2017 Mazda CX-5 Long-Term Verdict

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 09:00

When MotorTrend road test editor Chris Walton first drove the thoroughly refreshed 2017 CX-5 in the spring of 2017, he came away impressed. Mazda improved on an already winning package (the previous generation won a comparison), adding a quieter, more refined interior, sharp new exterior, and retaining its fun factor. In June 2017, the 9,550 CX-5s sold made up 42.7 percent of all Mazdas sold that month. The vehicle is Mazda’s bread and butter, so we had to have one for a year to see how the redesign would hold up.

From the first week with the CX-5, I knew I would like it. My previous long-termers needed a few months to convince me of their worth, but the CX-5 won me over pretty quickly. I was struck by its curb appeal: Its chiseled face and character lines gave it an upscale look, and the optional Machine Gray paint sparkled in direct sunlight while the LED headlights, foglights, and taillights add to the luxurious look at night. The looks have aged nicely, as opposed to some rivals whose jarring lines and creases have already gotten a bit old. I, along with almost every first-time passenger, was also impressed by the interior’s simple elegance. Passengers were always surprised to find that level of luxury in a Mazda; I think the white leather makes it feel more upscale than the all-black interior, which can look a bit bland. Speaking of that white leather, it held up better than I thought it would after almost 30,000 miles. It didn’t get as dirty as I expected, and by no means do we baby these cars. The CX-5 gets passed around, and it’s been used to haul tons of photo gear haphazardly thrown in. Broken trim pieces and scratched leather are common in a support car, but neither had happened before the CX-5’s year was up.

Other things I appreciated were the 40/20/40 split rear seats, which made hauling long Ikea boxes and our helpers during a recent move a breeze. It was also very quiet at highway cruising speeds, a welcome trait for my ears on the many long road trips over the year. It’s as quiet as a Lexus NX cruising at 65 mph, according to a recent MotorTrend comparison. Mazda’s adaptive cruise control also aided in reducing my stress while sitting in traffic during my commute home. The system works well in stop-and-go traffic, and it was smooth enough to let me relax a little bit. It was great for commutes, but when I had to chase a couple of Workshop 5001 Porsches or a Mustang PP1 and Camaro 1LE up some twisty roads to shoot, it demonstrated it still had the fun and playful chassis we came to love in the previous CX-5. It also proved it can tackle some light off-roading when we took it on a 1,700-mile road trip through Utah.

There are a few things that keep the CX-5 from being the perfect ride. The engine felt underpowered, especially with a car full of people (learn about the 2019 model’s new, second engine option here). Gas mileage was also a bit underwhelming at 24.7 mpg after 28,307 miles compared to our long-term CR-V, which averaged 28.6 mpg over 12 months and 20,447. The seats are too flat and lack support, and the seat bottoms feel a tad too short. The front USB plugs are only 1.0 amp, which made for very slow charging compared to the 2.1-amp second-row USBs. I would sometimes run a phone cord to the rear USBs for faster charging. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto would’ve been nice to have, as well, but Apple CarPlay is now available for the 2019 model year. I also couldn’t stand the overzealous blind-spot monitoring that would warn me of cars that were two or three car lengths back.

The CX-5 went in for four scheduled services, which cost $340.57. For comparison, our 2015 CX-5 cost a total of $320.37 for three service visits, and our 2017 Honda CR-V cost $417.60 for two, not including the unscheduled battery and differential fluid change. IntelliChoice calculates a five-year cost of ownership of $36,310 and gives the CX-5 an average value rating. A CR-V Touring AWD would cost a similar $36,484 over five years, so the Mazda’s cost is on par with its competition.

From downtown L.A. to off-roading in Canyonlands National Park to chasing purpose-built Porsches on Malibu canyon roads, the CX-5 has proven to be a well-rounded ride. It’s stylish, a decently capable off-roader, loaded with convenience and luxury features that rival crossovers from more luxurious brands, yet it’s been trouble-free and has held up well over our time with it. If I were in the market for a small crossover, the CX-5 would be at the top of my list. According to Mazda’s November 2018 sales numbers, its improved formula is selling better than ever, with 10,882 CX-5s sold in November, up 20.6 percent YTD. Now that Mazda has added the 2.5L I-4 turbo from the CX-9 and Mazda6 as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the CX-5 is a sure bet in my book.

