2013 Ford Focus ST: The Maw
November 14, 2012
In the early '90s the automotive grille nearly became extinct. Same with headlights. Designers wanted to improve drag and exploit the burgeoning miniaturization of lighting and cars' front ends were poised to become featureless lozenges as a result. Then they realized how dumb cars looked with no mouth and no eyes, and today we have cars with big, expressive faces.
Look closely at our longterm 2013 Ford Focus ST' gaping black maw of a grille and you can see that it is mostly decoration -- at least half to two-thirds of it is blocked off completely. This way, the designers can have the face they want without incurring a big drag penalty. It' form before function in the most harmless way possible.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor