2018 Jaguar F-Type Coupe Turbo-Four First Test

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:00

Ian Callum’s ability to design such beautiful cars with regularity must drive the other guys nuts. Just look at the F-Type. Proportion is spot on. The body’s gesture needs no superfluous creases to create “surface excitement.” Every line counts. Less is, indeed, more, and the F-Type’s mere shape is what makes it what it is – a Jaguar incarnate and stunning. Name a prettier modern car powered by a four-cylinder engine. We’ll wait.

New for 2018

The entire 2018 Jaguar F-Type lineup receives simpler but bolder front/rear fascia updates to better distinguish one model from another. All get full LED lighting, extensive interior tweaks including Jaguar’s latest infotainment system, and new magnesium-framed “slimline” seats, which aren’t just shockingly comfortable and supportive, but also are said to save 17 pounds compared to their predecessors.

With the addition this year of a special-edition F-Type 400 Sport, and this base trim with its turbo-four engine, the two-door, two-passenger 2018 Jaguar F-Type model line has grown to a dizzying 24 variants. Between coupe and convertible, three engines encompassing six different output ratings (four can be had with a 6-speed manual transmissions, all others an 8-speed automatic), and 10 variants are available with AWD. In contrast, the hardtop-convertible Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class has two variants, and the Porsche 718 offers 10 variants between the Cayman and Boxster.

Ingenium Power

While the rest of the F-Type’s 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 and 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 engines produce between 340 and 575 horsepower, the rating for this new Ingenium 2.0-liter turbo-four stands at an impressive 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The Mercedes-Benz SLC 300’s 2.0-liter turbo-four makes just 241 hp/273 lb-ft, but the Porsche 718 duo’s 2.0-liter turbo-four ups it to 300 hp/280 lb-ft. So the Jag is definitely in the game here.

The Ingenium I-4 is all aluminum, uses direct injection, and an innovative electrohydraulic valvetrain. Its exhaust manifold is integrated directly into the cylinder head. A twin-scroll turbocharger rides ceramic bearings and ensures that the maximum torque is delivered at just 1,500 rpm. That early-onset torque peak is supposed to reduce the sensation of turbo lag, but it’s only partly successful. At low- to mid-rpm engine speeds when you whack the throttle, there’s definitely a delay before the engine reacts. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate turbo-lag (unless a turbo can be spun up with something other than exhaust gas, like the best, current hybrid F1 power units do).

Speaking of exhaust, here’s a spotter’s guide to help determine the engine of the F-Type you’re following: a large center-mounted single outlet is the new inline-four; center-mounted twin tips are V-6s, and outboard-mounted quads are V-8 models.

Weighty Matters

Jaguar says installing the turbocharged four-cylinder engine in place of the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 reduces the car’s weight by about 115 pounds. It also shifts the overall balance rearward by 1 percent (we keep receipts). The last F-Type S (380-hp V-6) we tested weighed 3,809 pounds with 52/48 percent front/rear distribution. Also rear-wheel drive and equipped with an eight-speed automatic, this 2.0-liter 2018 F-Type was, in fact, 207 pounds lighter, but its distribution was biased slightly more on the nose, with 53/47 percent front/rear distribution. Odd. Perhaps our tester’s optional equipment, especially its panoramic glass roof ($1,175), upset the balance.

Be that as it may, the new, lighter F-Type Jaguar gets monotube dampers, reduced spring rates in the suspension, and a recalibrated electric-assist power steering system. This part delivers a noticeable benefit. The four-banger F-Type definitely feels 200 pounds lighter than the V-6, especially going about the business of negotiating corners. The front end feels quicker to react and more obedient to stay put in the corner. The rear end, however, can still be edgy, but not in the way of the more powerful F-Types.

In the process of lapping our figure-eight course, I found the engine has just enough torque to step the rear out, but only slightly and controllably on exit. The biggest challenge is corner-entry over-steer. There’s an edginess to it, and it will easily bite if you try to enter with too much speed, then snap the quick steering. I was constantly making steering adjustments around the skidpad, mostly in an involved “this car needs me” sort of way; not in a threatening way. Strong brakes never faded, but I wish there was more feel/less squish in the pedal.

Despite having an 84-hp deficit compared to the last F-Type S we previously tested, the new F-Type 2.0 lapped our figure-eight in an identical 25.4 seconds. Nicely done. The new F-Type also showed an advantage on the skidpad, averaging 0.95g lateral acceleration to the S’ 0.90g. Impressive. Still, at 3,601 pounds, the aluminum-bodied 2.0-liter F-Type is no lightweight. A similarly powered 718 Cayman (3,140 pounds as-tested) undercut this Jaguar by an unbelievable 461 pounds, plus it dispatched our figure-eight in a scant 23.7 seconds; an enormous 1.7-second difference.

