Hummer Loaded with Hoarded Gasoline Catches on Fire in Florida

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 23:37

On Wednesday, May 12, Citrus County Fire Rescue responded to an emergency call about a vehicle up in flames outside of a Citgo gas station in Homosassa, Florida. The vehicle in question was a Hummer H2, which almost burned to the ground after a man attempted to transport four five-gallon containers of gasoline.

In what appears to be an act of panic buying due to the fuel shortage along the East Coast, the occupant managed to escape with non-life-threatening injuries. According to the Citrus County Chronicle, the injured man refused medical attention against EMT advice. The call reporting a vehicle on fire near a Texaco Food Mart at South Alabama Avenue and West Grover Cleveland Boulevard came in at 10:52 a.m. Citrus County Fire Rescue arrived on the scene at 10:59 a.m., extinguishing the engulfed H2 by 11:09 a.m.

Based on the photos released by Citrus County Fire Rescue, the Hummer did not travel too far before catching on fire. How the fire got started in the first place remains unknown. What we can say is that the gas-filled containers that ultimately melted in the Hummer’s cargo area certainly had something to do with it. Although a Reddit post that has since then gone viral claims the driver lit a cigarette, the Florida State Fire Marshal is conducting an investigation and will confirm the cause.

The widely reported news of a gasoline shortage has caused people to panic and line up on the streets around gas stations a la Black Friday sale. Fear of running out of gasoline set in, and the crowds went wild. Many of these individuals have been filling up trash cans, storage bins, plastic bags, and other unsafe containers. Due to the high demand and limited supply, prices at the pump have been skyrocketing.

As most of you are aware by now, a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline led to a shut down of services over the weekend. However, there was no need to create a stockpile of gasoline at home as several panic buyers did with toilet paper and hand sanitizer during the pandemic. Colonial Pipeline began to restore the system within days of the gas pipeline shutdown, and the only real issue was people making runs on stations and creating spot shortages before those stations could be restocked.

Furthermore, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission posted a message on Twitter urging panic buyers not to use plastic bags for gasoline. There are dozens of photos spreading online showing people shamelessly filling up inconceivable items and improper containers with fuel. Let’s keep in mind, everyone, that gasoline—and its vapors—are extremely flammable.

Do not fill plastic bags with gasoline.

— US Consumer Product Safety Commission (@USCPSC) May 12, 2021

The Colonial Pipeline stretches from Texas to New Jersey and does not run across the state of Florida. That in of itself makes this Florida case of gasoline hoarding outright foolish and hilarious. No offense to the H2 driver, but maybe it wasn’t a bright idea after all. In this situation, a quote by author and scholar Dr. Amit Abraham comes to mind: “Common sense has become an uncommon virtue.”

Images via Citrus County Fire Rescue/YouTube.

The post Hummer Loaded with Hoarded Gasoline Catches on Fire in Florida appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Alfa Romeo Pays Tribute to Abarth 1000 SP With Retro-Restyled 4C

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 20:35

Historically-informed one-off custom cars are a bit of a thing recently. Ferrari’s Omologato 812 Superfast from last year, the absolutely bonkers ’80s-tastic Aston Martin Victor, the Atlantic-inspired Bugatti La Voiture Noire, and so on. Add Alfa Romeo to the list with their Abarth 1000 SP, a tribute to the 1966 original with the same name. But while those sports cars were customer orders, this creation is the work of Centro Stile Fiat & Abarth, looking to do something special on the 55th anniversary of the original.

The original 1000 SP was a small sports prototype racer, wearing the sort of elegantly simple lines that the period was known for. Built for FIA Group 4 competition, its 1.0-liter engine made about 103 horsepower—enough to see some success in international racing. That successful competition history, the car’s tidy proportions, and its distinctive details—the oval hood louvers, the large nose scoop, the tiny tacked-on lights—seemed ripe for reinterpretation.

Whether the modern Alfa Romeo 4C is the right canvas for that reinvention is going to be in the eye of the observer. We’re not sure its high belt line and short overhangs give the bodywork enough runway to provide the low, lean look of the original. And while the tiny quad headlights are a reasonable reinterpretation of the original, they look a little zenomorph-like as implemented. The hood treatment is intriguing, as are the twin taillights—in fact, we’ll go so far as to say the rear is a distinct improvement from the saggy, bug-like regular 4C.

