Picton aims to raise around £15m

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 07:40
Picton is seeking launching a share placing to raise funds for acquisitions and to invest in its current portfolio.
Categories: Property

2020 Lincoln Aviator Gets Up to 26 MPG Highway With Standard Engine

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 01:10

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator lands at dealerships this summer, and that means we should get the chance to drive the new midsize luxury SUV pretty soon. While we wait, Lincoln continues to gradually trickle out details, announcing official EPA fuel economy numbers for the standard 2020 Lincoln Aviator.

The Aviator with the non-hybridized twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine is EPA-rated at 18/26/21 mpg city/highway/combined when paired with rear-wheel drive. Those numbers are in lock step with competitors like the Audi Q7 (19/25/21 mpg), Acura MDX (19/26/22 mpg), and Volvo XC90 T6 (19/26/22 mpg). That would be impressive, except those are the ratings for the all-wheel-drive models. The all-wheel-drive 2020 Lincoln Aviator is rated 17/24/20 mpg.



But it’s important to keep in mind that the Aviator makes significantly more power than its midsize rivals. Its dual-snail V-6 churns out 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque, compared to 316 hp and 295 lb-ft for the twin-charged Volvo, 329 hp and 325 lb-ft for the Audi with the supercharged V-6, and 290 hp and 267 lb-ft for the naturally aspirated V-6 Acura. The Aviator comes standard with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

We learned earlier this year that the Aviator will start at $52,195 including destination, which undercuts comparably equipped competitors. But just like any luxury vehicle, the Aviator can be optioned to the moon. The Black Label Grand Touring trim, which comes with the 450-hp, 600-lb-ft plug-in hybrid drivetrain, can exceed $90,000 when all the boxes are checked. Lincoln says fuel economy for the plug-in model will be announced closer to its launch in late summer.

The post 2020 Lincoln Aviator Gets Up to 26 MPG Highway With Standard Engine appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2020 Hyundai Palisade Pricing: Cheaper than the Kia Telluride?

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 01:01

As we wait patiently for Hyundai to release the Palisade this summer, the automaker has finally revealed pricing information for the new SUV. The base front-wheel-drive Palisade SE will start at $32,595 including delivery fees. That price point is $140 lower than the 2020 Kia Telluride LX, this vehicle’s platform sibling. It’s also competitive in the three-row SUV segment, slotting in just barely above the Honda Pilot which starts at $32,495, but below the Toyota Highlander ($32,775) and the Mazda CX-9 ($33,325). The Palisade is also less pricey than the new Subaru Ascent ($32,970), though it’s important to consider that the Subaru comes with all-wheel-drive as standard. It’s a $1,700 option on all Palisade models.

Front-wheel-drive versions of the Palisade SEL and Palisade Limited start at $34,545 and $45,745 respectively, but don’t fret if your wallet is a little thin to make the jump—the entry-level Palisade is a well-equipped vehicle. Even the humble Palisade SE boasts active safety features including forward collision avoidance, full-speed adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist. Also standard are the power folding second-row seats and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Graduating to the Palisade SEL nets buyers interior niceties such as heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Convenience features on the SEL include door handle welcome lights and keyless entry with push-button start, plus blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts. Roof rails and chrome door handles distinguish the exterior. The SEL also offers some of the premium options only available on the Palisade Limited.

The $11,200 gap between the mid-level Palisade SEL and top-tier Palisade Limited is a massive price difference for a vehicle that’s mechanically identical to the rest of the lineup (all Palisade models rock a 3.8-liter V-6 paired with an eight-speed automatic). But Hyundai throws all the equipment at this one. Beyond the options standard on the SEL, the Limited gets 20-inch alloy wheels, self-leveling rear suspension, a hands-free powered liftgate, LED headlights and taillights, and a dual sunroof. Inside, the Palisade Limited boasts Nappa leather-lined heated and ventilated seats front and rear, an upgraded 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a full digital instrument cluster, and a power-folding third row. It also benefits from an in-car intercom system to amplify your threats to “turn this car around.”

We’ll have to wait until our First Test to see how Hyundai’s new three-row performs compared to its competition. Based on our First Drive and the model’s competitive pricing, it seems the Palisade may be about to make quite the stir.