The Straight Bits

The new F-Type accelerated from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds on its way to a quarter mile in 14.1 seconds at 99.7 mph. That’s about a second behind the aforementioned F-Type S (rebranded “R-Dynamic” for 2018, by the way), and more than a second behind that same, pesky Cayman with its 4.1-second 0-60 time and 12.5-second 111.2-mph quarter mile.

Associate road test editor Erick Ayapana found that the F-Type has an odd launch mode: “In Dynamic mode with traction- and stability-control disabled, apply full brake, lightly tap on the accelerator, wait for launch mode to activate, then fully depress accelerator pedal. The engine holds at 3,100 rpm until you release the brakes. Pretty consistent times, and launch mode shaves more than a second from acceleration times compared to a normal launch.”

He also liked the engine note, but he was at full throttle the entire time. When testing the brakes, Ayapana said, “Lots of noise once ABS activates… sounds like it’s pounding a hole through the firewall!” Echoing the other test driver, he added, “I wish there was better feel in the pedal to more easily modulate under hard braking. Brakes still felt strong and consistent after five stops.”

In the “Car Park” and On the Road

Outside the scrutiny of our test track and data-logging equipment, the 2018 F-Type 2.0 looks and feels special. Besides the beckoning way it looks simply sitting in a parking stall, the new LED lights come to life when unlocking it with the remote (our tester also had the $460 keyless entry option), and the flush-fitted door handles tilt out to greet and grant access. For the 2018 model year, Jaguar added satin-chrome finishes to the starter button and gearshift paddles and bright-chrome finish to the air vents, steering wheel, and doors’ switchgear. It does add a touch of luxury where there wasn’t before.

There’s still a sense of anticipation when pressing the large starter button, but what’s missing is the engine erupting when it fires—like the V-6 and V-8 F-Types do. Those F-Types are notorious for their bellowing, barking, and snarling engines. It’s practically their calling card, which is why it’s so disheartening that the four-cylinder’s sound is completely disappointing most of the time. Start the Jag and you hear the I-4’s 2,900-psi fuel injection system and valvetrain ticking and clattering away like a diesel. It sounds mechanical, but not in the good way. You are left wanting that aural feedback, unless it’s at wide-open throttle (with the standard, active sport exhaust open), or just after abruptly lifting off the throttle, when the exhaust crackles in overrun. Sorry, but this engine doesn’t sound sporting at all. We can think of several turbo-fours that sound far better, including that of our 2018 Car of the Year, the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

Compared to other Jaguars’ rotating, knurled-puck transmission selector, the F-Type’s stubby and substantial pistol-grip shifter is more intuitive and easier to operate without a glance. Jaguar gets bonus points for its manual-mode orientation that grants upshifts with a pull of the shifter toward the driver. We’ll forgive family sedans and SUVs for formatting it the other way around (pulling the shifter toward you to downshift, as if reining in a horse), but this is the proper, race-bred way for a sporting car. The metallic, steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles also feel substantial.

In normal drive mode and the transmission set in Drive, the driveline feels dull, uninspiring, and as if it’s in frugal mode. It became habit to nudge shifter into S-Drive and the rocker toward the checkered flag that engages Dynamic mode. This sharpens throttle and transmission response to better the match expectations. Even in Dynamic mode, the engine disappears from the experience (spinning at just 1,900 rpm at 60 mph) at highway speeds, and there’s little wind or road noise. In Dynamic mode, passing maneuvers are quickly obeyed, taking just 2.7 seconds to accelerate from 45 to 65 mph.

The eight-speed automatic is rarely, if ever, caught confused or lacking response, dropping a couple gears at once when asked to. Our Real MPG team used normal mode in Drive to extract 21.0 mpg city, 32.3 mpg highway for a combined 25.0 mpg result—closely mirroring the EPA’s 23/30/26 mpg estimates. It is reasonably frugal with a gallon of gas.

Because Jaguar’s adaptive dampers are not available on this base model, monotube shocks have been calibrated to deliver a good balance of compliance, ride comfort, and athleticism. Even with our car’s optional 19-inch wheels ($1,020) and 245/40R19 94Y front and 275/30R19 96Y Pirelli P Zero tires, the car retained its light-footed spryness and the ride was hardly punishing.


