ghetto cruiser.”

Wichrowski recalls saving up money from various jobs to buy that Lincoln. “I always had all kinds of crazy jobs—cut grass, do whatever I could to make a buck. I always had aspirations of making some money for myself,” he says. “I think they gave me $800 worth of credit on it because I was enlisted in the service, and they gave me I’m sure some outrageous interest rate for a one-year deal. Back then they paid you $480 a month to be in the service.”

Favorite road trip

Wichrowski describes his favorite drive as “a twisting, turning, well-banked beautiful piece of pavement” near Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

“I’m up and down the east coast a lot now, I’m working my way back to the east from the west. When you get on one of those roads that the trees are on both sides of the road, and they meet in the middle and you’re driving underneath the trees—I always think that’s the ultimate car ride, when the sun’s coming through the trees and the leaves,” he says.

Wichrowski says there are many roads like that in Virginia and North Carolina, but he particularly likes Blue Ridge Parkway because of its switchbacks.

“There’s a lot of people who consider that like the Aspen of the East, there’s a lot of NASCAR drivers who have second homes up there,” he says. “When I had the [AMG S63], I put it in Sport and paddleshifted, and it was pretty exhilarating.”

Wichrowski loves Blue Ridge Parkway and other similar roads on the east coast because it feels like he’s in the middle of nowhere. What made that drive particularly memorable was the way he was always trying to figure out the next turn, whether he had too much throttle, or if he wanted to downshift and paddle-shift down to make the turn.

“I wanted to use the car for what it was designed for,” Wichrowski says. “It’s designed for that kind of thing. The quick acceleration, deceleration, the suspension, that you put it in the Sport mode. You want to drive the car for what it’s made to do.”

He says he pushed it like that for only about half an hour. “It was still exciting because you have a ledge on one side that falls off into a ravine, and then you have these trees hanging over the road and the sunlight, you come around the corner and there’s an old farmhouse,” he says. “It’s what driving is. It’s getting behind the wheel and enjoying the place you like and the vehicle you’re in.”

Deadliest Catch Season 14 on Discovery Photo courtesy of the Discovery Channel

Discovery’s long-time hit Deadliest Catch is currently in Season 14 and Wichrowski promises this season has many highs and lows. “These guys keep looking for bigger and better content, better cameras to get better shots. We have to raise the bar because we have something that goes on and on, and people don’t want to see the same thing every year,” he says.

This season is dramatic in a way Wichrowski couldn’t have predicted. “We had a thing that was life-threatening to the guy. I fished for 40 years and I’ve never had a man overboard,” he says. “This kid, I’ve known him since he was an infant, and his parents have been my friends for 30-some years. I held my deckhand in my arms when he was an infant fresh out of the hospital, so as he was in the water, I had visions of me having to tell his parents that I lost him.”

Wichrowski says that episode was the most surreal moment in his four decades of fishing. “That was really bizarre, it was indescribable. I was on the stern, and as he was coming along towards the back of the boat, I contemplated if he had passed out, I was going to tie myself off with the life ring and jump in and grab him.”

Deadliest Catch airs on Discovery Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

Photo courtesy of the Discovery Channel READ MORE CELEBRITY DRIVES HERE:

The post Celebrity Drive: Captain Wild Bill Wichrowski of Discovery’s ‘Deadliest Catch’ appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2018 Audi S5 Sportback First Test: A Little More Indulgent

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 09:00

Somebody put it into our heads that it’s important to be well rounded. Surely the trait has its benefits; it’s one of the reasons we like the Audi A4 so much. But although we appreciate its fuel economy, composed handling, solid acceleration, and tech-happy interior, we lament the A4’s lack of distinct personality. Derived from the A4 but packing extra power and trunk space, the S5 Sportback gingerly shuts the door to balance and reaps the rewards.

Although you sacrifice fuel economy, the S5 Sportback is quicker and more powerful than the A4. Using a 3.0-liter V-6 engine, the rakish sedan makes 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, and it comes standard with all-wheel drive. We clocked it hitting 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, ahead of the Audi A4, which we’ve recorded between 5.0 and 5.4 seconds when paired with all-wheel drive and a 252-hp turbo-four.

The Sportback suffers no real acceleration penalty compared to the regular S4, which reached 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. We haven’t yet tested one of the Sportback’s closest competitors, the BMW 440i Gran Coupe, but we did clock a 2017 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic sedan reaching 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.

