No, I’m not mad. I’m just saying that aerodynamics properties can vary. We’ve seen it before on some Porsches. They have a hidden wing that only deploys itself at high speed to provide greater downforce. This technology is now available on the upcoming small Chevy, the Cruze.
It’s not about improving downforce here, the goal is to reduce aerodynamic drag with an automatic air shutter system in the front grille. The air shutter system uses sensors to feel and sense wind and temperature conditions. The sensors are married to electric motors that open and close the shutters automatically. With the shutters closed at high speeds, wind drag is reduced. At lower speeds, the shutters open to maximize engine-cooling air flow. According to Chevrolet, the air shutter system contributes nearly half a mile per gallon in combined city and highway driving.
Amazingly, this system is the first of its kind in this segment in America, but it’s already popular in Europe. It’s standard equipment on many BMWs as a part of their Efficient Dynamics strategy, and it’s also standard in the Volkswagen Passat Blue Motion. We can only hope many more American cars will get it. Fuel efficiency can’t wait.