The grille at the front of the new Mondeo has been labelled an ‘Active Grille Shutter’ because it is capable of closing and blocking off the air to the car’s cooling system.
This is done during a journey at intervals to improve the aerodynamics of the car and reduce drag by up to six per cent, says Ford.
The car actively monitors the cooling system, and if the temperature is low enough to cut off the air flow, the shutters will automatically close to improve fuel economy.
Hans-Dieter Glueck, who is responsible for aerodynamics development at Ford of Europe, believes the system has other benefits alongside increased fuel economy.
He said: "The Ford Active Grille Shutter system allows us to save fuel by optimising the aerodynamics through each journey. Blanking off the grille when the vehicle is cold also helps the engine warm up more quickly, which not only improves fuel economy but reduces exhaust emissions too.”
This is achieved through keeping the shutters closed to warm the engine up when the car starts from cold, saving fuel and CO2 emissions until the engine is warm and needs cooling.
From there it can move into any one of 16 different positions depending on the amount of air needed to cool the engine.
The technology is the latest in a long list of Ford’s advancements in efficiency and it is available on the new 2011 Ford Focus – one of the most highly equipped cars in the Ford range.
However, it is also available as an option on the 1.6- and 2.0-litre EcoBoost and 1.6- and 2.0-litre Duratorq engines on the Ford Mondeo saloon and estates, Ford Galaxy MPV and Ford S-Max.