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Groovy! Goodyear's tyres go radical

2014-03-10 11:30

GROOVY NEW TYRE: Goodyear believes its new SUV concept tyre can improve roll resistance and reduce weight. What’s more, its twin air chambers enable it to continue rolling in the event of a puncture. Image: GOODYEAR

Goodyear unveiled a radical SUV concept tyre at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show. It’s hoped that the unnamed concept will be used as “inspiration” for future products.

Director-general of Goodyear’s Innovation Centre in Luxemburg, Jean-Pierre Jeusette, said: “This tyre provides the world with an example of our development process at Goodyear. It reflects the complexity of the tyre engineering process we go through to deliver innovative products to the market.

LESS ROLLING RESISTANCE

Developed to be an inspirational and not a marketable product, its design aims to “improve SUV efficiency without sacrificing capability” and has been fitted to Hyundai’s Intrado concept. Goodyear claims its tyres offer “fresh ways to address rolling resistance and wet grip, key criteria on the European tyre label”.

Goodyear took a radical approach to a traditional SUV tyre with a large central groove to reduce the tyre’s contact with the road, thereby improving its overall rolling resistance. 

According to the tyremaker: “In essence, reduced rolling resistance means engines do not need to work so hard to push the tyre forward against the friction created by its contact with the ground. This supports Goodyear’s efforts to enhance fuel-efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”

KEEP ON ROLLING

The central groove is also designed to evacuate large quantities of water and mud to improve its grip on the wet surfaces. The tyre is designed with two distinct rings, one for road use and the other 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.

Textured surfaces also enhance road grip. The outer ring makes contact with the road when the vehicle is on smooth surfaces while the inner ring, with its smaller diameter, makes contact when in mud or sand.

The concept tyre has twin air chambers (one on each side) connected through a valve system,so it will roll if one of the chambers is holed.


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