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Property Week News Feed: SEGRO contracts £8.8m of new headline rent in Q3

The Top Zones - 3 hours 29 min ago
SEGRO has reported strong leasing figures for the third quarter, contracting £8.8m of new headline rent, including £3.8m in rent from existing space.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: LondonMetric sells two DFS retail stores for £14m

The Top Zones - 3 hours 31 min ago
LondonMetric has announced the sale of two DFS retail properties in Swindon and Swansea for £13.9m, on behalf of its DFS joint venture.
Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic Long-Term Update 1: Learning Curve

The Top Zones - 4 hours 26 min ago

Our long-term 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic has been with us for a few months now and although things have gone smoothly, there’s been a light learning curve as I get used to daily driving our metallic brown 2017 SUV of the Year. The GLC300, it seems, drives differently—more efficiently—than many small luxury crossovers and SUVs.

The issue is largely a personal one, but it’s something I’ve grappled with as I go off to test drive other cars for a few weeks at a time and get back into the GLC,  and it’s something I suspect many new GLC buyers will deal with as they get used to their new cars.

The issue, I think, is that the GLC is tuned too efficiently.

Hear me out. What happens when you get off the gas when you’re driving your gas-powered car? You probably start noticeably slowing down as you coast.  In other words, you’re getting a small but obvious amount of engine braking from your car.

You don’t really get that in the GLC. Get off the gas as you approach a stop light or traffic, and the Mercedes doesn’t seem to naturally slow down—instead it coasts along for about four Mississippi before finally beginning to shed speed.  From an engineering perspective, this trait probably is exactly what Mercedes’ engineers intended from the GLC’s 2.0-liter turbo I-4 and nine-speed automatic (not to mention low-rolling resistance tires) as it’s wasting as little kinetic energy as mechanically possible.

It still takes some getting used to, though—especially since it means I’m pressing a lot harder on the brakes than I would otherwise to avoid rear-ending a fellow motorists.

I wanted to test my theory so while I was out of the country on assignment I handed the keys to the GLC off for some fuel economy testing. On the EPA’s fuel economy test, our all-wheel-drive equipped GLC300 is rated at 21/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined. We sought to duplicate the EPA’s results with our very own Emissions Analytics team and netted a Real MPG of 19.2/29.3/22.7. That’s an 8.6 percent dip on the city cycle, 4.6 percent increase on the highway cycle, and an overall drop of 5.4 percent on the combined cycle. Looks like the numbers don’t necessarily back up my theory, but it’s worth noting that our Real MPG tests are all done under a vehicle’s default drive program, which in the GLC300’s case is Comfort mode. We’ll test the GLC again at a later day in Eco mode, which uses tricks such as automatically putting the transmission into neutral while coasting to eke every last mile from each gallon of fuel.

In the meantime, I’ve spent the last few weeks road tripping our Mercedes GLC300 4Matic up and down California, and I think it’s safe to say I’m finally getting used to its unique driving quirks.

More on our long-term Mercedes-Benz GLC300 here:

The post 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic Long-Term Update 1: Learning Curve appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: 2017 Maserati Levante Q4 First Test Review: Field of Profits

The Top Zones - 4 hours 27 min ago

The iconic one-liner from that sappy 1989 Kevin Costner stinker Field of Dreams is motivating nearly every major name-brand automaker to produce a high-riding two-box vehicle to satisfy the public’s as-yet apparently insatiable appetite for “utility vehicles.” For niche manufacturers, a single new entry can virtually double a brand’s annual sales rate almost overnight. To wit: Jaguar sold 14,466 vehicles in 2015; it moved 31,243 in 2016—and the F-Pace only went on sale in May of that year. Sales of Maserati’s new Levante haven’t taken off quite as quickly, but through August they’re accounting for about 40 percent of the brand’s sales. As usually happens, our first test of a sporting machine like this was of the fire-breather, and that SQ4 variant mostly impressed us. Now it’s time to circle back and assess the relative value (or cynicism) of the mainstream base Q4 model.

