Home | Feed aggregator | Sources

The Top Zones

www.thetopzones.co.uk - aggregated feeds in category Property
Updated: 12 hours 52 min ago

Property Week News Feed: Tak Lee issues £10.4m legal action against Shaftesbury

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 07:14
West End investor Shaftesbury has said it will ‘robustly’ defend a legal action it has been served by Samuel Tak Lee regarding a share placing it conducted in 2017.
Categories: The Top Zones

The Car Connection News Feed: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class preview

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 02:00
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class hides a secret. As its name suggests, the 2020 GLB slots alphabetically in the Mercedes lineup between the GLA and the GLC. But, the GLB offers a third row of seats that opens it up to seven passengers—its bigger and smaller siblings have room for just five. With the GLB250, Mercedes has its first small...
Categories: The Top Zones

The Car Connection News Feed: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB250 revealed: Room for seven

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 02:00
About a third of new Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold aren’t cars at all. They’re crossover SUVs, and it’s hard to imagine that Mercedes could have expected it when its M-Class hit the road about two decades ago. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB250 that bowed Monday expands the automaker’s current crossover SUV lineup to six models...
Categories: The Top Zones

The Car Connection News Feed: FCA recalls 295K Ram 1500 pickup trucks over safety software problem

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 14:35
The 2019 Ram 1500 is subject to a new recall to update software that could disable the airbags and seat belt pretensioners. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said last week that 295,981 Ram 1500 pickups are part of the recall. The recall also affects the 2020 Ram 1500, but only 26 have been built and are included. None of them are at dealerships yet...
Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Boasts 480 LB-FT, HUGE Towing Capacity

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 14:00

It’s Ram vs. Ford vs. Chevy all over again, diesel-style. The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel bursts back onto the full-size diesel truck scene with some impressive-on-paper numbers. Those who go for Ram’s diesel truck will get higher torque and a higher towing capacity compared to any of its rivals, but that’s not the full story.

Ram was first with a non-heavy-duty diesel truck, and we liked it so much that, thanks in large part to that powerplant, the 1500 became our 2014 Truck of the Year. Now Ram’s got competition. Ford makes a diesel variant of its best-selling F-150, and the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 will offer a diesel, too. The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel packs a built-in-Italy 260-hp 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 under its enormous hood, with 480 lb-ft of torque routed through an eight-speed automatic. That compares well to Ford’s 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 with 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque, routed through a 10-speed automatic.

As for Chevy, the 2020 Silverado 1500 diesel is rated at 277 hp and 460 lb-ft, from a 3.0-liter inline-six that’s mated to a 10-speed automatic. So the 2020 Ram 1500 diesel looks good on paper, especially with its 12,560-pound class-leading towing capacity. But a lot can be hiding behind impressive numbers. When MotorTrend drives and actually tests the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, will we notice the way the automaker has minimized NVH, or might we find—as we did with the F-150 diesel at last year’s Truck of the Year competition—that the truck suffers when it’s attached to a trailer? Considering the Ram 1500 has earned the MotorTrend Truck of the Year award three of the last seven years, we have high hopes.

When you’re between big jobs, you might appreciate the Ram’s improved fuel economy. The automaker is keeping that card close to its chest, but plans to leapfrog Ford, which currently offers a rear-drive version of the F-150 diesel achieving an EPA-rated 22/30 mpg city/highway.

If the number you’re interested in starts with a $, know that 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pricing won’t be revealed until closer to when the truck goes on sale in the last few months of 2019. But Ram does tell us that the updated EcoDiesel engine will be offered across the lineup, from Tradesman—a trim that already won a MotorTrend comparison—to Rebel. As with other 2020 Ram 1500s, the diesel version will be offered with an air suspension. When the 2019 Ram 1500 became our 2019 Truck of the Year, we praised the coil-spring and air suspensions. None of that, however, is a guarantee of future success with this updated 2020 truck. For that, you can count on MotorTrend to review and test the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and its competitors.