In the figure eight, the Audi S5 Sportback narrowly edged out the Mercedes. It recorded a time of 24.6 seconds at 0.78 g compared to the C 43’s 24.8 seconds at 0.77 g.

Where the Audi really stood out is its brake performance. The brakes bite down aggressively, but they work well, as our numbers proved. The S5 Sportback managed to come to a complete stop from 60 mph in just 105 feet, the same distance it took an Aston Martin DB11 we tested. In comparison, the C 43 took 111 feet. Our test team reported little dive and no signs of brake fading in the S5 Sportback.

The model excels at cornering. It stays planted through sharp curves on the road, hugging the turns with unwavering poise. The Audi has an engine note that almost always elicits some kind of vocal reaction from pampered passengers inside the cabin.

Yet the S5 Sportback suffers quite a bit of turbo lag from a cold start. It hesitates in the low gears, but when it launches, you really move. Upshifts are aggressive, particularly in the sport-minded Dynamic mode. Our model, which was equipped with the available sport adaptive damping suspension, felt confident over road imperfections. It isn’t the quietest luxury car on the market; some road noise made its way into the cabin, but not enough to taint the experience.

The Audi’s 21/30/24 mpg rating is nothing to write home about, but it’s superior to the C 43’s 20/27/23 mpg.

Testing Director Kim Reynolds pointed out that the car liked to be driven smoothly in our handling tests. “You have to release the brake and turn-in simultaneously and then smoothly arc it around the corner. If you pedal the throttle, it’ll find boost and get all wonky and with nonlinear lunges,” he said. “Exits beautifully—could use a little more power on the rear, I guess, but it’s pretty nice.”

Like its A4 sedan sibling, the “sportback” exhibits restrained steering. Although it’s accurate, the steering feel is light and just a tiny bit unsatisfying given its other athletic capabilities.

Any signs of roughness or rebellion are erased once you step inside the cabin of our top-trim Prestige. Here you’ll find massaging seats in a diamond quilted pattern, power sunroof, a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seatback, Bang & Olufsen sound system, the 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, and full-color head-up display. Boasting crisp maps, the Google Earth–enabled navigation system is one of the best on the market, taking into account traffic time. One of my longtime favorite features is located on the center console. Drivers can input an address into the navigation system by writing letters with their fingers on a touchpad.

On top of these standard features for the Prestige, our test car tacked on $1,250 for Nappa leather, $2,500 for an S sport package with the special sport suspension, and $1,800 for adaptive cruise control, Audi active lane assist, high-beam assistant, and traffic sign recognition. After an extra $500 for Carbon Atlas interior trim accents, $800 for a 19-inch wheel package, $1,150 for dynamic steering, and $575 for a Tango Red exterior color, the S5 Sportback comes in at $68,350, competitive with a similarly equipped Mercedes C 43.

Unfortunately you won’t find too many storage cubbies up front near the cockpit. But there’s plenty of legroom front and back, as well as an incredibly deep trunk. It boasts 21.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats, instead of just 13 in the A4. The C 43 sedan has a paltry 12.6 cubic feet of space in the trunk.

Some of the best cars from Germany never make their way across the pond, and while Audi won’t grace us with an Avant wagon, it has treated us with the S5 Sportback. And a treat it is: The A4 may have a monopoly on well-rounded driving, but the S5 Sportback fulfills our desire to indulge.

2018 Audi S5 Sportback BASE PRICE $55,375 PRICE AS TESTED $68,350 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door hatchback ENGINE 3.0L/354-hp/369-lb-ft turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6 TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,092 lb (57/43%) WHEELBASE 111.2 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 187.1 x 72.6 x 54.5 in 0-60 MPH 4.3 sec QUARTER MILE 13.0 sec @ 105.9 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 105 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.95 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 24.6 sec @ 0.78 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 21/30/24 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 160/112 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.80 lb/mile

The post 2018 Audi S5 Sportback First Test: A Little More Indulgent appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Watkin Jones poaches Unite director to fill CEO role

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 08:42
Watkin Jones has poached Unite’s property director Richard Simpson to become its new chief executive.
Categories: Property

