Track Day

Bondurant High Performance Driving School has new owners and a new name

The former Bondourant facility has undergone extensive upgrades.

Photo courtesy of Radford Racing School

It's the dawn of a new era. Bondurant High Performance Driving School was purchased in May 2019 and a year's worth of changes to the curriculum and multi-million-dollar renovations have lead to a a relaunch. The driving school will now be called the Radford Racing School.

The new name is an allusion to the school's association with the team behind the Radford brand. The team behind the school includes English television celebrity Ant Anstead, F1 champion Jenson Button, car designer Mark Stubbs, and business partner Roger Behle.

Radford Bondurant High Performance Driving School has new owners and a new name assets.rebelmouse.io

Radford has been long known by automotive racing enthusiasts for its coach building legacy.The brand is now evolving into a modern lifestyle brand that celebrates auto design and performance, high-performing driving and racing, according to press materials.

The Radford Racing School will continue Bondourant's legacy as the Official High Performance Driving School of Dodge//SRT. Continuing as the school's primary sponsors, Dodge//SRT provides a fleet of vehicles for driving instruction.

The driving school is the first of its kind to offer professional drag racing instruction to the public and the chance to earn an NHRA Drag License.

The drag racing course features the 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, while other high-performance vehicles, including the Challenger SRT Hellcat, Charger SRT Hellcat, and Durango SRT are just some of the options available for the on-track performance driving experience.

Additionally, the school will feature Ligier JS F4 open wheel vehicles, vintage Dodge Vipers, go karts, and cars used in its special forces, police, and military training. The Radford team will now build and test vehicles on the Radford Racing School track.

"The racetrack is the perfect environment for building and testing Radford-built cars," said Anstead.

"For a car to be truly great, it has to feel as good as it looks. It has to possess both style and substance in equal measures, and you can only achieve both through extensive testing and improvement and the track is the perfect place for this," said Button.

A TV show about the school is in the works.

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Biden will target 50 percent of all vehicle sales for EVs by 2030.

Ford

In the last several months, we've seen automakers from all corners of the globe commit to some degree of electrification by the end of the decade and beyond. That includes the American Big Three: Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, others). Today, President Joe Biden plans to throw his weight behind these efforts by signing an executive order that sets a goal of pushing the sales of zero-emissions vehicles to half of all vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030.

Biden's target is not legally binding, but the industry is already jumping on board. In a joint statement, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis confirmed that they aim to hit an EV sales volume of 40-50 percent annually. It's worth noting that the President's 50 percent goal and the automakers' sales targets also include plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use a traditional gasoline engine.


Jeep PHEV The target also includes plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use gas engines.Jeep


Auto unions and dealers are not opposed to the ambitious roadmaps laid out by the Big Three, but both have differing views on what is essential and how things will ultimately play out. While aware of the goals, the UAW is focused on wage growth and the preservation of jobs and benefits. It feels that an increase in EV production volume must happen here in the U.S. to include good-paying American union jobs.

Dealers, to a degree, are supportive of the goals but skeptical of their ultimate success. Some feel that electric vehicles do not present the earth-shattering shift in functionality and usability that other new products, such as smartphones, did in different industries. Regardless of concerns and skepticism, it appears that automakers are going all-in on the shift to electrification, so we're bound to see a wealth of new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the next few years.


GM battery facility rendering Automakers are pledging billions to increase EV and PHEV production volume.GM

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The 2022 Acura TLX has the technology enabled.

Photo courtesy of Acura

Toyota and Lexus announced that the WarnerMedia RIDE app would be coming to their models earlier this year. Now, Honda and Acura will be offering the same.

On certain Wi-Fi enabled Honda and Acura vehicles, AT&T unlimited in-car Wi-Fi users will have access to the WarnerMedia RIDE app. The app allows users to connect multiple devices in their vehicles to browse, stream and share premium content from the WarnerMedia library while on the road.

Honda and Acura vehicle owners have been able to use their on-board modem as a hot spot for connecting up to seven devices since 2017. Models compatible for the new tech include the Acura RDX (2019-present), Acura TLX (2021), and Acura MDX (2022) across all trim levels. Honda vehicles with the tech include Accord (2018-present, Touring), Odyssey (2018-present; Touring, Elite), Insight (2019-present, Touring)., Passport (2019-present; Touring, Elite)., and Pilot (2019-present; Touring, Elite, Black Edition).

The WarnerMedia RIDE App allows passengers to access 1,000+ hours of live and on-demand entertainment. The app includes hit TV shows and movies from top brands such as Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO Max, TBS, TNT and TruTV, spanning animation, entertainment, news, sports and more.

WarnerMedia RIDE app The WarnerMedia RIDE app allows users to choose their own avatar.Photo courtesy of Acura

Users can set up profiles and personalize their user exerpience with an avatar from the WarnerMedia library. Profiles also ensure age-appropriate content with options for adults to restrict access to their profiles with an access code.

"Wireless connectivity and connected car services continue to be key features for customers and our long-standing relationship with AT&T continues to be one way we deliver exciting new content to Honda and Acura owners," said Art St. Cyr, vice president of North American Auto Strategy for American Honda. "Honda will continue working to enhance the in-car experience, including the capabilities of the AT&T network and access to top content with WarnerMedia RIDE."

"We're always looking for new and innovative ways to elevate the connected car experience for our customers. With WarnerMedia RIDE, we are delivering a connected experience that's perfect for journeys," said Joe Mosele, vice president, Mobility & Internet of Things, AT&T. "Our collaboration is keeping Honda and Acura owners connected wherever they travel with hours of news and entertainment for the whole family."

WarnerMedia RIDE is available now in the App Store and on Google Play for all U.S. unlimited data plan subscribers. WarnerMedia RIDE is included at no additional cost for existing and new unlimited subscribers.

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