DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC

Ford Focus-ed on reducing CO2

Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
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You've got to hand it to today's automotive engineers. They are absolute magicians at getting new models to emit less CO2. One of the newest -- and coolest -- developments is on the third-generation Ford Focus.

The compact car's Active Grille Shutter, which is standard in Europe, improves aerodynamics by using vents to control airflow through the grille to the cooling system and engine compartment.

If the car needs air to cool the engine, the vents are automatically opened. If no airflow is needed, the vents are shut, which reduces aerodynamic drag and in turn cuts CO2 emissions by 2 percent, Ford says, or about a gram of CO2 per kilometer depending on the powertrain.

Ford says it is discussing whether to make the Active Grille Shutter standard in Russia and China.

Ford’s special grille (shown closed) has motorized horizontal vanes, which are controlled by the car’s electronic control unit and can be rotated into 16 different positions.

Its development shows the lengths automakers are going to save every single gram of CO2 possible.

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