2019 Volvo V60 unveiled: the wagon is cooler than ever

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:52
The 2019 Volvo V60 station wagon that was unveiled Wednesday takes the automaker back to its roots, at least for now. The V60's scaled-down modern style hints at what's to come for the automaker's next-generation S60 sedan, which will be the first vehicle assembled at its new Charleston, South Carolina, assembly plant. The V60 will be available...
Categories: Property

2019 Volvo V60 First Look: Making Wagons Cool Again

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:10

Crisp, angular, and lush, Volvo’s V60 midsize wagon redesigned for 2019 is everything folks want in an SUV—just without that elephantine ride height and abundance of vertical sheetmetal and glass. Can’t folks just get over themselves already? Red Dawn ain’t happening.

Wagons can be cool. The 2019 V60 is lithe, sexy transport with the versatility to carry five people and lots of their stuff.

We’ve already seen Volvo’s excellent Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform at work with the XC90 (a Motor Trend SUV of the Year winner) and the midsize XC60 (a SUVOTY finalist). We also liked its iteration in the sleek, substantial V90 wagon. Now Volvo has shrunk down its big wagon—that’s the “scalable” part—from full-size to midsize.

Although the platform is downscaled, the V60 itself has grown considerably in wheelbase and overall length over the outgoing model, while its lower height makes it stealthy in appearance.

In addition to the traditional internal combustion T5 gasoline engine–with a 310-hp turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder–shoppers will have a choice of the 340-hp T6 AWD gasoline plug-in hybrid or the T8, which delivers 390 hp. The T6 adds a mild hybrid to the T5 engine, while the T8 tacks on two electric motors to boost performance (although with some weight penalty). Both hybrid powertrains have a claimed 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds, while the T5 has a 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds.

On the safety side, the V60 will come with automatic braking and detection systems that recognize pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals. On well-marked roads, semi-autonomous steering, acceleration, and braking is possible up to 80 mph. Lane departure and cross-traffic alerts are also part of the safety suite.

Volvo’s tablet-sized infotainment system features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 4G connectivity. Possessing a V60 also will be possible via the Care by Volvo flat-fee subscription service.

The 2019 Volvo V60 will go on sale in the U.S. this fall.

The post 2019 Volvo V60 First Look: Making Wagons Cool Again appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Raab hints at backing for Earls Court residents in battle against Capco

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:08
Housing minister Dominic Raab has backed local residents at Earls Court protesting against Capital & Counties’ (Capco) plans for two council estates by saying the developer should have “majority support” from residents for its plans at the £12bn scheme.
Categories: Property

Toyota truck recall, 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 priced, Electric car milestone: What’s New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:22
Nearly 75,000 Toyota Tundra, Sequoia trucks and SUVs recalled Two separate issues have prompted Toyota to recall close to 75,000 late-model SUVs and pickups, the automaker said Tuesday. The recalls cover certain 2017 and 2018 model year Sequoia SUVs and Tundra full-size pickups that either need new software or may have been inadvertently assembled...
Categories: Property

Maven & IPIM acquire £18m site for Stirling's first PBSA development

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:15
Maven Capital Partners and IP Investment Management have unveiled plans for an £18.2m new build development that will form Stirling’s first purpose built student accommodation.
Categories: Property

PW Regenerate: New guidance proposed for high density housing in London

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:14
The Mayor of London is working up new design guidance in a bid to make higher-density housing more attractive to Londoners.
Categories: Property

LSH industrial duo quit firm

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:04
Two senior industrial and logistics agents at Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) have quit the firm to set up their own niche business.
Categories: Property

U+I brings in investment specialist to lead joint ventures growth

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:04
Regeneration specialist U+I has expanded its senior leadership team with the appointment of investment specialist Eoin Condren from VTS as director of joint ventures.
Categories: Property

New head of valuation for GVA

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:03
GVA has appointed former JLL lead director Peter O’Brien as its new national head of valuation consultancy.
Categories: Property

New head of shopping centre asset management for APAM

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:03
Real estate investment and asset manager APAM has appointed Daniel Mead as its new head of shopping centre asset management with a target to provide focused recovery and repositioning for regional shopping centres.
Categories: Property

London leads record $25bn annual investment in data centres

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:43
The four largest European data centre markets of Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris achieved a record $25bn of investment last year according to new research.
Categories: Property

LondonMetric completes lettings at Martlesham Heath Retail Park

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 11:55
LondonMetric has exchanged contracts for the letting of the two final units at its Martlesham Heath Retail Park in Ipswich.
Categories: Property

AXA IM & Bixby form $400m US logistics JV

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 11:36
AXA IM-Real Assets has formed a joint venture with US investment manager Bixby Land Company to acquire up to $400m (£287m) of logistics properties in the west of America.
Categories: Property

Google's Waymo approved to begin self-driving ride-share across Arizona

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 11:00
Waymo's driverless ride-sharing service has won a race against Uber in Arizona—and the company did it without a driver at the wheel. Waymo, Google’s self-driving car division, secured approval from the state of Arizona last month to operate as a Transportation Networking Company (TNC) putting the company in competition with...
Categories: Property

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 First Test: Burning Rubber in Style

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 09:00

It’s hard to overstate how incredible the sixth-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class is. The interior’s opulence is more in line with a Bentley or Rolls-Royce than a BMW 7 Series, yet we tested a 2014 S63 hitting 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. Toss the car into a corner, and it’ll handle far better than a nearly 5,000-pound luxury sedan has any right to. In the more than four years since the S-Class made its debut, however, Mercedes’ competitors have been working hard to catch up. In an attempt to stay at the head of the pack, the 2018 S-Class receives a major refresh, and the S63 gets a new engine.

