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The Car Connection News Feed: How active safety features work, 2.3 Mustang handles a 5.0, Amazon places huge Rivian order: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Top Zones - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 19:34
What are active safety features and how do they work? From automatic emergency braking to lane keeping assist, active safety features are confusing drivers even as they come in more vehicles. 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid overview The 2020 Ford Escape compact crossover hybrid is poised to hit a fuel-economy high. Tesla Model 3 finally earns top safety...
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The Car Connection News Feed: What are active safety features and how do they work?

The Top Zones - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 17:30
Safety has always been a top concern for car shoppers. Recently, it has become a source of frustration. Nearly a quarter of car shoppers who bought or leased a model year 2019 vehicle found the technology to be annoying or bothersome, according to a J.D. Power study of more than 20,000 consumers within the first 90 days of ownership. Many of the...
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The Car Connection News Feed: What are active safety features and what do they do?

The Top Zones - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 17:30
Safety has always been a top concern for car shoppers. Recently, it has become a source of frustration. Nearly a quarter of car shoppers who bought or leased a model year 2019 vehicle found the technology to be annoying or bothersome, according to a J.D. Power study of more than 20,000 consumers within the first 90 days of ownership. Many of the...
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Stenprop bolsters portfolio with 100 industrial units for £16.7m

The Top Zones - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 16:25
Stenprop has completed the acquisition of 100 industrial units in five separate transactions for an aggregate price of £16.7m.
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Property Week News Feed: Argent appoints retail lead for King’s Cross

The Top Zones - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 15:17
Argent has appointed James Rayner as retail lead for its King’s Cross regeneration project.
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Property Week News Feed: Join us at Workspace to debate flex, wellbeing and space as a service

The Top Zones - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 14:19
Wellbeing and mental health have really come to the fore in the past year, nowhere more so than in the office sector.
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Property Week News Feed: Deutsche Bank increases size of intu Derby CMBS

The Top Zones - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 14:05
Deutsche Bank has increased the size of its CMBS of a senior loan secured against intu Derby and priced the deal.
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Property Week News Feed: L&G broadens its retail platform with hire from Savills IM

The Top Zones - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 14:04
LGIM Real Assets has hired Terry Martin as a senior asset manager in its retail platform.
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Motortrend News Feed: 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Turbo High Performance Package First Drive

The Top Zones - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:00

If you’re a luddite who insists a pony car must have eight atmospheric cylinders, stop reading now. Otherwise, if you enjoy front-engine, rear-drive fun regardless of what’s under the hood, let me tell you about the Ford Mustang EcoBoost Turbo High Performance Package.

What started as a weekend project among some of Ford Performance’s biggest Mustang geeks evolved into a sport-focused production car meant to bring a unique experience to the historic nameplate. Using a decommissioned Focus RS test engine and an extra S550 chassis collecting dust in the division garage, the team set to work, digging into the Mustang parts bin to pick n’ choose their favorite bits to add—which subsequently bring its starting price to $33,405.

First came adapting the 2.3-liter turbocharged I-4 from transverse orientation for front-wheel drive application, to longitudinally mounted and sending juice to the rear wheels. Initially proven in the base Mustang EcoBoost, the next step was bringing the power closer to RS levels. That involved modifying the engine block with high-tensile cylinder liners, improving piston rings, and designing a bespoke cylinder head. A new head gasket handles the increased pressures created by an enlarged turbocharger cramming 22 psi into the intake and reduced 9.37:1 compression ratio. The result is 330 hp at 6,000 rpm and 350 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm.

Driving off from Sausalito, California, I skirted along the base of Mt. Tamalpais through a thick layer of signature San Francisco fog. On initial roll-out the hi-po turbopony struggled to put that lump of torque down on the cold, slick pavement. It would seem Pirelli’s engineers who developed the car’s summer tires never heard Mark Twain’s quote about supposed warm months in the City by the Bay. To the point, 19 x 9-inch wheels all four corners wear 255/40Rs—wider than a basic Mustang GT’s.

