New Yokohama Design Concept Adds Aero to Car Tires
In the ongoing quest for increased performance and fuel economy, today’s cars have become more and more in tune with advanced aerodynamics. The edgy Volkswagen XL1 provides an example of a car at its slipperiest, while the big-winged Dodge Viper ACR…uh, doesn’t. However, if one of Yokohama Rubber’s new design concepts comes to real world fruition, it could add aerodynamic elements to the tires you drive on. In a recent company announcement, Yokohama revealed that it had developed small fin-shaped protuberances that could be placed at angles on the outer sidewall of a tire. When in motion, these mini fins are designed to reduce aerodynamic drag at upper side of a tire’s rotation, while suppressing aerodynamic lift on the lower end. Confused yet? Take a look at the animation below to see just how much of a change these fins can make. RELATED: Airless Tires Begin to Look Like a Functional Alternative
As seen in the air flow simulation, the “aero tires” help to hold the air flow closer to the tire and car body towards the top of the tire, while at the bottom, the fins fan that airflow out and away from the body. Yokohama hadn’t disclosed any technical data from its design study, but if ever pressed into service, these tires likely could offer considerable mpg savings on already slick vehicles.
Yokohama revealed it has been working on the project since December 2012, and recent testing in cooperation with a team from Japan’s Institute of Fluid Science at Tohoku University has led to fine-tuning the best placement of these fins, along with previously developed sidewall aero dimples.
Care to see the design in person? Yokohama says the tires will be on display later this month at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show…and potentially on your car in the future.
RELATED: Hankook Concept Looks to Evolve Off-Road Tires