Some new Ford vehicles feature active grille shutters — a new system that optimizes aerodynamics by using vents to control airflow through the grille to the cooling system and engine compartment.
If air is required to cool the engine, the vents are opened. If no airflow is needed, the vents are shut, contributing to significantly reduced aerodynamic drag.
Mounted ahead of the radiator, the active grille shutters feature motorized horizontal vanes that can rotate 90º to block airflow. Automatically controlled by the car’s electronic control unit, the vanes can be rotated into 15 different positions — from fully closed to fully open — depending on the amount of cooling air required.
When fully closed, the reduction in drag means the active grille shutters can reduce CO2 emissions by 2%.
As an additional benefit, the system keeps the vanes closed as long as possible when starting from cold, so the engine reaches its most efficient operating temperature quicker. This also helps reduce fuel consumption.