Source: Hyundai

The post 2020 Hyundai Palisade Pricing: Cheaper than the Kia Telluride? appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Volkswagen New Beetle Lives On as a Cute Ute Pickup

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 21:52

And here we thought the Volkswagen Beetle was dead. Now the iconic model is getting a bit of a new lease on life thanks to Mark Smith and Smyth Performance, who will sell you a kit to turn the Bug into a ute. The do-it-yourself kits cost $2,990, not counting the cost of the donor 1998-2010 Beetle—although those aren’t exactly pricey these days. Whatever the cost, it’s the only way to get a VW pickup in the U.S., despite the German company teasing us of late with the Tanoak and Tarok concepts. (The company is presently considering those two and a Ford-developed pickup for our market.)

Smith is also a founder of Factory Five Racing and Local Motors, and he has been designing race cars for more than two decades. His new company is based in Wareham, Massachusetts, and has been making conversion kits to transform cool cars to even cooler car-trucks since 2008. The company website also offers kits for older versions of the Subaru WRX, VW Jetta/Golf, Dodge Charger, and the Audi A4/S4 in case you’re interested in building your own fleet of trucks.

The kits largely involve bolt-on assemblies and can be finished in a few weekends if you’re looking for a fun project. The Beetle-amino bundle includes fiberglass fenders, a bulkhead with rear window, an aluminum tailgate skinned in fiberglass, and an aluminum bolt-together bed.

According to Smyth Performance’s Facebook page, the company is now shipping the first batch of the 100 New Beetle kits that have been pre-ordered, which means you just might see one of these on a street near you.

The post Volkswagen New Beetle Lives On as a Cute Ute Pickup appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS Price Jumps With Increased Amenities

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 17:34

Mercedes-Benz has fully redesigned its flagship SUV, giving it electrically boosted powertrains, an upgraded infotainment interface, and an even more luxurious interior. Predictably, these updates come with a higher price tag. The base 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 4Matic will start at $76,195 when it goes on sale later this year.

That’s $5,050 higher than the starting price of the 2019 model. The new GLS is also priced higher than a base 2019 BMW X7 ($74,895) and 2019 Lincoln Navigator with rear-wheel drive ($74,500). Still, the Mercedes is much less expensive than a base Range Rover, which will cost you $90,795.

The new GLS has standard features worthy of a luxury price tag. It receives the new MBUX user interface with natural language understanding, complemented by a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a touchscreen of the same size. Other standard technology features include nine USB ports, a 115V household outlet, wireless device charging, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto playing through a Burmester surround sound system. Active parking assist with surround view accompanies Mercedes’ host of driver aids, while air suspension smooths the ride.

For the first time, the GLS offers two individual captain’s chairs in the second row instead of the usual three-seat configuration. And for extra coin, buyers can opt for an executive rear seat package with its own 7.0-inch Android tablet, and up to five zones of climate control. If it’s like the previous GLS, prices will easily crest $100,000 when properly equipped.

A turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine is the standard engine on the GLS. This unit makes 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to a new 48-volt onboard electrical system with an integrated starter generator, an additional 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque can be delivered for short periods of time. Mercedes has not yet announced pricing for the GLS 580, which packs a 4.0-liter turbocharged V-8 making 483 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, with electrified bits that add the same extra output as in the six-cylinder version. Both engines are linked to a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Until the GLS arrives, check out what we had to say about the nearly-as-luxurious 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

The post 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS Price Jumps With Increased Amenities appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Sports Direct lodges legal challenge to Debenhams CVA

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 17:07
Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, and other parties, have lodged a legal challenge to the Debenhams company voluntary arrangements (CVA).
Categories: Property

Scotland sees 21% drop in sales

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 17:05
Commercial property sales in Scotland fell 21% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019 due to economic uncertainty, according to new data by the Scottish Property Federation (SPF).
Categories: Property

Select CVA approved

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 16:48
High street fashion retailer Select has had its CVA approved.
Categories: Property

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class priced from $76,195

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 15:35
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class will arrive with a $76,195 starting price when it hits dealers later this year, the automaker said Monday. That's about $5,000 more than last year's model. The posh SUV will first arrive in GLS450 trim, which places an electrified inline-6 engine under the hood. Specifically, it's a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6...
Categories: Property