2018 Tesla Model 3 scores "Superior" rating for its crash-avoidance tech

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 02:43
Though it hasn't yet been subjected to instrumented crash-testing, the Tesla Model 3 has aced its first safety assessment. On Tuesday, the IIHS said that it gave the Model 3 electric car its highest rating of "Superior" in its front crash prevention tests and an “Acceptable” rating for its headlights which produced some glare while set...
Categories: Property

Former BSkyB HQ to become £98m residential scheme

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 01:00
Developer BYM Capital to convert broadcaster’s former west London offices into 271 flats for private sale.
Categories: Property

Voltaire acquires W2 Financial Solutions

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 01:00
Voltaire Financial Group has acquired W2 Financial Solutions and appointed W2’s founder Tony Whetstone as head of special services at the debt advisory firm.
Categories: Property

Embattled WPP looks to regions

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 00:00
World’s biggest advertising firm considers a move out of London to avoid losing more staff to tech rivals.
Categories: Property

1967 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake Returns as Continuation Model

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 23:30

Last year, Shelby American rolled out a modern 2017 Shelby Super Snake wide body concept along with a Shelby F-150 Super Snake street truck. Earlier this year, it introduced the 1968 Shelby Continuation GT500KR, and today the company re-introduced the 1967 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake. It was unveiled at Carroll Shelby International in Gardena, California.

“We’re fulfilling the dream of Carroll Shelby and Don McCain. Shelby built an engineering study dubbed the ‘Super Snake’ for high-speed tire testing by Goodyear in 1967. When that successful test ended, Shelby American offered it to Mel Burns Ford in SoCal to retail to the public,” said Shelby American president Gary Patterson, in a statement.

“Former Shelby American employee Don McCain approached Shelby about doing a limited run of cars. They carefully studied the idea but sadly, the timing did not work because the car was too expensive. The program never came to fruition, until now.”

Ten reincarnated Shelby Super Snakes will be built and each will be based on a donor 1967 Mustang. Each one will get a Shelby serial number and signatures by Carroll Shelby and Don McCain made for the original project.

The continuation cars get a 427-cubic-inch V-8 that delivers over 550 hp through a four-speed manual transmission. Back in 1967, Shelby chief engineer Fred Goodell replaced the original engine with a 427 race engine that was modified to crank out 520 ponies.

According to legend, Shelby added heavy-duty front disc brakes, a Detroit Locker rear end, rear traction bars, and special Goodyear Thunderbolt tires. He was clocked at 170 mph on a Texas test track. Only one prototype was made, which was recently sold for $1.3 million to a collector.

Each Super Snake will be built to order in Pennsylvania. The cars start at $249,995 if you are interested in adding one to your collection.

Source: Shelby American

The post 1967 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake Returns as Continuation Model appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Audi A6 First Drive: Nimble Enough for Snaking Portuguese Roads

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 23:00

The rise of the SUV means the A6 sedan is not Audi’s best-selling vehicle anymore; it’s the Q5, followed by the Q7.

So why is the A6 so important to the German luxury group when the luxury midsize sedan segment is cratering? This fifth-generation A6, known internally as C8, matters because Audi thinks midsize sedans still matter, and driving dynamics in a sedan will never get old. A6 project leader Christian König describes A6 as the versatile soul of the brand—a car that offers comfort to the Europeans, sportiness to North America, and status in China.

We got our first drive in some European-spec A6s in the craggy hills of the Douro Valley about an hour from Porto, Portugal. These narrow roads contain a bounty of curves that would make California canyon roads envious—making it a perfect place to test Audi’s performance claims. To wit: The A6 is more nimble than its predecessor while offering more tech and a more spacious interior by increasing the wheelbase; overall length grew only 0.8 inch.

Despite new sheetmetal, the look is not a big shift from the outgoing model. It adopts the front end of the A7 with a grille that is wider and lower. There’s also a new chrome line across the rear that connects the taillamps and makes the car look wider.

Built in Neckarsulm, Germany, the 2019 A6 launches with a trio of 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 engines: a gasoline V-6 that generates 340 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque for North America, plus two diesels with varying outputs, which America does not get. The current gasoline V-6 has a supercharger, but Audi is going turbo with this engine series. Audi says the gas V-6 will go 0–62 mph in 5.1 seconds.

All the 3.0-liter engines are mild hybrids with a standard 48-volt system: a belt-alternator starter with a lithium-ion battery. The gas engine is paired with a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, though the diesels partner with an eight-speed automatic. Power can surge a bit when you stomp on the gas at lower speeds, but it is a nice, smooth delivery at higher speeds. Quattro all-wheel drive is standard with a self-locking center differential.

