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Property Week News Feed: Pure Gym signs lease at Telford

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 09:28
Telford Shopping Centre is expanding its leisure offering by letting an underused adjacent building to PureGym.
Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: 2019 Porsche Panamera GTS First Drive Review

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 09:00

“How was it?” a former colleague asked me upon my return from the Kingdom of Bahrain where I drove a Panamera Sport Turismo GTS around the island and lapped the slightly lighter Panamera GTS around the Bahrain International Circuit. Turns out, my old coworker now works for Porsche in Germany, and after 22 hours’ worth of flights home, I unloaded on him with something like this. “How is it? Well, it fits perfectly between the Panamera 4S and the Turbo. Right smack in the middle. It’s like they built it by numbers. And, for just $24,000 more than a 4S, you get 13 extra horsepower!” Why so angry, and specifically why so angry about a pretty decent full-size sport sedan/wagon? Keep reading.

Porsche’s GTS formula works like this: You take the S version of any car—911, Boxster/Cayman, Macan, Cayenne, or Panamera—give it a bit more power, black out almost everything that can be blacked out on the exterior, spread some Alcantara around on the interior, and include enough of the performance options from the S cars as standard. Also, drop the ride height by 10mm. The result is a Porsche that’s more expensive, but the buyer feels like they’re getting a good deal. What was the devil’s greatest trick again?


Meet the 2019 Panamera GTS. Gone is the 440-hp, 405-lb-ft of torque, twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6 from the Panamera 4S; in its place is the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 from the 550-hp Panamera Turbo with the boost turned down by half a bar (7.25 psi). The result is 453 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. Like the other GTS models, many of the options boxes come prechecked. One example is the standard Sport Design package, where everything from the headlights to the sport exhaust tips has been blacked out. Three-position air springs and PASM, Porsche’s active suspension system, are standard, as well. The GTS also gets the Sport Chrono package standard, which comes with the all-important “BMW Driver Mode” button, my derisive nickname for the red Sport Response Button on the steering wheel that places the car into Sport Plus mode for 15 seconds. Remember, no Sport Plus without Sport Chrono. The GTS Panameras also come with larger brakes than the 4S: 15.4-inch front, 14.4-inch rear.

Still, several performance options are frustratingly not standard on the GTS. Stuff like four-wheel steering, 48-volt PDCC Sport with PTV Plus (Porsche’s dynamic chassis control with torque vectoring), and PCCB (carbon ceramic brakes). All the Panameras we drove on the F1 track in Bahrain were optioned that very way. It’s not just me who wants the extra performance the add-ons give the car, it’s also Porsche. That’s $15,590 worth of performance extras on top of the GTS’ base price of $129,350, before you even get into other must-haves like Carmine Red paint ($3,310), 21-inch Sport Design wheels ($2,450), Premium Package Plus ($4,510 for heated seats, soft close doors, etc.), and Assistance package ($5,370 for adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, traffic jam assist, night vision). Add all that up, and we’re talking about a $160,580 car. For a bit of perspective, a Panamera Turbo starts at $152,550.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m bringing up prices—including the fact that the Panamera 4S starts at $105,050—to illustrate exactly where the GTS model slots into the lineup. It splits the 4S and Turbo right down the middle, approximately $24,000 more than one, $23,000 less than the other. How logical is that? I’m going to argue a bit too logical. And there’s one more thing. . . .

The engine. Right off the bat, you should know the Turbo outweighs the 4S by a not insignificant 164 pounds, all of which sits over the front wheels. We haven’t weighed the GTS, but it’s sure to be within pounds of the Turbo because the GTS uses the Turbo’s engine with the boost cut. When the journalists gathered in Bahrain learned this, they asked what’s to stop someone from tuning the GTS up to Turbo levels? Answer: It has a different clutch, specifically one that can’t handle the Turbo’s 567 lb-ft of torque. The final drive ratio is quicker, too. Will this stop people from chipping their GTSs? No, but they don’t need to. We got the Panamera 4S to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and through the quarter mile in 12.3 seconds. Porsche is claiming the GTS will hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and the GTS will do 12.4 in the quarter mile to the wagon’s 12.5. We’re always quicker than manufacturers’ claims, and even though the car’s heavier than the 4S, I’m betting the GTS will be quicker than the V-6 4S. I think the extra weight of the V-8 hurts handling.

We learned exactly nothing driving the cars around Bahrain. The roads are pretty lousy: Outside of the F1 track, I don’t think there’s a single curve in the entire country. And they just installed traffic cameras, so completely antisocial speeding (like I may or may have not once done between Abu Dhabi and Dubai) was off the table. The GTS is a very comfortable, mostly luxurious ride when you’re just tooling around. Did the car feel any different than the Panamera 4S would have if tasked with the same trip? No. After the street portion of the day, a Porsche employee asked me what I thought of the car. “It cruises at 72 mph very well,” was all I could say. Luckily, I told him this at the track.

