With global automakers continuing to address the challenge of increasing fuel economy and reducing carbon emissions in their vehicles, Magna International has accelerated its development work in active aerodynamic systems, an innovative technology it says is "designed to help auto manufacturers clear regulatory hurdles".

Actero Active Aerodynamic Systems from Magna include exterior vehicle systems such as active grille shutters, active front deflectors and others. A vehicle's aerodynamic profile is a major contributor to its fuel economy, and Magna's innovative solutions combine styling with aero to take drag-reduction technology to a new level.

"Our Actero Active Aerodynamic products represent new opportunities and expand our innovative portfolio which offers unique solutions to our customers," said Grahame Burrow, president of Magna Exteriors. "The development and success of these systems reflect our expertise as one of the market leaders in exterior products."

The latest Actero product to reach the market is a visible active grille shutter system on a 2017 European luxury vehicle. The system is a first for Magna in that the louvers which electronically open and close to deflect air are located on the outer, visible surface of the vehicle's grille rather than hidden behind. Magna originally developed and commercialised its first active grille shutter system for a 2013-model-year vehicle in just 18 months, a rapid development cycle made possible by the company's expertise in automotive front-end modules and fascias.

Actero systems are driven by smart actuators and are an example of the increasing use of electronics in today's automobiles. The actuators speak directly with the vehicle's internal electronic communication system and ensure the aero systems deploy correctly, based on vehicle inputs such as speed, temperature and drive mode.

Magna has significantly grown its active aerodynamic business in recent years, and the trend is expected to continue. Since the company's production debut in active aerodynamics in 2012, Magna has been awarded more than 15 programmes while continuing to develop additional products and systems within its Actero portfolio.

"Delivering innovative solutions such as our active aerodynamic systems provide added value for our customers as they work towards meeting rising fuel economy standards," said Swamy Kotagiri, Magna's chief technology officer. "Commercialising cleaner technologies is one of our key focus areas for innovation."

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