To refresh, this one utilizes the same Ferrari-designed and -built F160 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 (using a 60-degree block that is loosely based on Chrysler’s Pentastar V-6). For the Q4 it’s tuned to peak at 345 hp and 369 lb-ft, down from the SQ4’s 424 hp and 428 lb-ft. And in a rare case of things working out the way the math suggests it should, the 19 percent less powerful version is precisely 19 percent slower to 60 mph—5.8 seconds versus the SQ4’s 4.9. That time gap is pretty well maintained through the quarter mile, with the Q4 crossing in 14.2 seconds at 98.2 mph, 0.8 second and 5.1 mph behind the SQ4.

The funny thing is, when driving the two back to back, the power deficit seems less than it is—perhaps because both variants seem to bellow an equivalent chorus of baritone sport-mode bluster when you’re on the throttle and percussive snaps, crackles, and pops when you lift off of it. The starker difference is with the level of grip generated by the Q4’s all-season 265/45R20 Continental CrossContact LX Sport tires as compared with the SQ4’s staggered fitment 265/40 front and 295/35 rear 21-inch ContiSport Contact 5 meats. Stopping distances stretched 14 feet longer (127 versus 113 feet), and max-lateral grip dropped from 0.86 to 0.82 g.

That doesn’t look like much, but on a tight, twisting road the Q4 is all tire squeal and hyperactive stability-control intervention while the SQ4 quietly drifts through the bends at a much swifter pace. A humbling anecdote: At one point during our drive the Q4 was only just keeping pace with a lowly Subaru Crosstrek, howling its tires and brake-pulsing its various corners to keep up with the much less dramatic Subie. This issue can likely be cured by opting for the $2,980 optional 265/40R21 summer tires (plus a set of winter footwear if you don’t live in the “smile states”). Of course, doing so will further compromise the ride quality, which is actually best on the base 19-inch tires, but it’s still quite supple on the squishy 20s. One final handling note: the sublimely communicative hydraulic steering assist is an increasingly rare treat, as road test editor Chris Walton noted: “The hydraulic assist offers a glimpse of how steering feel really can inform the driver about tire/contact patch grip info with weightiness/lightness.”

So how does the Levante Q4 compare with its competitors? It should be able to outrun a similarly priced and optioned Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE with the supercharged V-6 and Dynamic package. A Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid will likely be a tad quicker to 60 mph and through the corners but a bit slower through the quarter mile. Of course, you can easily spend less and go faster in the aforementioned Jaguar F-Pace 35t, a Mercedes GLE43 AMG, or—of course—sibling Jeep’s Grand Cherokee SRT. And we’re in for a really serious sibling rivalry when the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio arrives.

We took the time to do some mild off-roading in the Q4 and were largely impressed at the cross-pollination of Jeep DNA that evident in this Ghibli/Quattroporte-based architecture. An Off-road mode raises the suspension and routes more torque to the front axle, there’s a hill-descent control function, and the traction control can be disabled to allow rally-style drifting while rooster-tailing sand. And although the mud-n-snow tires lacked grip on dry tarmac, they dug into the sand and dirt remarkably well.

Sure, we are a little disappointed by the amount of recognizable Chrysler switchgear we see in the cockpit, we hate the vague electronic shifter, we’re mystified by the decision to locate the ignition switch on the left side of the steering column, and we’d eagerly trade the sometimes flatulent V-6 engine note for a vintage Maserati’s naturally aspirated straight-six or V-8 roar. But by and large the Levante seems an appropriate heir to the grand touring mission for which classic Trident-bearers like the 3500GT, Mistral, and Ghibli were created. And if selling a pile of these things helps bring gorgeous coupes such as the Alfieri concept to market, then we sincerely hope “they come” in numbers similar to what Jaguar has been enjoying.

Because the test surface we used for this review is a mere month old (and still curing), our braking and handling results show longer stopping distances and less grip than we typically record and report. With that in mind, this vehicle’s numbers are not necessarily comparable with previous or future test results.

2017 Maserati Levante Q4 BASE PRICE $73,850 PRICE AS TESTED $91,400 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 3.0L/345-hp/369-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6 TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,987 lb (50/50%) WHEELBASE 118.3 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 197.0 x 77.5 x 64.3-67.7 in 0-60 MPH 5.8 sec QUARTER MILE 14.2 sec @ 98.2 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 127 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.82 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.7 sec @ 0.69 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 14/20/16 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 241/169 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.20 lb/mile

The post 2017 Maserati Levante Q4 First Test Review: Field of Profits appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Unilever's Surrey HQ for sale

The Top Zones - 6 hours 38 min ago
Unilever’s UK headquarters in Leatherhead, Surrey, has been put on the market by its Malaysian owners.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: BrickVest goes on hiring spree after fundraising

The Top Zones - 6 hours 46 min ago
BrickVest is hiring up to 15 new employees and searching for larger offices following a £7m fundraising round led by German real estate lender Berlin Hyp earlier this month.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Bould takes role at ‘proptech pioneer’ Coyote

The Top Zones - 6 hours 49 min ago
Former GVA chief executive Rob Bould has been appointed non-executive director at new proptech venture Coyote.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: NCP sets out plan to rapidly grow car park estate

The Top Zones - 7 hours 6 min ago
Car park operator NCP has set a target to add 100 sites to its estate over the next three years.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: L&G Capital looks to build family homes for rent

The Top Zones - 7 hours 23 min ago
Legal & General Capital plans to broaden its build-to-rent (BTR) reach beyond city centre apartment living to include single-unit family homes.
Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: Jaguar’s Ian Callum Wants to Bring Back the XK

The Top Zones - 12 hours 56 min ago

After two generations and nearly 20 years of production, Jaguar finally stopped producing the gorgeous XK in 2014. It was effectively replaced by the F-Type, but that’s more of a luxury sports car than a grand tourer. If design head Ian Callum has his way, though, the XK could eventually make a comeback as a true four-seat grand tourer that Jaguar sells alongside the sportier F-Type.

At the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance earlier this year, Callum broached the subject with Autocar, telling the British publication, “I want a two-seater and a 2+2. We’re working on something now. There’s nothing approved, but we instigate in design. That’s what we do.”

Last month, Callum spoke with Autocar again, saying, “The XK being dropped was much to my frustration.” He also added that he has “quite different ideas… as to how to carry four people quickly around the world.” That sure sounds like a grand tourer to us, presumably one a good bit larger than the two-seat F-Type.

The challenge, though, sounds like it’s going to be convincing the bean counters that there’s a market for a true GT car alongside a sporty coupe. Jaguar reportedly designed a successor to the XK but scrapped it to make room for F-Type. “The F-Type was never meant to kill the XK,” said Callum.

At the moment, it sounds like the XK replacement is more of a pet project for Callum than it is a definite product plan. But we’d love to see Jaguar offer two coupes alongside each other. With the larger XK handling grand touring duties, the F-Type could become even sportier than it already is. To us, that makes perfect sense.

Source: Autocar

The post Jaguar’s Ian Callum Wants to Bring Back the XK appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: 2017 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Long-Term Update 3: Capable vs. Fun

The Top Zones - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 08:00

There’s a wonderful set of S curves on Mulholland Drive I always enjoy no matter what I’m driving. Even so, some cars bring more of a smile on such sublime roads than others, and our long-term all-wheel-drive 2017 Audi A4 2.0T falls somewhere in the middle. I’m a big believer in not sacrificing too much daily drivability for curvy-road excellence, and our A4 is a great performer in some ways but a needs-improvement player in another.

The power from our all-wheel-drive A4’s 252-hp turbo-four is certainly appreciated. Launching this quick car is fun and easy to control. Also, when you’re simply driving for the fun of it, the seven-speed twin-clutch transmission’s responsiveness is a real plus. If you want more reactive responses, the car will oblige with one pull back of the short gear stalk. In any driving mode, that action engages the transmission’s sport mode.

Every A4 comes with a multimode drive system. On our nearly loaded tester, it works with the adaptive damping suspension (a $1,000 option on our car) to subtly change the driving experience. In Comfort mode, the ride can be a little floaty over freeway expansion joints but otherwise helpful when you don’t want to feel everything on the road. I used the Auto setting before I figured out how to set up the Individual setting.

