Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pirelli Says Tires of the Future Will Be Tall and Skinny

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It seems that if we want to go further and improve the whole concept of the automobile, making it even more efficient, will require a radical rethink of tires, their size and look. According to Pirelli, the increasingly strict European Union regulations for tires will force them to try to find new ways of achieving the best ratings.
It's actually quite funny to look at this from a broader perspective, and see how cars first started out with narrow tires, only for them to get excessively wide, and then thin again. Tires will be judged by their rolling resistance factor, as well as their wet braking performance, and the regulations governing them are only set to get stricter and stricter – first in 2016, then 2020.
It is also suggested that the diameter of regular tires will grow, from the average of around 16 inches today, to 21 inches in 2020, simply because of the new requirements. An example of what cars of the future will morph into is the Audi Urban Concept (or the Toyota i-Road), which looks like an ultra-modern interpretation of a very small 1920s car.
It will be interesting to observe which manufacturers adopt this trend first, in a production vehicle. Such tires would look out of place on a sports car. Will they use double pairs at the back for extra traction, like some trucks and commercial vehicles, or is the age of high-grip-in-corners cars set to end completely after 2020?
Note: Audi Urban Concept and Toyota i-Road pictured
By Andrei Nedelea
Story References: Goauto 




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