To our eyes, it’s a mixed bag, but an interesting one nonetheless. Remember, the underlying Alfa Romeo 4C is an Experience with a capital E. It’s a three-quarters-scale supercar, with a carbon fiber chassis and phenomenal dynamics. Whatever else it is, it isn’t boring. And the same goes with the 1000 SP—attractive or not, it isn’t a snooze.

The post Alfa Romeo Pays Tribute to Abarth 1000 SP With Retro-Restyled 4C appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2021 Chevy Corvette C8 Convertible Indy 500 Pace Car to Lead the Field Topless

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 19:34

In just a couple weeks, on May 30, the 105th Indianapolis 500 will run at the legendary Brickyard. And another legend will be there to pace the field: the Chevrolet Corvette. The 2021 race will be America’s sports car’s 18th outing as the pace car, and the second for the C8. This year, the honor falls to a 2021 C8 Convertible finished in Arctic White with black and yellow accents—the first convertible ‘Vette to pace the Indy 500 since 2008.

There’s a lot that’s unique to this car. For one, the stripe package. Ditto the specially-adapted stingray decals. And to help fulfill its pace car duties, there are integrated strobe lights in the headlights, front louvers, and taillights. Perhaps the coolest details are the four lights that are nestled into custom tonneau cover nacelles, which give the blacked-out nacelles a bit of a louver look. They also mean the convertible doesn’t have to wear a traditional and unsightly light bar, as some earlier ‘Vettes have.

Mechanically, this C8 is stock, utilizing the 495-horsepower LT2 V-8. This 6.2-liter unit is backed up by an eight-speed dual clutch transmission. In our testing, the coupe managed a 0-60 time of a stunning 2.8 seconds and ran the quarter in 11.1 seconds at 123.2 mph—and the convertible shares the same mechanicals. We expect faster and more powerful C8 variants to come, and it’s likely that when they’re introduced they’ll be pressed into Pace Car duty. After all, consider how the C7’s pace car line evolved: the regular Stingray took the job for the C7 debut. Two years later, the Z06 had the job, then the new Grand Sport, and finally the all-powerful ZR1.

Maybe next year we’ll see a C8 Z06 at the Brickyard? We can only hope.

The post 2021 Chevy Corvette C8 Convertible Indy 500 Pace Car to Lead the Field Topless appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Ottolenghi to open at Howard de Walden estate

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 18:22
The Howard de Walden Estate has announced that restauranteur Ottolenghi will open a new restaurant in Marylebone Village next month.
Categories: Property

Self-Driving Volkswagen ID Buzz Minivans Entering Real-World Autonomous Trials

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 18:05

The Volkswagen ID Buzz delays are a, uh, buzzkill, but at least while we’re waiting until 2023 or so to drive one ourselves the reimagined modern Bus will be put to good use. Volkswagen owns a stake in self-driving startup Argo AI along with Ford, which is part of a broader alliance between the two companies that will also involve VW MEB platform-sharing. And VW is going to leverage that Argo AI tech to stuff the ID Buzz full of sensors, and set it loose at a test facility in Munich as part of a “Level 4-capable” autonomous driving suite test program.

The goal is to get self-driving ID Buzzes ready for commercial delivery service in 2025. The test program hopes to have the vehicles out of the test facility and onto public roads later this year.

Unlike a particularly bullish-on-self-driving-cars automaker and its driver assistance system that eschews lidar (it rhymes with “besla”), Argo AI’s sensor suite embraces the more comprehensive scanning tech. The company’s new “Argo Lidar” can resolve an object from 437 yards away and can sense just a single photon being reflected from a low-reflectivity object. In addition to lidar, the system includes radar and cameras.

While it’s early days yet, the system already has a user signed up: VW’s subsidiary MOIA, which is a ride-sharing company in Germany. By 2025, if everything goes to plan, the company will utilize the ID Buzz as an autonomous ride pooling vehicle.

The post Self-Driving Volkswagen ID Buzz Minivans Entering Real-World Autonomous Trials appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

The Best Driver’s Car Under $100K—According to Top Gear America

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 17:00

$100,000 sounds like a lot for a car, but when it comes to the performance car spectrum, it’s actually kind of reasonable. Sure, not 300hp Honda Civic Type R-reasonable but compared to the eye-watering price tag of a Bugatti Chiron; $100,000 is reasonable enough. There are so many great driver’s cars available for under 100k, but which is best? Top Gear America has narrowed it down to three contenders: The 2020 C8 Corvette Z51, 2020 Porsche Cayman GT4 and the 2020 Lotus Evora GT.