Read more about our long-term 2017 Mazda CX-5: Our Car SERVICE LIFE 13 mo / 28,307 mi BASE PRICE $31,635 OPTIONS Premium package ($1,830: driver seat memory, power front-passenger seat, heated steering wheel & rear seats, active driving display, wiper de-icer), premium paint ($300), rear bumper guard ($125), cargo mat ($30) PRICE AS TESTED $33,960 AVG ECON/CO2 24.7 mpg / 0.79 lb/mi PROBLEM AREAS None MAINTENANCE COST $308 NORMAL-WEAR COST $32 3-YEAR RESIDUAL VALUE* $24,500 (72%) RECALLS None *IntelliChoice data; assumes 42,000 miles at the end of 3-years 2017 Mazda CX-5 AWD (Grand Touring) POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD ENGINE TYPE I-4, alum block/head VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 151.9 cu in/2,488 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 13.0:1 POWER (SAE NET) 187 hp @ 6,000 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 185 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm REDLINE 6,500 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 19.5 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 4.62:1/2.77:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 15.5:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.7 BRAKES, F; R 11.7-in vented disc; 11.9-in disc, ABS WHEELS 7.0 x 19-in cast aluminum TIRES 225/55R19 99V (M+S) Toyo A36 DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 106.2 in TRACK, F/R 62.8/62.8 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 179.1 x 72.5 x 65.3 in GROUND CLEARANCE 7.6 in APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE 17.0/20.0 deg TURNING CIRCLE 36.0 ft CURB WEIGHT 3,653 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 57/43% TOWING CAPACITY 2,000 lb SEATING CAPACITY 5 HEADROOM, F/R 39.3/39.0 in LEGROOM, F/R 41.0/39.6 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 57.1/54.8 in CARGO VOLUME, BEH F/R 59.6/30.9 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 2.7 sec 0-40 4.2 0-50 6.1 0-60 8.3 0-70 10.9 0-80 14.5 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 4.5 QUARTER MILE 16.3 sec @ 84.0 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 124 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.81 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.0 sec @ 0.59 g (avg) TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 2,000 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $31,635 PRICE AS TESTED $33,960 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes AIRBAGS 6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 3 yrs/36,000 miles FUEL CAPACITY 15.3 gal REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 19.7/31.2/23.6 mpg EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 23/29/26 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 147/116 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.76 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded regular

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Categories: Property

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid First Test: More Power, Less Gas

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 09:00

Toyota introduced the RAV4 Hybrid back in 2015, and although the hybrid remains a lower-volume variant, its importance in the RAV4 lineup continues to grow. Toyota brought the hybrid model back with the fifth-gen RAV4 and hopes to increase its share in a segment of two. The hybrid may only represent about 12 percent of RAV4 sales at the moment, but after our experience with the 2019 model, that number is probably going to keep increasing.

Toyota’s new hybrid SUV is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit producing 176 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque. That engine is mated to an electric motor sending 118 hp and 149 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels and 54 hp and 89 lb-ft to the rear wheels for a combined system output of 219 hp, more than the last-gen hybrid’s 194 hp and the 2019 non-hybrid’s 203 hp. The Japanese automaker made a few changes to this system from the previous RAV4 Hybrid, including new transaxle mounts for the electric motors and improvements to the variable cooling system. The battery pack is a nickel-metal hydride unit like before, and the transmission is an electronically controlled CVT with sequential shift modes. All 2019 RAV4 Hybrids will continue to have standard all-wheel drive.

Although the new RAV4 Hybrid makes more power, it also saves more gas. Toyota estimates the 2019 model will deliver 41/37 mpg in city/highway; that’s much better than the 2018 model, which got 34/30. In comparison, the 2019 Nissan Rogue Hybrid AWD delivers 31/34 mpg (or 33/35 mpg with front-wheel drive), giving the RAV4 a bigger advantage over its main hybrid competitor. Non-hybrid 2019 RAV4 AWDs are EPA rated at 25-27/33-34 mpg.

As we found out during our testing at SUV of the Year, the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid XSE went from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, an improvement from the 7.8 seconds it took the 2016 model in our testing. The 2019 RAV4 Hybrid needed 15.6 seconds to complete the quarter mile at 90.4 mph, better than the 2016 model (16.0 seconds at 86.4 mph). Where the new hybrid model underperformed was braking distance. The 2019 RAV4 XSE Hybrid stopped from 60 to 0 mph in 143 feet, compared to the 131 feet it took an AWD 2019 Adventure non-hybrid model. I mention the non-hybrid model because both SUVs were tested in the same conditions on the same day. Although the soaring temps were a crucial factor for braking distances on vehicles tested that day, the difference between the models is significant. Both models have the same brake size (12.0 inches in the front, 11.1 inches in the rear), so we think the hybrid’s regenerative braking or its additional 167 pounds could have led to the longer distance.

Even so, many MotorTrend staffers still liked driving the hybrid more than the non-hybrid model. Features editor Christian Seabaugh wants the powertrain expanded to all RAV4s, adding it was “much smoother and more pleasant an experience than the I-4.” Technical director Frank Markus also appreciated the powertrain but complained about the hybrid’s chassis when really pushing the car on a winding road. “Those persuaded by the great new looks of the RAV4 should save up for the hybrid model. This is the best-sorted powertrain of the bunch. Sadly its chassis still got so out of shape as to cause the stability control to generate audible and feelable clunks as it braked the various corners,” he said.

