A decade ago, efficiency of cars were not this crucial for companies. It was important to have low levels of consumption but the pressure was not like this from governments and consumers. Thanks to unstable petrol prices, now everyone is concerned on fuel consumption! Therefore, each month we hear something new about efficiency. Actually in each motor show, there is something new. This is similar fashion business, they need to reveal new designs for each new show.
Recently engineers invented something really amazing and interesting, active grille shutter. It does sound weird but it not that complicated. It is just a group of flaps in front the radiator and they control the airflow to cooling system. During winter times, the engine is trying to get warmer and cold air is trying to make it colder. But when the flaps engaged with close position there is no worry for cold winds! Usually there sixteen different positions are defined and computer decided which angle is the best for the engine. This enables to reduce the consumption by rapid increase of engine heat to optimum position. Optimum heat is the key point for consuming less fuel.
BMW, Ford and some other manufacturers offer this technology in their cars. But nobody see them with naked eye! Actually, it is a bit challenging to see them. On weekend, I visited a Ford dealer in Birmingham to see this flaps in real. It took some time to capture the photos, they are behind the bumper and this makes it quite hard to take a proper photo. However I did it. As you can see in below, that plastic flap is one of the key elements of greener cars without painting the car into green colour :)
Next time, I will try to take a video of their movement but it will much harder than taking photo! Of course I am not planning to hang my self-upside down while someone is driving the car. The best option is to capture them while under they are checked by the diagnose computer at workshop. Those computers have more entertainment than your PlayStation.