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB, 2020 Bentley Flying Spur, Audi e-tron recall: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 15:30
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB250 revealed: Room for seven The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB250 that bowed Monday expands the automaker’s current crossover SUV lineup to six models, and yet it has plenty in common with the original M-Class that arrived in 1997. 2019 Mazda 3 recalled over faulty airbag warning lights The 2019 Mazda 3 has been recalled over...
Categories: Property

Wells Fargo sells Eastdil Secured

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 13:06
Eastdil Secured’s management has bought back the company from Wells Fargo with backing from Guggenheim Investments and Temasek.
Categories: Property

Savills launches flexible workspace service line for landlords

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 11:51
Savills has launched a new UK service line to help landlords and owner occupiers to establish and manage flexible workspace in their buildings.
Categories: Property

Arcadia Live: Rescue plan on a knife-edge as Arcadia lobbies landlords

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 11:09
INTU voting against rescue deals. Aviva, British Land and Hammerson voting in favour. LANDSEC’S position remains unknown, but its vote is now crucial to Arcadia’s survival. MEETING set to take place today at midday at 200 Aldersgate, near St Paul’s.
Categories: Property

How the New 2020 Flying Spur is Everything a Bentley Sedan Should Be

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 11:00

Third time’s the charm. The 2020 Bentley Flying Spur banishes forever the visual awkwardness of its two Phaeton-platformed predecessors. It’s long and low, expressively elegant, and glitteringly powerful, with just a soupcon of the jaunty exuberance that’s at the heart of the brand. It’s exactly how a modern Bentley sedan should be.

The enabling technology, of course, is VW Group’s versatile MSB vehicle architecture. Designed to accommodate longitudinally mounted engines all the way up to the 6.0-liter W-12, with all- or rear-wheel drive, MSB has allowed the team under Bentley design chief Stefan Sielaff to give the new Flying Spur classic British luxury car proportions. The 2020 model is a mere 0.6 inches longer than the outgoing car, but its front axle centerline is 5.1 inches further forward, allowing a long hood without a pronounced front overhang. It’s the singular dimensional change that, visually, changes everything.

The MSB architecture debuted on the Porsche Panamera and now also underpins the current Continental GT. In Flying Spur configuration—the largest vehicle yet built on MSB—it shares all the structure ahead of the firewall with the Panamera and Continental GT, and its center section with the long-wheelbase Panamera Executive. The rear section of the platform, however, from the base of the rear seatback, is unique to the Bentley. It allows for a more comfort-oriented suspension setup and a roomy, conventional trunk instead of the Porsche hatchback.

All exterior panels are aluminum—Bentley claims the new multi-metal body structure is 84 pounds lighter than the outgoing Flying Spur’s. Key design elements include a broad grille with classic vertical slats, crisply defined haunches over the rear wheels, and a C-pillar that sweeps down into the trunk, which falls away slightly to give a hint of the graceful tail-down stance characteristic of the original H.J. Mulliner–bodied Flying Spur of the late 1950s. Standard wheels are 21 inches, with two different 22s available as an option.

Under the hood is the latest iteration of the 6.0-liter W-12, first seen in the Continental GT Coupe and Convertible. That means 626 horsepower, and a herculean 664 lb-ft of torque that arrives in less than one-third the time it took in the previous car. As in the Contis, the engine drives all four wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. And despite lugging around extra doors and larger rear seats, Bentley claims the Flying Spur will be just as quick as the Continental GT Convertible, hitting 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 207 mph. To cope with its prodigious turn of speed, the Flying Spur uses the same 16.5-inch front brakes—the largest iron brake rotors in the world—as the Continental GTs.

The new Flying Spur promises to be a much sportier drive than previous models, with sharper turn-in response, less understeer, and better chassis balance. The three-chamber air springs—similar to those fitted to the Continental GTs—have 60 percent more capacity, allowing for finer degrees of adjustment, and the 48-voly anti-roll system uses electric motors to twist the rollbars against the cornering loads keeping the car flat through turns.

Although the Flying Spur is all-wheel drive, the torque split is resolutely biased to the rear: Comfort and Normal modes allow a maximum of 38 percent of the torque to be sent to the front wheels, but selecting Sport mode caps that at 17 percent. Finally, the Flying Spur will come standard with rear-wheel steering—the first ever Bentley to be so equipped—to improve agility in tight corners and enhance stability through high-speed sweepers.

