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Radical tire & wheel technology

Discussion in 'Technical' started by TEG, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    With a number of new EVs announcing the use of PML Flightlink technology, there has been a flurry of discussion about hub motors.

    Here is a picture of a Mitsubishi hub motor:
    [​IMG]

    Then there is the Michelin Tweel Airless Tire which has caused some interest.

    [​IMG]

    Are we looking at the future here? Will hub motors with Tweel's be standard on the car of tomorrow?

    Both ideas have some merits, but I wonder if they are just experiments to be relegated to the history books.
     
  2. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Mainecoon Butler

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    Some things are just too ugly to be practical:
    tweel-1.JPG
     
  3. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I think the Tweel is very promising, I just wonder what the hold up is. Why haven't they yet been able to bring it to market? It's been something like 12 years since they began R&D on this idea. All you get in the Michelin presentations is how wonderful these things are and all the advantages they offer, but there's never anything said about what problems they are still trying to solve before they can start selling them.
     
  4. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Doesn't look to me like they would handle that well in a curve.
     
  5. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  6. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    When you drive one of these, does it sound like someone blowing over the top of a really big bottle? :)
     
  7. danny

    danny Administrator

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    A lot of new things are viewed as ugly at first.
    I try to be open to new things even if they look strange at first.
    It takes getting used to sometimes. Once we start to associate something with performance, we will perhaps start looking at it more favorably in terms of looks.
    Basically my opinion is that "looks" are not independent of other categories, they effect each other.
     
  8. danny

    danny Administrator

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    I actually asked a guy at a tire place here in LA once about the tweel and what he thought about it. I can't remember exactly what he said but he did mention how on sports cars it would limit the size of the brake rotor.

    After I then thought about it and figured that rotors housed further inside the chassis would solve this problem.

    There are a lot of technologies that are very promising.
    There are two problems that I can see right now.
    1. Testing and proving them.
    2. Getting people used to the idea. Whether it be the looks/how they look or the idea of them.
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I've always thought the Tweel was cool. I'd like to seem them on a Roadster just for fun.

    My question when I look at them is stuff getting inside them. If you go though a 2 inch puddle and the wheel carries water from the ground up to the top and around, how does that affect handling?

    And even more curious is how they deal with gravel and rock. I can see stones of just the right size getting lodged in the open spaces and real mucking up the works. And if the wheel lets go of such a rock can you imagine the damage a projectile launching at several hundred miles an hour can do?
     
  10. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I completely agree with that. I mean, think of the VW Beetle. It must have looked really peculiar when the first ones were brought into the US in the 1950s. By the 1990s it had become so loved that popular demand practically arm-twisted VW into producing the New Beetle.

    A big part of how we interpret a car is based on the prior associations that it brings to mind. When I first saw the Pontiac Solstice, I was very put-off. To me, the rounded nose looked like some nerdy, archaic, underpowered, so-called "sports car" from the late 1950s or early 60s. It also reminded me of a swollen lump on wheels. (A lump of what, I'll leave to your imagination.)

    However. . . I noticed after it was unveiled, almost everybody else online was raving about how beautiful it was. Okay. . . Clearly it didn't raise the same associations in their minds as it did in mine.
     
  11. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I hadn't thought of that, but I can see how it might be a problem.

    Also, I think noise and vibration at highway speeds might be a problem they are working on.
     
  12. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Perhaps a thin, flexible membrane sidewall could solve that. I don't think they have to be open to the air like they have on the prototypes.
     
  13. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    "Perhaps a thin, flexible membrane sidewall could solve that. I don't think they have to be open to the air like they have on the prototypes. "

    Yeah but why? You'd be back to square 1 visually.

    Now if it was clear, that would be cool.
     
  14. mt2

    mt2 Member

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    Personally, I think the Tweel is perfect for EVs. I could put playing cards in the spokes to simulate engine noise.

    Okay, sorry, just had to say that.
     
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  16. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Nice. We just need a sport version
     
  17. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #18 vfx, Apr 15, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
    [​IMG]]
     
  18. medved

    medved Member

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    #20 medved, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016

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