A novel tire concept developed by Falken features different tread sections that could provide drivers with both sporty handling and efficiency on their plug-in hybrid electrical vehicle (PHEV) SUVs. To date, engineers have struggled to develop tires that offer low-rolling resistance to increase the car’s range whilst offering the vehicle dynamics expected of SUVs.
The concept will debut on Mitsubishi’s Concept XR-PHEV II small SUV, which is powered by a new PHEV system. The outer third of the concept comprises a primarily low rolling resistance slick surface with intelligently placed water dispersion grooves that prevent hydroplaning and also enhance wet road grip. To offer better grip under hard cornering, the inner third of the tire features a curved surface (like a motorcycle) that comes in greater contact with the road whilst the car is being pushed harder.
“Consumers want to have the best range with a hybrid but aren’t prepared to sacrifice an involving driving experience with sporting dynamics,” said Matt Smith, Falken’s UK director.
“A new type of tire is needed and this concept highlights how Falken could help SUV drivers to achieve efficiency without sacrificing a sportier driving experience.”
March 26, 2015