As mentioned earlier, the F-Type’s slimline seats are fabulous, less bulky, and are upholstered in new leather/faux suede. Ours were optionally heated within the $1,380 “Climate Pack 1” that also includes two-zone auto climate control, and a heated windshield and steering wheel. Forward sightlines are very good with little notice of the A-pillars; the sensible-height beltline doesn’t cause a sense of claustrophobia like some other coupes do. A rear-view camera and rear parking sensors are standard — however, the restricted view from the rear-view mirror while driving only allows a driver to see what’s directly behind. Side mirrors are similarly limited, so we’d highly recommend the blind-spot monitor and reverse-traffic detection option for $460, and toss in the front parking aid for $285 to cover all the bases.

The now-standard 8.0-inch swipe/pinch-capable and powerful Touch Pro system with navigation includes (with Pro Services subscription) a feature that will check if there’s enough fuel in the tank to get you to your destination — in case there isn’t, the system will add fuel stations to your route. It also has algorithms that will, for instance, learn your commute and reroute using historical and real-time traffic information so you won’t be late. If that still seems likely, the system will send your ETA to selected contacts via email or text message. Standard features also include Bluetooth connectivity, one USB and 12V socket, a 380-Watt 10-speaker Meridian audio system with SiriusXM and HD radio.

Depending how you pack it (under the tarp or up to and obscuring the glass), there are between 9.2 and 14.4 cubic-feet of cargo space beneath the rear hatch. We still wish the hinges were on the left edge of the hatch, like the original E-Type.


Since it went on sale in the 2014-model year, the F-Type has earned well-deserved praise for both its debut and ever-evolving styling — steadily growing its model lineup, and in the process, gaining performance cred along the way (peaking with last year’s wild and wooly 575-hp 200-mph F-Type SVR). The F-Type is currently the brand’s fourth-best seller out of five models, but when you think of a Jaguar, this is probably what pops into your head. Jag needs the F-Type as a halo car; to stand spiritually for the hallowed brand. Should Jaguar have diluted that car with a four-cylinder version?

It can’t compete on price or performance. The less powerful Mercedes-Benz SLC300 is base priced $11,500 below that of this F-Type coupe, and a twin-turbo V-6 version (SLC43) starts at just $1,450 above. A base Porsche 718 Cayman, the one that smokes this new F-Type in every performance test we performed, starts at $56,350, or $4,545 below the F-Type’s base price. You might consider an Audi S5 Coupe ($55,575) or BMW M2 ($55,495), both of which also offer small back seats. Fancy a high-powered super-capable ‘Murican pony car? A 650-hp Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 starts at $63,795 and a 526-hp Ford Shelby GT350 at $58,045.

Clearly, if you’re an accountant, there are better ways to have fun for your money than this turbo-four Brit sports car. That said, the 2018 Jaguar F-Type turbo-four is undeniably gorgeous, well-equipped, and clever — even fuel efficient. But it’s expensive at its $60,895 starting price, and outrageous at $68,913 as tested. That’s a steep price to pay to feel special.

2018 Jaguar F-Type (Base) BASE PRICE $60,895 PRICE AS TESTED $68,913 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe ENGINE 2.0L/296-hp/295-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,601 lb (53/47%) WHEELBASE 103.2 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 176.5 x 75.7 x 51.6 in 0-60 MPH 5.4 sec QUARTER MILE 14.1 sec @ 99.7 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 112 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.95 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.4 sec @ 0.73 g (avg) REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 21.0/32.3/25.0 mpg EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 23/30/26 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 147/112 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.75 lb/mile

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Categories: Property

Hammerson set to crash out of FTSE 100

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 08:45
Retail giant Hammerson is set to fall out of the FTSE 100, following a sharp fall in its share price in the wake of its agreed takeover of rival Intu in December.
Categories: Property

Ex-HSBC quartet launch new firm with $550m backing

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:00
Four former leading members of the real estate team at HSBC Alternative Investments have set up a new property investment company with $550m (£391m) of assets and new capital from Woodman Group.
Categories: Property

2019 Aston Martin DB11 Volante First Drive: Roofless Beauty

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 00:01

Aston Martin unveiled the Volante name in 1965 on a convertible conceived to use up DB5 chassis made surplus by the launch of the longer-wheelbase DB6 coupé. A little more than 50 years later, the first Volante ever built sold at auction for $1.7 million. In that context, the $219,581 2019 Aston Martin DB11 Volante looks a steal.