The post 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Boasts 480 LB-FT, HUGE Towing Capacity appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Highest office floor of No1 Spinningfields becomes available to let

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 12:19
The highest office floor of Manchester’s No1 Spinningfields is available to let after plans to turn it into a business lounge were shelved.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Schroders abandons plans for business lounge at No1 Spinningfields

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 12:19
Schroder Real Estate has shelved plans to turn the highest floor of Manchester’s No1 Spinningfields into a business lounge and decided to market it as office space instead.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Fortwell lends £26m to care operator

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 11:48
Fortwell Capital has written development and refinancing loans totalling £26m for residential care developer and operator Macc Group.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: First Base plans £175m scheme in Bristol

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 08:46
Mixed-use developer First Base has acquired Soapworks in Bristol and plans to build a new £175m district.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: MJ Gleeson boss quits in row over pay and succession

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 07:45
The chief executive of housebuilder MJ Gleeson has left with immediate effect following a boardroom bust-up over his pay and succession planning.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Helical receives ‘more than one’ bid approach

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 07:21
Mike Slade’s Helical has received “more than one” takeover approach, but claims none reflect “the fair value of the company”.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Fire engulfs new flats at Barking Riverside

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 07:09
A fire engulfed a block of flats at Barking Riverside yesterday where residents have recently raised concerns about the fire risk posed by the wooden balconies.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Hines acquires John Lewis DC as it raises €141m for fund

Sun, 06/09/2019 - 23:01
Hines has acquired an 85,000 sq ft logistics centre in Enfield, London on behalf of Hines Pan-European Core Fund.
Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Limited: Why I’d Buy It – Collin Woodard

Sat, 06/08/2019 - 08:00

“What SUV should I buy?” It’s a question consumers ask themselves every day, but what would associate online editor Collin Woodard drive? Keep reading for the answer, and see other editors’ picks here.

When my wife and I bought our 2008 Subaru Forester, we chose it because we needed something affordable, reliable, practical, and versatile. There’s also no beating its fantastic visibility. It was the kind of car we could drive daily but also take camping without having to worry about getting stuck in a little mud or sand. But if we were to buy a new SUV today, we’d probably skip the 2019 Forester and go for the Crosstrek instead.

More about Collin: I’m 30 and married with one dog and no kids, and I enjoy camping any time I get a vacation or long weekend.

If the Forester were still a small wagon using a moderate lift and a stretched greenhouse to disguise itself as an SUV, that would be one thing. But currently, there’s no way we could justify upgrading to something that large. For around-town driving, the Hyundai Kona makes lots of sense. The optional turbocharged engine has a little more power, and there’s no need for all-wheel drive in L.A.

But one often overlooked part of camping is all the driving you typically have to do to get there. And one big advantage the Crosstrek has over the Kona for road trips (as well as heavy traffic) is adaptive cruise control. Plus, even though you’d expect a front-wheel-drive car to get better fuel economy, there’s a negligible difference between the front-drive Kona 1.6T’s EPA combined rating of 30 mpg and the Crosstrek’s 29.

As for which Crosstrek we’d buy, the hybrid would certainly be tempting. After all, it’s both quicker and more fuel efficient. But because we don’t have charger access at our apartment, a plug-in hybrid doesn’t make sense. Oh, and it’s $36,000 with destination. We could probably swing a decent down payment after selling our Forester, but we’d still have to finance at least $27,000 after taxes and fees.

Even with a scarily long 60-month loan and 3.5 percent interest, our monthly payments would be about $500. That would be doable, but we’d have to make cuts in other places that I’m not willing to make. Once you get used to eating fresh Parmesan at home, there’s no going back to Kraft sprinkle cheese.

Instead, we’d probably drop down to the Crosstrek Limited. The Premium’s even lower base price and manual transmission are appealing, but my wife doesn’t like driving stick. And after you add the automatic transmission and the EyeSight package, the Premium’s price advantage all but disappears.

In terms of options, we’d keep it simple: Cool Gray Khaki paint, the rear seat back protector, and the crossbar set in case we need to add a cargo carrier at some point. Because Apple CarPlay comes standard, we don’t need to add navigation. And although the upgraded audio system and moonroof might be nice to have, they’re not a priority.

It would still be pricey, but I think we’d be happy with our decision for a long time.

The post 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Limited: Why I’d Buy It – Collin Woodard appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 and GLC 63 Review: Don’t Mess It Up

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 22:01

Midcycle product updates are tricky. Capital is typically limited, so you can’t do much with the sheetmetal or engineering bits. But you need your vehicle to feel current compared to the competition that has come out since you launched the car.

The pressure is even more intense when your vehicle is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class crossover, which won MotorTrend’s 2017 SUV of the Year.

This time around, it looks like Mercedes nailed it.

While keeping all the things that we lauded back when it hit the market—its elegant design, nimble chassis, perfectly weighted steering, a 2.0-liter turbo-four that feels like a V-6, and the quality of its interior materials—Mercedes also gave the GLS more power, more tech, more off-road capability, and more value.

