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by Brett Davis

Here’s a handy little feature you may not known about. It’s an exploded view of the Chevrolet Cruze Eco front bumper which incorporates an automatically adjusted set of shutters to help with aerodynamics, improving fuel economy.

Using various sensors that monitor speed, temperature and wind, the on-board computer will automatically close these shutters which, once closed, are said to improve fuel economy by as much as 100ml per 100km. It doesn’t sound like much, because it isn’t much. But still, this technology is something all manufacturers should be thinking about; adjustable aerodynamics.

Now we realise various Porsches and Mercedes-Benz models have had adjustable spoilers and so on to aid downforce and grip for years, this grille feature though is there and there alone simply to make the car smoother so it can cut through the air.

The car is unable to ‘commit suicide’ by cooking itself either; only once the car is up to optimum speed will the shutters close. When the car is back in traffic for instance, the shutters open and allow for air flow and engine cooling. Which is good to hear.

As we said, it doesn’t help all that much but every little bit counts. If they can extend this technology to other parts of the car, and if they are controlled automatically so we don’t have to think about them, then this is a great step forward.




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