The Chevrolet Equinox nameplate was first introduced for the 2005 model year, with the latest third-generation model going into production for the 2018 model year. Now, the 2021 Chevy Equinox is offered with a Cold Air Grille Shutter designed to keep the powertrain running at peak performance, even in frigid temperatures.
“The new shutter is controlled by shape memory alloy springs, which react to outside air temperature to close the shutterin freezing conditions,” General Motors explains in a statement to GM Authority. “The shutter helps limit ice and moisture accumulation.”
The Cold Air Grille Shutter offered on the 2021 Chevy Equinox is tagged with RPO code VRI, and is included and only available with the engine block heater (RPO code K05).
The feature is available on all 2021 Chevy Equinox trim levels. Additionally, both the Cold Air Grille Shutter and the engine block heater are required on orders in four U.S. states – Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota.
The Cold Air Grille Shutter is different from Active Aero Shutters, the latter of which is designed to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.
The 2021 Chevy Equinox was originally expected to bring a refresh for the nameplate. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the model refresh was pushed back to the 2022 model year.
Under the hood, the 2021 Chevy Equinox is equipped with the turbocharged 1.5L LYX I-4 engine, which produces 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque, mated to the six-speed MNH automatic transmission. The turbocharged 2.0L LTG I-4 engine and GM nine-speed automatic combo has been dropped for the 2021 model year, as GM Authority exclusively reported back in July. Both FWD and AWD are offered. Under the skin, the 2021 Chevy Equinox rides on the GM D2 platform.
For those buyers living in colder climates where below-freezing weather is a common occurrence, the Cold Air Grille Shutter is a fantastic feature to ensure that the 2021 Chevy Equinox performs exactly as expected, even in extreme temperatures.