Tried prototyping a grill block on the Escape. Put shipping tape over all the grill openings except the one on the bottom. I also covered the fog light air brakes (forward facing holes) since I don't have fog lights. Filling up before and after did not provide a measurable change in mileage from my normal highway rate of 23 mpg (speed limit all the way).
Temperatures seemed fine. I didn't expect there to be a problem with open highway.
The test was not rigorous. I had a piping gig about 55 miles away. Naturally, I had a head wind all the way up and after the gig, there was no offsetting tail wind coming back. No instrumentation (ScanGauge on order. Waiting...waiting...waiting <sound of foot tapping impatiently>)
I'll keep the tape on for a while. If I add a bow, I can tell people it's giftwrapped.
Ford have been known to have aero truck grilles that cut off the airflow at a certain speed, by clever design. i.e. at 45 it goes through, at 65 it goes over.
I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
Yes the test condition were less than ideal in just about every way possible, but I had hoped it would at least throw me a bone or something. I'm hoping that taping the front of a brick isn't just going to result in a brick with tape on the front.
If the body drag is unproportionately present on the Escape (it is after all, a brick), it may be more amenable to rear treatments like cammbacks, vortex generators, and other ways to mitigate the wake. I'll get there eventually.
The only way I could see it turn off the flow into the upper surfaces would be if there was an air dam that would tend to ram air into the lower openings and pressurize the plenum in front of the radiator. The '01 Escape has almost no concept of an air dam. It has a bullet nose that would seem to shove air under the car. I haven't figured out a good air dam approach but it will definitely alter the appearance.
Temperatures are going up over the next week. So that should give me a chance to see if there is going to be an overtemp problem.