Failure to Launch

Ford postpones Bronco launch because of O.J. Simpson's birthday

Ford has changed the date of the reveal of the Bronco.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

If the date doesn't fit, you must move it. After (finally) setting the date for the Bronco reveal for July 9, Ford has changed its mind, opting to change the date of the reveal to July 13. Why? Three words: Orenthal James Simpson.

Ford has been trolled online and in the media for two weeks after (seemingly) inadvertently booking the day of the hotly anticipated Bronco debut to coincide with the 73rd birthday of O.J. Simpson.

You may remember that it was in a white 1993 Ford Bronco owned and driven by Simpson's friend and former NFL linebacker Al Cowlings that lead police on a low-speed chase on the freeways around Los Angeles as Simpson sat in the passenger seat.

O.J. Simpson White Bronco Chase Police cars pursue the Ford Bronco driven by Al Cowlings, carrying fugitive murder suspect O.J. Simpson, on a 90-minute slow-speed car chase June 17, 1994 on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Cowlings called 911 during the chase and explained that Simpson had pointed a gun at his own head and demanded that Cowlings drive him to his estate in Brentwood, California, a Los Angeles suburb. The 90-minute chase immediately gained the attention of the media and the public, who were already following the case of the tragic deaths of Simpson's estranged wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her acquaintance Ron Goldman. Approximately 95 million Americans tuned in.

Simpson would famously go on to be charged with and found not guilty of the murders of Brown Simpson and Goldman, however he was found civilly liable for the wrongful death of and battery of Goldman, and battery of Brown. He was ordered to pay $33,500,000.

According to reporting by The Detroit Free Press, the chosen date deeply distressed the family of Brown Simpson. "I just don't know if it's a good marketing twist," Tanya Brown, Nicole's sister, told the Free Press.

In a statement to the Free Press, a Ford spokesperson characterized the date choice as "purely coincidental."

Mark Truby, Vice President of Communications for Ford Motor Company said on Twitter today that the date has been changed in order to be "sensitive and respectful".

Last year, AutomotiveMap was one of the first outlets to ride in the Bronco R, a prototype of the model that is set to go on sale later this year, that shares a powertrain with the 2021 Bronco.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The new RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car showcases the future of the Hyundai brand.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai debuted the RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car this week, showcasing what isn't the beginning but what is very much the future of what the Hyundai brand will offer. The electric-based high-performance race car, like those designed by other manufacturers is a proving ground for technologies that may be employed in Hyundai passenger vehicles in the future.

Hyundai has been quite open about this calling the platform the RM20e is based on, the RM development platform, will be used for future N brand products that are inspired by the car. This follows as part of the progressive evolution of the car with previous iterations bearing the names RM14, RM15, RM16 and RM19.

RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai's first electric race car was developed for the eTCR electric touring car series in 2019 - the Veloster N eTCR.

"Our new electrified RM20e pushes the proven RM platform forcefully into a new, environmentally-focused decade of the 21st century, stretching the performance envelope of electrification on normal road environments," said Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research and Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group. "RM20e represents a revolutionary new chapter of electrified performance for the Racing Midship series, and our N engineers continue to garner valuable insights in the arena of zero-emission performance dynamics."

The mid-engined, rear-wheel drive RM20e features a powertrain that achieves 810 horsepower and 708 pound-feet of torque thanks to its electric motor. It can get from zero to 62 mph in less than three seconds and to 124 mph from a standstill in 9.88 seconds.

Hyundai says that the RM20e combines "race car-like levels of performance, balance, braking, and grip while retaining daily-driver quietness, responsiveness and road-going capability".

The propulsion system driving the car, as well as the equipment that helps it achieve the "race car-like levels of performance, balance, braking, and grip" are part of Hyundai's larger plant to develop hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery, and fuel cell electric vehicles.

Hyundai isn't working alone. The company has formed a strategic partnership with Rimac Automobili to co-develop battery and fuel cell electric vehicle prototypes.

Additionally, Hyundai Motor Group, the parent company of the Hyundai, Genesis, Kia, and new Ioniq brand, has committed to addinng 44 "eco-friendly" models by 2025.

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The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is made to be trail-ready

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

If you want to go off-roading but you’re apprehensive behind the wheel? Jeep is introducing the Jeep Adventure Academy, a program that provides hands-on, off-road driving instruction to Jeep 4x4 owners.

"Off-roading is a rite of passage for Jeep 4x4 owners and the new Jeep Adventure Academy will provide key knowledge every off-roader can use for hitting the trails," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand, FCA - North America. "The new Jeep Adventure Academy underscores the Jeep brand's commitment to delivering Jeep 4x4 vehicles that provide owners with a sense of capability, safety and security to handle any condition or adventure with confidence."

2021 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Jeep Trailhawk models are trail-tested ahead of their retail salePhoto courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Academy kicks off this October and will take place at select locations nationwide. Instructors from Jeep Jamboree USA will lead the program alongside off-roading experts.

Each Academy session will focus on several essential areas of off-roading instruction, including 4x4 system basics, driving techniques, trail etiquette, vehicle preparation and equipment, how to properly read terrain and challenging obstacles, safety tips and more.

The Jeep Adventure Academy will take place during the first three weeks in October at the following locations:

  • Holly Oaks Off-road Vehicle Park, Holly, Michigan: October 2-4
  • Southern Missouri Off-Road Ranch, Seymour, Missouri: October 9-11
  • Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area, Hollister, California: October 16-18

Registration is available at jeepadventureacademy.com. A one-day session starts at $99 and requires Jeep 4x4 vehicle ownership. The academy sessions will be led by professional staff from Jeep Jamboree USA, an organization that has been conducting off-road adventures since 1953.

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