File photo: INLSA

Montreal, Canada - Driving through a pothole can damage your tyres, rock the suspension and even crack your shiny alloy wheels.

So a wheel that is apparently able to ‘eliminate road-based damage’ will be welcomed by motorists used to bumping along crumbling highways.

Michelin’s Acorus alloy has been developed over the past two years and features tough but flexible rubber flanges built directly into the metal rim where it meets the tyre. These flanges absorb impacts when the wheel strikes potholes.

Michelin research and development boss Terry Gettys said the technology could be rolled out to other manufacturers and could also be ‘retro-fitted’ to existing cars.

At the wheel’s launch in Montreal, Gettys said: "It should completely eliminate road-based damage. Acorus also performs better than a standard tyre on rutted roads."

Michelin says it will cost slightly more than a conventional wheel; a figure will be announced at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Any tyre can be fitted to the Acorus and fitters will not need specialist equipment to carry this out.

The AA welcomed the development from Michelin but said that the ultimate responsibility lay with government "to spend more on fixing roads".

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