The A6 goes on sale in America this fall. After the first model year Audi will add 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas and diesel engines, and China gets an A6L down the road, but timing for these variants is not set. Further down the line, there could be a four-cylinder hybrid or even a plug-in hybrid. A pure electric A6 won’t happen in this generation.

There are a number of suspension offerings: steel spring, steel spring with damper control, sport suspension with steel springs, and adaptive air suspension with controlled damping. The U.S. does not get the air suspension option—although it might show up on the S6. We get the steel suspension with hydraulic adjustable dampers and the sport suspension with stronger steel springs.

Don’t feel too bad. The difference between the steel and air suspensions was barely perceptible. Then again, our drive was on smooth roads. The few patches of rougher pavement we found were easily sopped up by both suspensions. The car experienced little body roll on those twisting roads.

Per typical Audi, drive modes include Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual, which allow for adjusting the steering, dampers, and transmission shift points.

Portugal’s smorgasbord of winding roads showed off Audi’s all-wheel steering, where the rear axle steers in the opposite direction for a tight turning radius. We can attest to its efficacy from a number of dicey turnarounds on narrow roads we experienced, when the navigation system suggested a questionable route down a narrow cobblestone road with a slope fit for a goat. On straight stretches, having both sets of wheels in line increases stability and tracking. Having said all that, the U.S. does not get the rear steering. It’s being saved for the S6.

It makes a difference. With standard steering, the steering wheel does feel heavier and slightly less responsive to touch. But it does react well, being neither dead nor flighty.

There are up to 39 driver-assist technologies, including adaptive cruise with traffic jam assist. Should traffic clear and you set your cruise speed above the posted limit, the instrument panel flashes the limit with an exclamation mark to visually spank you for flouting the law.

There also is the usual assortment of steering, accelerating, and braking assists to keep the car in the lane and with traffic. The ability to read narrow spaces is new, with the car’s more elaborate array of sensors, radars, and cameras able to better read the surroundings and calculate the center of the lane—as opposed to reading the sides of the lane (or road) and ping-ponging within those boundaries. However, the sensitivity of the lane keep assist was set high on the cars we drove, resulting in an aggressive correction. We are told it will be softened up for the U.S. The pre-collision warning was also set to the max, and many of us experienced sudden warning and braking when it was not truly justified. Again, the settings could change for the U.S. market.

Cameras provide a 360-degree view around the car to check for a parking garage column lurking in a blind spot or to prevent curbing a wheel when parallel parking. We also found a new use for the system when the navigation sent us down the aforementioned narrow goat paths, where the ground vanished below the hoodline in a manner more associated with off-roading a Jeep. We used the feature to ensure we kept an inch clear on each side of the car—especially as we had to turn off the apoplectic parking sensors.

Open the soft-closing door, and you will find comfortable new seats that are ventilated and have a choice of massage settings: not too soft, not too hard, just right. It has an air ionizer with cabin fragrance and soothing ambient lighting. We clambered into a Euro-spec interior with full leather seats and wood trim that essentially matches what we get in the U.S. It’s tastefully done, with a mix of modern, business, and cozy. The cabin is quiet with little road or engine noise wafting inside.

The car can store up to 400 settings for seven people for an eminently customizable driving experience—that is a lot of computing power. A panoramic sunroof will be standard. It has more legroom front and back, trunk space is wider, and you can wave your foot to close the trunklid when your arms are full.

The A6 has Audi’s acclaimed Virtual Cockpit as an optional feature, with its 12.3-inch screen and buttons on the steering wheel to control essential navigation, music, and telephone information. More information is readable on the head-up display. Voice command recognizes natural language such as “I’m hot” to prompt the system to ask if you want the temperature turned down.

Much effort was spent on the sixth-generation MMI touch response user interface. Using haptic touch, the icons on the center console top screen can be moved around and customized like on an iPhone. You also can pinch and zoom the perspective. There is a 10.1-inch top screen on the Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels, but it is 8.8 inches on the base Premium.

All trims have an 8.6-inch center console bottom screen for climate control and convenience functions with shortcuts for phone numbers, radio stations, and destinations. There is a choice of a keyboard to enter a destination or a pad to write what you want. And no more writing a single letter at a time—go crazy with full names or your craving for sushi. However, the screens smudge quickly with your fingerprints.