My current Individual setting is commute-ready, with the engine/transmission in Auto, the suspension in Comfort, steering in Dynamic, and the adaptive cruise control in Auto. Yes, you can even customize the ACC’s sensitivity, something I find helpful because I’ve turned off the feature in other cars that were too aggressive. If you’re wondering, the answer is yes, you can tell a difference from the Comfort to the Dynamic modes, but it’s harder to feel it from Comfort to Auto or from Auto to Dynamic.

So let’s say you’ve set up the car’s settings the way you want and are ready to tackle your favorite road. The A4 will perform well, but it just doesn’t talk much. As we said in

Disconnected is a good way of describing the A4’s steering. Some might prefer the look of a sport sedan but the feel of a disconnected luxury car, but most of us at Motor Trend would probably prefer a bit more from the steering than what the A4 provides. And personally, I wouldn’t mind if the steering were a little quicker, too.

The 2017 @audi A4 doesn't talk much, but the sport sedan still handles Angeles Crest Highway with ease‬ #MTGarage #audi #a4 #audia4 #clouds #angelescrest

A post shared by Zach Gale (@zachgale) on Aug 30, 2017 at 7:14am PDT

Overall, though, the A4 2.0T is ready for winding-road action. It might not communicate to the driver as loudly as a comparison-winning Alfa Romeo Giulia, but I know which car I’d rather have for a workweek of commuting.

Read more about our 2017 Audi A4 2.0T:

The post 2017 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Long-Term Update 3: Capable vs. Fun appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: 2018 Kia Stinger 2.0 First Test: Look out BMW, Here Comes Korea

The Top Zones - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 08:00

A funny thing happened on the way back from the Mojave Desert the other day. Someone tossed me the keys to a Kia, and I decided to take the long way home, seeking out some of the great driver’s roads that snake through the San Gabriel Mountains before heading down the Angeles Crest Highway into the hustling bustle of the City of Angels. Kia and driver’s roads … it sounds an unlikely combination. But the 2018 Kia Stinger is a car that will shatter your perceptions about Korea’s value brand.

Here the thing: My ride was the base Stinger, the one powered by the 255-hp turbocharged four-banger, rolling on 18-inch alloys shod with modest section 225/45 Bridgestone Potenza tires, not the loaded, top-of-the-range, $49,500 GT, with the punchy 365-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 under the hood and bigger wheels and tires all round. The only option fitted was the $2,000 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems package, which bundles together active safety technologies such as forward collision warning, lane keeping assistance, and rear cross-traffic alerts. Total price? $33,900.

It’s a steal. There isn’t a better sporty, rear-drive, four-door coupe for the money in the business. Actually, there simply isn’t any other sporty, rear-drive, four-door coupe for the money, period. This Kia is in a class all its own.

The Stinger looks the part, with a sweeping roofline, a broad shouldered stance, and strong graphics. From some angles there are distant echoes of the Maserati 3200 GT designed by Giugiaro in the late 1990s; it’s a trick of the eye, of course, because the two cars are completely different, but it speaks to the effort Kia—and now also Hyundai—design supremo Peter Schreyer put into a car that in many ways has been a personal passion project. I recall Schreyer showing me a sketch of a car that would become the Kia GT concept unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Show—harbinger of the Stinger—and insisting he was going to get it made.

Apart from the smaller wheels and less aggressively styled front and rear fascias, there are few visual differences between the Stinger and the more powerful GT. The GT gets also some extra badging, smoked chrome trim, and red-painted brake calipers, but that’s about it. Both cars rock quad exhausts and vents on the hood and bodyside. The Stinger might be the entry-level model, but it doesn’t look it.

There are a few more tells inside, however. The base Stinger is the only model in the lineup (the others are the $37,000 Stinger Premium, the $39,000 Stinger GT, the $43,500 Stinger GT1, and aforementioned $49,500 Stinger GT2) with an old school foot operated e-brake and a simple 3.5-inch LCD display on the instrument panel. All others get a state-of-the-moment electronic e-brake switch and a 7.0-inch TFT screen between the tach and the speedo. The V-6-powered GTs also all come with a flat-bottom steering wheel, aluminum trim instead of gloss black plastic on the center console, and GT logos embossed into the headrests. That’s not to say the base Stinger is a penalty box. Standard equipment includes a leather-bound heated steering wheel, leather seats—which are power adjustable and heated up front—and a 7.0-inch audio display touchscreen that can run Kia’s UVO infotainment system along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Stinger is built on the Hyundai/Kia rear-drive architecture, which will also underpin the forthcoming Genesis G70. As we’ve noted before, it’s a surprisingly large vehicle, 7.5-inches longer overall than a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, with a 3.8-inch longer wheelbase. The longer wheelbase helps not only deliver a roomy interior and generously proportioned load space, but it also delivers decent rolling ride quality, especially on L.A.’s notoriously choppy freeways.