Under the hood, the GLC 300 gets a new engine family. (For you alphanumeric geeks out there, it was the M274 engine; now it’s the M264.) Output increases smartly to 255 hp (up from 241 hp on the current model) and 273 lb-ft (which stays the same).

A twin-scroll turbo has replaced the single standard turbo before. Yes, that makes for a more expensive unit, but there’s less lag, so responsiveness is better than before, it gets better fuel economy, and it spits out less CO2, said Lars Habeck, manager of powertrain integration for gasoline engines.

Other changes to the engine: The cooling gallery, piston coatings, and ring carrier all are new, the piston rings have a low-friction design, and the piezo injectors have been relocated. Although the transmission has been adapted to the new engine, it remains essentially the same nine-speed automatic.

Does it feel faster? A little bit, though there was really no opportunity for a proper 0–60 or quarter-mile test on the crowded roads around Frankfurt where we drove the new model. Midrange acceleration seems to have a bit more pop. We await the opportunity to properly test the revised engine.

How does it drive? One of the thumbs-down items we called out back in the 2017 SUVOTY was the GLC’s rather busy ride. That feeling is still there, even on the smooth tarmac of the German autobahn. Some might call it a “precise” road feel. Others might find it jittery. Granted, we only drove the optional air suspension–equipped models, so perhaps the steel-springed base model might deliver a more civilized response.

For 4Matic models with the Off-Road package, adjustable ride height can raise the GLC by 50mm (about 2.0 inches) for a total of 245mm (9.6 inches) of ground clearance. With that package, new off-roading software and cameras make the GLC 300 sufficiently capable of overcoming obstacles that would terrify most mall moms and soccer dads.

Be it a sheer slope (up to 71 degrees), deep mud, deeply rutted roads that hang a wheel in the air, or even a river crossing passable only by logs laid in the direction of travel, a solo driver in a GLC can conquer what would have been achievable only in a proper 4×4 vehicle with a spotter a decade or so ago—on summer tires, no less. However, the Off-Road package is available on the SUV shape only, not the GLC Coupe.

(An after-the-fact note: Mercedes later informed us that the off-road suspension we drove was a Dynamic Body Control suspension, which is not the exact offering that we will have for the U.S. market. Americans will get a standard adaptive steel off-road suspension, which adjusts the ride height by up to 20mm/0.8 inch. The Euro version allows for a change in the damping, but the off-road capabilities should be the same for both versions.)

A word or two about headlights: The GLC-Class comes standard with a new multibeam LED system with 84 directional LEDs in each headlights. Each beam is directed by computer, which allows for more usage of high-beam illumination.

When navigating a curve, if an approaching car suddenly appears, the high-beams can stay on except for dimming what the computer recognizes as the ever-changing outline of the approaching car. In Europe, an “ultra beam” system that can reach up to about 650 meters down the road is available. (Sadly, U.S regulations restrict the reach to 380 meters, just less than a quarter mile.) When in Off-Road mode, the headlamps automatically adjust to shine more light downward and to the sides, said Holger Kraiss, manager of GLC project development.

Inside, the look remains much the same, though an upgraded MBUX infotainment system with larger screens is in place. The instrument cluster is now 12.3 inches, and the center screen has grown from 8.0 to 10.0 inches.

The MBUX infotainment system gets the more intuitive touchpad interface we’ve seen in recent new Mercs, plus upgraded user-experience software. That said, the “Hey, Mercedes …” prompt has about as much interactive intelligence (read: frustration) as you have with Siri. Unless the question is really specific about the car itself, Mercedes ain’t the most sparkling conversationalist. At least there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration to bail you out.

What does work really well is the upgraded augmented navigation system. It uses the vehicle’s cameras to provide real-time visual prompts on the center screen to show exactly where you should turn. In crowded urban settings, this can be extremely handy.

The usual Mercedes blend of driver assist systems, most notably the Distronic smart cruise control system, work impeccably. Although we don’t advise driving with your hands off the wheel, a brief test of the system’s capabilities showed it to be comfortable in semi-autonomous mode in stop-and-go traffic on a curving section of the well-lined autobahn.

Other cool features? For those who would try towing, there’s HitchTronic, which uses the rear camera and parking assist to guide the GLC to its trailer—just like a heavy-duty pickup out of Detroit. Wait, what? Not for America, you say? Call MBUSA and demand your HitchTronic!

Designwise, the shape of the LED headlights takes a more progressive look, with more family resemblance with the GLC’s big-brother GLE. Taillights are now full LED; before they were part LED, part halogen.