Like the previous generation, a few aesthetic cues differentiate the hybrid from the non-hybrid model. The Toyota logo has blue accents, and hybrid badges can be seen on the sides of the vehicle. Inside, we dig the blue stitching on our XSE tester’s seats, center console, and door panels, as well as the blue needles on the dashboard gauges. The 8.0-inch touchscreen can display the hybrid powertrain’s battery activity, just like we’ve seen in other Toyotas including the Prius.

Given that the hybrid’s battery pack is located underneath the back seat, the interior space isn’t compromised. Seats can still be folded flat, and just like the non-hybrid version, five people can sit inside comfortably. Cargo space remains 37.0 to 37.6 cubic feet behind the second-row seats, just like the standard models. Although senior production editor Zach Gale noticed the RAV4 Hybrid was more spacious than other non-hybrid SUVs, he missed the ability to fold the rear seats from the cargo area and the wide-opening rear doors still offered by the Subaru Forester and Honda CR-V.

Neither of those two competitors currently offers a hybrid model in the U.S., however. On the RAV4 Hybrid, a sport mode changes throttle mapping and the way the transmission works, making the RAV4 feel more responsive. And just like its name suggests, an eco mode alters performance to attain the best fuel economy possible. There’s also a small button located below the rotary knob for the drive mode selector called “EV Mode,” which provides a very small all-electric range only if there’s enough juice in the battery.

Just like on non-hybrid versions, Toyota Safety Sense will be standard on all hybrid models. The package includes a pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high-beams, lane tracing assist, and road sign assist. XLE and above will also get blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic braking as standard equipment.

Four trims will be available once the RAV4 Hybrid arrives in March 2019. The LE base model will start at $28,745; the XLE will go for $30,545; and XSE and Limited will start at $34,745 and $36,745, respectively. Our XSE model was equipped with the Advanced Technology package ($640), the Weather Prep Package ($375, heated steering wheel and rain-sensing wipers), the Premium Audio Package with Navi & JBL ($1,620), and a panoramic moonroof ($200), leaving an estimated as-tested price of $38,024 (our tester also had a few accessories, the prices of which were not yet available). Depending on the trim, the premium for going hybrid may not be as much as you think, but like we said before, this powertrain is worth it. Plus, over time, you’ll save more money when you hit the gas station.

2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid BASE PRICE $34,745 PRICE AS TESTED $38,024 (est) VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 2.5L/176-hp/163-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4 plus 118-hp (front) + 54-hp (rear)/149-lb-ft (front) + 89-lb-ft (rear) electric motor; 219 hp comb TRANSMISSION Cont variable auto CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,825 lb (56/44%) WHEELBASE 105.9 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 180.9 x 73.0 x 66.9 in 0-60 MPH 7.5 sec QUARTER MILE 15.6 sec @ 90.4 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 143 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.75 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.4 sec @ 0.61 g (avg) REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB Not tested EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 41/38/39 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 82/89 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.49 lb/mile

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Categories: Property

Property companies end the week up

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 08:16
Property companies benefitted from the stock market recovery on Friday as the FTSE 100 made up some of its losses from Thursday.
Categories: Property

2019 Lexus GS

The Car Connection News Feed - Sat, 12/08/2018 - 11:00
We should all be as lucky as the 2019 Lexus GS mid-size luxury sedan. Despite the four-door’s relative age among competitors, the Lexus GS still looks handsome, offers reasonable luxury features and safety system, and competes with a lower price than more popular offerings from Mercedes-Benz and BMW. This year, the GS pares its powertrain...
Categories: Property

Shopping centre landlord breaches banking covenants

Property Week News Feed - Sat, 12/08/2018 - 10:33
A South African-listed property company has breached its banking covenants after the value of its UK shopping centres plunged £78.6m.
Categories: Property

2019 Volvo XC60 T5 AWD Update 1: Exploring the Infotainment System

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 12/08/2018 - 09:00

After originally debuting on the 2016 XC90, Volvo’s Sensus interface found its way into every new vehicle from the Swedish automaker. Instead of a combination of dials, buttons, and a touchscreen, Volvo consolidated nearly every function into one display. This makes the system distinctive but also, sometimes, harder to use.

Now that I’ve spent some time with our long-term XC60, I’m used to the portrait-style display and find it intuitive. Compared to earlier iterations, this version reacts quickly to inputs, allowing you to scan through menus quickly. The trick to learning Sensus is to use it exactly like you would a tablet. Swipe, pinch to zoom, and touch are the only inputs you need to learn, minimizing complication. On the home menu, shortcuts to navigation and media allow for easy access of the most used functions. Using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, however, requires one more step because you need to swipe right and press the icon to activate it.

