How Active Grille Shutters Work – Video
Automakers have been looking at all sorts of different ways to improve fuel economy. One of the promising ideas is active grille shutters that utilize engine air flow better. Third-party companies like Magna have also been working on new ideas. Here is their newest product for the Ram 1500 and a great video on how active grille shutters work.
The idea behind active grille shutters is that they would react to the driving environment to reduce drag. For example, when you are driving on the highway, the louvers would close. This would push the air around the vehicle creating less drag and improving fuel economy. However, if you are towing a load or sitting in a hot traffic jam, the louvers would open allowing the engine to maintain the “optimal engine temperature.” By having the louvers open, the vehicle would not use the system’s cooling systems as much which allows for less fuel consumption.
Incredibly, Magna was able to create this product in just 18 months and it is now being used on the 2013 Dodge Dart and Ram 1500 (part of the Ram’s goal to reach 25 MPG). Magna says that it has four additional vehicles it plans to use the product on (it doesn’t say specifically which ones).
Most likely the additional vehicles will be pickup trucks and SUVs that typically receive the largest benefit from the active grille shutter system.
While the idea is pretty solid, we don’t have any specifics on the exact MPG that is saved with this type of system. But, Dodge says the active grille shutters are key components in the Ram 1500 “thermal management system.”
What do you think? Will active grille shutters become the next standard feature on pickup trucks or is it just one more thing that will break?
Filed Under: Auto News