Modern Bentley interiors have become a byword for extraordinarily rich combinations of color and materials, and the 2020 Flying Spur’s interior is arguably the best yet. Bentley offers no fewer than 15 different standard leather colors, and these can be mixed and matched via a number of dramatic color splits. In addition, buyers can choose from eight different wood veneers, including a new crown-cut walnut, and all can be ordered in the dual veneer specification to give the cabin an even more bespoke feel. The Flying Spur interior’s showstoppers are an optional three-dimensional diamond quilting effect—in leather or wood—on the door trims, and an optional etched finish on the center console made up of 5,331 individual diamond shapes, each different from the others.

The MSB hardware includes a new electrical architecture, so the 2020 Flying Spur comes equipped with a host of driver assistance systems, including traffic and blind-spot warning, as well as night vision, a head-up display, a 360-degree overhead view camera system, and parking assist. When you press the engine start button, the veneered section in the middle of the dashboard rotates to reveal the 12.3-inch HD touchscreen shared with the Conti twins. The second side of the display reveals three analog dials showing outside temperature, a compass, and a chronometer. Those wanting what Bentley calls a ‘digital detox’ can select a third side, which is simply finished in plain veneer matching the rest of the cabin.

Rear-seat passengers can control a number of functions—including window blinds, rear seat massage, rear climate control, and mood lighting—via a 5.1-inch touchscreen remote that unclips from the rear of the center console.

Flying Spur buyers can choose from three audio systems. The standard system has 10 speakers and 650 watts. Next up is a 1,500-watt, 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen system with illuminated grilles and the intuitive one-touch BeoSonic user interface. Top of the range is a monster 2,200-watt Naim for Bentley system with 19 speakers and active bass transducers built into the front seats.

The 2020 Bentley Flying Spur will be available for order this fall, with first deliveries expected early next year. No word on pricing yet, but if Bentley follows past form and prices and the new Flying Spur rings in below a comparably equipped Continental GT Coupe, this impressively fast, imposingly glamorous four-door could well be the pick of the Bentley lineup.

The post How the New 2020 Flying Spur is Everything a Bentley Sedan Should Be appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2019 Mazda 3 recalled over faulty airbag warning lights

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 11:00
The 2019 Mazda 3 has been recalled over airbag warning lights that may not illuminate correctly. The 17,016 cars affected by the recall may not actually display a warning light if something is wrong with the passenger airbag system specifically, or if a passenger does not have their seat belt buckled. Mazda said in documents filed with the NHTSA...
Categories: Property

Carr-Jones joins AXA IM

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 10:27
Stuart Carr-Jones has joined AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets as head of UK, Ireland & emerging Europe transactions.
Categories: Property

Intu to vote against Green's revised rescue deal for Arcadia

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 10:08
Intu will, again, vote against Sir Philip Green’s rescue plans for his troubled Arcadia group, sources close to the retail landlord have told Property Week.
Categories: Property

Bellway ignores Barking fire in latest trading update

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 09:10
Bellway has made no mention of the fire that engulfed the Barking Reach development in east London last weekend in its latest trading update to the market.
Categories: Property

We Drive a Nearly $200,000 Honda Civic Type R Race Car

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 09:00

When a Civic Type R (aka CTR) hatchback is nestled in its cozy garage for the night, what do you think it dreams? The 2018 Honda Civic Type R already holds multiple front-wheel-drive production car lap records the world over—and several MotorTrend performance records to boot. Currently, it’s the best hot hatch in history that you could ever want or get. We think the FK8-generation CTR dreams of mixing it up with some real competition, of being a bona fide TCR race car, and of going door handle to door handle with the best from Europe in a proper production car–based (homologated) Touring Cars series.


After a restless night, the feisty and accomplished compact awoke with, “I want MOAR power, a sequential transmission with paddle shifters, a gutted interior, a rollcage, a loud exhaust, even bigger boxed fenders, a giant adjustable wing, a splitter, and racing slicks. I wanna race!” The Type R’s current engineering is Honda’s; its engine is manufactured in Honda’s plant in Anna, Ohio, then shipped off to be assembled into a whole car in the factory in Swindon, England. It’s a bit of a mutt in that way. For the race version you see here, developed by Honda Performance Development (HPD), there’s yet another step in that process: The English body-in-white (minus doors) and U.S.-assembled engine block, crank, pistons, and cylinder head are shipped to Milan, Italy.