On the road, however, you should use Android Auto or CarPlay because it’s difficult to use the touchscreen, especially on rough pavement. Executive editor Mark Rechtin recently drove the XC60 to Monterey and back, and found that even changing the radio station is hard because you have to interact with the touchscreen. “If the road is at all bumpy, the suspension is responsive enough that you feel the control over the road, but its side effect is that your fingertip audio command will never be the right one because the icons are so small and the reach is so far,” Rechtin said. Because almost everything is on the touchscreen, you’re forced to take your eyes off the road for an extended period. As a result, it can be difficult to make quick inputs due to the lack of physical buttons.

On the user-friendliness scale, Sensus falls behind FCA’s UConnect and Subaru’s Starlink, two of the easiest systems on the market. Even so, versus Mercedes-Benz’s COMAND and BMW’s iDrive interfaces, Sensus takes less time to learn and most functions are only a swipe away instead of buried in a sea of submenus.

Read more about our 2019 Volvo XC60 T5 AWD long-termer:

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Categories: Property

Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 Lincoln Aviator vs. Rivals

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 22:47

After we saw the redesigned Navigator, we had high hopes for Lincoln’s smaller three-row, the Aviator. Lincoln met those expectations, and the Aviator was one of our favorite models to debut at the L.A. auto show this year. Technically replacing the MKT in Lincoln’s lineup, the Aviator will face the same competitors as its predecessor when it arrives next summer. But seeing how it’s now built on a rear-drive-based platform, has a more premium Navigator-like interior, gets a long list of available tech features, and offers up to 450 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque in plug-in hybrid trim, it’s clear Lincoln is moving its midsize entry up market. With that said, we’ve chosen to compare it to two stylish and tech-heavy models sitting at the higher end of the class: The Audi Q7 and the Volvo XC90. How do the three luxury three-rows compare when it comes to styling?

Although we live in an era of “the bigger the grille, the better,” Aviator stays away from this trend. The grille still manages to stand out with high-gloss black and chrome accents that give off a 3D effect. The Aviator has big headlights instead of the slim headlights many automakers have chosen to put on their newest vehicles. Meanwhile, Audi gave the Q7 a large grille that connects directly to the rectangular-shaped headlights. The front end takes on a curvier shape than its other two rivals. The Volvo XC90, meanwhile, adopts a waterfall grille design and unmistakable Thor’s Hammer headlights. The Volvo badge sits prominently in the middle of the glitzy grille.

From the side, the Aviator looks long thanks to the windows that wrap around to the back of the vehicle. Bold character lines, a raked windshield, and distinctive roof spoiler also contribute to the Aviator’s windswept look. The side profile of the Audi looks a bit more conventional, but the strong wheel arches give it prominent hips. Other than this, the Q7 doesn’t have particularly strong character lines running through the doors. The XC90 takes on an upright stance with a straight, not sloped, roof. Overall, it has simple lines much like the Audi.

In the rear of the Aviator, a light bar connects the two taillights. The bumper is simple, but dual exhausts seen on the Aviators pictured below add visual interest. The Q7 has a more traditional look with a defined rear windshield and standalone taillights. The XC90 is distinguishable by its vertical-oriented taillights, which contribute to the model’s overall upright appearance.

The Aviator takes design risks inside the cabin. Lincoln offers a tan and ebony design theme with engine-turned aluminum appliques that resemble the finish of early aviation instrument panels. There is also a design theme with Mahogany Red Venetian leather and wood appliques. No matter which theme you choose, the model offers a large central touchscreen. A cut-out in the center console section allows for the storage of small items. Buttons for Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive are tucked underneath the central air vents. The Q7 has a simpler design and a more traditional gear shifter. The retractable screen sits straight atop the dashboard, controlled by a touchpad on the center console. The XC90 has the simplest interior design of them all. For better or worse, the XC90 features a  touchscreen that resembles a tablet, eliminating the need for most buttons. Top-spec models offers a crystal gearshift knob. The Lincoln, Audi, and Volvo SUVs all offer a 12.3-inch instrument cluster.

How does the 2020 Lincoln Aviator stand up to the competition? Let us know in the comments on Facebook.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 Lincoln Aviator vs. Rivals appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Adam Carolla’s 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV Heading to Auction

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 21:30

There are few vehicles that possess the beauty, presence, and significance of Lamborghini’s Miura—the car that arguably started the supercar era. Even rarer still is the Miura SV, the final production iteration of the breed, of which just 150 were produced. Nevertheless, registered bidders at the December 8 RM Sotheby’s Petersen Automotive Museum auction will have the chance to take home a 1971 Miura SV of their very own.

The car in question is chassis number 4912, which just so happens to be owned by comedian and radio and television host Adam Carolla, a well known Lamborghini enthusiast. Said to be the only Miura SV finished in Bleu Medio over a Pelle Bleu interior, it’s also one of 11 single-sump SVs to have been fitted with air conditioning—an option you’ll want with a blistering 385-hp, 4.0-liter V-12 engine sitting right behind the cabin.

