Radical DACAR Concept Could Change Off-Road Racing
Earlier this year, Hankook issued a challenge to students at Pforzheim University’s School of Design: create a tire concept for vehicles of the future. Contest winner Samir Sadikhov (the same designer responsible for the Ferrari Xezri and RAD Beast) thought a bit further off the beaten path than some of his competitors, and given what he came up with, it’s clear why he won. Meet Sadikhov’s DACAR tire concept, a design that envisions Hankook’s space age entry into the world of Dakar off-road racing. While radical in concept, its implementation is quite simple, and was even inspired by a pair of grippy Reebok ATV sneakers. RELATED: Take a closer look at Sadikhov's radical DACAR off-road concept
The result is a truck tire that can adapt to rough terrain by morphing its surface on the fly. Hexagonal graphene blocks form the tire’s tread pattern. In on-road form, the tire surface grips tarmac like your average road tire. But thanks to an adaptable inner-wheel profile that pushes the blocks outward and away from one another, a knobbier surface is formed that can grab and grip to off-road surfaces like the best mud and all-terrain tires.
Worried about a puncture? The graphene blocks in Sadikhov’s concept incorporate their own air bladder, and at least conceptually could be replaced individually rather than swapping out a whole tire. Flexible carbon fiber composes the concept tire’s sidewalls, and the wheels are made of hardened carbon steel.
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The larger concept vehicle, also dubbed the ‘DACAR’, might merely be the result of the edgy tire concept, but there’s no denying it’s quite the looker. The pod-shaped off-roader – inspired by the hexagonal tire treads – features futuristic visuals and a definite style not far-off of the Dakar Rally’s massive T4 truck class.
We say build it!
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