And yes, the GLC Coupe will return with its sleek, tapered roofline and lessened rear-seat headroom. Everything you read above applies to the Coupe, as well. Both will go on sale this fall.

The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and 63 S

This model is largely unchanged. It still has its thunderous 469-hp, 479-lb-ft bi-turbo V-8 (470 hp and 516 lb-ft in GLC 63 S trim). Some equipment levels have been improved, and it also gets the new MBUX infotainment system. A rear locking differential is now standard. So are a “performance” steering wheel and the haptic touchpads for the infotainment interface of the regular GLC.

In the GLC’s 63 S form, Mercedes claims a time of 3.8 seconds from 0 to 62 mph. That also provides the sort of high-end performance that delivered a scalding 7:49.369 lap at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, which makes this the fastest SUV around that track.

Inside, the AMG versions have sportier flair than their mainstream brethren. The front sport seats hold you like a bearhug by the Mountain.

For civilians who want to try their hand at performance driving, the AMG Dynamics system seen in the C 63 comes over to the GLC 63.  The existing AMG Dynamics involved steering, damping, transmission, and throttle settings. Now the system includes changeable settings for the electronic differentials, engine mounts, 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, and stability (ESP) programming.

AMG Dynamics also adds a Race mode with submenus for Pro and Master. Master involves entirely turning off electronic stability control; it’s the only mode where that is possible. The one restriction in Race mode is that the driver cannot adjust individual settings for the vehicle—you have to trust AMG on this one, as well you should.

 

The post 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 and GLC 63 Review: Don’t Mess It Up appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: The Hottest Wheels From the Hot Wheels Legends Tour: Charlotte

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 21:48

We took a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, over Memorial Day weekend for the sixth stop on the 2019 Hot Wheels Legends Tour—a series of 18 unique car meets around the United States. The winners from each stop will be flown out to display their cars at the SEMA Show this November where judges will select one wild ride to be immortalized in 1:64 scale and sold around the world as the next Hot Wheels car.

When we arrived at the show early Saturday morning, the air smelled like gasoline and cigarettes. A line of cars waited for their moment to pose in front of the life-sized Hot Wheels blister pack and get a taste of what life would be like as a miniaturized die-cast. North Carolina’s thick, humid air was rich with the sound of American V-8s. Some had aggressive, lopey cams that clearly didn’t enjoy partial throttle. Some had whining superchargers or whistling turbos. Others were installed in massively lifted trucks with exhaust outlets above my head.

Even at 7 a.m., a line of families and showgoers stretched across the parking lot waiting for the Hot Wheels vending machine. The machine lives inside the official Legends van, a Ram ProMaster that had been driven across the country twice in the past month. (The tour was in El Segundo just a week prior.) Some ultra-fans lined up as early as 4 a.m. to lay down $20 for an especially rad limited-edition Datsun Bluebird 510 Wagon.

The Craziest Cars in Charlotte

The lineup of show entrants in Charlotte was heavily American—lots of pony cars, big ol’ trucks, and hot rods—but there were some fun Euro rides, too. Highlights include an original Harlequin Volkswagen Golf and a twin-engine Mini Pickup with a single, centered seating position, just like the McLaren F1. Although the Mini was surrounded by curious crowds throughout the day, Hot Wheels designers acting as judges told its owner that the Mini might just be too difficult to shrink down to toy-size.

Hot Wheels also brought along several cars from its corporate fleet, including a cab-forward surf cruiser called the Deora II. In addition to looking the way it does and riding on 24-inch wheels, it also has a supercharged Cadillac Northstar V-8 … in the back.

There were too many wild rides in Charlotte to talk about all of them here, but it’s safe to say we were impressed. We saw a lifted, V-8–swapped Miata, a dually Humvee rat rod, and more Dodge Challengers than we could count. Multiple cars had tiny Hot Wheels versions of themselves sitting on a rotating platform under the hood. One guy built a colossal drivable toolbox around an old Chevy S10—he’s gunning for world records for the largest and fastest diamond-plated wrench-holder. A fellow called Mousey even built a monster truck out of a two-door ’37 Chrysler that now sports four-wheel steering, 18 inches of suspension travel, driveshaft brakes, and a remote control buffalo skull mounted to the grille.

