Brokenshire unveils £200m Midlands Right to Buy pilot

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 10:44
Housing and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has launched a £200m pilot project which aims to enable more housing association tenants in the Midlands to buy their homes.
Categories: Property

OakNorth backs Select Manchester resi towers

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 09:25
Investor Select Property has secured a £40.2m development loan from challenger bank OakNorth to develop 356 homes across two residential towers in Manchester.
Categories: Property

OakNorth backs Select Manchester schemes

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 09:25
Investor Select Property has secured a £40.2m development loan from challenger bank OakNorth to develop 356 homes across two schemes in Manchester.
Categories: Property

RESI 2018: calling all SME resi developers

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 06:32
Property Week is inviting residential SME developers to ‘meet their future partner’ at the all-new RESI Convention at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales on 12-14 September.
Categories: Property

Gazeley poaches boss of Lidl warehouses

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 06:25
Head of property Adrienne Howells becomes Gazeley development director.
Categories: Property

Spelthorne's real estate spending spree tops £890m

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 06:00
Industry questions prudence of local authority spending £9,310 per resident to build property portfolio.
Categories: Property

2019 Chevrolet Volt

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 05:01
The 2019 Chevrolet Volt is a robust plug-in hybrid that doubles as an all-electric daily driver and gas-aided road trip vehicle, all in the form of a usable compact hatchback. The 2019 Volt had the honor of being the first extended-range electric car, using a small gasoline engine to eliminate the range anxiety associated with other small EVs such...
Categories: Property

IIHS finds mixed results in latest minivan crash tests

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 05:01
Not all minivans provide the best crash protection for their occupants, the IIHS said Thursday. In its testing, the insurance industry-funded group praised the 2018 Honda Odyssey while noting structural deficiencies in the 2019 Toyota Sienna and 2019 Chrysler Pacifica. The IIHS subjected the three minivans to its small-overlap test on both the...
Categories: Property

2019 Volkswagen Golf R Available in 40 Custom Colors

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 00:48

A Viper Green Metallic paint job isn’t just for the Lamborghini Huracán anymore. Soon you can order a 2019 Volkswagen Golf R in one of 40 custom colors, plus five standard flavors.

Nogaro Blue Pearl, Violet Touch Metallic, Caribbean Green, and Copper Orange Metallic are just a few of the new colors to choose from if you’d like your new Golf R to look like something that rolled out of a bag of Skittles.

The Volkswagen Spektrum Program adds $2,500 to the sticker price, which should easily push your hot hatch into the low $40,000 range. Aside from Viper Green Metallic which by the way was originally featured on the European Mk 3 Scirocco, other colors include Deep Blue Pearl from the Mk 4 and Mk 5 R32, Ginster Yellow from the 1997 Driver’s Edition GTI, and Mars Red from the Mk 1 GTI. Too bad you can’t mix and match colors to make a modern Golf Harlequin.

VW is planning to add a builder tool to its site soon so keep an eye out for a 360-degree colorizer. In the meantime, customers can submit an order with local dealers and your custom ride should be ready in about two to four months.

Source: Volkswagen

The post 2019 Volkswagen Golf R Available in 40 Custom Colors appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 BMW 330i Prototype Review: The Ultimat3?

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 23:01

Our incessant bleating about BMW’s lamentable deviation from its “ultimate driving machine” ethos appears to have at long last spurred some action. The niche M5 drives pretty ultimately, and now the chassis development team for the crucial G20-generation 3 Series sedan seems equally determined to return the iconic Dreier to the top of its highly competitive heap.

So eager is the team to get this right and shut down the haters that a select few of the loudest complainers were invited to the Nurburgring for an intense day of public road and closed ’Ring driving of early 2.0-liter turbo prototype cars. Note, these versions were equipped with the M Sport package, and there’s still time to tune and tweak some of the final calibrations before the new 330i goes on sale early next year.

A quick summary of the key changes: Examine the undercarriage, and you won’t notice anything radically new, and yet every part is significantly revised—geometry, elastokinematics (bushings and bump-stops), spring and damping rates, and damper internals. Of course, the most crucial chassis component is the body structure itself; it’s stiffened by 25 percent in overall torsion, and the areas where the front and rear suspensions mount are about 50 percent more rigid.