So Be It

Once there, J.A.S. Motorsports seam-welds the unibody and installs the composite body panels, splitter, side skits, wing, rollcage, plastic dashboard, racing seat, pedal box, wiring harnesses, digital racing instrumentation, and data logger. A 26.4-gallon quick-fill fuel cell replaces the 12.4-gallon stock tank. The Civic Type R’s stock 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine is only modified with free-flowing intake and stainless exhaust, a high-flow catalytic converter, and MoTec M146 engine mapping. J.A.S. modifications route approximately 340 peak horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque (a modest gain of 34 hp and 15 lb-ft) through a twin-disc sintered-metallic clutch into an Xtrac sequential six-speed transmission. There’s also a trick differential between the front wheels. As is the case with race cars, highly customizable settings for the limited-slip differential—including various homologated differential ramps and preload—are apparently the key in this car’s proper race setup. Cast aluminum 10.0-by-18-inch OZ racing wheels and Michelin slicks replace the 8.5-by-20-inch wheels and tires. The stock suspension is exchanged, again, with highly adjustable race-ready hardware with unique springs, anti-roll bars, and Ohlins dampers. J.A.S. installs 15.0-inch vented and slotted floating discs and six-piston monoblock calipers up front (versus 13.8-inch vented/drilled discs), but the solid discs in the rear are smaller than stock (10.2 versus 12.0 inches). There’s no traction control, and ABS is available with an optional Bosch M5 ABS kit with a cabin-mounted 12-position dial.

Get in and GO!

Well, not so fast. First we had a mandatory “chalk talk,” during which we went over the rules of the track and for a refresher course on what the flags mean. Next, we had to show our driving cred in stock 2019 Honda Civic Type Rs on the 1.5-mile track at M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan. I said to myself, “I got this,” as I daily-drive a 2018 CTR as part of our MotorTrend’s long-term fleet. Other than the obvious benefits of Michigan’s 93-octane fuel over California-mandated 91 (and wow, we’re really missing out), the only difference I detected was that the new head unit now includes an actual volume knob and fan buttons rather than touchscreen facsimiles thereof. I wonder if it can be retrofitted.

Track at Last

The track was easy to learn; there’s only one blind corner, so it’s just a matter of getting the rhythm right and learning the braking points. The CTR’s front seats are built for lateral support so a driver can concentrate on the corners. The snickity shifter never missed a beat and cut down on shift times; the trustworthy brakes built confidence and didn’t seem to mind track use one bit. The CTR loved that track, yet when fitted with the OEM Continental SportContact 6 tires, it began to understeer in increasing amounts as the laps piled on. They do that. If you’re going to track your CTR, invest in some new tires.


Although all of the race car’s doors open, climbing into the Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic TCR was a challenge in itself. Over one bar, under another, I lowered myself into the fixed-back racing seat and attached the steering wheel. Because the car must accommodate two drivers in a race, its seat is adjustable fore and aft, as is the steering wheel. Once I found my spot, the team went over the fire-suppression system and how to remove the two driver’s side restraining nets in case of emergency. Next, how to find neutral (press the white button on the steering wheel, pull the left shift paddle) and how to fire it up (main power on, press starter button). First gear in the sequential manual transmission is very tall, so it’s easy to stall while adding just the right amount of throttle and clutch to get going. Luckily, there’s no need to clutch at all while lapping: just pull paddles at wide-open throttle. Five-point belts cinched down tight, I was ready.

Track Time

The team pushed me off, I eased the clutch out, and off I went. My first thought was how long the throttle pedal and how short the brake pedal were. I really had to floor it to get a sense of full power. Although the output is marginally greater than the production car’s, the weight difference (about 500 pounds) was noticeable. Doing the math shows the TCR race car and driver move 8.1 pounds with each horsepower; the production moves the same with 10.7 pounds per horsepower. That’s a big difference. The staccato exhaust note was much more subdued inside the car than outside, but it was still proper race car stuff. Although the production car has little turbo lag as is, the race car has even less. In the first major braking zone, I was warned that the car can “back itself into corners,” and on cold tires, and that’s precisely what I found. A quick sampling of the slicks’ grip under braking showed I needed to put heat in these tires before I could really suss out what this car was capable of doing.