SV versions of the Miura had several mechanical changes from earlier cars, including revisions to the camshaft profiles, carburetor jetting, and suspension geometry. Wider wheels and tires, deleted headlight “eyelashes,” and of course an ‘SV’ badge on the rear of the car all distinguish the SV cosmetically.

Marcello Gandini was the legendary designer behind the Miura while at Bertone, and Gian Paolo Dallara was responsible for chassis development. The potent P400 engine was designed by ex-Ferrari engineer and 250 GTO development chief Giotto Bizzarrini.

Delivered new to the U.S., this Miura SV remained in the country until the early 1990s, when it was delivered to an enthusiast owner in Japan. After some 20 years in storage, it was again brought back to the U.S. and treated to a cosmetic and mechanical freshening, including new paint in the original hue and a top-end rebuild. Since then it has been displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Élégance and the famous Rodeo Drive concours, a Southern California Father’s Day tradition.

At what price does such an icon come? RM Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate is pegged at $2.1–$2.5 million dollars. That’s not exactly chump change for most of us, but considering the Miura’s upward trajectory with regard to value, the price may actually seem cheap—relatively speaking—in the future.

To find out the hammer price, be sure to check back here for results. And if you’re local to Southern California, consider having a look—or a bid—yourself Saturday, December 8.

The post Adam Carolla’s 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV Heading to Auction appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Volkswagen Plans to Build up to 15 Million EVs on MEB Platform

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 20:16

Volkswagen has begun a massive push to create new electric vehicles, and these efforts come at a price. The brand says it will streamline its product portfolio and reduce vehicle variants as it invests in new EVs and other technologies.

Volkswagen Group wants to introduce 15 million vehicles based on the new MEB platform for electric vehicles in its first wave. That’s up from previous plans to make just 10 million vehicles. Through 2023, the VW brand will invest more than 11 billion euros in EVs, autonomous driving, and other new technologies, with 9 billion of these euros earmarked for the I.D. family.

The first I.D. model will enter production in Germany in late 2019. After the small hatch arrives, VW will expand the I.D. lineup with a crossover, sedan, and van. By 2025, the brand plans to sell 1 million electric cars annually around the globe. At this time, the VW brand will have 20 electric models in its lineup instead of the current two. Meanwhile, it will make a decision “soon” on a production location for building EVs in North America.

To support these investments, VW aims to save 3 billion euros by 2020, of which $2.2 billion will be achieved by the end of this year. VW will make additional cuts of 3 billion euros by 2023, reports Reuters. This will help the brand boost its profit margins by at least 6 percent by 2022, three years earlier than previously anticipated.

How will it achieve these savings? Again, VW said it will streamline its portfolio and reduce variants, but didn’t name any specific vehicles that are on the chopping block. It also wants to slash administrative expenses and increase the productivity of its plants by approximately 30 percent by 2025. Earlier this week, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said the German automaker might use Ford plants to build cars in the U.S. This could be part of the new collaboration between the two companies that will create synergies, including joint work on commercial vehicles. More news on the partnership between Ford and VW is expected in January.

Source: Volkswagen, Reuters

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Categories: Property

This Company Can Now Sell You a Brand New Old Ford Bronco

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 20:00

To say we’re excited to finally drive the upcoming 2020 Ford Bronco would be a serious understatement. After all, who wouldn’t love a boxy, Raptor-influenced, alternative to the Jeep Wrangler? At the same time, though, we understand that no matter how cool the new Bronco ends up being, there are always going to be fans out there who wish Ford would just sell the original Bronco again. If you’re one of those people, the good news is there actually is a way to get your hands on a brand new Bronco I.

Gateway Bronco, an Illinois-based company known for restoring first-generation Broncos, recently announced that it’s reached an agreement with Ford to officially sell brand new 1966-’77 Broncos. These won’t be restomods, either. Thanks to the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015, Gateway is able to legally build its continuation Broncos from the ground up.

“We’re honored to be recognized by Ford Motor Company and consider this license agreement a tremendous privilege,” said Seth Burgett, CEO of Gateway Bronco, in a release. “We will work diligently to serve and protect the Ford brand. Our proprietary, exclusive solutions to re-condition and manufacture the first-generation Ford Bronco has led to incredible growth of our company. Deepening our relationship with Ford will help us better serve our customers who want the ultimate classic for Bronco with modern performance.”

Customers will have their choice of three different models, each priced between $120,000 and $180,000. And while Gateway’s Broncos all retain the original styling, they benefit from the use of modern chassis components, suspensions, and engines. Spring for the top-of-the-line Modern Day Warrior edition, and you’ll get a 5.0-liter Coyote V-8, a six-speed automatic from the last-gen Raptor, a premium leather interior, four-wheel disc brakes, reduced NVH, and a five-year warranty.

Yes, that’s a ton of money for a new version of an old SUV you can probably find in the classifieds for a fraction of the price. But remember, these Broncos are engineered and built from the ground up at a rate of two to four vehicles a month. That kind of low-volume production doesn’t come cheap. The upside is you’ll always have the coolest car in the parking lot, guaranteed.