On the track, the GTS made much more sense. The optional carbon-ceramic binders made quick work of the track’s several big braking zones. PDK has long been the standard against which all other dual-clutch transmissions are measured, and the eight-speed unit here is no exception. Simply brilliant. Shifts are lightning-quick and accurate. You’re always in the correct gear. Porsche’s trick 48-volt suspension system (shared with MSB platform mates Audi A8 and Bentley Continental GT) keeps the big, approximately 4,650-pound sedan flat and level through the corners. Also helping to minimize the GTS’ bulk is the all-wheel steering, which turns the front and back wheels in the opposite directions during slow corners and turns them in unison through quick ones. For a large sedan, the GTS is impressive on a track, although the constant tire squeals remind you of the bulk you’re hustling. Notice, however, that with the exception of PDK, everything else that shined about the GTS on track is an option.

Should you be lucky enough to own the second-generation Panamera GTS, you’ll be satisfied with your purchase. Quick, comfortable, and sporty enough to rip up a racetrack, in either hatchback or wagon form, the new GTS is a good car. However, there’s a contrivance to it that bothers me. A lack of passion, an adherence to logic, a missing X-factor. I’m prejudiced by the 911 GTS, a machine that’s truly greater than the sum of its parts. The Panamera GTS is exactly that: the sum of its parts. I went in expecting some sort of pizzazz, some sort of sparkle. Some sort of special sauce that went above and beyond the carefully tailored product planning/marketing. Would 500 horsepower have been too much to ask? What about a stiff, carbon-fiber roof? Anything more than the usual Porsche GTS suspects would have been welcome. There’s no denying the new Panamera GTS is a good, strong, competent car. I was just hoping for great.

2019 Porsche Panamera/Sport Turismo GTS BASE PRICE $129,350-$135,550 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 4-5-pass, 4-door hatchback/wagon ENGINE 4.0L/453-hp/457-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8 TRANSMISSION 8-speed twin-clutch auto CURB WEIGHT 4,650-4,700 lb (mfr) WHEELBASE 116.1 in LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 198.8 x 76.3 x 55.6-55.8 in 0-60 MPH 3.9 sec (mfr est) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON Not yet rated ON SALE IN U.S. 3rd Quarter 2019

The post 2019 Porsche Panamera GTS First Drive Review appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Picton posts 2% rise in NAV, but profit plummets

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 09:00
Picton Property Income has posted a 2% rise in net asset value (NAV) for the six months to the end of September.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: LXi makes £64.2m of acquisitions and agrees new £75m loan

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 08:43
LXi REIT has paid £64.2m on six acquisitions to complete the deployment of its recent £175m equity raise.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: NAV drops at LandSec as retail assets continue to lose value

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 08:26
LandSec, the UK’s second largest listed property company, has posted a fall in net asset value (NAV) for the six months to end of September.
Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: 2020 BMW M340i xDrive to Debut in L.A.

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 07:00

The next-generation BMW 3 Series sedan is making the auto show rounds. After unveiling the 330i at the Paris Motor Show, BMW will debut the more powerful M340i in Los Angeles later this month.

Although BMW didn’t show the more powerful variant in Paris, it released specs of the model at that time. Instead of the four-cylinder from the 330i, the M340i packs a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine good for 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. BMW estimates it will take the sedan 4.2 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill when paired with available xDrive all-wheel drive. An estimate for the rear-drive version is still pending. Regardless of which wheels are driven, the M340i comes exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Both rear- and all-wheel-drive models come with a standard M Sport limited-slip differential for improved traction and cornering. An M Sport suspension is standard, lowering the ride height by 0.4 inch, and an adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers is available. Other standard features include beefier M Sport brakes and Variable Sport steering, which adjusts to changes in the steering angle for better maneuverability.

As you’ll see in these new images, the 2020 BMW M340i distinguishes itself with a special mesh grille. Inside the cabin, there are standard sport seats in vinyl and Alcantara upholstery, or optional leather seats with contrast stitching. An M leather steering wheel and Aluminum Tetragon trim complete the look.

BMW says the M340i and M340i xDrive will arrive in dealerships in July 2019. Before that, the all-wheel-drive version will debut at the L.A. auto show, which runs November 30 to December 9.

