2015 Ford Mustang Gets Grille Shutters To Improve MPGs


2015-mustang-grille-2Fuel economy never used to matter to muscle cars, but the 2015 Ford Mustang is a new breed with features like active grille shutters to boost MPGs.  It’s one of many ideas designed to make the new Mustang both more aerodynamic and fuel efficient, a double boon for fans, even if they don’t realize it.

Active grille shutters are becoming quite popular within the industry as a means of improving aerodynamics on models across the lineup. The active grille shutters are especially important for the new 2.3 liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that the 2015 Mustang will debut with. This new engine requires additional cooling and atmospheric pressure because of the turbocharger, but takes up less space under the hood than the bigger V6 and V8 engine options.

This means a lot of open space behind the grille, which can cause a lot of underhood drag, reducing both fuel economy and performance. The active grille shutters allow air in when needed, but close off to increase aerodynamics when cooling demands are met, and will be employed by most Ford models, including the 2015 F-150. Even with these and other improvements though, like new placement for the sideview mirrors and “aero curtains” that draw air away from the wheel wells, Ford managed to make the 2015 Mustang 3% slippier, and about 1% more fuel efficient.

Sounds like a lot of work for small returns, but rumor has it the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost should be good for at least 35 MPG, and all told, a more aerodynamic Mustang also means a faster Mustang. It also leaves plenty of room for improvement from a diesel, hybrid, or even electric-powered Mustang sometime down the road.

It’s a win-win for Mustang fans, who save money and get to go faster thanks to a few new features nobody would have expected on a Mustang just a few years ago.

Source: The Detroit News

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • The typical underhood drag is up to 10% of the overall drag of the car, and it comes because the exiting vents for the hot air have zero design influence, and the air flow inside the engine compartment is haphazard, to say the least. So the radiator gets upsized to compensate, and the front grill gets way oversized – and the drag goes up.

    The ideal cooling system is this: a small intake right at (or just below) the stagnant point on the nose of the car, and a smooth duct to the radiator, and a smooth duct from the back of the radiator to the area in the middle of the hood that is under (slight) negative pressure, due to the air flow that is accelerated up and over the car.

    An alternate nearly as good location for the exhaust vents is on the sides of the front fenders, above and behind the frond wheels. This adds the advantage of *not* dumping the engine heat near the best intake position for vent air into the car; which is at the base of the windshield.

    If it is done correctly, the cooling intake opening only needs to be 4 sq in (2″ x 2″) per ~100HP. And having a dynamic shutter on the intake helps a lot – the intake gets closed off when the engine is warming up and it only opens as needed.

    Some race cars do this, and a prime example on a motor cycle is the Britten V1100. It had a 165HP engine cooled by a small radiator (roughly 5″ x 12″?) under the cowling behind the rider. The intake was two ovals about as big as your fingers make when you hold your forefingers and thumbs with their tips together. And the exhaust was a small round tube (~2″ diameter?) that looks like a stinger on the very back of the bike.

    You owe it to yourself to take a close look at the Britten V1100 – a masterpiece if there ever was one! It *never* had any cooling problems.

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