At 3,649 pounds, the base Stinger weighs the same as a 2.0-liter Audi A5 coupe, despite having two extra doors and a hatchback, and is 356 pounds lighter than a fully loaded, V-6 powered Stinger GT. Developing its 255 hp at 6,200 rpm and 260lb-ft of torque at 1,400-4,500 rpm, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-banger under the hood boasts better power density than similar engines from Audi and BMW. That doesn’t translate to a performance advantage on the track, however.

The Stinger runs 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds, 1.4 seconds slower than the 2.0-liter A5 coupe, and 1.1 seconds slower than the BMW 330i sedan we tested earlier this year. The quarter mile takes 15 seconds even, the Kia sailing through the top end at 95.2 mph. The Audi nails it in 13.8 seconds at 100.5 mph, and the BMW nails it in 14.3 seconds at 98.5 mph. Things are a little closer on the figure eight—the Stinger’s 26.8-second time is just five-tenths of a second off the A5 coupe and seven-tenths behind the BMW sedan.

A lot of the performance advantage enjoyed by the Audi is down to its smooth, efficient, and lightning fast DSG transmission; the Stinger’s Hyundai/Kia engineered eight-speed shifts slower, and its torque converter chews more power. The BMW’s advantage is mass—the smaller 3 Series sedan weighs 112 pounds less—and the fact the guys in Munich still know a thing or two about making a car go around corners. But part of the issue is the Stinger’s engine; although relatively quiet and refined, and with good mid-range punch, it doesn’t quite have the crisp throttle response of the Germans, especially below 2,000 rpm.

Think about those last couple of paragraphs for a second, though: We’ve just been comparing a Kia with an Audi and a BMW. Of course anyone can play the numbers game on the track, and any comparison with Germany’s elite would be meaningless if the Kia Stinger drove like a cheap and cheerful bucket of bolts on the road. The point is, it doesn’t. That sound you hear is sharp intakes of breath in Ingolstadt and Munich.

The Stinger drives more like a European car than anything from Korea so far and most things from Japan. There’s a measured, almost Germanic, weighting to all the controls and to the body motions. It doesn’t have the grunt to indulge in smoky powerslides with all the nannies switched off—as you can in the rear-drive V-6s—but the chassis feels lively and entertaining, nonetheless. A little more initial bite from the brakes would be helpful to smoothly settle the car on corner entry, and a touch more front-end grip would complement the accurate steering, but otherwise the Stinger feels impressively consistent and composed through the twisty bits.

As dusk settled on the run back to L.A., it became obvious the standard headlights were better suited for cruising the bright lights of Seoul than the dark canyons of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Stinger easily outrunning even high beam. However, the $37,000 Stinger Premium is available with brighter LED headlights (and the extra money also buys you a sunroof, a power adjustable steering column, the 7.0-inch TFT screen in the instrument panel, the electronic e-brake, memory for the seat adjustment, sat-nav, and a 15-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, which makes it a solid value). And we prefer the snickety-snick action of the electronic PRNDL shifter on the top-level GT to the slightly clunky feel of the old school T-bar item on the rest of the lineup.

Yep, we’re down to picking nits. For a first effort at a car like this, the four-cylinder Kia Stinger is genuinely impressive. And the more we drive it, the more it reminds us of a proto-BMW 3 Series. It’s not yet fully formed and not yet fully mature, but it’s a car that, should it follow a logical evolutionary path, could eventually occupy the same hallowed ground as the 3 Series once did among enthusiasts who wanted an affordable, sporty, rear-drive car they could drive every day.