Related: Not sure what your perfect driver’s car is? Subscribe to the MotorTrend App and find out if you’re a Roadkiller willing to thrash any heap of junk, a Wheeler Dealer hunting for the next car to fix and flip, or love it all like the Top Gear America hosts and just want to drive. There are over 8,000 episodes of automotive entertainment waiting for you to enjoy, subscribe now!

It’s easy to compare cars on paper—and a complete waste of time. The C8 Stingray comes in so much cheaper than the Lotus and the Porsche and flat-out whallops them in the 0-60 sprint. Plus, Dax Shepard bleeds Corvette. We’re not joking, he has the Crossed Flags tattooed in-between his shoulder blades. He literally bled for his love of Corvettes. And Jethro Bovingdon is no better—a man who’s passion for cars was refined on the racetrack absolutely would choose a perfect distillation of modern motorsport in a street car like the Cayman GT4. Rob Corddry on the other hand, well, he’s eccentric. He knows how to drive and knows what a truly great driver’s car needs—he just can’t tell you what that is. Except that the Evora has more of it than the other two cars.

Testing the Best Driver’s Car

Going back to comparing numbers; it’s a waste of time. Again, Corvette Stingray wins with the most power, but then it has a lower top speed than the Porsche and Lotus. Dax says a good driver’s car has to have a V-8 because no engine excites the human condition more thoroughly, but the Evora GT has that sweet supercharger whine that aurally arouses just as much. Nothing compares to the Cayman GT4’s monstrous grip, either—even with it’s pushrod V-8-heart now residing behind the driver, the C8 still has the least amount of grip of our trio of performance cars under $100,000.

Great driver’s cars like the Nissan GT-R and McLaren MP4-12C had great statistics on paper, but some reviewers found them to be clinical and sterile in their driving characteristics. Multiple Davids have triumphed over automotive Goliaths on and off the track—compare the Austin Minis to the much faster and more powerful Ford Falcons they raced against in the British Touring Car Championships in the 1960s. No, determining a great driver’s car can’t be done with numbers.

What Makes a Great Driver’s Car?

To some enthusiasts, the numbers are all that’s important. For many, it’s the je ne sais quoi, the intangible feelings, the indescribable sensations. You know it when you know it. Dax sees a V-8 with a Chevy badge and his heart starts pounding. Jethro finds his joy pushing cars to their limits. Rob, well, again—Rob is Rob. He loves cars, but they all speak to him in a different way and only he can understand them. These three will never agree on which is the best driver’s car.

That’s the beauty of driving and cars: The styles are just as unique as their owners, there’s no making sense of it and there doesn’t have to be. Cruising the highway, hitting the dragstrip, battling it out wheel-to-wheel or even just spectating—it’s all car enthusiasm. Jethro might like the Porsche more, but he still had a blast when he was on the figure-eight in the Corvette. The Cayman may not have what his Evora has, but Rob is a self-proclaimed Porsche-phile and we’re positive he thinks the GT4 would go nicely next to his personal 911. Mr. Detroit Shepard reps the GM badges proudly, but one of his all-time favorite cars is Italian—the Lamborghini Countach. The world of cars has something for everyone and the MotorTrend App is your gateway to that world, so subscribe today! Then, hit us on the socials and tell us what your favorite driver’s car is.

The post The Best Driver’s Car Under $100K—According to Top Gear America appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Welsh ‘palace’ sells for £950K at Allsop’s May residential sale

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 15:46
International bidders from the US, Australia and Sweden all competed for a grade I-listed Welsh mansion modelled on the Palace of Versailles at Allsop’s latest residential sale.
Categories: Property

BT signs for new Dundee contact centre

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 15:38
BT has pre-let an office building for a new contact centre in Dundee with capacity for around 1,000 employees.
Categories: Property

Plans approved for 229 homes at major Barking Riverside scheme

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 14:55
Bellway London has received planning permission for a 229-home project at Barking Riverside, London.
Categories: Property

SPV leases cannot be used to avoid empty rates, Supreme Court rules

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 14:47
Leases set up by special purpose vehicle (SPV) cannot be used to avoid paying empty rates, the Supreme Court has ruled.
Categories: Property

2021 Mercedes-AMG A35 First Test: Subcompact Sleeper

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 14:00

It makes all the right noises when you want it to, it can hustle like some of the top sport sedans on the market, and its chassis delivers at the test track. It had better, because it wears an AMG badge. The 2021 Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic isn’t what you’d call a traditional model from the go-fast division of Mercedes-Benz, but the AMG team has done its best to bring its amplified aesthetic to the entry-level A-Class sedan.

