Dakar tyre tops Hankook design competition

The first to third-placed tyres

The winners of the Hankook Tyre Design Challenge 2014 were announced at the Essen Motor Show in Germany today. This is the fourth time the competition has been held, and this year’s winner is Samir Sadikov, who submitted a ‘Dakar’ racing tyre concept. Runner up was Andreas Hartl with an intelligent “vent tyre” and third place was taken by Lucia Less with the ‘concept winter’ self-transforming snow tyre. These top concepts, which were selected by a jury of design and tyre experts and produced in prototype form by Hankook, will be on display for the rest of the Essen Motor Show’s duration.

This year the student design competition was held in cooperation with the University of Design, Engineering and Business in Pforzheim, Germany, and was contested by students studying Transportation Design as part of a Master of Arts programme. Each edition of the Hankook Tyre Design Challenge aims to promote the development of innovative and creative tyre design together with a leading international university; the previous competition in 2012 partnered with the University of Cincinnati in the US.

Participants are required to find “futuristic and realistic tyre concepts of the future” and answers to the current challenges facing the mobility sector: sustainability, reducing the amount of raw materials used in tyre production while increasing their recyclability, increasing tyre efficiency and adhering to certain performance targets.

“It was a great pleasure for us to work with such a renowned institution as the University for Design, Engineering and Business in Pforzheim for our Tyre Design Challenge 2014,” stated Hee-Se Ahn, vice-president Marketing & Sales at Hankook Tire Europe. “At Hankook,, we set great store by long-term investments in research and development and our employees, in order to offer our customers the best possible tyre technology. The competition is not only an opportunity for young international designers on the Transportation Design course to present their potential to the public, it also offers us an exciting insight into future tyre designs and a chance to get to know potential young talents.”

This year’s winner, Samir Sadikov, describes the Dakar tyre as a wheel concept that offers Hankook the chance to enter a completely new racing category. The “idea of the concept is to design a truck wheel which can adapt to extreme conditions with minimising the possible damages which will help the driver to gain more time during the race.” Samir says the wheel concept started with a hexagonal graphic, which serves as the tyre’s tread design. “The tyre has hexagonal blocks which are transforming the whole wheel into two modes, off-road and on-road. The Hexagonal blocks are attached to each other to have more grip on flatter surfaces, when the vehicle enters to off-road areas such as desert, mountain road or even more difficult areas. The blocks are detaching from each other and transforming into expanded mode. Therefore the vehicle can go with full comfort without slipping.

“The hexagonal blocks have their own air inside therefore when there will be a puncture situation, the driver will be able to change only this block instead of the whole tyre and it will avoid losing time during the race,” Samir adds. “The hexagonal blocks also provide individual suspension which also creates an extra comfort for the driver. My wheel concept is also adaptable for passenger cars and standard trucks. With these separate blocks many possibilities will be created, such as customising the block’s style and colour.”

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