NEXT MITSUBISHI PHEV: Mitsubishi's XR-PHEV II made its debut at the 2015 Geneva auto show. Image: Mitsubishi
A new tyre sporting different tread areas could combine sporty handling and efficiency for future plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) SUVs.
Tyremaker Falken said: “Engineers have struggled to develop tyres that offer low rolling-resistance to increase the car’s range while offering the sharp and sporty dynamics expected by SUV drivers.”
In March 2015 Mitsubishi will debut its XR-PHEV II concept SUV, powered by a new PHEV system, and fitted with Falken’s hybrid tyre.
HOW IT WORKS
The outer third of Falken’s tyre is primarily a low rolling-resistance slick surface with water-dispersion grooves to prevent hydroplaning and enhance grip. The inner tyre wall has a curved (like a motorcycle) surface for better cornering.
Falken’s UK director Matt Smith explained said: “People want to have the best range with a hybrid but aren’t prepared to sacrifice an ‘involving’ driving experience. A new type of tyre is needed and this concept highlights how Falken could help SUV drivers to achieve efficiency without sacrificing a sportier driving experience.”
No production date has been set but Falken believes its tyre technology could be the future of tyre design.
Smith said: “Tyres play a critical role in the way a vehicle drives and stops. Expect to see more bespoke tyres to extract the best performance for a car.”
NEXT-GEN TYRE: Falken believes its hybrid tyre concept, fitted to the new Mitsubishi XR-PHEV II, could be the future of tyre development. Image: Mitsubishi