European model pictured

Source: BMW

The post 2020 BMW M340i xDrive to Debut in L.A. appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: Spied! Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Prototypes Lap the ‘Ring

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 01:30

The Mercedes-AMG GT R is currently the most extreme variant of Affalterbach’s front-engine sports car, but an even more hardcore version was recently confirmed to be in the works. Just like the previous SLS Black Series, the AMG GT Black Series isn’t expected to arrive until closer to the end of the GT’s life cycle. But based on these spy shots, development is already well underway.

Our shooter spotted two GT test mules running laps on Germany’s Nurburgring, and if the lead car’s glowing brakes are any indication, they were pretty hard laps. Both cars feature dive planes on the front valance and a more substantial front splitter. The wheels and brakes appear similar to those of the GT R, as does the rear wing. The exhaust, however, is different, with quad exhaust tips pushed out to the corners of the rear bumper. The camouflaged car also has extra pieces tacked on to its front fenders, possibly for aerodynamics.

Not much is known about the AMG GT Black Series other than that it will be lighter and more powerful than the GT R, which makes 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque from a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8. Given that the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-Door Coupe is able to produce 630 hp and 627 lb-ft from a version of that same engine, we’d be surprised if the Black Series doesn’t stick with the twin-turbo 4.0-liter.

The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is said to arrive in 2020, meaning the high-performance model will likely serve as a swan song for the GT.

Photo source: CarPix

The post Spied! Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Prototypes Lap the ‘Ring appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: The Toyota Yaris is Probably Doomed in the U.S.

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 21:45

We learned last week that Toyota might pare down its lineup as demand flatlines in the U.S. Now, Automotive News is detailing which vehicles might be on the chopping block.

Consumers are shifting from passenger cars to crossovers, and Toyota has struggled to keep pace in recent years. With a car-heavy lineup, Toyota has offered big incentives, and profitability in North America has suffered. One easy area to cut is the subcompact segment, which was down 21 percent from all manufacturers in the U.S. through October.

Speaking with AN, Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz hinted at impending doom for the Yaris. Toyota sells a sedan and hatchback version of this vehicle, and both have seen declining sales.

“Yaris doesn’t do much in the U.S.,” he said. “I’m not sure, at least in the U.S., how important that segment is.”

The Mazda-based Toyota Yaris iA sedan

We might also see fewer Prius variants at the dealership. Toyota discontinued the Prius v wagon after the 2017 model year, and we wonder if the Prius c hatch will be the next to go based on Lentz’s comments. “There may not be a need for [the] Prius family in the future,” he said.

Toyota will rebrand its hybrid portfolio to emphasize both performance and fuel economy, Lentz added. Customers need to know a Toyota hybrid “can be economical, but it can also be fun to drive.” Toyota wants its hybrids to increase from about 9 percent of total sales today to 15 percent in 2020. And by 2025, Toyota aims for all of its nameplates to offer some form of electrification.

Lentz also hinted at fewer coupes. Today, there are three offerings: the Toyota 86, Lexus RC, and Lexus LC. Unlike Ford, Toyota isn’t keen on getting rid of its high-profile sedans in the U.S. Corolla and Camry will remain important parts of the brand, he said.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

The post The Toyota Yaris is Probably Doomed in the U.S. appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: Volkswagen is Seriously Considering a Pickup Truck for the U.S.

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 20:45

Earlier this year, Volkswagen showed off an Atlas-based pickup truck concept called the Tanoak. At the time, the German automaker said it was only interested in gauging public interest, not announcing plans to sell a pickup truck in the U.S. Whether American customers would consider a Volkswagen with a bed remains to be seen, but the odds of a VW-branded truck for this market may have gotten better thanks to a recent partnership.

Automotive News interviewed Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess recently, and when asked about pickup trucks, Diess said the decision will ultimately have to be made by Scott Keogh, the former Audi of America boss and new head of Volkswagen North America. But he also added that VW’s new partnership with Ford makes greenlighting a pickup more likely.

“If the Ford relationship works out well, we would have an Amarok successor, which would be then appropriate for sales worldwide—potentially as well for the United States. The other option is a unibody pickup, which is something for America, which is probably still a bit risky,” said Diess.

For the last several months, we’ve heard rumors that Ford and Volkswagen planned to form a strategic partnership that involved building the next-gen Amarok on a Ranger platform. That partnership is now officially moving forward, although Ford has made it clear that a merger is off the table. For now, the relationship will only involve commercial vehicles and the possibility of future collaboration.

But even with Ford’s help, breaking into the U.S. truck market will be a challenge for Volkswagen. As Diess put it in the interview, “Pickup is a very American segment.”