Source: Gateway Bronco

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Categories: Property

Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign Shown in Production Form

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 17:46

Nissan revealed the production version of the GT-R50 by Italdesign, and sure enough, it stays true to the concept. Orders have begun, but only 50 copies will be sold.

The concept had a gray and gold exterior, but customers can specify whichever color combination they’d like on their own model. As we learned while driving the prototype, all 50 copies will feature a different design so that no two are alike. Buyers can choose different colors and packages to customize the interior.

The supercar celebrates the 50th anniversary of the GT-R in 2019 and Italdesign in 2018. It started life as a 600-hp GT-R Nismo, but Nissan tweaked the engine to produce a lot more power. Under the sheet metal, a 3.8-liter V-6 makes a whopping 710 hp and 575 lb-ft of torque. The engine pairs with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Along with a more potent engine, the GT-R50 has an adjustable rear wing, a revised Bilstein suspension damping system, improved Brembo brakes, and a roofline that has been lowered more than 2 inches.

If you’re interested in one of the 50 copies, you’ll have to contact Italdesign. Prices start at 990,000 euros before taxes and options, or roughly $1.1 million at today’s exchange rates. Deliveries will run from 2019 into 2020.

Source: Nissan

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Categories: Property

Council unveils regeneration plans for Derby's Cathedral Green

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 17:46
Derby City Council has announced plans for 37,500 sq ft of Grade A riverside office development next to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the world’s first factory, the Silk Mill.
Categories: Property

Next-Gen Three-Row Jeep Grand Cherokee Reportedly Coming for 2021

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 17:34

We may love the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk‘s imposing styling and face-melting acceleration, but it’s also impossible to miss how dated the rest of the 707-hp SUV feels. And considering the current generation Grand Cherokee has been on sale for eight years, it’s safe to say the big Jeep could use a redesign. In two years, it sounds like that’s exactly what we’ll get.

The Detroit News reports that Jeep plans to introduce a new Grand Cherokee for the 2021 model year, meaning the current version will be a decade old by the time it goes out of production. To make it more appealing to families, the 2021 Grand Cherokee will reportedly offer third-row seating, as well. And in a move that Detroit residents are sure to appreciate, Jeep is said to revive an idle plant to build its next-gen SUV.

Mack Avenue Engine II, which has been idle since 2012, will reportedly be retooled to produce the new Grand Cherokee. According to The Detroit News, reviving the Mack Avenue plant will create about 400 jobs. It would also be the first new assembly line to open up in Detroit in 27 years. For workers affected by GM’s recently announced plant closures, the news of a new plant opening soon will likely come as a relief as they continue looking for jobs. Once the Mack Avenue facility comes online, FCA will reportedly begin retooling the Jefferson North Assembly Plant across the street to build two-row and three-row Grand Cherokees.

According to LMC Automotive, Fiat Chrysler’s plants are currently at 92-percent capacity, while GM and Ford are operating at 72 percent and 81 percent respectively. “FCA is essentially out of capacity,” Jeff Schuster, an analyst with LMC Automotive, told The Detroit News. “They’re kind of running up against being against full capacity. This is a very different situation than what GM is dealing with.”

As far as we’re concerned, that’s a pretty good problem for an automaker to have. Let’s just hope that FCA plans for one of these retooled plants to build a 2021 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Source: The Detroit News

The post Next-Gen Three-Row Jeep Grand Cherokee Reportedly Coming for 2021 appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

HB Reavis reveals plans for 30-storey South Bank tower

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 17:11
HB Reavis has revealed plans for its mixed use Elizabeth House scheme, which include 1m sq ft of office space and a new public street linking the development to Waterloo Station.
Categories: Property

2019 Audi E-Tron First Drive: All Electric, All SUV

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 17:00

Dunes ripple off into the distance under a brassy sky. The Audi dances over stutter bumps as it slaloms between piles of soft sand. A quick flick of the wrist and flex of the right ankle: instant grip and grunt, dust and gravel spitting from all four wheels. The irony of the moment is delicious. We’re in the Middle Eastern emirate of Abu Dhabi, driving through a desert soaked in oil, having fun in an electric luxury SUV. Meet the 2019 Audi E-Tron.

The E-Tron is built on a brand-new battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform designed and engineered in-house at Audi. It follows the now-typical skateboard format, with a 95-kW-hr battery pack between the wheels and under the floor, and it has motors mounted front and rear to provide all-wheel drive. Despite a near 50/50 weight distribution, it’s not, however, as symmetrically laid out as other skateboard platforms. The rear motor is mounted coaxially with the rear driveshafts, but the front motor has been rolled rearward and upward, away from the axles, to allow Audi engineers to package steering from the MLB Evo components set used in vehicles such as the A6 and A8. They did it to save the expense of developing a bespoke system. For the same reason, the E-Tron platform also incorporates MLB Evo suspension and brake hardware.