The switch to aluminum for most of the front body structure contributes to an overall weight reduction of 120 pounds, which improves agility by lowering the polar moment of inertia, and helps deliver a 50:50 weight distribution (measured with full fluids, 300 pounds of front-seat passengers, and 31 pounds in the trunk). The center of gravity on all 3 Series models drops by 0.4 inch (the sport suspension drops the body another 0.4 inch), and the track widens by 1.2 inch.

That added rigidity around the suspension mounts better resists vibration, so the suspension bushings can be stiffened to deliver more road-feel to the steering rack (for the first time on a BMW, the sport suspension gets unique bushings). Front and rear suspension geometry is revised to lower the roll centers slightly and to make the rear more neutral. With improved front grip, we’re promised, the result is reduced understeer and increased agility.

The front struts feature new internal hydraulic rebound stops that dramatically increase the damping force in both directions near the top of the travel (the old internal rebound springs stored energy as the body rose and released it on the way back down, skewing the effective damping rates). The rear shocks include a similar function operating at the bottom end of travel, where a second, smaller piston enters a narrower cylinder that increases the damping rate by 50 percent. This improves body-motion control when the vehicle is heavily loaded and when it traverses bigger dips and bumps. The base and sport suspensions both utilize this technology, using different damping rates. (The optional adaptive sport dampers do this and more using external bypass spool valves.)

The base steering rack uses a fixed ratio, and sport suspensions get a variable rate with a more gradual (less noticeable) quickening of the ratio at higher steering angles. And—hallelujah!—the utterly unpredictable and truly hateful Active Steering has been banished to a special circle of hell (at least for the G20).

BMW did not share the specific spring and damping figures with us, but base car tuning is very slightly stiffer, and the sport suspenders are about 12 percent stiffer than the outgoing sport setup, meaning the gap between base and sport roughly doubles in this generation. The anti-roll bars have been tweaked very slightly to maintain similar control working in conjunction with the new spring rates and geometric roll axis. Tires remain the same size but are re-engineered for less rolling resistance and noise transmission.

In the braking department, both base and sport models get four-piston front and two-piston rear fixed calipers, but the sport models boast larger-diameter discs and caliper pistons front and rear, with a unique booster and proportioning valves to match. The last piece of the dynamic handling puzzle is the sport suspension’s electronically controlled limited-slip diff, which is entirely controlled by the chassis computers and works just like the ones in M cars, but with two fewer clutch plates.

My first drive is in an electric power steering–equipped development prototype with BMW steering guru Mischa Bachmann riding shotgun. As I steer through the twisty lanes, he taps away on a laptop altering various parameters, like an optometrist working a refractor. “Do you like this one, or is this better?”

Bachmann starts me out with his leading calibration for “comfort” steering,—light on center, effort builds naturally off center, and there’s never any sensation of effort being added for sportiness’ sake. I like it. He lets me sample higher steering effort levels and various damping rate profiles (these affect how quickly you can steer the car and how it returns to center). By comparison with the baseline’s low, natural effort, all seem worse. Other journalists at the event preferred some of Mischa’s tweaks. But what do they know? Do any emulate the feel of a Porsche Boxster or E39 5 Series? No. Mischa’s setup is superbly precise, utterly predictable, and makes the car do exactly what I ask of it. Bravo. It still lacks the feel of those benchmark cars—because it’s so darned hard for road forces to fight their way past the torque of an electric motor twisting a second pinion on the steering rack, which then flows up the main pinion and shaft to the steering wheel rim.

Next we set out on an hour-plus route used by the development team. It offers a brilliant mix of twisty, hilly, and straight country roads with widely varying surfaces, village roads, and unrestricted autobahn stretches. Application driving dynamics boss Jos van As notes that the test cars are the “worst case for ride”—sport suspension and lowest-profile run-flat tires. Yet body motion control is impeccable, and the vehicle absorbs the sharpest impacts with trademark vintage-BMW suppleness. I can only imagine how cosseting the base car on taller sidewalls will feel. Even when those bumps occur in the tightest of corners, they’re absorbed without deviating from the driving line. The e-LSD axle can be felt helping dig the car out of the tightest corners when the throttle is open. In a few hard hairpin corners that clearly involve steering-ratio variation, the effort and motion feel entirely natural. And at 155 mph on the autobahn, the solid on-center feel inspires confidence.