Judges for the event—including NASCAR legends, Hot Wheels designers, and former Charlotte Hornets star Muggsy Bogues—evaluated entrants based on three criteria: authenticity, creativity, and what Hot Wheels is calling garage spirit. They were looking for cars that aligned with the Hot Wheels aesthetic and performance history but still embodied the built-not-bought lifestyle. The mechanic’s choice award went to the Mini with its pair of turbocharged, nitrous-equipped Honda engines, but judges awarded top honors to a beast known by its owner as Brutally Sexy. Chad Martin designed and built the 10,000-pound dually hot rod pickup based on a dream he had 20 years ago. Its stunning proportions, 24-inch semi-truck wheels, and 750-horsepower Cummins inline-six separated Chad’s car from the crowd, and we reckon it’ll put up quite a fight at SEMA in November.

Photo credit: Mattel/Hot Wheels and Duncan Brady

Check out the Legends Tour for yourself!

  • June 1—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • June 15—New York/New Jersey
  • June 29—Detroit, Michigan
  • July 13—Chicago, Illinois
  • July 27—St Louis, Missouri
  • August 3—Dallas, Texas
  • August 10—Denver, Colorado
  • August 24—Seattle, Washington
  • September 7—Phoenix, Arizona
  • September 21—San Jose, California
  • October 5—San Diego, California
  • October 19—Los Angeles, California

The post The Hottest Wheels From the Hot Wheels Legends Tour: Charlotte appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: The Top Zones

Motortrend News Feed: Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 BMW M8

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 18:54

The 2020 BMW M8 completes the two-door 8 Series range as a stylish yet potent grand tourer that’ll be right at home doing triple digits on the Autobahn. Available with up to 617 hp in M8 Competition guise, the 2020 M8 replaces the M6 as the top dog of the Bavarian automaker’s lineup of performance cars. Like the standard 8 Series, the M8 is available as a coupe or convertible. A four-door Gran Coupe model will arrive this month followed by its M8 iteration, and these cars will effectively replace the 6 Series and M6 Gran Coupe.

From the design alone, the 2020 BMW M8 differs significantly from the M6 that it replaces. Whereas the M6 is visually hefty, the M8 is sleeker, streamlined, and sultry, especially when you view its side profile. The M8 looks particularly athletic up front, boasting large lower air intakes, a massive grille, and angry-looking headlights. The M6, on the other hand, looks chunky and rounded up front; its smaller kidney grille, lower front openings, and diamond-shaped headlight design add considerable bulk. Out back, the M8 emphasizes its wide stance with thin taillights and quad exhaust tips versus the M6, which looks more like an evolution of the old “Bangle butt” from its V-10-powered predecessor from the early- to late-2000s.

Both the 2020 BMW M8 and the M6 feature driver-centric interiors. The M8’s dash, for instance, is tilted towards the driver slightly while the M6 has a design element on the lower center console that clearly separates the driver from the front passenger. Their dashes feature a large screen as the centerpiece and a horizontal button layout for a simple, uncluttered look. Where the M8 starts to differentiate itself is in how it employs new technologies. A digital gauge cluster replaces the old analog units, giving the interior a techy look that the M6 lacks. The M8 also uses metal, carbon fiber, and wood trim liberally to break up the colors and add more eye candy.

Powered by a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 paired to a specially tuned eight-speed automatic transmission, the 2020 BMW M8 will be the halo vehicle in the M division’s lineup. Like the new M5 sedan, the M8 is the second M car to come with a performance-tuned all-wheel-drive system that can go into rear-wheel-drive mode. All M8s will come with a high level of customization, giving drivers the ability to adjust everything from the powertrain and brakes to the steering and suspension.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 BMW M8 appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: The Top Zones

The Car Connection News Feed: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado safety rating, special Ford Mustang teased, Karma dealer expansion: What's New @ The Car Connection

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 14:30
2019 Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra score four-star NHTSA crash-test rating The redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra earned four-star overall ratings in the NHTSA's barrage of crash tests and measurements, a downgrade from the five-star rating the feds bestowed upon last year's version of the trucks. Hertz tests car subscription...
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: BCO Conference 2019: What the UK office market can learn from 'the happiest city in the world'

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 13:08
At the annual BCO conference in Copenhagen, BCO chief executive Richard Kautze tells Property Week about what the British office market has to learn about workplace culture from the Danish and how it can adapt to keep up with the “happiest city in the world”.
Categories: The Top Zones

Property Week News Feed: Green sweetens deal for landlords in bid for CVA approval

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 12:36
Sir Philip Green is set to make a series of concessions to landlords in a bid to get his Arcadia cost-cutting measures voted through, Property Week can reveal.
Categories: The Top Zones