A’ Design Award 2020 for Maxxis T Razr concept tyre
Maxxis the latest tyre manufacturer to innovate a new solution employing adaptive features and sensor technology
Maxxis has been recognised for its adaptable tyre and wheel assembly concept, the T Razr. The innovation was presented with the silver award in the 2020 A’ Design Awards, organised by organized by OMC Design Studios SRL, based in Como, Italy. Maxxis states that the design is inspired by the need to bring “a safer, more economical tyre solution to the global tyre market.”
The T Razr is designed to actively detect different driving conditions and adapt its contact area accordingly, improving traction, grip, comfort and ultimately, safety. Featuring electromagnetic technology, the tyre will adapt its aspect ratio depending on the acceleration, cornering and braking actions of the vehicle. Fans on the rim will also open to cool the brake discs and adjust the air resistance of the wheel.
In pursuing the design, Maxxis says that it is looking to the future of the automotive industry. Its vision comprises electric vehicles, intelligent safety systems and a focus on saving and redistributing energy created whilst driving. The Maxxis T Razr tyre-and-rim ensemble, it adds, will “provide the intuitive performance the vehicles of tomorrow will need.”
Tyres that adapt to application and conditions
Maxxis adds that its T Razr concept will all drivers to set the tyres into sport or comfort and charging modes. Activating sport mode causes repulsion between electromagnetic areas of the tread pattern. This increases the contact area, reemploying some of the tyre’s sidewall as part of the tread pattern. This increases grip and control.
Comfort mode moves the electromagnetic areas of the tread pattern to bring the tyre into a traditional shape. Contact between the tread areas creates friction, which is converted into electricity to charge the electromagnets ready for use in sport mode.
The T Razr has been developed as a result of Maxxis’s G-sensor technology development. The G-sensor detects the movement of the vehicle and communicates with the electromagnetic system to intelligently control the tyre’s behaviour. For example, when the G-sensor detects forward motion in the tyre, it will adapt the tyre shape to enhance traction. Moreover, when the vehicle turns right, the G-sensor will sense the centrifugal force to the left and will adapt only one side of the tyre to provide the best traction for the angle of the corner.
This tyre is designed to be lightweight and Maxxis’s global R&D departments are now researching the industrialisation of the design. It wants to find a way to produce on an affordable scale to help the concept become a reality for global consumers.
Smart tyre concepts
Concept tyres that physically adapt to conditions or applications are becoming increasingly common in the global tyre business. The Maxxis T Razr fits in the recent tradition of thinking about how tyres could be made more adaptable to allow for a wide range of applications in the same product (see below for some clips on how global premium brands have approached this idea). This, the thinking goes, will allow tyres to make further leaps forward in terms of their safety and performance characteristics in a variety of different conditions, making use of sensor technology developments. There is also an emphasis on boosting the ecological and efficiency credentials of tyres.
While sensor technology and smarter tyre monitoring are firmly part of today’s tyre landscape, too many variables currently make predicting when the first fully industrialised tyre that is adaptable on the fly might appear impossible.