Kumho’s Smasher concept, which was featured on the new SSangyong Tivoli at the IAA Frankfurt in 2015, recently won an award in the 2016 International Design Excellence Awards. The innovative off-road tire for SUVs was developed in collaboration with Ssangyong Motor and is said to feature technologies that could potentially be used in production.
“The challenge to find a proper solution for tough off-road conditions was interesting and provided us with an opportunity to gain important knowledge for our future off-road products, which can be produced on a mass scale,” said Taegon Kang, responsible for product management at Kumho Europe.
To improve the traction performance, the tire’s pattern block design reflects the biomimetic design of a mountain goat’s hoof, which has excellent climbing ability. Additionally, the wave inside block design maximizes the mud and dirt traction performance on rocky off-road surfaces. Its open shoulder blocks prevent mud and dirt build-up and eliminate the mud and dirt from the tread.
Another feature to keep the tread clear from mud and dirt in order to provide high levels of traction in extreme terrain is the high void ratio between the tread blocks, and the stone ejector on the tire’s tread, which also improves noise performance.
To give the maximum protection against puncture on rough roads, Smasher’s sidewall is equipped with a 3D side biter design. The three-ply polyester sidewall construction and high-strength steel belt tread further improve puncture resistance.
As noise is often seen as one of the weaknesses of conventional off-road tires due to their rough pattern designs, the Smasher has a tread block dimple deco and inside block stair shape design, which absorb the road noise.
“Some of these key features have already been taken into actual product development. The best example is the multi-layered technology, which is applied on several of our latest-generation tires. We also plan to investigate how we can use technology applied in the Smasher to reduce noise in new products,” noted Kang.
September 14, 2016