That’s not the E-Tron’s only asymmetry, either. The rear motor is rated at 187 hp and 231 lb-ft, the front at 168 hp and 182 lb-ft, specifically to give the E-Tron a sportier, rear-biased dynamic balance. Audi claims the powertrain will deliver a total system output of 355 hp and 413 lb-ft on a sustained basis for up to 60 seconds, allowing for successive acceleration bursts with no reduction of performance. A boost mode gives a total of 402 hp and 489 lb-ft for up to 8 seconds. That’s enough, Audi says, to propel the 5,489-pound E-Tron (the battery pack weighs 1,543 pounds) from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 124 mph.

Freed from the need to package a bulky internal combustion engine and all its complex ancillaries, Marc Lichte’s design team endowed the E-Tron with a sporty silhouette and broad-shouldered stance. Dimensionally, it’s closer to Audi’s Q7 than the Q5, and it’s more efficiently packaged than either. Two key dimensions tell that story. Although it’s 6.6 inches shorter overall than the Q7, the E-Tron’s wheelbase is within 2.6 inches of the bigger Audi’s, and its roofline is 4.9 inches lower. It’s lower, even, than that of the Q5, which is a massive 9.4 inches shorter overall and rolls on a 4.3-inch-shorter wheelbase.

The E-Tron’s angular interior aesthetic is less conspicuously upscale than that of an Audi A8 or Q8, but with three HD displays—one Virtual Cockpit instrument panel, as well as haptic touchscreens for the infotainment interface and HVAC controls—there’s no mistaking the technology quotient. The center console features what appears to be a leather-covered handrest, but the silver tab at the end of it is the shifter. Move the tab forward with your thumb to engage reverse, rearward with your forefinger for drive. Tap it rearward again, and you’ll get Sport mode; tapping it rearward twice in quick succession activates Boost mode. Park is engaged by pressing the button on the side of the tab.

And that’s about as tricky as driving the E-Tron gets. Everything else, from the Virtual Cockpit and Audi drive mode menus to the functionality of the infotainment and HVAC screens and the buttons on the steering wheel, works the same way as it does in any other current Audi. The E-Tron feels familiar on the road, too: Apart from the lack of engine noise and the eerily elastic surge of acceleration, it drives pretty much like, well … an Audi. The key to that is Audi’s innovative new electrohydraulic braking system.

In simple terms, the E-Tron braking system seamlessly combines motor regen and hydraulic braking. All braking up to 0.3 g is handled by the motors, which send the captured energy to the battery. But if the E-Tron’s neural network senses that more braking power is required, it activates a spindle drive on a displacement piston in the hydraulic braking system to get the calipers—six-piston units up front and single-piston items on the rear—to clamp the brake rotors, just as in a regular car. As most braking events in normal driving are less than 0.3 g, Audi claims regen handles 90 percent of the E-Tron’s braking chores. (It has even programmed the system to apply the hydraulic brakes at least once a day to clean rust off the rotors.)

The technology is clever, but the execution is brilliant. Unlike other BEVs, the E-Tron’s brakes have a wonderfully linear and consistent pedal feel. It is impossible to tell whether regen or hydraulic power is slowing the car, at any speed. At very low velocities—under 7 mph—the system automatically dials back the regen and switches up the hydraulic system, enabling you to gently glide to a smooth halt or engage in back-and-forth parking maneuvers without any of the herky-jerky shunting endemic with BEVs.

Also, because the system recoups so much energy under regular braking, the E-Tron can be driven without any liftoff regen dialed into the powertrain. This means the E-Tron coasts just like a regular car when you lift off the accelerator, which is useful for maintaining momentum when running on freeways—and releases you from the tedium of always having to have pressure on the accelerator pedal just to keep rolling with the traffic. It also enables you to better balance the car on corner entry when driving it enthusiastically on a winding two-lane.

You can dial in low and high regen settings if you wish; the latter allows the E-Tron to be driven with one pedal like a Tesla or Jaguar I-Pace in similar modes, but unless you desperately want to feel like you’re driving an electric car, don’t bother. Audi says the E-Tron is actually more efficient at recouping energy when the system is set to auto mode (where it works with the sat-nav and speed limits to further optimize the amount of energy recovered). More important, however, it endows the E-Tron with a lovely, fluid road manner other BEVs simply can’t match.

“One-pedal mode was a crutch for early BEVs to keep you from using the hydraulic brakes,” Audi product development exec Andrew Carter Balkcom said in Abu Dhabi. After driving the E-Tron, it’s hard to disagree. Audi’s electrohydraulic braking system is a game changer, a benchmark for BEV brake systems.


