Kumho Plans Concept Vehicle with ‘Chameleon’ Tyres
Kumho Tires has put its hand to creating a concept car, or at least a concept for a concept car, and the result is a vehicle that uses tyres not only in places you’d expect to find them. The Epoch Concept, as the car has been named, features a chassis made from bamboo and body panels from recycled tyre tread rubber – both features intended to offset the vehicle’s carbon footprint. Propulsion is planned as taking place – bearing in mind that so far the Epoch exists only at the idea stage and is not actually a working concept – by means of Magnetic Levitation units integrated into each of the vehicle’s four wheel hubs; these would purportedly generate zero friction and allow for maximum torque.
Perhaps more revolutionary is the thinking that has gone into the Epoch Concept’s tyres. Kumho envisage a design that employs Electro Active Polymer (EAP) technology and permits the tread and shape of the tyre to change in situ by running an electric current through the rubber. Therefore the same tyre could fulfil a number of specialised tasks depending on road surface and weather conditions.
It is not as yet known how far Kumho intends to take the development of its Epoch Concept.