Under the hood, the S63 drops its 577-hp 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 in favor of a 4.0-liter twin-turbo unit that makes 603 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. Power is still sent to all four wheels, but the updated all-wheel-drive system can now vary its torque distribution instead of sticking to a 33/67 front/rear split. The aging seven-speed automatic has also been replaced by a newer nine-speed unit.

But does that extra power, upgraded transmission, and improved all-wheel drive actually make the refreshed S63 a better performer? We took a new 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 to our test track to find out. And then had to call Mercedes because the brakes caught on fire.

Unfortunately, we don’t mean the brake discs got “flaming hot” and theoretically could have caught something on fire. Actual flames were coming from one of the wheelwells. Rather than blaming the car, testing director Kim Reynolds attributed the source of the flames to our figure-eight brake-torture test. Regardless of source, the incident shut down our testing for the day (see below for Reynolds’ thoughts on the brake failure).

Once the flame wheels had turned back into regular wheels, we returned the S63 to Mercedes so its engineers could figure out what went wrong. One week later, we were back at the track with a replacement car, ready to see what the S63 could do. Thankfully, that second testing attempt went off without a hitch. In fact, not only did the new S63 shoot zero flames, but it also beat the first car’s initial figure-eight results.

From a stop, the 2018 S63 accelerated to 60 mph in a scant 3.4 seconds and run the quarter mile in 11.6 seconds at 121.5 mph. That’s impressive acceleration by any standard, but for a 5,105-pound car, it’s mind-boggling. For comparison, when we tested the 650-hp track monster that is the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, it took 3.6 seconds to hit 60 mph and ran the quarter mile in 11.7 seconds at 123.0 mph. The 2014 S63 AMG, meanwhile, laid down a 0–60 time of 3.7 seconds and did the quarter mile in 12.1 at 115.5 mph.

Mercedes-AMG has also simplified the S63’s launch control, making it easy to repeat those results every single time. “Race start could not be any easier: Simply mashed both pedals then release the brake. Good for AMG for finally making it simple,” wrote road test editor Chris Walton after testing the S63. “It first revs to 3,500. After releasing the brakes, the engine jumps to 4,000, then holy smokes, does it go. The nose lifts, there’s a little bit of front wheelspin, then it digs in and goes. This limo is seriously quick.”

The S63’s braking performance was also impressive, but surprisingly, it lagged behind the 2014 version we’ve also tested. That car needed only 100 feet to stop from 60 mph, but the refreshed 2018 S63 we tested required 109 feet. Walton liked the firm feel of the brake pedal but noted it had “longer travel than expected.” Still, he was impressed that hard braking resulted in “very little dive” and “zero wander.”

Although a powerful engine, all-wheel drive, and large brakes can help compensate for a car’s weight in straight-line tests, it’s much more difficult to beat physics in our figure-eight test. Despite that challenge, testing director Kim Reynolds managed a 24.3-second time with average lateral acceleration of 0.83 g. Compared to the 2014 S63, that’s an improvement of 0.7 second and 0.04 g.

As Reynolds noted, it “seems like a car with a ton of weight and a ton of horsepower.” He also found that after a few laps, the brake pedal began to get soft, potentially risking the same fiery incident that stopped our earlier test. “It is a fun car, though,” he said. “Doesn’t like to turn in but is great fun exiting.”

That said, the S63 was never going to give a star performance on the figure-eight course. It’s far too large and heavy for that. Put it in Sport+ mode on an open road with plenty of fast sweepers, however, and it’s a completely different story.

On a road like that, the S63 is hilariously fun to drive. The engine is so powerful and the snarling exhaust is so loud that it’s impossible not to have fun. Sure, you’re still driving a 5,000-pound car that’s more than 17 feet long, but because body roll is so well-controlled, you really don’t feel it. You also don’t necessarily have to use the paddle shifters, thanks to the new nine-speed and its smarter programming.

Unlike some other high-powered cars, though, when it’s time to act like a mature adult again, the S63 can also play that role perfectly. Switch to Comfort mode, and the AMG-badged monster that cracked and popped with every downshift transforms into a quiet, refined luxury sedan.

To the right (well-heeled) buyer, that’s exactly the S63’s appeal. It’s a comfortable, understated daily driver with an incredibly well-crafted, luxurious cabin. The car handles stop-and-go traffic without an issue and eats up highway miles like they’re nothing. But when you want to let loose and have a little fun, the S63 is also quicker and more powerful than most people would expect.

It’s too large to be called a sport sedan, but how many other cars can hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds while chilling a bottle of champagne in the back seat?