Lap Two

While the racing brake pads were still screeching due to lack of heat, the tire temps were coming online, and the back end—perhaps the reason for so little brake swept area at the rear—was staying in line. This lap, I was testing the car’s ability to take curbing (easy peasy), its behavior under full throttle (gloriously linear), and whether I’d have to sort out throttle-on torque steer. Like the production car, clever front suspension geometry (despite the obvious positive camber on the race car) reduces this powerful front-wheel-drive tendency to a minimum.

Lap Three

Now things were really humming. I now knew the track. I knew the car. It was happy. I was happy. I knew I wanted to go faster. Full beans ahead! Despite all the changes to the race car and all of the adjustability to its setup, my most outstanding impression was how neutral it was at something close to race pace (I’m guessing that’s because the car was set up properly the day before). Just like the production car, it was did everything reassuringly: accelerating in a straight line, braking in a straight line (or trail-braking for a bit of rotation into a corner). The car’s grip and stability in the corners and its ability to whack the throttle on the exits remained intact. It’s the same car, only built to go to 15.

Lap Four

It was on lap four that I realized I could drive this race car until its fuel cell was empty. I later learned from the car’s trusting owner/driver, Todd Lamb, that would be about an hour and a half at race pace. All alone on a track is one thing. Battling for position and trying to win a race, one 1.5-hour stint at a time, was a different proposition. Endurance race car drivers have an ability to focus that goes beyond mere mortals. Brains are like muscles in this way. By the end of my fourth lap, I was trying different lines but making slight mistakes. Mistakes that a more focused competitor would surely see and use against me.

Lap Five

As a designated cool-down lap at something like 50 percent of the car’s pace, lap four caused me to consider the whole experience of driving the Civic TCR. It really struck me how similarly the race car behaved compared to the street car. All the things I love about “my” CTR were faithfully translated to yet elevated in the Civic TCR. “Same but different” was my reaction when asked how my session felt. “Sure, it’s a Civic Type R. It behaves the same way, but this is what a Civic Type R dreams of when it sleeps at night.” Minus the stock car’s not-quite-off stability control system and the noticeable weight loss—but plus the added grip and power-to-weight—this was an awesome demonstration of what the Civic Type R has proven elsewhere. It’s no wonder the Civic TCR won the title in its 2018 inaugural year. With the balance of performance (BOP) penalties it received as a result of that winning debut, we will see how well it does.


Special thanks to Justin Chiodo, senior engineer, trackside race support at Honda Performance Development for his insight and follow-up emails; and Todd Lamb: driver/owner, AtlSpeedwerks for entrusting this auto scribe with his incredible machine. Good luck, all.

2019 Honda Civic Type R TCR 2018 Honda Civic Type R BASE PRICE/AS TESTED $172,238/$191,014 (est) $35,595/$35,595 LAYOUT Front engine, FWD, 1-pass, 4-door hatch Front-engine, FWD, 4-pass, 4-door hatch ENGINE 2.0L/340-hp/310-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4 2.0L/306-hp/295-lb-ft turbocharg DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 6-speed sequential manual w/ paddle shift 6-speed manual RACE WEIGHT 2,770 lb (minimum, including driver) 3,104 lb WHEELBASE 106.3 in 106.3 in L x W x H 183.9 x 76.8 x 55.1 in 179.4 x 73.9 X 56.5 in 0-60 MPH 4.0 sec (MT est) 5.4 sec EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON Not rated 22/28/25 mpg ON SALE Currently Currently

The post We Drive a Nearly $200,000 Honda Civic Type R Race Car appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Tested: The 2020 Mercedes GLE 450 is Quick, Steady … and Almost $100,000

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 09:00

The GLE is a palpable step up from the compact GLC in terms of both size and luxury. And a well-equipped GLE like our $97,080 tester is a big upgrade from the base front-wheel-drive GLE 350 costing just under $55,000. Our version is so luxurious, you can be forgiven if you mistake it for the flagship GLS.

