Magna reports on its new fuel-saving active air dam on the 2019 Ram 1500

The 2019 Ram 1500 is the first high-volume vehicle to feature an active air dam. Automakers count on Magna’s active aero systems to help meet tightening emissions and fuel-economy targets. (Photos: FCA US LLC) (CNW Group/Magna International Inc.)
The 2019 Ram 1500 is the first high-volume vehicle to feature an active air dam. Automakers count on Magna’s active aero systems to help meet tightening emissions and fuel-economy targets. (Photos: FCA US LLC) (CNW Group/Magna International Inc.)

Magna showed its growing range of active aerodynamic systems at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, with an active air dam launching on the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck.

The air dam deploys automatically to redirect air around the vehicle and provide emissions and fuel-economy improvements. It is the first of its kind on a high-volume production vehicle.

Magna reports that combined with its active grille shutter, the aero system on the 2019 Ram achieves an estimated 7 percent drag reduction and 1 mile per gallon fuel savings on the highway. Across the Ram truck fleet, the active aero system is expected to save an estimated 10 million gallons of fuel annually.

“We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with the Ram engineering team and bring our new air dam system to market on the new Ram pickup,” said Grahame Burrow, president of Magna Exteriors. “As automakers seek ways to meet emissions and fuel-economy targets, our innovative solutions are able to combine styling with aero to take vehicle performance to new levels.”

The Ram’s active aero systems are driven by smart actuators and power systems developed in-house by Magna’s closures unit. The actuators communicate directly with the vehicle’s control systems and ensure the aero systems deploy correctly, based on vehicle inputs such as speed, temperature and drive mode.

Magna’s active aerodynamic expertise has grown significantly in recent years with more than 10 million active grille shutter systems on the road. Additional product innovations include active underbodies, active wheel deflectors and active rear diffusers, which can be applied across all vehicles from small cars to commercial trucks.