Rubber and weather warmed as the route took me north along coastal Highway 1, and I sought out chances to prod the engine. After a blink of delay as boost builds, power is robust; the midrange torque crest passes over seamlessly to the near-redline horsepower peak. True to Ford Performance’s ambition, it feels stronger the higher it’s revved. Still, it never feels snappy or raw—and that’s a good thing. With this vehicle Ford targets drivers who may not have much sports car experience, who want accessible power that doesn’t overwhelm. You know, everyday enthusiasts like me, or maybe you. To be clear, this four-banger ain’t a slouch. Powering through gears, it delivers a hearty press into the seats and a blatty engine note accompanied by plenty of turbo whistle. Coming off the gas near redline induces some delightful exhaust crackles.

Transmissions are a six-speed manual or a $1,595 ten-speed automatic, shift points of which were brought out by about 500 rpm to better engage that peaky power. The standard shifter pairs nicely with the car’s character. Heavy and a bit rough, working it through the tight gates is a satisfying exercise. Pedal positioning allowed easy heel-toe downshifts, but auto rev-matching is absent from this purportedly novice-friendly setup; supposedly, the associated componentry wouldn’t fit in the transmission case. Ten is a somewhat mind-boggling gear count to manage, but it’s fun exploring through them to keep the engine in its sweet spot. The plastic paddle shifters feel cheap, but they’re sufficiently responsive and allow rapid ratio dumps when slowing into corners. With either gearbox, final drive is 3.31:1 via a Torsen limited-slip differential.

Undoing acceleration is left to brakes cribbed from the Mustang GT. Front 352mm vented rotors are clamped by fixed four-piston calipers, while 330mm solid discs out back are 10mm larger than those on standard V-8 cars. These stoppers feel well matched to the power delivery: strong but not grabby, responsive yet predictably progressive. Ford Performance rewrote the ABS module’s programming based on learnings from the GT350 to allow better trail-braking, again, the goal being to benefit drivers who may have never owned a rear-drive car or might attempt their first track day.

Want to see inside? Check out our in-depth review of the Mustang’s interior.

OK, but you’re a toughie who knows how to wrestle V-8 muscle. Want the extra pudge that comes with it? MotorTrend testers have critiqued 5.0 Mustangs’ handling balance, and this car’s 200-ish-pound front-end weight savings over the GT is constantly appreciable. The steering possesses a certain delicacy, smooth on turn-in and stable through tight hairpins and long sweepers. No Mustang driver wants to end up bent up and plastered across enthusiast meme pages, and this car’s 53/47 front/rear weight distribution should help eager learners keep both ends in check.

Supplementing poise is a $1,995 Handling Package, which brings a thicker rear anti-roll bar, dark-painted and half-inch-wider wheels with 265 section tires, and stronger brakes. It also adds new magnetic dampers featuring logic developed for the GT350. The effect is a more buttoned-down ride, providing more road sensation to the driver while reducing body roll. It’s not a crucial add to make this Mustang live up to its name, but the Handling Package does what it says on the tin.

As the sun crested through the afternoon, clouds burned off and I eagerly let the top back on a convertible variant, which starts at $38,905. Trade-offs instantly ensued. The car felt floppy, bouncy, and somewhat disconnected front to rear; the Handling Package isn’t available on droptop cars. Simultaneously, the exhaust became more audible, and seeing sunshine filtered through trees lining the curvy road was just so pleasant. For sure, this isn’t what you buy when you want the sharper driving experience, but damn if it wasn’t nice on that lovely California day.

Upon my return to the starting point I learned that my flight home had been delayed by several hours. No matter—Ford graciously offered me time with a Mustang Bullitt brought to support the event. Its V-8 burble and stonking power were intoxicating, but the dulled reflexes and skewed balance that accompanied that bigger, heavier engine were equally apparent. It was fantastic fun, but more so than the Turbo High Performance Package? And for $48,905? I still can’t say.