A Word From our Testing Director on the S63’s Brake Failure

During the figure-eight test, I noticed the brake pedal starting to get soft. Given the car’s speed and considerable mass, that wasn’t surprising, so I slowed down, let the brakes cool for a few laps, and tried the test again. Almost immediately, they went soft again, so I let the brakes cool down and pulled in to call it quits.

A few minutes after I parked the car, I turned around and saw small flames licking out between the spokes of the right front wheel. I jumped back in the car and drove it around in an attempt to put out the flames and cool the brakes even more. But after pulling in again, road test editor Chris Walton and I could still feel a considerable amount of heat still radiating from the brakes.

After letting the car sit for a bit to cool down more, I drove it around slowly to check the brakes. I heard a faint chafing sound, so to avoid doing any more damage, I decided to stop and have it flat-bedded back to Mercedes-Benz.

On a recent press trip, a guy who’s done brake testing for a supplier told me the pads had probably been burning. Using a fire extinguisher would have made a colossal mess and maybe made things worse. The best thing to do was jump in and cool the brake down with lots of air.

Besides being fun to do, our figure-eight test gives us interesting lap times, lateral g numbers, and subjective impressions. But coincidentally, it’s also a severe brake fade test.

We actually used to do a brake fade test that amounted to six stops from 60 mph, decelerating at 0.5 g as measured by a crude g meter. We’d repeat it as quickly as possible using a hydraulic pressure sensor screwed onto the brake pedal to read pedal force. After several years, we stopped seeing any major fade issues and quit doing the test. We also quit checking that the parking brake was strong enough to hold the car on a steep hill.

Our figure-eight test is much more severe than that old test, as it’s repeated limit braking from higher speeds, and tires these days are way grippier. You almost can’t configure a test to stress brakes any more than this.

Because of that, I’m reluctant to get too excited when I see smoke afterward. Nobody punishes brakes more than we do in that test, so it has almost zero meaning in the real world. I say “almost” because every now and then, a car (usually a Ford) gets a soft pedal after maybe two laps, which is too soon.

In the case of this S63, my only question is why a car this expensive doesn’t have ceramics. In the real world they’re not necessary, and other than Randy during a video shoot, who would actually hot-lap an S63? —Kim Reynolds

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 4Matic+ BASE PRICE $148,495 PRICE AS TESTED $192,395 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 4-pass, 4-door sedan ENGINE 4.0L/603-hp/664-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8 TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 5,105 lb (54/46%) WHEELBASE 124.6 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 208.5 x 75.0 x 59.0 in 0-60 MPH 3.4 sec QUARTER MILE 11.6 sec @ 121.5 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 109 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.95 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 24.3 sec @ 0.83 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 17/26/20 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 198/130 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.96 lb/mile

The post 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 First Test: Burning Rubber in Style appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Barratt post record first half figures

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 08:46
Barratt Developments has revealed a record first-half profit as demand for new homes across the UK continues to be strong.
Categories: Property

Unite posts robust annual results and reveals £170m fund raising

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 08:35
Student digs giant Unite has posted a 12% rise in earnings for the year to the end of 2017, and is seeking to raise £170m in a move that heralds the group’s return to London development.
Categories: Property

Unite posts robust result and reveals £170m fund raising

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 08:35
Student digs giant Unite has posted a 12% rise in earnings for the year to the end of 2017, and is seeking to raise £170m in a move that heralds the group’s return to London development.
Categories: Property

CapCo reveals Earls Court loses another £100m in value

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 08:01
Capital & Counties (CapCo) has revealed another fall in the value of its controversial scheme in Earls Court, blaming political and macroeconomic factors for the writedown.
Categories: Property

Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door Gets a Flame Job in Latest Teaser

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 02:30

The upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT4 has been teased ahead of its official debut at the 2018 Geneva auto show sporting a flame wrap. Some key exterior design cues can be clearly seen such as the thin taillight clusters, which visually tie this sedan to the AMG GT sports cars.

Unlike the recently revealed CLS-Class, the AMG GT4 appears to have a liftback tailgate like the AMG GT Coupe, which should distinguish it more from Mercedes’ non-AMG swoopy sedan. Coincidentally, our spy photographers caught this specially camo’d prototype testing with another AMG GT mule and a Porsche Panamera in the snow, further hinting that the AMG GT4 is aimed squarely at Porsche’s potent four-door. The car wearing the flame wrap also sports what appears to be a small fixed rear wing, which could be available as an option. As with all AMG models, the AMG GT4 will sport the Panamericana grille, which first appeared with the AMG GT coupe lineup but has since found its way to other AMG vehicles including the S63 and GLC63.

When it goes into production, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 will effectively replace the CLS63 since Mercedes-Benz won’t offer a 63 variant for the new-generation CLS. Under the hood will likely be a hand-built 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 that should make up to 600 hp and come paired to a new nine-speed automatic transmission specific to AMG models. Its underpinnings, however, are expected to be shared with the E-Class and CLS-Class.

Photo source: CarPix

The post Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door Gets a Flame Job in Latest Teaser appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property