Welcome to The Grid, R&T’s quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.
Ford May Cancel Next-Generation Edge
The auto world is getting hyped for the launch of the new Bronco, but another Ford SUV may be getting the axe. Citing information from AutoForecast Solutions, Automotive News reports that Ford has cancelled the next-generation Edge, which was originally supposed to launch in 2023. The Edge does well with North American fleet sales, but as AutoForecast Solutions’ Sam Fiorani put it “you don’t see many of them in people’s driveways.” Given that, plus the imminent arrival of the Escape-based Bronco Sport and the Ranger-based Bronco, you can see why Ford would cut the Edge.
The Edge and the related Lincoln Nautilus are the only full vehicles Ford builds in Canada. Automotive News says Nautilus production may switch to China, effectively dooming Ford’s Oakville, Ontario plant.
Tesla Considering New Gigafactory in Austin, Texas
Tesla needs a new factory to manufacture its Cybertruck pickup and to increase production of the Model Y SUV, and it might build one in Austin, Texas. The Austin-American Stateseman reports that Tesla is negotiating with Texas’ Travis County for incentives to build a factory in Austin. The county is reportedly holding discussions today on what an incentive package will look like, and plans to hold a vote in the coming weeks. This plant would be Tesla’s biggest, possibly bringing thousands of jobs to the Austin area.
Formula 1 Might Race on Bahrain’s “Oval” Circuit
With so many coronavirus-related cancellations, Formula 1 is holding multiple races at the same tracks. The series will race at Austria’s Red Bull Ring and the UK’s Silverstone twice, and there’s a possibility it could do the same in Bahrain. F1 sporting director Ross Brawn floated Bahrain’s “oval” circuit as a possibility to hold a GP in addition to the regular Bahrain circuit. Both configurations of the Bahrain circuit have FIA Grade 1 licenses, meaning no modifications would need to be made for F1 to race on either.
It’s not really an oval, though. This configuration just bypasses an inner part of the circuit, replacing it with long sweeping esses. Autosport put together a video of what this configuration would look like, and it’s quite cool. Think old-school tracks, with long straights connected by a handful of corners, like Monza, or the original Hockenheim.
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