Is the grille dead?
Obviously it's still needed on ICEs, but with an EV... is it the same?
I had it in mind that grilles on EVs were purely decorational at this point, simply because removing such a pivotal and iconic car part across the board would be an absolute disaster for hopes of originality in car design for the modern world. Nonetheless, it might sound expensive to keep supplying sometimes rare and contrasting materials to keep its place and besides, cutting the part would surely make production a million times easier and more efficient, right? However, perhaps there's function left yet.
Take the Jaguar I-Pace for example. As electric cars go, this one's certainly been a hit. I've always liked it and still do. The now typical 'ev grille' is present here as you will see.
One good looking product, trust in Jag of course.
Now with no engine....there's little need for a radiator. So why the grille? Well it turns out close inspection on indivual cars will reveal where different vents connect up different parts of given vehicles. The Jag for example (though it won't show in that image) has a slight gap between the highest part of the main grille and the bonnet, which is simply just a wide tunnel which leads to that visible vent just short of the windscreen. In case it weren't obvious therefore, the grilles are often actually used for airflow still.
But cooling is also still on the go too believe it or not. The lower grille takes in air across the front bumper and actually sends it to the battery area, and keeps them cool. Being the main power source, logic would dictate it could probably do with some heat maintainence all things considered.
Now it is of course true that in most cases it could be scrapped should it be deemed better off for the company. Tesla are most recognisable I would say for their 'lack' of use of the part. But there's no better place than Drivetribe to see what this has done on the grounds of looks. And I too would agree that it does produce a sort of 'overly-simple' and at such a point.... boring looking car. Smart of course, just not as interesting in my eyes.
This grilled Model S does still look rotten if you ask me, but given the shape of it, don't blame the actual car for that. It's aftermarket what did you expect?
It isn't just the I-Pace that uses the grille for both function and appeal. Nearly every EV has some sort of small grille on the front bumper. It's the big higher up ones that I'm referring to here. Skoda are embracing the evolution, as shown by the very questionable styling of the Enyaq, Audi with the E-Tron and so on.
My only concern?
The media, obviously. By the media I don't mean reporters and influencers spouting out about it. I mean us. I would imagine that this sort of move to keep cars quintesssentially 'normal' might be viewed as a cop off, kind of like fake exhausts or added cabin sounds. To me the continuation of grille use is ideologically the right thing to do. Well not right, both keeping it and scrapping it can be viewed as right. But for me it's the preferable option. And a bit of gratitude for the outcome in this particular scenario would be best here I do think. As we can see, they can be used for actual s t u f f too.
Now we just have to hope better things come of this than that of the gopping En-yack.
Thank you for reading.