Geneva Motor Show - No, won’t find it at your local Tiger Wheel and Tyre store anytime soon, but Goodyear’s new SUV concept tyre hints at a radical new direction that off-road rubber may take sometime in the future.
The as-yet-unnamed tyre - unveiled here this week - features a large central groove that reduces the tyre’s physical contact with the road, thereby reducing its rolling resistance. This saves fuel as it requires less engine power to push the tyre forward against the friction created by its contact with the ground.
The central groove is also designed to evacuate large quantities of water and mud away from the tyre’s contact patch in wet conditions.
TWO TYRES IN ONE
The tyre is designed with two distinct rings, the outer one for road use and the inner one for off-road traction. The outer ring comprises about two-thirds of the track width, its surface primarily slick but with cut-ins to move water and prevent hydroplaning.
The inner ring, with its smaller diameter, makes contact when the driving surface becomes soft, such as in mud or sand. Its more aggressive cut-ins and pebbly surfaces add traction.
The concept tyre also has two independent air chambers – one on each side – connected through a valve system, which allows the tyre to continue to roll even after a puncture in one of the chambers.
“Looking towards possible future solutions helps us to deliver technologies of today.”
“Concept tyres are an integral part of Goodyear’s development process,” A goodyear spokesman explained. “They help us to identify, design and deliver new technologies to improve road safety, driving comfort and sustainable solutions for our products.”