A word of warning before you cash in the 401(k) to invest in Aston Martin soft-top futures, however: Back in 1965 Aston only had 37 leftover DB5 chassis to work with, making those original Volantes the rarest Aston Martin convertibles of them all. The new DB11 Volante, by contrast, is expected to account for about 50 percent of DB11 sales when it arrives in the U.S. later this year. Aston will sell more DB11 Volantes a month than the entire production run of the original.

The DB11 Volante shares its 503-hp, AMG-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, eight-speed automatic transmission, and suspension and brakes with the DB11 V8 Coupé launched last year. The hood, front fenders, and doors are shared, too, along with much of the underlying structure ahead of the windshield.

What’s different? The exterior changes are obvious, though they’re more subtly executed than they appear. The bone line along the new rear fender runs 0.4 inch higher over the wheel opening before curving gently downward toward the tail, and the top surface of the fender is more horizontal. Aston engineers also worked hard to ensure the cloth roof folded down into a stack just 10.2 inches tall.

As a result, the DB11 Volante is endowed with a low, languidly voluptuous profile few modern convertibles can match. And unlike many convertibles, it’s achingly gorgeous even with the roof raised. The backlite is impressively fast for a soft-top, the roofline streaming back from the windshield header to the trunk in a single glorious arc.

No roof means the Volante doesn’t get the DB11 Coupé’s Aeroblade active aerodynamic system, which ducts air through the rear fenders and turns it 90 degrees to exit vertically through the trunklid just ahead of an extendable Gurney flap to create an air curtain spoiler. Instead, the Volante has only the extendable Gurney flap. Aston engineers say high-pressure air stays closer to the Volante’s longer, flatter rear deck, so the system isn’t needed.

The Volante weighs 242 pounds more than the V8 Coupé, or about as much as a V12 DB11. About 99 pounds of that increase is the result of strengthening the body structure to compensate for the lack of a roof. The rest is down to the eight-layer Webasto cloth roof and the power mechanism that allows it to be raised or lowered in 14 to 16 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph.

The lighter V-8 engine under the hood means the mass is distributed very differently, however. The Volante’s front-to-rear weight distribution is 47/53 percent, compared with the V12 Coupé’s 51/49 percent and the V8 Coupé’s 49/51 percent. Managing that change in weight distribution was more of a challenge than dealing with the mass increase itself, says Sean Docherty, the dynamics engineer responsible for tuning the Volante’s chassis. The front spring and stabilizer bar rates are the same as the V8 Coupé’s, but the rear springs are 13 percent stiffer.

The extra mass does little to dull the performance: With a claimed 0–60-mph acceleration time of about 4.0 seconds and top speed of 187 mph, the Volante is as quick as the V8 Coupé. The Volante feels impressively plush, calm, and controlled, even when hustled along narrow, winding mountain roads. It’s more agile than the nose-heavy V12 Coupé, more measured than the V8 Coupé … and more involving than Ferrari’s new Portofino, a car that is the Volante’s direct rival in terms of price, presence, and performance of intended function.

With 88 more horses under the hood and an active torque-vectoring E-Diff, the Ferrari is unquestionably faster and sharper. But even with the shocks switched to Sport Plus mode, the Aston rides more fluidly—and has more communicative steering. You have a more intimate sense of what the chassis is doing underneath you.

On our test drive the Volante’s cockpit remained comfortably snug with the roof down, side windows up, heated steering wheel on, and wind blocker in place despite snow on the ground and the mercury hovering below zero under the azure skies of the Alpes-Maritimes in southern France. However, opening up that beautifully brogued leather interior to the elements means bright sunlight occasionally renders the TFT instrument panel totally unreadable.

It’s safe to say a 2019 Aston Martin DB11 Volante probably won’t be worth the equivalent of $1.7 million in 50 years’ time. But that’s not the measure of this car. In terms of the here and now, its stunning good looks, sophisticated road manners, and everyday usability make it the most accomplished Volante Aston Martin has ever built.





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Categories: Property

2018 Toyota Camry, some Lexus models recalled

The Car Connection News Feed - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:36
Toyota’s redesign of the 2018 Camry was meant to light a fire under the staid mid-size sedan, but this isn't exactly what they meant. The automaker announced Friday that about 11,800 2018 Toyota Camry owners will receive recall notices by late March asking them to return their vehicles to dealers for inspection and repair, if necessary, of...
Categories: Property

2017 Subaru Legacy Sport Long-Term Update 5: How it Compares to the Updated 2018 Model

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 09:00

In what qualifies as next-level product hype, Subaru gave us a Crimson Red 2018 Legacy 2.5i Sport to drive around for a few weeks last month. After 10 months and nearly 18,000 miles on our gray 2017 model, the bright newness of the 2018 definitely seems a little brighter and shinier.