With massaging seats, supple leather, and a navigation system that incorporates augmented reality, our GLE tester boasts top-notch amenities. The cabin layout is virtually identical to the redesigned 2020 GLS, and the powertrain also takes after the flagship SUV, offering a familiar turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six making 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to a 48-volt electrical system and integrated starter generator, an extra 21 hp can be delivered for short periods of time like in the GLS. Press on the gas pedal with conviction (a soft touch may not suffice), and the GLE rewards you with linear power delivery. It accelerates quickly on demand, with smooth shifts from the nine-speed automatic transmission.

In our tests, the GLE hit 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, not bad at all for a 5,438-pound SUV. It’s 0.4 second quicker than a 5,473-pound Land Rover Discovery we tested with 340 hp, but 0.7 second slower than a more lightly contented 2019 BMW X5 with 335 hp. The quarter mile was a similar story. Clocking 14.3 seconds at 96.3 mph, the GLE was once again sandwiched between the X5 (13.7 seconds at 100.5 mph) and Discovery (14.7 seconds at 89.7 mph).

The GLE’s real strength is its ride quality. Equipped with an optional air suspension, our tester mitigates potholes and road imperfections so that you hardly notice them. It’s the automotive equivalent of airbrush makeup. That said, at times we experienced a bit more road noise than we would have expected on the highway. Its boxy proportions make for excellent forward visibility, although the large side pillar takes some time getting used to when changing lanes.

You won’t think you’re driving a big SUV when you need to come to a stop. The GLE managed to brake from 60 to 0 mph in an impressive 118 feet, the same distance it takes to stop a little Kia Forte sedan. That figure is also slightly ahead of the BMW (119 feet) and leaps ahead of the Discovery (137 feet). Our test team reported surprisingly little dive in the GLE. “Amazingly consistent with no odor or fade whatsoever,” road test editor Chris Walton noted after multiple brake tests in the GLE.

But not all tests can hide the GLE’s size. In the figure eight, the GLE logged 26.8 seconds at an average of 0.66 g, straddling the BMW’s time (25.8 seconds at 0.71 g) and the Land Rover’s time (28.9 seconds at 0.58 g). “Roll and pitch are significant, and the whole vehicle has a remoteness to it,” noted testing director Kim Reynolds. “A lot of understeer, but it’s mitigated by the stability control. Brake power is OK, but pedal feel is likewise remote.”

Predictably, fuel economy won’t knock your socks off. But it’s actually not that much lower than the four-cylinder version of the GLE. The six-cylinder Benz gets 19/24 mpg city/highway. A comparable X5 delivers better efficiency at 20/26 mpg, but the Discovery only nets 16/21 mpg.

Along with its steady ride, the interior is another major strength. Soft-close doors, 64-color ambient lighting, luxurious wood trim,  heated and cooled cupholders, heated rear seats, heated front armrests and door panels, illuminated running boards, and a Burmester 3D surround sound system are just some of the amenities. The MBUX system with what Mercedes calls “natural language understanding” still has its hiccups with voice commands, but some impressive tech is baked in. With the augmented reality navigation system, street names, guiding arrows, and other info is superimposed onto the central display to help you find your destination more easily. For more on our thoughts about the GLE interior, read our separate article here.

We’ve driven a pre-production version, but we can’t wait to take a spin in the completed 2020 GLS. And it may sound strange to say, but we hope it takes after the GLE. Its confidence-inspiring ride, quick and smooth power delivery, and superior creature comforts make it a desirable pick in the midsize luxury SUV segment. If you want a third row, you’ll probably want to make the jump to the GLS, since the GLE’s optional third row is pretty small and is best suited for children.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 4Matic BASE PRICE $62,145 PRICE AS TESTED $97,080 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 3.0L/362-hp/369-lb-ft turbo DOHC 24-valve I-6, plus 21-hp electric motor (362-hp comb) TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 5,438 lb (52/48%) WHEELBASE 117.9 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 194.3 x 76.7 x 70.7 in 0-60 MPH 5.7 sec QUARTER MILE 14.3 sec @ 96.3 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 118 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.88 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.8 sec @ 0.66 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 19/24/21 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 177/140 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.93 lb/mile

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