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 ChasePolice 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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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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