That’s proof, therefore, that Ford Performance succeeded in creating a unique, distinct, and enjoyable driving experience with the Mustang Turbo High Performance Package. Whether it’s better than a base, $37,370 V-8 GT will come down to individual preferences—and budget. It’s absolutely worth consideration by enthusiasts willing to accept engines other than a classic eight-pot in their pony car. If you’ve read this far, I suppose that’s you.

The post 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Turbo High Performance Package First Drive appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: Is the 2019 Honda Insight the Safest Hybrid on the Road?

The Top Zones - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 08:00

According to the two leading American organizations that evaluate vehicle safety, the 2019 Honda Insight is one of the safest hybrids on the road. In fact, Insight is one of the safest small cars you can buy: It received a 5-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) as well as the coveted Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+) rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). This means the 2019 Honda Insight successfully protects occupants from harm during several types of crash situations and possesses the latest active and passive crash mitigation technologies.

NHTSA is part of the executive branch of the U.S. government within the Department of Transportation. To produce its overall safety rating, the NHTSA tests three different crash scenarios. In the frontal crash test, a vehicle is accelerated into a fixed barrier to simulate a head-on collision between two similar vehicles, each moving at 35 mph. In this situation, damage to the vehicle and potential harm to the occupants in both the driver’s and front passenger seats are evaluated on scale of one to five stars, with five being the best. The scores are then combined and averaged. As the 2019 Honda Insight scored five stars in for both Front Driver Side and Front Passenger Side, it achieved the maximum 5-star rating for Frontal Crash.

Read more about our 2019 Honda Insight EX long-termer:

To test overall side crash performance, NHTSA utilizes two different tests. The Overall Side Pole Star Rating derives from a crash simulation that sends a vehicle (resting on a sled) sliding into a fixed metal barrier (which simulates a telephone pole or tree) from the side. The Side Barrier test simulates a T-bone collision you might find at an intersection, where a moving barrier hits a resting vehicle at 38.5 mph. For these tests, potential harm to the driver and rear passenger are rated against the 5-star scale. The results from these two tests are then combined to create the Combined Side Barrier and Pole Ratings, and—spoiler alert—the Insight scored 5 stars across the board, as well.

The third and last NHTSA test “measures the risk of rollover in a single-vehicle, loss-of-control scenario” and is executed by rapidly accelerating a vehicle sideways, usually with enough force to lift the opposite wheels off the ground or roll the vehicle over completely. In the case of the 2019 Honda Insight, the result was a yet again, 5 stars.

In addition to rating a vehicle on its crash safety, NHTSA publishes detailed information on the existence of active and passive safety features, and primers on how some of the newer systems operate. For instance, a quick scan of NHTSA’s writeup on the 2019 Honda Insight reveals that the vehicle comes standard with forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems but doesn’t come with dynamic brake support or knee airbags. It’s worth noting that although NHTSA offers a comprehensive overview of these systems, their performance is not evaluated as part of the 5-star Overall Safety Rating.

To get that level of detail, as well as a different set of crash tests, one must go to the IIHS, a nonprofit U.S. organization funded by auto insurance companies. Generally speaking, the IIHS takes four categories into account when deciding how a vehicle ranks on its Top Safety Pick scale, including crashworthiness, crash avoidance and mitigation, child seat anchor performance, and other available safety features (primarily related to driver assistance and headlight performance). Performance in these categories is rated against either a three-part scale ranging from basic, advanced, and superior (with superior being best) or a four-part scale ranging from poor, marginal, acceptable, and good.

IIHS’ test protocols are far more comprehensive than NHTSA’s. For instance, the crashworthiness category alone consists of six different tests: moderate overlap front; driver-side small overlap front; passenger-side small overlap front; side; roof strength; and head restraints and seats. To produce the overall score in just the driver-side small overlap front test, IIHS averages together another six scores: structure and safety cage; driver injury measures for head/neck, chest, hip/thigh, and lower leg/foot; as well as driver restraints and dummy kinematics. Over 30 different scores are used to determine the overall IIHS score, so for the sake of simplicity, we won’t review them all.

