The grilles (both real and faux) of the 2018 New York Auto Show

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Whether it's an irregular jaw of smiling shark teeth or a perpetually surprised oval, the car's grille plays a very important role: it allows air to flow, cool the radiator and generally prevents the engine from overheating and shutting down. It also fulfills a more psychological function, playing an important role in attracting buyers. After all, who would not want to get behind the wheel of a car that looks like it could chew them and spit them out?

Lexus UX Crossover

The grid could also be an endangered species. Cars without dirty internal combustion engines, such as vehicles with an electric battery and a fuel cell, do not necessarily need a grid. But automatic designs have difficulty moving from a criterion built around the function and needs of an ICE to one without those same requirements. Tesla got rid of his grid in Model 3, and there really is nothing around him, it looks weird. Some have started calling it "duck face", and with good reasons. The smooth and immaculate façade has already spawned an artisanal industry of people selling faux grid stickers for their Model 3. I personally like the one with vampire fangs.
Despite this change to zero emissions, car manufacturers can not leave the grid. The Jagaur I-Pace electric SUV has a traditional tooth grin, which according to the UK automotive company is to improve the aerodynamics and cool the batteries. The Hyundai Kona has a series of dimples in the shape of a grille on its face. It's a new trend in vestigial, fake grids that makes car designers reconsider the front ends of their vehicles to facilitate the transition of traditional designs. The results are sometimes rare, but you can see the good intentions behind this.
With all that in mind, we spent some time at the New York International Auto Show last week to get up close and some grids. Think of it as an anthropological study that future generations can review and marvel at the glowing, whale-tooth grilles on the cars their ancestors drove. Smile!

Genesis Essentia concept

Hyundai Kona

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