And the chances of that happening? Well, as former BMW M engineering veep Albert Biermann is now Hyundai/Kia’s head of high performance vehicle development, you’d be foolish to bet against it, especially given the Korean automaker’s lavish R&D spending and the dizzying speed with which it brings new vehicles to market. Be afraid, BMW. Be very afraid.

2018 Kia Stinger (2.0 RWD) BASE PRICE $32,795 (est) PRICE AS TESTED $34,800 (est) VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan ENGINE 2.0L/255-hp/260-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,649 lb (52/48%) WHEELBASE 114.4 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 190.2 x 73.6 x 55.1 in 0-60 MPH 6.6 sec QUARTER MILE 15.0 sec @ 95.2 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 126 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.85 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.8 sec @ 0.67 g (avg)


The post 2018 Kia Stinger 2.0 First Test: Look out BMW, Here Comes Korea appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Bidwells poaches BNP PRE duo

The Top Zones - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 08:00
Bidwells has poached two BNP Paribas Real Estate agents.
Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: Bugatti and Koenisegg Beware, the Apollo IE is Coming

The Top Zones - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 00:00

Between 2005 and 2012, a German supercar manufacturer called Gumpert built what is likely the most divisive of supercars, the Apollo. While its performance credentials were better than most track-based thoroughbreds, the looks were anything but desirable thanks to a focus on downforce and downforce alone.

Styling, apparently, was never part of the picture and the end result was a supercar that resembled a piece of cleaved beef (see for yourself in the gallery below). Now, the company is back, it’s dropped the unappealing Gumpert name, and says it will introduce a better-looking hypercar called the Apollo Intensa Emozione (IE).

Little is known about the upcoming IE hypercar other than what is shown in the short 40-second teaser below. From what we can discern, the IE will look at least as extreme as recent hypercar entries like the Aston Martin Valkyrie and Mercedes-AMG’s Project One with a minimalist cabin, fixed racing seats, a clip-in racing steering wheel, and a dramatic exterior design that, like its predecessor, looks to be focused on generating vast quantities of downforce.

That said, from the darkened shots we see here, it looks like a much more appealing design than the Gumpert.

After we see the camouflaged Apollo crest atop the IE’s hood, and a quick shot of the tiny cabin, we get our first real look at its exterior with a shot of the front splitter which is covered with dive-planes, intakes, and a massive front diffuser.

But not to be outdone, the next shot we see is of the huge rear spoiler and Le Mans-esque rear fin. While the wing is teased only briefly, the actual shape of it makes us think that it’s likely an adaptive unit, similar to the McLaren DRS system found in the P1 or the unit found on Koenigsegg’s One:1.

A central-exit three-port exhaust is our next interesting glimpse as we’ve never seen anything quite like it. The exhaust tips themselves are shaped like elongated diamonds and should provide a unique resonance to whatever engine Apollo ends up using for the IE.

Immediately after the exhaust is shown, a racing driver closes the gullwing doors and settles into the cockpit by attaching the steering wheel. We get a shot of the central-locking wheels and massive carbon ceramic brakes built by AP Racing, and another shot of the staggeringly large rear wing.

One of the coolest features comes next with a roof-mounted ignition system and the first sounds of the IE’s exhaust. We’re not certain about what engine configuration the exhaust sounds like, but to our ears, it sounds naturally aspirated and high-revving.

According to the video, we’re due for all of the details next week when the Apollo IE will be unveiled to the public for the first time on October 24. Let’s hope Apollo stays around a little longer than last time and they’ve made a better-looking car.

Source: Apollo via YouTube

The post Bugatti and Koenisegg Beware, the Apollo IE is Coming appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: Audi Previews Interior, Lights on New A7

The Top Zones - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 23:00

Audi will debut the new A7 tomorrow, but before it does, it’s putting on a little light show. The automaker released a video showing off the fastback’s unique taillight graphics and its front lights that change color.

Yesterday Audi dropped a teaser image hinting at the shape of the new A7. But this video gives us a better look at the car’s proportions, from the long hood to the deeply raked roofline. Audi already has sequential turn signals on models like the A4, but the lights on the A7 have an even more dramatic effect.