There will be standard navigation with six map updates over a number of years, as well as an upgraded nav system with the Connect package, which is free for the first six months, and a choice of online services. The optional Bang & Olufsen audio system features online radio with thousands of stations from around the world.

Pictured: The 2019 Audi A6’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster.

Like so many of the modern interfaces, there are more functions than many owners will ever use. That’s luxury for you. At times it seems like there are too many layers to access a simple function, but in many cases, once something is customized and set, the driver need not worry about it anymore. One instance: going to the top screen to find the menu to control the climate in the rear seat, which opens the controls on the bottom screen. There is a screen in the rear seat for those passengers to make their own adjustments, as well.

Not sure if this a deal-breaker, but Europe gets remote start; the U.S. does not. Canada gets a remote heater to preheat from the battery.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is compatible in a car that is always online with its integrated SIM card. There’s wireless charging. A nice touch: A voice reminded us “your mobile is still in the car” when we were about to leave while the phone was charging in the center console, out of sight.

The more we think about it, König might be right: This is a versatile car, asked to be many things to many people. Our first drive shows it is up to the task.

The post 2019 Audi A6 First Drive: Nimble Enough for Snaking Portuguese Roads appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

BMW Teases iNext EV

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 21:30

In this teaser image, BMW is giving us a glimpse at the design of the iNext electric vehicle due in 2021. At its Annual General Meeting, BMW CEO Harald Krüger presented an initial design concept for the company’s new technology flagship.

There’s not much to tell from this shadowy image, but the vehicle appears to take after the BMW i Vision Dynamics concept, which previews the design of future electric cars from the brand. The biggest tipoff is the styling of the windows. However, the vehicle in the sketch appears to take on more of an SUV shape.

BMW i Vision Dynamics concept

In 2016, the automaker announced plans to launch the iNext. Back then, Krüger described it as the company’s “new innovation driver, with autonomous driving, digital connectivity, intelligent lightweight design, a totally new interior and ultimately bringing the next generation of electro-mobility to the road.”

Earlier this year, we learned the iNext will have a range of up to 435 miles. It’s expected to launch with SAE Level 3 autonomous capability, although BMW will upgrade it to Level 4 autonomy as soon as a year later. At this level, drivers can safely take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. Production of the BMW iNext will take place in Dingolfing, Germany starting in 2021.

By 2025, BMW will expand its lineup to include 25 electrified vehicles, 12 of which will be fully electric. One of these vehicles will be an all-electric X3, which could launch in 2020. BMW previewed this model at the Beijing auto show recently.

BMW says it will present the iNext as a “Vision Vehicle” later this year. We’re assuming this means some sort of concept version in the flesh.

Source: BMW

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Ford F-150, Super Duty Production to Restart After Supplier Fire

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 19:15

Ford has announced that F-Series pickup truck production will resume after a fire at one of its suppliers hampered its ability to crank out America’s best-selling vehicle line. Production of the F-150 will restart Friday at the Dearborn Truck Plant. By Monday, Ford is expected to resume Super Duty production at the Kentucky Truck Plant and F-150 production at the Kansas City Assembly Plant.

On May 2, a fire ripped through Meridian Magnesium Products, which produced front bolsters for the F-150, Super Duty, Expedition, and Lincoln Navigator. In addition, Meridian supplied parts for the Explorer, Flex, and Linclon MKT, though production on those lines continued as normal. To get the affected truck plants up and running again, Ford worked with a team of suppliers and contractors to repair and move the huge dies that produce the bolsters.

Ford F-150 on assembly line at Dearborn Truck Plant

A total of 19 dies were removed from the damaged portion of Meridian’s facility in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, including one that was flown to Nottingham, U.K., via an Antonov Ruslan cargo plane. Ford says that moving a bolster die weighing 87,000 pounds overseas would normally take 10 days, but because its bottom line was at stake, the Blue Oval managed to cut that down to 30 hours including flight time. The parts are now being built by Meridian in Eaton Rapids and in the U.K., where they are shipped back to the U.S. daily. That sounds like a lot of work to restart production on two trucks, but when those two trucks are your best-selling products by far, the haste is understandable.

The Meridian fire also affected other automakers including FCA, BMW, GM, and Mercedes, but so far there’s no word how they’re dealing with the aftermath of the fire.