The time arrives for two hot laps of the Nurburgring behind van As in an M2 serving as my driving-line coach. The new 3 feels right at home here—no surprise, given that it’s logged thousands of miles, 12.9 of them at a time, on this 73-turn circuit. A bit more surprising is how quickly this chassis makes a ’Ring virgin like myself feel comfortable probing eight- and nine-tenths of this chassis’ limits, maintaining small-slip-angle drifts and trusting the brakes to do their thing harder and later in the turns. (I did detect a bit of brake vibration at the end of one long braking zone, however.) The steering totally disappears here, drawing no attention to itself.

The session ends. I struggle to think of constructive feedback for the chassis team. My criticisms are all for other 3 Series engineers. The transmission’s sport-mode tuning needs a lot of work. It was forever grabbing high gears at the wrong time and it too seldom downshifted appropriately while slowing for a corner. The shift paddles and manual-gate shifter work great, except the thin red line in the cluster that blinks at redline is too faint to get my attention. I’d also love to see some improvement in the sound of the engine/exhaust at lower revs. It sounds great at full boil, but it’s still plagued by that dieselish clatter at idle and low cruising speeds. (The only other news we received during this chassis-focused trip about the 2.0-liter turbo engine is that it will gain about 7 hp and 37 lb-ft of torque.)

Over dinner we chat about benchmarks, and I ask whether the Alfa Romeo Giulia warranted special attention. “It is a great car, but it is not a BMW,” says chassis integration guy Robert Rothmiller. In his team’s experience, Rothmiller finds that although the Alfa’s ultimate capabilities may be impressive, that car makes its driver work harder than a BMW driver should have to in achieving them. So will this be the ultimate-driving 3 Series? The essential elements seem to be here—provided Mischa doesn’t act on those other journalists’ steering recommendations and ruin his years of development work.

The post 2019 BMW 330i Prototype Review: The Ultimat3? appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Ford Escape

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 22:01
The 2019 Ford Escape lives in a household full of bro-dozers and brute-utes, and somehow it thrives. The sleek, hatchback-ish crossover sells hundreds of thousands of copies a year, and we think we know why. Sold in S, SE, SEL, and Titanium trim, the 2019 Escape can and wants to be driven like a hot hatch, so long as you order the frothy engine...
Categories: Property

Subaru Will Replace Your 2019 Ascent if it Was Recalled for Bad Welds

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 21:00

Mistakes happen. It’s just part of life. Unfortunately, some mistakes are easier to fix than others. If your new car’s tire pressure monitor stops working, for example, all the dealer has to do is replace the faulty part. But if your new car is one of the 2019 Ascents that have just been recalled, Subaru has decided the best option is to simply replace the whole car.

The Problem: According to Subaru, the affected vehicles may not have received all the necessary spot welds on or around the B-pillar. Because of that, the vehicle’s structural integrity is likely compromised, increasing the risk of injury in a crash.

The Fix: Instead of attempting to reweld the affected B-pillars, Subaru has taken a pricier but less risky approach. Owners of vehicles found to be missing the necessary spot welds will be given a brand new Ascent that was built correctly. The Japanese automaker will also cover the cost of any taxes, fees, and registration costs that owners are required to pay in order to swap vehicles.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: Subaru believes a total of 293 vehicles built in the month of July were affected, although it’s unclear how many are currently on the road. To see if your car is affected, check your VIN using NHTSA’s recall checker tool.

Source: Subaru

The post Subaru Will Replace Your 2019 Ascent if it Was Recalled for Bad Welds appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Watch: 7 Reasons Why the Volvo XC40 is the Most Practical SUV Ever

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 20:30

Yes, it’s a small crossover, and yes, its styling is less than conventional. But we’re convinced the Volvo XC40 was designed with practicality in mind, from its innovative storage solutions to its comfortable materials and useful safety technologies.