This isn’t exactly foreign territory for AMG, given it has already worked its technical mastery on versions of the related CLA- and GLA-Class. But this is the first AMG-tuned version of the latest-generation A-Class, the automaker’s front-drive-based, four-cylinder subcompact sedan introduced to the U.S. market for the first time back in 2018.

The AMG A35 swaps out the 188-hp 2.0-liter turbo I-4 in the base A-Class for an AMG-enhanced variant of the engine making 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, which is also found in the AMG versions of GLA and CLA35. Power routes through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and is delivered to the pavement via all-wheel drive. AMG engineers optimized the Benz DCT and the 4Matic system to get the most out of a car that weighs 3,480 pounds and has 61 percent of its weight over the front wheels.

How Quick Is the A35?

Although its performance at the test track wasn’t breathtaking, the 2021 AMG A35 4Matic did the 0–60-mph hustle in a brisk 4.4 seconds, which shaved 0.2 tick off the official time quoted by the automaker. For some context, that’s 0.4 second quicker than a 2020 BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe (which has a near-identical 301 horsepower and weighs about 50 pounds more than the A35). Pushing it to the quarter mile took 13.1 seconds at 105.1 mph, which edged the M235i by 0.3 second.

To get those numbers, the test team used the A35’s Race Start function (launch control). Race Start holds the engine at about 3,500 rpm before you drop the hammer, and it delivers shifts that are “snappy and aggressive” off the line. Oh, and there’s a “rowdy engine note” to go along with it, something we experienced during our on-road drives, as well. This four-banger can really get its bang on, and if you want the world to know you’ve got something special under the A35’s hood, you can make it pop and crackle harder than the Rice Krispies elves on a milk bender.

Brakes Could Be Better

Stopping the AMG A35 4Matic wasn’t quite as impressive as launching it, however. Our 60–0-mph braking test netted an overall average of 112 feet, not quite what we were expecting from 13.8-inch vented front discs clamped by four-piston fixed calipers (13.0 inches and a single caliper at the back). “Wooden” was a word used by the test team to describe the pedal feel. This is where the M235i exacts a measure of revenge, with a 108-foot stopping distance that easily outpaces the A35.

“I’m not a fan of the short-travel brake pedal,” road test editor Chris Walton said of the A35’s binders. “It’s hard not to get into the ABS in aggressive braking.” In around-town and freeway driving this isn’t as much of an issue. You’ll likely find yourself stopping a bit short in low-speed situations at times, but it’s more of a feel thing that a regular driver no doubt would acclimate to.

Improving the Handling

As you’d expect, AMG has also tuned the 2021 A35 to handle well, layering several enhancements onto its MacPherson strut/double A-arm front design and multilink rear setup, such as the optional ($990) AMG Ride Control adaptive adjustable dampers. There’s also the aforementioned AMG-massaged 4Matic. On our figure eight, the A35 set a 24.7-second time at 0.77 average g and recorded a 0.96 average g  on the skidpad, both of which easily beat the M235i (25.8 seconds at 0.71 g and 0.91 g).

Walton had this to say about the A35 during his time flogging it through our dynamic tests: “In Sport Plus mode, I like the medium weight of the steering and its precision. There’s very mild understeer on the skidpad, and it starts to go wide, but on the exit you can use the all-wheel drive and put the throttle to the floor. It feels like a FWD car with AWD added after the fact.”

On the highways and byways, we found the A35 plenty capable. It cornered well on tight exit ramps with the AMG dynamic braking system intervening on the inside rear wheel to help aid turn-in when necessary. As is the case with other AMG 35 cars (the CLA35 and GLA35 are similar in overall execution), you can use the Dynamic Select drive modes to adjust several functions to your liking. We found ourselves defaulting to Sport mode to avoid engaging the auto stop/start system that’s always enabled in Comfort mode. Over buckled pavement we found the A35 to be a bit rough, but generally it straddles the line between taut and compliant that doesn’t punish you during daily driving.