All you really need to know is that the 2019 Honda Insight received the highest ratings of good and superior in every category IIHS measures, with the exception of one. In the side crashworthiness test, the rear passenger injury measures related to the pelvis/leg received an acceptable rating. You can read all the details on the 2019 Honda Insight’s performance in IIHS safety testing here.

Although the 2019 Honda Insight achieves near perfect safety ratings according to IIHS and NHTSA, it does have two official NHTSA recalls of which you should be aware:

NHTSA campaign number 18V664000 affects the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) control unit of 118 Honda Insight, Odyssey, and Ridgeline vehicles from the 2019 model year. According to NHTSA, a manufacturing error in the control unit may result in airbags or seatbelt pretensioners failing to deploy during a crash.

NHTSA campaign number 18V62900 relates to the rearview camera display. In certain situations, the center console display may not show the backup camera image and thus fail to comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 111, related to “rearview mirrors.” This recall affects approximately 232,140 Honda vehicles including the 2018 Honda Accord and 2019 Honda Insight.

For more information, owners of potentially affected Honda vehicles should contact:

NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236 or head to www.safercar.gov
Honda Customer Service: 1-888-234-2138
Next update: the Insight’s first service appointment.

The post Is the 2019 Honda Insight the Safest Hybrid on the Road? appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Real Estate firms pledge to environmental commitment

The Top Zones - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 07:14
Many of the UK’s leading real estate firms have signed up to a ground breaking climate change commitment launched by the Better Buildings Partnership.
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Property Week News Feed: Plans for Greenwich film studio scrapped in favour of more housing

The Top Zones - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 23:00
Knight Dragon has scrapped plans for a 500,000 sq ft film studio at Greenwich Peninsula in favour of more housing and office space under a new masterplan for the £8.4bn regeneration project.
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Property Week News Feed: BauMont acquires PRS portfolio in UK debut

The Top Zones - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 23:00
Investor snaps up 35 London buildings for £37m from private family office
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Property Week News Feed: Westridge finances purchase of Dublin development with whole loan

The Top Zones - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 23:00
Westridge Real Estate has financed its €140m purchase of one of Dublin’s biggest development sites with a whole loan from Fairfield Real Estate Finance, the senior tranche of which has been syndicated to Bentall GreenOak.
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Property Week News Feed: North America steps up London investment as others hold fire

The Top Zones - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 23:00
North America is the only overseas region to have increased its investment in London year on year, new data from Datscha reveals.
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Property Week News Feed: Strettons raises less than half total of equivalent sale in 2018

The Top Zones - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 23:00
Auction house raised just over £5m at 11 September sale, £6m less than at its early October auction last year
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Property Week News Feed: North London resi scheme granted planning permission

The Top Zones - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 18:11
A 125,000 sq ft residential-led mixed-use scheme in Wood Green, north London has been granted planning permission.
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The Car Connection News Feed: Tesla Model 3 finally earns brand's IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award

The Top Zones - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 14:28
The Tesla Model 3 has earned a Top Safety Pick+ award in crash-test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Model 3 electric vehicle earned top “Good” ratings on all six crash tests, as well as a “Good” rating for its headlights from the nation's most rigorous crash-testing authority. It is the...
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Property Week News Feed: New training facility for MK Dons football club at MK Bowl

The Top Zones - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 12:36
Milton Keynes Development Partnership and Milton Keynes Council have agreed to host a new training facility at the MK Bowl.
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Property Week News Feed: Irwin Mitchell appoints three senior property lawyers

The Top Zones - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 12:30
Law firm Irwin Mitchell is expanding its national real estate team with three senior appointments, including two new partners and one new consultant.
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