The XC40 offers a host of interior features that other luxury automakers overlook, including grocery hooks and a designated phone charging space. Drivers can find exactly what they’re looking for thanks to the minimalist cabin design and easy-to-use touchscreen. And as we also noted in our recent First Test, it’s also maneuverable in the city and has plenty of power at the ready, adding to the practicality equation.

We summed it up: “Because of their size and lower price tag, luxury subcompacts are likely to be scrutinized for whether they’re worthy of the esteemed brand badge. The XC40 keeps with Volvo tradition, particularly when it comes to interior quality, feature availability, and drive experience.”

Check out this video to find out how different innovations on the Volvo XC40 make for one very practical small SUV.

The post Watch: 7 Reasons Why the Volvo XC40 is the Most Practical SUV Ever appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

G-Star RAW kicks off expansion plan with Meadowhall move

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 18:47
Fashion retailer G-Star RAW has signed for a flagship store at Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre as part of an expansion plan for the brand that will see its double its store estate to 10 by the end of the year.
Categories: Property

2019 Nissan Sentra Receives Apple CarPlay, Android Auto

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 17:18

The Nissan Sentra is due for a complete redesign soon, but in the meantime, it receives some much-needed updates. For the 2019 model year, Nissan is finally giving the model a larger screen as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

All Sentras except the base model now feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment. There’s also a new 7-inch audio display, much larger than the 5.0-inch and 5.8-inch displays offered on the previous model.

Prices start at $18,685 for the base S model. These cars come modestly equipped with a six-way manual driver seat, four-way manual front passenger seat, basic air conditioning, 16-inch steel wheels, and Bluetooth. Opting for the CVT instead of the standard six-speed manual brings the price up to $19,375.

On the SV grade, buyers receive smart key with push-button start, two rear USB ports, dual zone automatic climate control, piano black interior trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and a tire pressure monitoring system with easy-fill tire alert. This model comes standard with the CVT and starts from $19,985.

This trim also receives a new Special Edition package for 2019. Available for $1,000, this package includes 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, rear disc brakes, power sliding glass moonroof with tilting feature, and unique badging.

SR models boast adaptive cruise control, a rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport interior trim, and other upgrades for $21,485. When paired with the more powerful 1.6-liter engine making 188 hp instead of the standard 1.8-liter engine with 124-130 hp, the SR costs $23,465. SL models receive a standard moonroof, leather-appointed seats, heated front seats, a Bose audio system with eight speakers, and six-way power driver seat among other features for $23,915.

Sitting at the top of the lineup, the Nismo model offers the same turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4 as the SR Turbo model but also gets unique exterior touches like a ground effects kit and red stripe accents. It starts at $26,735 regardless of whether you pair it with the six-speed manual or CVT.

The 2019 Nissan Sentra is now on sale.

Source: Nissan

The post 2019 Nissan Sentra Receives Apple CarPlay, Android Auto appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Ohio senator wants to give car shoppers $3,500 to buy American-made cars

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 16:52
A bill proposed this week in the U.S. Senate aims to give car buyers $3,500 to buy American-made cars, including models from Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, and others, the latest thrust in escalating threats between lawmakers and the auto industry. Democratic Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown proposed the legislation this week and said the measure...
Categories: Property

Danish pension fund purchases €1bn German assets

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 16:15
Danish pension fund PFA has acquired the German Century portfolio for around €1bn (£890m).
Categories: Property

Mayor announces new London Development Panel for public land

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 15:39
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced the developers, housing associations and contractors which will bring forward up to £20bn of new housing on public land as part of the LDP, as well as a handful of new public sites that will be contracted out to panel members.
Categories: Property

2019 Ram 1500, 2019 Toyota Sienna, 2019 Audi RS 5: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 15:30
2019 Ram 1500 Review The 2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck wants to be more than just a trusted hauler. With its roomy, refined interior and its choice of engine options, the 2019 Ram is the most livable full-size pickup on the market today. 2019 Toyota Sienna SE now offers all-wheel drive The sportier version of Toyota's minivan is ready for snowy road...
Categories: Property

Industrial investment remains buoyant in Q2 2018

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 13:32
UK institutions upped their share of the buoyant industrial investment market in Q2 2018.
Categories: Property