FRANKFURT (Germany): Falken has revealed its take on the future of tyres – designed to the point where it could meet the demands of hybrid SUV drivers with both extended range and dynamic handling.
Inspired by motorcycle rubber, the Japanese tyre manufacturer showcased the different tread areas that could point the way to how drivers can enjoy both sporty handling and efficiency for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) SUVs.
To date, engineers have struggled to develop tyres that offer low rolling resistance to increase the car’s range whilst offering sharp, sporty dynamics expected by sporty SUV drivers.
Debuting this month on the Mitsubishi XR-PHEV II small SUV Concept, the outer third of Falken’s concept tyre comprises primarily of a low rolling resistance slick surface with intelligently placed water dispersion grooves to prevent hydroplaning while enhancing wet grip.
For better grip under hard cornering, the inner third of the tyre features a curved (like a motorcycle) surface that comes in greater contact with the road whilst the car is being pushed harder.
No production date has been set for the novel tyre but Falken believes that such bespoke tyre technology is the way tyre design will progress.
According to Falken UK director Matt Smith, “Consumers want to have the best range with a hybrid but aren’t prepared to sacrifice an ‘involving’ driving experience with sporting dynamics.”
He further explained that Falken’s concept tyre could help SUV drivers achieve efficiency without sacrificing a sportier driving experience.
“Tyres play a critical role in the way a vehicle drives and stops. Expect to see more bespoke tyres to extract the best all round performance for a car,” he added.
Earlier this month Falken announced it now produces a bespoke version of its tyres for the new Volkswagen Passat.