For 2018, Subaru made some styling changes to the front and rear and added new LED daytime running lights to give the Legacy a “sportier” look. The changes are not radical enough to be considered a redesign, but the tweaks are a positive change.

Under the hood the suspension and electric power steering have been retuned in an attempt to give a smoother ride and enhanced feel when driving, again in an effort to be a little sportier.

The 2018 Subaru Legacy is pictured

Even after a few miles I noticed the ride got quieter in the 2018—an improvement on what was already a pretty smooth and quiet ride with our 2017 long-termer. Credit goes to the redesigned side mirrors and sound-insulating glass. Nice work.

Some tech features have been upgraded or added, including reverse automatic braking, steering-sensitive headlights, and the ability to monitor the pressures for individual tires. Nice incremental upgrades.

But the real star of this refresh rodeo is the overhauled multimedia display, which takes the center of the Legacy from dated to datable.

Although serviceable, the monochrome screen in the 2017 model has been reinvigorated by adding bolder, more colorful icons for the touchscreen’s functions. You notice it right away, and it really livens up the cabin. The small touch goes a long way to making the driving experience more attractive.

Along with the aesthetic makeover, radio and media functions have been tweaked to allow for more intuitive bookmarking and use of the functions you use often.

And to the cheers of many on staff, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have been added, so you don’t need to untether your phone when driving. Welcome to the club.

Also upgraded are the graphics for the maps, which now look much more contemporary.

So a little something for everyone with this refresh. Styling, safety, and the indoor beautification project could be the difference between passing on the 2017 and jumping feet first into the 2018.

Frankly, we’re a little jealous. Well played, Subaru.

Read more about our 2017 Subaru Legacy Sport:

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Categories: Property

Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 Hyundai Veloster

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 23:45

The Hyundai Veloster has always been one of the most peculiar-looking vehicles on the market. For the 2019 model year, Hyundai overhauled the design, integrating it more into the rest of its lineup while keeping the model’s personality intact. But the question is: Did Hyundai go overboard in either one of these two areas?

The Veloster’s new face falls in line with the look of other new Hyundais. It gets the brand’s signature “cascading” grille that features sharper angles than the grille on the previous Veloster. New wedge-shaped headlights contribute to a bolder, less curvy look. The 2019 Hyundai Veloster also receives new lines on the hood that extend far out unlike the lines on the old model that are centered near the windshield.

Hyundai kept the Veloster’s unusual three-door setup, with one door on the driver’s side and two on the right side. But looking from the side profile, you’ll realize plenty of other things have changed. First of all, the new Veloster’s roof slopes down less sharply now. You can see this change in the shape of the side windows. The roofline has also been lowered, and the nose appears lower and longer than before. Overall, the look is slightly softer.

In the back, you’ll notice the Veloster ditches the rounded taillights of the old model for a more modern look. Although it still has two exhaust pipes situated next to each other in the middle of the rear end (if it’s a Turbo or R-Spec model), the Veloster features a new, bolder integrated diffuser design. Also, notice the taillights now blend into the rear window. On the old model, there was a clear separation.

As is often the case, the most dramatic changes happen inside the interior. Hyundai revamped the entire design of the center console. A square infotainment screen sits atop the dashboard, with a few neat rows of buttons below. The ignition button has also been repositioned closer to the steering wheel. You’ll also notice Hyundai changed up the position of the air vents as well as the design of the shifter.

Do you think the 2019 Hyundai Veloster is refreshing or revolting? Let us know on Facebook.


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Categories: Property

The Toyota Supra Road Car Probably Won’t Be at Geneva

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 20:45

Yesterday, we reported that an early copy of the Japanese magazine Best Car may have leaked details of the new Toyota Supra before its official debut. We’ve already seen our fair share of lightly camouflaged Supra prototypes, including the new spy shot above, so when Toyota finally reveals the new car, the design won’t be much of a surprise. But despite Toyota’s official teaser suggesting the reveal will be in a few weeks, it may be a little more complicated than that.

According to translations sent in by several readers (and one editor’s mother), Toyota only plans to show off a GTE-class racing version of the Supra at the Geneva Motor Show. The road car, on the other hand, won’t debut until the New York auto show at the end of next month. This, of course, depends entirely on Best Car‘s information being accurate, but SupraMKV forum staff seem to believe it is.