When you’re rolling around town, don’t expect to get any looks unless you’re downshifting and getting those exhaust pops and crackles, as the 2021 Mercedes-AMG A35’s restrained look belies its capability. The only real tells that this is a serious sport sedan are its decklid badges and the slick, black-accented AMG 19-inch rims shod with Pirelli P Zeros. We think that’s a good thing.

Sleepy Outside, Slick Inside

The wow factor is saved for the interior, at least for this particular car. Upholstered in Nova Grey and Black MB-Tex, the cabin looks dynamite, highlighted by piano black and aluminum accents and adjustable lighting elements. With 20.5 inches of screens spanning the dash, the A35 is next-generation in its digital instrumentation and infotainment execution, with Benz’s MBUX touchscreen system offering myriad controls, configurable clusters, and other vehicle features. The Mercedes trackpad system has redundant controls on the center console, and for a subcompact sedan there’s a decent amount of space between the front seats. It’s also not too cramped for rear passengers given its size, with more headroom than its CLA-Class sibling.

Checking in at $46,900 to start, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic isn’t exactly a steal, but it’s priced pretty competitively given it’s roughly the same as the M235i. This particular test car came with a couple of key options that we’d add, including the Multimedia package ($1,295 for navigation and additional MBUX features) and those sweet rims ($500). All in, it totalled $52,990. So if you want that AMG caché but can’t go big for one of its mega-powered brutes, the compact-in-size and (relatively speaking) small-in-price A35 might just be the AMG for you.

SPECIFICATIONS 2021 Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic BASE PRICE $46,900 PRICE AS TESTED $52,990 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan ENGINE 2.0L/302-hp/295-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,480 lb (61/39%) WHEELBASE 107.4 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 179.4 x 70.7 x 56.9 in 0-60 MPH 4.4 sec QUARTER MILE 13.1 sec @ 105.1 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 112 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.96 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 24.7 sec @ 0.77 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 22/29/25 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 153/116 kWh/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.79 lb/mile

The post 2021 Mercedes-AMG A35 First Test: Subcompact Sleeper appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Best Car To Buy: What’s coming for 2022

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 12:15
Humanity and automakers welcome 2021 with red-hot car sales in the first quarter and even more exciting cars to come. Chip shortages and supply-constrained delays have pushed some 2021 models back in the calendar year, but the class of 2022 is shaping up to be sharp. Popular favorites such as the Honda Civic and Jeep Grand Cherokee prepare to rub...
Categories: Property

King's Cross prepares to reopen indoor F&B

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 12:14
King’s Cross is gearing up for a full reopening of its indoor food and beverage offering with 1,300 covers available from Monday.
Categories: Property

Review update: 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor shakes up the doldrums

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 12:00
If only we lived in the world car marketers are trying to sell us. We could be the boldest, most capable, most all-new-first-ever versions of ourselves. Instead, after a weekend schlepping my kids around the Midwest, I felt like the baldest, most incapable, tired-ass version of myself. That was despite being fortunate enough to test drive the 2021...
Categories: Property

Over half of leisure facilities could close, industry body warns

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 11:46
Over half of England’s gyms, pools and leisure centres are at risk of closing over the next six months, an industry body has warned.
Categories: Property

North Star buys 62,000 sq ft MHCLG Plymouth office

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 11:27
North Star has bought a 62,000 sq ft office in Plymouth currently let to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
Categories: Property

Ergo and BGO team up to build £100m shed portfolio

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 10:33
Ergo Real Estate and BentallGreenOak (BGO) have joined forces to develop a warehouse portfolio with a gross development value of £100m over the next 12 months.
Categories: Property

Londonmetric goes on warehouse buying spree

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 08:01
LondonMetric Property has paid £18.7m for three urban logistics warehouses in Croydon, Dunstable and Warrington.
Categories: Property

Mailbox finally completes listing on IPSX

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 07:53
The debut listing on the world’s first real estate stock exchange has finally gone ahead following several delays.
Categories: Property

King’s Cross appoints Equiem to deliver customer engagement platform

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/14/2021 - 01:12
King’s Cross has selected Equiem to provide an occupier and customer engagement platform across its entire estate, Property Week can reveal.
Categories: Property