A former Fiat designer, now working for a Korean tire company, has created a new three-door SUV design concept that is all-electric and very interesting. More details inside.
Korean tire-makers Kumho is drumming up some attention for themselves with the release of these sketches of a proposed all-electric SUV. The three-door concept is the result of Kumho's own Rob Dolton, a former Fiat designer who linked up with the tire company in 2005.
Named the Kumho Fortis, the vehicle uses four chassis-mounted electric motors. Each 100 horsepower motor directly powers one of the four wheels. Dolton claims this easily allows the driver to switch between four- and two-wheel drive, or between front- and rear-wheel drive. He also says that the system allows for an intense amount of traction, electronic stability, and hill descent protection. A Lithium ion battery pack provides the energy to the motors, and can be partially recharged with regenerative brakes. The battery pack could either be swapped out for a fresh unit, or simply recharged.
Sustainability has become a hallmark of Dolton's concept designs, and the Fortis is no exception. The SUV makes use of recycled tire rubber in its bumpers, doors, wings, hatch, and hood.
Dolton previously sketched out the Kumho Epoch in 2007. The oddly-shaped racecar would feature a frame built out of bamboo, and an interior made from recycled rubber. Inspired by electromagnetic trains, Dolton's creation would be powered by magnetic levitation units built into the hub of each wheel.
Like the Epoch, the Fortis also features tires that can change their treads at the turn of a dial. In theory, these treads would also incorporate metal biters to increase traction while either off-road or on ice.