• Improved Ford Focus aerodynamics help to reduce drag, cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
  • Streamlined new shape reduces drag coefficient by up to 7.8 percent, compared to previous Ford Focus models
  • All-new Ford Focus adds innovative active grille shutters, improving CO2 emissions by 2 percent and helping to improve thermal efficiency

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 24, 2011 The all-new Ford Focus achieves significantly improved aerodynamic performance, cutting drag by up to 7.8 percent to help reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Its a key contributor to achieving projected 40 mpg fuel economy for the all-new Focus.

After spending nearly 1,000 hours in the wind tunnel, the new Focus has an impressively streamlined shape and is one of the most aerodynamic vehicles Ford has ever produced.

The reduction in drag was achieved not only by detailed optimization of the vehicle design but also by the adoption of innovative technologies. The new Focus added an active grille shutter system to further enhance its aerodynamic performance.

Streamlined shape reduces drag
With its lower roofline and sleek, dynamic profile, the new Ford Focus has an innovatively streamlined shape. Compared to the outgoing model, it also has a notably faster windshield angle, which adds to its aerodynamic advantage.

With careful optimization of aerodynamic details, it was possible to achieve a significant 7.8 percent reduction in aerodynamic drag compared to the previous Focus model. The new Focus has a drag coefficient as low as 0.295, a notable reduction from the 0.320 figure of the previous model.

The optimization work was carried out by a combination of wind tunnel testing and analysis using extremely powerful computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation tools.

Improving aerodynamics is a key way to help reduce vehicle CO2 emissions, said Greg Burgess, vehicle engineering manager. Extensive analysis and optimization and the adoption of an advanced active grille shutter system has enabled us to achieve a major cut in drag on the new Focus.

Innovative active grille shutters
The new Focus features active grille shutters, an innovative new system, which helps optimize aerodynamics by using vents to control airflow through the grille to the cooling system and engine compartment.

If air is required to cool the engine, the vents are opened. If no airflow is needed the vents are shut, contributing to significantly reduced aerodynamic drag.

Mounted in the grille aperture ahead of the radiator, the active grille shutters feature motorized horizontal vanes that can rotate through 90 degrees to block the airflow. Automatically controlled by the cars electronic control unit, the vanes can be rotated into 15 different positions from fully closed to fully open depending on the amount of cooling air required.

When fully closed, the reduction in drag means the active grille shutters can reduce CO2 emissions by 2 percent.

As an additional benefit, the system keeps the vanes closed as long as possible when starting from cold, so the engine reaches its most efficient operating temperature more quickly. This also helps reduce fuel consumption.

Detailed features enhance aerodynamics and stability
Aerodynamic performance was enhanced by detailed development in all areas of the vehicle. To prevent unwanted drag, the front end was completely sealed using a hood seal and shielding beneath the engine, allowing air to be ducted efficiently via the grille to the cooling pack. Airflow beneath the car is managed by tailored panels on the underbody, with a lower front deflector and speed lip, engine undershield and front-wheel deflectors.

On the sides of the vehicle, an optimized mirror design reduces drag while also minimizing wind noise and managing the flow of rainwater along the side glass. The A-pillar was carefully shaped, incorporating a special molding to further reduce drag and minimize wind noise.

At the rear, airflow under the vehicle is managed by a diffuser integrated with the bumper molding, while an additional undershield contributes further drag reduction. Integrated rear spoilers help to minimize drag and enhance stability, while subtle features added to the sides of the rear-lamp moldings provide a sharp edge, which allows the airflow to separate from the body sides in exactly the right place.


About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit

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