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Posts Tagged ‘run-flat tires’

Toyota Wants to Take the Air Out of Your Tires

Those round rubber donuts are going high-tech.

by on Oct.31, 2017

Toyota's Fine-Ride Comfort concept vehicle uses a prototype airless tire by Sumitomo.

If Toyota has its way you soon might be running around on airless tires. That doesn’t mean you’ll be riding a flat, though.

The Japanese automaker’s Fine-Comfort Ride concept car, which is making its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, features tires that don’t need to be inflated to be used. The airless design “contributes to greater safety and peace of mind,” according tire manufacturer Sumitomo, “by freeing the driver from worries about punctures and the trouble of having to manage tire pressure.”

We Won't Tire You Out!

Sumitomo isn’t the only manufacturer hoping to develop an airless tire. Michelin is working on a similar concept it has dubbed the “Tweel.” And though neither company is saying when such a design might make it into production, what seems clear is that motorists are going to see a lot of changes in wheels and tires in the coming years, reflecting broader technological changes reshaping the automobile.


Spare Me? Not So Fast

Almost a third of new vehicles no longer come with a spare tire.

by on Oct.19, 2017

Some manufacturers have eliminated the spare tire in favor of run-flat tires, such as in the Lexus LC 500.

There are few things more frustrating than being stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire – unless, that is, you also don’t have a spare.

In an effort to reduce weight, improve fuel economy and, yes, in some cases to save money, automakers have been cutting back the number of models equipped with spare tires, though they also note that they’re doing so on products like the new Lexus LC 500 sports coupe in order to give owners more cargo space.

Beyond the Headlines!

The silver lining is that today’s tires tend to be more rugged and reliable, and many vehicles are now equipped with run-flat tires that are designed to keep going for as much as 50 miles if they lose air pressure, enough to get to a service station for a repair or replacement, the manufacturers claim. (more…)

Bridgestone Sucks the Air Out of its Tires

Field tests of airless tires to begin next year.

by on Oct.09, 2014

Bridgestone revealed a second-generation prototype of its Air Free tires at the Paris Motor Show.

They’re arguably the most important part of your car, yet the fundamental design of those four black donuts hasn’t changed all that much since Scottish veterinarian John Boyd came up with an inflatable rubber tire for his son’s bicycle back in 1887.

But that could be ready to change, at least if Bridgestone has its way with the Air Free tires it is demonstrating at the Paris Motor Show. As this name implies, the second-generation prototype no longer has to maintain a tight seal to stay inflated. Instead, it relies on just a thin band of solid rubber supported by flexible resin spokes.

Inflate Your Knowledge!

The Bridgestone Air Free tires aren’t designed to provide temporary help, like today’s Run Flats, but to completely replace the conventional pneumatic tires used on cars, trucks, bicycles, and so many other products in use around the world.

There are several reasons why Bridgestone says it is working up the Air Free concept – but the project also faces a number of tough challenges.


Bridgestone Bringing Run-Flat Tires to the Masses

Tire company rolls out replacement tire line-up.

by on Apr.08, 2014

Bridgestone is introducing a new line-up of replacement run-flat tires for a wide array of vehicles. No longer is the technology limited to high-end vehicles.

The owners of a Chevrolet Corvette and a Chevrolet Sonic may soon have something in common beyond the “bow-tie” emblem on their vehicles: each can wait up to 50 miles to change a flat tire.

Bridgestone is introducing a line-up of replacement run-flat tires for a broader array of cars and trucks. Several other tire makers such as Michelin and Goodyear have run-flat tires for performance-oriented vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Corvette. Typically, they are original equipment on these vehicles.

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However, Bridgestone is the first tire manufacturer to offer the run-flat as a replacement tire in more than 30 different sizes, which will fit on a broad array of vehicles. (more…)