For fans anxious to see the new Supra’s interior, which engines and transmissions will be available, and potentially even a few performance statistics, this news probably comes as a disappointment. Sure, the race car will probably look a lot like the road-going Supra, but the interior will likely be stripped, and power output could be significantly different. If you want an idea of how the Supra road car will look, check out the spy shot above, provided by SupraMKVwhich appears to show a Supra prototype wearing production-spec wheels.

Even if we do have to wait a little longer to see it in production trim, after more than 15 years of waiting, the new Supra is finally almost here, and that’s definitely worth getting excited about.

The post The Toyota Supra Road Car Probably Won’t Be at Geneva appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Aspark Owl Electric Hypercar Does 0-60 MPH in 1.6 Seconds

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 19:30

We offered bemused coverage of this unknown Japanese electric supercar when it first appeared at last year’s Frankfurt show claiming 2-second 0-62-mph acceleration from pretty modest-sounding power and torque output. Then the other day Aspark’s communications rep emailed me a PDF of a Vbox file containing the 100-Hz raw data output from two brief acceleration runs—both of which hit the magic 100-km/h mark in under 2.0 seconds.

This piqued my curiosity enough to convert the PDF info to Excel and crunch it as if our own hot shoe Walton had been at the helm. And holy holeshots, Batman: Subtracting our standard 1-foot roll-out (by which point the Owl was already flying at 6.3 mph), Aspark’s data translates to a Motor Trend-spec 0-60 time of 1.6 seconds for both runs. For comparison, the 2017 Tesla Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode was traveling 5.9 mph in the first foot of its Motor Trend record-setting 2.28-second 0-60 run.

First caveat: The tires used were Hoosier racing slicks, not DOT street-legal meats with rain-tolerant tread grooves. In Aspark’s first test session, the tires were warmed in a heater box, then quickly installed prior to the test runs. The video of this most recent second test session indicates a tire warming burnout, but curiously the car was restrained for this using giant ratchet straps connected to the front wheels, so the front drive shaft must have been disconnected or somehow declutched. (Yes, the motors are both located near the rear axle, with a shaft running forward to power the front axle.)

Second caveat: Electricity for this test is coming primarily from ultra-capacitors, not from batteries. Ultra-caps can be recharged extremely quickly, making them great for capturing lots of regenerative braking on a race track, and they can be discharged extremely quickly (as when geysering electrons at motors for a sub-2-second 0-60 run). The sales literature mentions that the final product will employ a combination of batteries and ultra-caps, but its claimed 93-mile driving range surely must carry a higher ratio of batteries to ultra-caps than this test mule did here. This could hamper the car’s ultimate acceleration rate.

The claimed total mass of the Aspark Owl is just under 1,900 pounds, and the horsepower and torque of the two motors totals 429 hp and 563 lb-ft. I plugged all these figures into another program, along with a roughly estimated drag coefficient and frontal area (aero isn’t too important below 60 mph), and the computer indicated that this acceleration rate would demand 435 hp. Close enough to assure us Aspark isn’t sand-bagging on the power number.

Less clear at this point is the driveline setup. The brochure claims a 174-mph top speed with a maximum motor speed of 4,000 rpm. Given the claimed final-drive ratio of 4.44:1 and the tire sizes (275/30R19 front, 335/30R20 rear), a two- or three-speed gearbox at least will be needed to hit that speed, though a 1:1 first gear would reach 72 mph.

Who knows if this car will ever reach “series” production (it’s rumored $4,000,000-plus price will certainly limit demand), or if any of said sales will be in North America. But any potentially street legal car hitting 60 mph in under 2 seconds seems worthy of at least this much attention.

The post Aspark Owl Electric Hypercar Does 0-60 MPH in 1.6 Seconds appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Ray-Ban to open Carnaby flagship

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:27
Eyewear brand Ray-Ban has signed for a new flagship store within Shaftesbury’s Carnaby Street estate.
Categories: Property

2019 Ram 1500 special editions unveiled for Canadians, Texans

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:53
At first glance, Canada and Texas don't have that much in common—except that they're both strong markets for full-size pickups. Capitalizing on that, Ram this week unveiled a pair of special edition versions of its new 2019 Ram 1500 trucks. Texans can order up a 2019 Ram 1500 Lone Star, the automaker said Wednesday at the Dallas auto show...
Categories: Property

2019 Subaru Ascent priced, Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe, Tesla Model 3 production: What’s New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:30
2019 Subaru Ascent undercuts competition with $32,970 base price The 2019 Subaru Ascent will be priced under $33,000 when it goes on sale this summer, the automaker said Thursday. 2018 Tesla Model X Review The 2018 Tesla Model X is the sole all-electric utility vehicle sold in the U.S. this year. Available in five- or seven-seat versions with...
Categories: Property

