Magna International Inc. has announced that its Magna Exteriors and Interiors (MEI) operating unit has started production of its Active Grille Shutter (AGS).
The AGS is a louver system that blocks various front-end air- flow openings, reducing drag while maintaining optimal engine temperatures. Reduced drag is a key factor for improving vehicle gas mileage.
Building on the auto industry’s initial research into grille shutter systems, MEI developed and commercialized this new product offering in 18 months, a rapid development cycle made possible by the company’s expertise as a leading supplier of automotive front-end modules and fascias.
The system’s louvers, functioning like household blinds, automatically open and close based on various inputs from the vehicle.
Under conditions that produce moderate engine temperatures – for example, when a vehicle is traveling at highway speeds – the louvers are closed, which directs airflow around the vehicle, reducing drag and enabling fuel efficiency improvements.
For situations such as sitting in hot traffic, traveling uphill or pulling a trailer, the shutters remain open and allow air to flow into the engine compartment for optimal engine cooling.
“Nearly every passenger vehicle introduced in upcoming years will have some kind of active shutter system,” said Bob Brownlee, president of Magna Exteriors and Interiors.
“With the development of our Active Grille Shutter, we have been able to quickly meet automakers’ rising demand for a well-engineered, high-quality sys- tem that helps address rising fuel-economy standards and the need to reduce vehicle emissions.”
After making its debut on the 2013 Dodge Dart and Ram 1500 pickup truck, Magna’s AGS will be included on four additional upcoming vehicles, with more expected to follow.
Magna’s system is applicable for any vehicle segment, including pickup trucks and SUVs, which typically receive the highest benefit in reduced fuel consumption.