Although we’ve praised the A7 for its interior quality, we have to admit the design is starting to look slightly dated. Fortunately, that should all change with the new model. The video provides a brief glimpse of the interior, where it looks like the A7 gets an updated shifter. A rectangular gear stalk oriented to the left of the center console replaces the tall gear stick that sat in the middle of the console on the previous model. Other than that, we can only speculate that some of the interior goodies we saw on the recently revealed 2019 Audi A8 could trickle down to the A7.

The new Audi A7 debuts October 19 at 7:00 pm local time, which is 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

Source: Audi AG via Facebook

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Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman, Boxster GTS Make 365 HP

The Top Zones - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 22:25

Many were skeptical when Porsche announced it was switching to a turbo-four for the 718 Cayman and Boxster, but the new engine has proven to be a worthy replacement for the old naturally aspirated flat-six. Now, Porsche is doubling down on its four-cylinder by upping the power and placing it in the hotter GTS models.

The 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS and 718 Boxster GTS will feature a version of the turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four that produces 365 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque (with the PDK dual-clutch transmission; manual models make 309 lb-ft). Power is up 25 hp from the previous GTS that packed a naturally aspirated 3.4-liter flat-six, and up 15 hp from the turbo-four in the 718 S. The extra power is achieved through a new intake plenum and an optimized turbocharger, Porsche says. Peak torque is available from 1,900-5,000 rpm with the PDK, and 1,900-5,500 rpm with the manual.

Just like the standard 718, the GTS will come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic available as an option. The GTS also gets such extras as the Sport Chrono Package, Porsche Torque Vectoring, and Porsche Active Suspension Management as standard. The latter feature lowers ride height by 10 mm (0.39 inch) versus the suspension on a regular 718. All of these upgrades are good for a Porsche-estimated 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds with the PDK and a top speed of 180 mph. To put that into perspective, a 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S is estimated to hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and a 2015 Porsche Cayman GTS we tested took 4.4 seconds to reach that same speed.

GTS models will also get a new Sport Design front fascia that includes restyled intake openings, tinted front turn signals and taillights, black badges, a blacked out lower rear fascia, matte-black 20-inch wheels, and black tips on the standard Sport Exhaust System. Inside, the standard Sport Seats Plus buckets receive Alcantara-upholstered center sections and GTS embroidery on the headrests. Alcantara is also used on the steering wheel, center armrest, and door panels. A Porsche Track Precision App that can record track data on your smartphone is included when you select the optional navigation system with Connect Plus Package.

The 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS will start at $80,850 including destination, while the 2018 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS will start at $82,950 when the models arrive in U.S. dealerships next March.

Source: Porsche

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Motortrend News Feed: This Gran Turismo Sport Bundle Includes an Actual Mazda Miata

The Top Zones - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 21:10

Yesterday, Sony announced a new bundle for its just-released racing game Gran Turismo Sport. Called the Super Bundle, it’s only available in Taiwan, but for the gamers who can afford it, it sounds like an incredible deal. That’s partly because it includes an actual Mazda Miata with a custom graphics package. Not a toy car or a model. A real-life Miata you can drive on actual roads.

In addition to the Miata, the Super Bundle includes a copy of the game, a PlayStation 4 Pro, a full PlayStation VR package, 12 months of PlayStation Plus, a 65-inch Bravia 4K OLED television, a Thrustmaster T-GT steering wheel and pedal package, and an APIGA AP1 gaming seat. So basically, you’ll have everything you need to hone your driving skills, including a car to drive in the real world. Pretty awesome, right?

Of course, you also have to wonder what a package like this costs. And, well, it’s a lot. $1,398,000 in New Taiwan dollars works out to about $46,297 at current exchange rates. But as long as you live in Taiwan and are interested in owning a new Miata, it’s actually a remarkable deal. That’s because if you were to buy a red Miata like the one included in the bundle, it would cost you at least NT$1,335,000. And that 65-inch Bravia TV? Sony sells the KD-65-A1 for NT$199,900.

So before you even get to the cost of the virtual reality setup, the wheel and pedals, and even the PS4, you’ve already blown way past the price of the bundle with only the TV and the car. All the rest of that stuff may as well be free.