Milton Keynes Development Partnership reveals preferred developers for 30-acre scheme

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:18
Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP) has appointed Crest Nicholson and a joint venture between Urban Splash and Places for People as preferred developers for Campbell Park Northside, a 30-acre site in Miton Keynes.
Categories: Property

Lateral to develop major out-of-town retail scheme in Yorkshire

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 11:55
Lateral Property Group has announced plans to develop a huge regional mall called Axiom at junction 32 of the M62 in Yorkshire.
Categories: Property

Patrizia acquires Edinburgh office complex

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 10:36
Patrizia Immobilien has acquired the Apex House office complex in Edinburgh from Catalyst Capital for £26m.
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Triple Point picks up 12 more properties for £18m

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 10:36
Triple Point Social Housing REIT has acquired 12 supported housing properties across the UK for a combined £18.1m.
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Altus Group buys consultancy firm in growth plans

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 10:17
Software and advisory firm Altus Group has bought commercial property consultancy Aspect Property Consultants.
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Boultbee Brooks puts Black Bull Yard up for sale

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 10:12
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Strong demand leads PRS REIT to close share placing early

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 09:08
PRS REIT has brought forward the closing date of its £250m fund raising following strong levels of demand from investors.
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2018 Porsche 911 GT3 First Test: Beauty Beheld

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 09:00

I stopped counting at 11, any significance to the number a happy coincidence. I always record my conversations with Randy Pobst, held in the doorway of whatever car he’s just lapped. It’s best to get him while everything’s fresh, before anyone says anything that might color his impressions. Today, his impressions were things of beauty.

“There’s very little to complain about,” he said. “It behaves so beautifully. The balance is so beautiful. You still have to be a little bit careful not going to power too soon. You still have to remember you’re in a 911 in situations like that.”

Beauty, being subjective, is of course in the eye of the beholder, and it was all Randy could get a hold of.

“It was a beautiful experience, like there was a light from heaven shining down on the car going around the track,” he said. “It was that kind of … otherworldly kind of perfection. Incredibly enjoyable. Not much to complain about.”

Perfection, too, is in the eye of the beholder and not an absolute. Perfect though he might find the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3, Randy did indeed find something to complain about.

“If you drive really aggressively on your turn-in, you can definitely over-rotate it and get it sideways,” he said. “It would be very easy for the average guy to go to power too early and create understeer. The driver has to be consciously aware of being in a 911, leaving that weight forward. Release the brake, but don’t go to power. Trailing throttle, high entry speed, off throttle or still braking. Put some weight up there, and it likes it.”

Treat it right, and that GT3 will treat you to a 1:24.66 lap around Willow Springs International Raceway’s “Big” track. At least, if you’re Randy Pobst. “It was so easy, I didn’t have to think through it a whole lot,” he said.

Of course, that’s if you’re driving one with the functionally telepathic PDK gearbox. With a stick shift, even Randy the Rocket loses a few tenths to the tune of a 1:24.96 lap. Either way, you’ve still crossed the line ahead of a 750-hp Aventador SV, 650-hp Corvette Z06, a 650-hp 650S, a 610-hp Huracán, a 600-hp GT-R NISMO, and a 577-hp AMG GT R. All with just 500 hp and 339 lb-ft of naturally aspirated torque.

It’ll shock a few of those cars on a straight track, too. Under the watchful eye of our VBox, the PDK-equipped car hit 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds with the six-speed manual just behind at 3.5 seconds. Keeping your foot in it, the seven-speed dual-clutch will post an 11.2-second quarter mile at 126.6 mph with the stick shift nipping at its bumper with an 11.5-second elapsed time at 125.2 mph. Let’s reiterate: that’s a naturally aspirated, 500-hp car with well under 350 lb-ft of torque running a standing quarter just shy of the venerated 10-second mark.

As mentioned earlier, these cars can turn, too. Put them on a skidpad, and the 23-pound lighter dual-clutch automatic car will pull 1.07 g while the nominally heavier manual strains the eyeballs with 1.11 g. A run around our figure-eight course demands a mere 22.7 seconds from the former and just 22.5 from the latter, each at 0.93 average g.

How is the slower-shifting manual car faster? It’s all in the gears. Taller ones, to be specific. With a 9,000-rpm redline, the manual car can ride out the short straights of the figure eight just kissing the limiter while the PDK goes for an upshift just before the brake zone, followed immediately by a downshift. Not having to shift always saves time, even in a box as good as the PDK. Speaking of braking, stopping these cars from 60 mph requires just 99 feet for that PDK and 98 for the slightly lighter manual.