Source: Ford

The post Ford F-150, Super Duty Production to Restart After Supplier Fire appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Savills’ £30m auction total is £12m down on May 2017 result

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 18:22
Savills raised £30m at its latest national auction on 9 May, £12m less than at the equivalent sale last year.
Categories: Property

Unibail-Rodamco shareholders confirm Westfield deal

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 18:08
Unibail-Rodamco shareholders have approved the company’s proposed takeover of Westfield at its AGM in Paris.
Categories: Property

Data giant acquires London Midtown HQ for over £21m

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 18:08
GlobalData, one of the world’s largest data and insight service providers, has acquired an office in London’s Midtown for its own occupation.
Categories: Property

Government to consult on banning flammable cladding

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 17:48
Housing secretary James Brokenshire has announced plans for the government to consult on a potential ban on combustible cladding hours after the government-commissioned Hackitt report into the Grenfell fire stopped short of calling for a full ban.
Categories: Property

BMW Rolls Out Six Emergency Vehicle Concepts

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 17:30

BMW introduced six special-purpose vehicles for fireman, police, and medics on the go at RETTmobil 2018 in Fulda, Germany, this week. The specialist trade fair is now in its 18th year and is the first stop for European first responders to load up on the latest gear and coolest new rides.

For this year’s extravaganza, the new BMW X3 is presented for the first time as a fire service command vehicle and an emergency ambulance. The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is also converted for ambulance duty and a BMW X1 is upgraded for firefighters. For European cops looking for new wheels, BMW Motorrad is exhibiting a BMW 750 GS police motorcycle and the Mini brand has given the Mini John Cooper Works the cop car treatment. Get the 911 on them here.

BMW X3 xDrive20d

The BMW X3 gets fire engine red, neon yellow, and white paint with blue bug lights on top. It’s built as a fire service command vehicle and is pre-fitted with radio handsets, a 230-volt supply socket, two 12-volt power outlets, and a big fire extinguisher mounted in the back. Under the hood it packs a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that offers 190 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’ll scoot from 0-62 mph in 8 seconds and has a top speed of 132 mph.

BMW 220d xDrive Gran Tourer

The U.S. doesn’t get the 2 Series Gran Tourer, which is a shame because they look pretty cool with strobe lights and a neon orange and white ambulance paint job. This emergency vehicle features blue LED flashers in the grille, on the dash, and on top of the roof in a sleek mounted bar. The Sports Activity Tourer ambulance is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four diesel engine that offers 190 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and has all-wheel drive.

BMW X3 xDrive20d

If the 2 Series Gran Tourer isn’t big enough, emergency responders can go for the larger X3 ambulance, which gets a similar neon orange and white paint scheme. The vehicle wears blue flashing lights in the grille, dash, and on the roof. It also features a Motorola radio system, three-zone automatic climate control, heated seats, and lumbar supports for the driver and co-driver. Now, that’s a big 10-4.



BMW X1 xDrive20d

The orange emergency vehicle theme continues with this X1. It wears a big blue light bar on its roof and more LED flashers in the rear. The vehicle was designed with operations management in mind, which is why it features a pre-fitted fixture for digital radio and a concealed antenna. Just like the other BMWs showcased, the X1 packs a turbodiesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to an eight-speed auto.


BMW F 750 GS

This cool white, black, and orange motorcycle is designed for emergency services and cops. Riders should have no problem getting other motorists’ attention thanks to the LED flashers in blue and yellow and a police siren. It has two deep side-mounted luggage bags that can hold a fire extinguisher, helmets, and other gear. The motorcycle has heated grips, hand protectors, and a protective bar. It’s powered by a two-cylinder, four-stroke engine with 77 hp and 61 lb-ft of torque. The 750 GS has a top speed of 118 mph. Hold on, I think we can outrun this one.

Mini John Cooper Works

This Mini moonlights as a police car. It looks like it was tagged by some graffiti punks, but it should be able to catch them with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood that delivers 231 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Though it could serve as an interceptor in Europe where there are fewer Mustangs and Camaros roaming the streets, BMW says European police forces like Mini models for public outreach instead.

The post BMW Rolls Out Six Emergency Vehicle Concepts appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

London Mayor calls in Beam Park development in Dagenham

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 17:25
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has used his executive powers to take control of the Beam Park Housing development in Dagenham.
Categories: Property