That’s not to say the bundle is cheap. Even with wages in Taiwan on the rise, it’s still quite pricey. But considering what you get for the money, if you can afford it, it sounds like the Gran Turismo Sport Super Bundle is a fantastic deal.

Source: Sony

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Motortrend News Feed: 2018 Nissan Rogue Adds ProPilot Semi-Autonomous Tech

The Top Zones - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 20:07

The 2018 Nissan Rogue receives a host of updates, including ProPilot Assist that helps drivers navigate stop-and-go traffic on the highway. The Rogue is the first Nissan vehicle to receive the semi-autonomous driving technology.

ProPilot helps drivers accelerate, brake, and steer within a single lane on the highway. Later, Nissan plans on adding more capabilities, including autonomous lane changing and city intersections. To get ProPilot Assist on the Rogue, drivers have to opt for the top trim level with the Platinum Package.

In January 2018, Nissan will introduce ProPilot to the Leaf. Throughout the rest of the decade, Nissan and its partners Renault and Mitsubishi will expand the technology to 10 models models in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and China.

For the new model year, the Rogue now comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and an additional USB port that sits inside the front center console box. Two new paint jobs are available: Scarlet Ember and Midnight Pine. Mid-range SV models add a motion-activated liftgate as standard, while the top SL adds standard intelligent cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

Nissan also redesigned Rogue Midnight Edition models with more blacked-out exterior accents. Now, there are black accents on the front and rear fascia as well as a black grille, black emblems, and a black rear license plate garnish.

Models start at $25,655, just $260 more than last year’s Rogue. Rogue SL models start at $32,035 with front-wheel drive and $33,385 with all-wheel drive. Once again, the Rogue offers a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine good for 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque.

Source: Nissan

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Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: A Lotus SUV Sounds Like it’s a Sure Thing at This Point

The Top Zones - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 19:10

The rumor that Lotus will build an SUV has been around for years. Back in 2015, Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Lotus, even told us he had plans for one. But despite all the talk, a high-riding Lotus never appeared. From the sound of things, though, the long-rumored SUV is back on track.

Speaking to Autocar, Gales said that under new owner Geely, Lotus has plans for several new models, one of which will be an SUV. “We will always have sports cars, but we’re looking at other segments,” said Gales. “The SUV market changes as well. It’s not just cars that are six feet high and wide now. It’s a huge market that’s becoming more segmented. There is a niche within that for a Lotus crossover that is light and aerodynamic and handles like nothing else.”

While Lotus plans to continue building sports cars in the U.K., the expanded lineup might end up being built elsewhere. “We stay in the U.K. for sports cars, what we do for other cars needs defining,” he said. But Gales sounds optimistic that any changes will be good for the company overall.

“We are still looking at the next generation,” said Gales. “There is an open book, which is good. We have a world-class automotive manufacturer behind us. I see it as a new chapter. One has closed and we can start afresh. It’s good news for us, good news for the region. There’s loads to do and I’m here to stay.”

Gales also doesn’t sound worried that having Chinese owners will force Lotus to change what it is. “We’re Lotus and we’re about handling, lightweight and aero, where nothing can beat us,” he said. “Lotus is like nothing else in the world. Our cars don’t have the most power, but it’s the feeling, the way it drives and handles.”

When asked if Lotus would source parts from its new owners, Gales wasn’t opposed to the idea. “We’ll be part of a big family, so why wouldn’t we?” he said. “There are bound to be synergies; we need to keep the identity of the brand. Using parts of other brands, the option is there, but we need to keep our identity. Lotus’s identity is light weight, aerodynamics, and handling.”

As much as we love cars like the Elise and the Evora, if Gales can build an SUV that sticks to the principles that make Lotus special, it will probably be one heck of an SUV.

Source: Autocar

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Categories: The Top Zones

The Car Connection News Feed: 2017 Jeep Compass named Top Safety Pick by IIHS

The Top Zones - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:20
The IIHS said Tuesday that the redesigned 2017 Jeep Compass earned its coveted Top Safety Pick award, albeit with some caveats. To qualify as a Top Safety Pick, the Compass needs to be equipped with an option package that includes some advanced safety tech. MORE: All of the 2017 Top Safety Pick award winners Confusingly, Jeep offered two versions...
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