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

The post Volkswagen is Seriously Considering a Pickup Truck for the U.S. appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: The Jaguar F-Type Rally Car is Real, and it’s Awesome

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 18:45

The Jaguar F-Type looks fantastic, makes 575 hp if you get the SVR, and sounds incredible thanks to a fancy active exhaust system. So how do you make a car that already checks a lot of boxes on the “cool” list even cooler? You turn it into a rally car. Sadly, this particular rally car is one of only two built, and they probably won’t be used for any actual rally racing. But it’s still awesome. It’s also one heck of a way to generate coverage of the Chequered Flag Limited Edition that the rally car is loosely affiliated with.

A rear-wheel-drive model with a 2.0-liter turbo-four was chosen to minimize weight and improve the car’s weight distribution. And since a convertible XK120 competed in a series of Alpine rallies in the 1950s, Jaguar decided to use convertible F-Types for the build. Even though this project was just for fun, Jaguar says it built its convertible rally cars to FIA spec.

In the process, Jaguar gave its rally F-Type a full roll cage, ripped out most of the interior, and added auxiliary lights to the hood. It also looks like the car got a small lift to accommodate the new rally wheels and tires. The team then added racing seats with a six-point harness, a hydraulic handbrake, a limited-slip differential, upgraded brakes, and a rally suspension.

The result? An F-Type that can jump. And in case the photos of the F-Type rally car jumping aren’t enough to convince you this is a cool car, Jaguar included a video that you can watch below. Jaguar says it also plans to bring the two cars to a few promotional events over the next few months, so you may even be able to see it in person.

Source: Jaguar

The post The Jaguar F-Type Rally Car is Real, and it’s Awesome appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: NAV at Warehouse REIT nudges up

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 08:44
Warehouse REIT has posted a rise in EPRA net asset value (NAV) per share from 102.1p to 105.7p in its interim results.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: McKay posts half-year rise in NAV

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 08:37
McKay Securities has posted a 1.2% rise in net asset value (NAV) for the six months to the end of September.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Urban Exposure shares drop 10% on income warning

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 08:22
Shares in Urban Exposure fell 12% on Friday to 88.00p as the company warned of “significantly reduced income” in the short term as it moves loans off its balance sheet and into its asset management business.
Categories: The Top Zones

The Car Connection News Feed: 2019 Honda Accord

Sat, 11/10/2018 - 13:00
The 2019 Honda Accord proves that some automakers still save their best and brightest for sedan shoppers. This year’s version is identical to last year’s model, which was a complete redesign. The new Honda Accord is sharper, lower, more comfortable and spacious than its predecessor and most rivals. It’s not just better than older...
Categories: The Top Zones

The Car Connection News Feed: What's New for 2019: Acura

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 19:00
Honda's luxury division is starting to learn what buyers want: luxurious crossover SUVs. A long-overdue update to the brand's compact RDX arrives for 2019, ushering in a new infotainment system that's likely to spread to other Acura models. The RDX isn't the only new thing in Acura dealers this year. The automaker's ILX sedan has a revised look...
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The Car Connection News Feed: 2019 Ram 1500 performs well in crash tests but misses IIHS Top Safety Pick

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 15:35
The 2019 Ram 1500 performed well in the IIHS' crash tests, but it missed out on a Top Safety Pick award due to its headlights. The independent safety body said the new Ram 1500 is much improved over the previous model when it comes to crash integrity on Thursday. The pickup earned "Good" ratings in all six crash tests. Ram's previous Ram model...
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The Car Connection News Feed: Jeep SUV recall, Tesla Model 3 Performance, VW electric pricing: What's New @ The Car Connection

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 15:01
Jeep Renegade and Cherokee recalled for fuel pressure, transmission problems Jeep last week issued two separate recalls for a pair of its crossover SUVs, the Jeep Renegade and Jeep Cherokee. Kia Stinger recalled over wiring harness fire risk Kia Stinger owners should watch their mailboxes next month for a recall notice. The Korean brand's sport...
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Court of Appeal overturns ATM business rates ruling

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 13:56
The Court of Appeal has ruled that ATMs located both inside and outside of stores should not be assessed for additional business rates to halt the Valuation Office Agency’s (VOA) proposal to introduce additional rates on all machines.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: LaSalle IM lands Admiral's global HQ

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 13:53
LaSalle Investment Management has acquired the Ty Admiral office building in Cardiff which serves as the global headquarters of motor insurance giant Admiral Group.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Facebook 'likes' Dublin growth with 14-acre Bankcentre campus letting

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 13:50
Social media giant Facebook has agreed terms to let the entire office space at the 14-acre Bankcentre campus in Dublin to quadruple its headquarters presence in the Irish capital.
Categories: The Top Zones