Advantageous as it might be in the tight quarters of the figure eight, Randy found it an unfortunately liability in the ultimate quest for lap time.

“That is a lot more work,” he said, fresh off laps in the manual car. “Way more difficult to do a perfect lap with the manual transmission. I seem to end up halfway between gears a lot, and it was easier to destabilize the car in the brake zone. It’s tricky to do the brake and entry perfectly when there’s a downshift in there. It’s much more tricky to throw a downshift at it than not to. It’s reminiscent of what we have to deal with, with manual transmissions, having to decide what gear you need, and it takes more practice to do it perfectly in one lap. I didn’t get into the magic zone like I did with the PDK, maybe because of the extra work.”

Good work, though, if you can get it.

“The shifter is great,” he said. “It is very accurate; light. It has that slick, Teflon, mechanical feel. Never worried about getting the wrong gear. The only trouble was trying to be as perfect when I have to change gears.”

As we well know by now, if your lap time puts food on the table, you need a dual-clutch transmission. Freed of manual transmission planning and procedures, Randy could focus more on the rest of the car.

“Holy crap, the tire grip,” he nearly shouted after a few PDK laps. “Oh my God. I was so impressed with the tire grip, my God! I think I might’ve set my Turn 8 speed record. They are just so flippin’, sticky. It just felt so, good. I think it has some real live aero, because of the way it sticks and it’s stable at high speed, in Turn 8, especially.

The stream of consciousness was running deep and strong now.

“It’s a little free on entry, and it’s absolutely beautiful in the way it would come into the corner,” he continued. “It definitely has more front grip off-throttle than on. It just entered the corners really, really beautifully then it puts down power extremely well. There’s no wheelspin, anywhere. I never got yaw. It never got beyond a very pleasant, mild rotation. I mean, it was just beautiful. It was a beautiful thing, sublime.

“The braking is so strong. Not moving around at all. I was just braking really late, and the grip was just staying with me. The braking grip was just amazing.”

The professional racer is impressed, then, but what of the listener and chronicler, who hasn’t won the 24 Hours of Daytona? For myself, I find the GT3s an intoxicating challenge. That initial looseness on turn-in, that free feeling Randy describes, gives you butterflies at first. You know full well it’s a 911 and the engine would just soon enter the corner first, so you approach it gingerly. You quickly find, though, it’s just a little rotation like the man said. You can carry more speed. You don’t need to brake as much next time, or as early. The car has so much more to give, and you find a little bit more each time by.

It’s aggravating to realize how much time you’ve left on the table, and the need to find it is all consuming, and so the GT3 goads you on. With every lap, you push your brake point a little later, carry a little more speed into the corner, and get back on the power a little sooner, feeling out the point when a little rotation becomes a big rotation and a bigger repair bill. You want to spend all day improving your lap time by tenths of a second, consciously aware there could be full seconds on the table but also of the nearly $150,000 starting price. The GT3 wants you to be faster, but it’s going to make you work for it. It’s rewarding work.

The end.

What’s that? You’re one of those weirdos who doesn’t exclusively track your GT3? You drive it on the street? OK. Well, just ignore the words “lap” and “time” in the last two paragraphs and you’ll be fine.

2018 Porsche 911 GT3 6-speed manual 7-speed PDK BASE PRICE $146,350 $145,650 PRICE AS TESTED $147,890 $160,900 VEHICLE LAYOUT Rear-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe Rear-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe ENGINE 4.0L/500-hp/339-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve flat-6 4.0L/500-hp/339-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve flat-6 TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual 7-speed twin-clutch auto CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,270 lb (40/60%) 3,247 lb (39/61%) WHEELBASE 96.7 in 96.7 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 179.6 x 72.9 x 50.0 in 179.6 x 72.9 x 50.0 in 0-60 MPH 3.5 sec 3.1 sec QUARTER MILE 11.5 sec @ 125.2 mph 11.2 sec @ 126.6 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 98 ft 99 ft 0-100-0 10.9 sec 11.4 sec LATERAL ACCELERATION 1.11 g (avg) 1.07 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 22.5 sec @ 0.93 g (avg) 22.7 sec @ 0.93 g (avg) 2.4-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 1:24.95 sec 1:24.66 sec EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 13/21/16 mpg 15/20/17 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 259/160 kW-hrs/100 miles 225/169 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.24 lb/mile 1.15 lb/mile

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