A height-adjustable air suspension is standard. The E-Tron’s default ride height is 6.8 inches. At speeds above 75 mph the suspension automatically drops the car 1.0 inch to reduce drag and improve handling. Switch to Off-Road mode on the Audi Drive Select menu, and the suspension lifts the E-Tron 1.4 inches. With 8.2 inches of ground clearance, Audi claims an 18.2-degree approach angle, 24.4-degree departure angle, and a 16.8-degree breakover angle. A Lift function provides an extra 0.6 inch of ground clearance when needed.

The two trim levels available in the U.S. at launch—the $75,795 Premium Plus and the $82,795 Prestige—come standard with 20-inch wheels fitted with 255/50 tires. Buyers can opt for more efficiency-oriented 19-inch wheels and 255/55 tires at no cost, and 21-inch rims with 265/45 tires will be available as an option at a later date. We sampled cars with both the 20- and 21-inch wheels in Abu Dhabi, and there wasn’t much between them in terms of ride comfort and noise. On either tire the E-Tron doesn’t quite have the rolling plushness of a Jaguar I-Pace, but it is quieter and more comfortable than a Tesla Model X.

Part of our drive included a spirited sprint up the iconic Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road, which packs 60 turns and 4,000 feet of elevation change into just 7.3 miles. Pushed hard, the E-Tron’s powertrain delivers the same punch and responsiveness as some of the more performance-oriented SUVs, and the chassis feels well planted and has less obvious body roll through corners. You need to watch all that instant-on torque, though—get on the power too early, and the nose will push wide—and although the weight is low in the chassis, there’s no mistaking that you’re waltzing almost 5,500 pounds across the road during rapid changes of direction. The downhill run was equally entertaining, not the least because the electrohydraulic braking system barely broke a sweat. No smoke, no smell, no spongy pedal as we rolled back onto the flat. Impressive.

OK, the question everyone wants answered: What’s the range? Audi’s not quoting an EPA number yet, but the 248-mile range it claims for the E-Tron on the European WLTP test cycle suggests it will be somewhere between 210 and 225 miles. That would put the E-Tron just behind the Jaguar I-Pace’s EPA-rated 234-mile range and the efficient Tesla Model X 75D’s 238-mile range.

What’s more, our testing shows the Jaguar to be a full 1.5 seconds quicker to 60 mph, and that the Model X 75D matches the Audi’s claimed 5.5-second time for the sprint. On paper, then, the E-Tron doesn’t seem to move the needle. But the Audi’s cabin is way more upscale than the Tesla’s, and it offers better rear passenger room than the Jaguar. The E-Tron’s real strengths, however, include better everyday drivability than either, courtesy of that clever brake system and a quieter powertrain, plus superior build quality. And the Electrify America 150-kW fast chargers being installed around the country will bring the E-Tron’s battery to 80 percent charge in a Tesla-rivaling 27 minutes.

The E-Tron is the first of four all-new, all-electric Audis scheduled to go on sale in the next two years, the spearhead of a sweeping transformation of VW Group’s premium brand that will see a fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle available in every model line by 2025. Audi is betting heavily on electrification. But if our first experience with the E-Tron is any indication, it’s a safe bet. Quick and quiet, stylish and practical, innovatively engineered and intelligently executed, the E-Tron brings the BEV another step closer to the automotive mainstream.

The post 2019 Audi E-Tron First Drive: All Electric, All SUV appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Jeep Wrangler crash test, Mustang adventures, Toyota's hybrid batteries: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 15:30
2018 Jeep Wrangler fails European crash test European crash testers gave the 2018 Jeep Wrangler a scathing one-star rating. Europe's New Car Assessment Program said the off-roader earned the poor rating due in part to its lack of modern active safety equipment. Three VWs recalled over lack of warning when key is left in ignition A handful of new...
Categories: Property

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD High Country revealed: Luxury pickup truck goes big

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 14:00
We learned Tuesday that the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD Z71 does not do subtle. The 2020 Silverado HD High Country unveiled by the automaker Thursday is no quieter about its intentions than the Z71 off-roader, but its more conventional grille gives the big pickup truck a look a hair less polarizing. Or maybe it's because we've grown accustomed to...
Categories: Property

Nikal reveals £300m plan for Blackpool ‘super casino’ site

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 13:59
Developer Nikal, Blackpool Council and Media Invest Entertainment have revealed plans for a £300m leisure scheme on a site formerly earmarked for a ‘super casino’.
Categories: Property

Moda, Apache and La Salle IM add retirement living to £262m Hove scheme

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 13:57
The partnership between Moda Living, Apache Capital Partners and LaSalle Investment Management has unveiled its latest plans for a landmark £262m GDV development in Hove with the addition of Audley’s second ever Mayfield Villages scheme.
Categories: Property

Tak Lee criticises Shaftesbury's investment strategy

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 13:49
Shaftesbury’s largest shareholder, Hong Kong billionaire Sammy Tak Lee, has written a letter to the company’s legal counsel criticising its acquisition financing strategy.
Categories: Property