The active grille shutter, one of the most significant “big part” since the car was born. Though it wasn’t created accompanied the birth of first car, it is now, and surely will always be one of the most important auto parts. A car grille can enhance the appeal as the ornamental structure, it is also a key component for a cooling system and even protective purpose. Let’s have a look at the evolution of grille and its materials, finding how material iteration affects the fabulous evolution of car grille.

The origin and development of grille

There is no grille on cars in early days. The cooling system is radiator with barely decorative design. Car grille first appeared on automobiles in 1903. Several years later, the arch-shaped design became common and became the standard design on automobile grilles for many years. Grille gradually serves as the distinctive styling element, and many marques use it as their primary brand identifier.
Car grille tends to be intelligent. The previous solely cooling-function grille has evolved to the active grille shutter, short for AGS, which is now rapidly and widely applied to high-end cars, including electric cars. Comparing with traditional vented grille, AGS controls and adjusts air flow to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics and thermal performance. Its design has been optimized for air circulation and watertightness.

Introduction of EV grille

Since the electric motors of electric cars are still require ventilation and cooling, the lower grille is reserved in most cases. And the upper grille was designed into an integrated bumper or closed-off ornamental grille (Only the identifier of car brand was remained), as no engines need ventilation and cooling any more. In addition, the luminous grille is a new type with optical performance under the new energy trends.

Grille of electric cars

Upper grille

(Functions of ventilation and cooling removed)

Lower grille

(Original design reserved)

Integrated front bumper

Traditional grille

Decorative grille

Luminous grille


Applications and selection of car grille materials

Generally, car grille is composed of grille body and grille trim, and car logos are also assembled on the grille on several types of cars. As the car grille offers functionality, aesthetics and pedestrian protection, it has high requirements on manufacturing and materials, including high strength, good dimensional stability, superior manufacturability and excellent environmental adaptability, etc. Now a question has been raised: When it comes to an active grille shutter that allows both aesthetic cosmetics and practical functions, do you know what materials it is made of?

Grille materials

Ornamental trim

Grille body




Plating ABS
Plating PC
Heat-resistant ABS
Special PC

Cases of grille application

Plating ABS


Spray-free PC/ASA

BMW 4 Series

Heat-resistant ABS

Great Wall WEY6

Applications and selection of car grille materials

Multilayers structure of luminous grille

Hard-coated lens layer

LED luminous layer

Grille base layer


The luminous grille is composed of three layers: hard-coated lens layer, (scratch resistance, weather resistance, etc.), LED luminous layer and grille base (dimensional stability, high strength, etc.).

On-demand manufacturing helps stay ahead of the grille trend

The pursuit of technology and beauty in electric vehicles has released a signal of great commercial prospects. The infinite possibilities of AGS design are both opportunities and challenges. With the new thoughts and new designs are emerging continuously, RPWORLD low volume & on-demand manufacturing helps you turn auto part design ideas into reality more quickly and cost-effectively, helping you stay ahead of competition. Contact us now and turn your design into reality within days!

Tags: Prototyping Service   CNC Machining   Injection Molding   Urethane Casting    Auto Parts