A punctured tire is the definition of a bad day, but Michelin is taking some of the sting out as it announces the opening of its newest North American plant, which the company says is the first in the world dedicated to the manufacture of airless tires called "Tweels
". The US$50 million plant will be used to make the Michelin X Tweel Airless Radial Tire and others for commercial and agricultural applications.
With their enigmatic new VŪHL 05, brothers Iker and Guillermo Echeverria are threatening to stamp Mexico on the supercar map. Unveiled to a select audience at England’s Royal Automobile Club, the lightweight track-racer debuted a week earlier than predicted.
The international flavoring of the supercar melting pot is set to get more diverse next month with the addition of the VŪHL 05 from Mexico-based VŪHL (Vehicles of Ultra High-performance and Lightweight). The car will be unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.
In automobile design there are concept cars and there are high concept projects. And now, apparently, there are concepts that exist on a seemingly LED-infused plain. Renault, with the help of famed British designer Ross Lovegrove, took the latter route, and developed one of the most enlightened
concepts to come along in years: the Tron-styled Twin’Z Concept.
Gizmag is essentially about new thought - new and better ways of doing things. Hence the DeltaWing Project which we detailed previously
, is of greater fascination than most current auto racing projects because the 1.6-liter Nissan DIG-T turbo-powered car is hugely innovative. Racetrack testing is well underway and the car recently had its first serious outing in the wet at the U.K.'s Snetterton circuit.
For the last ten years, Michelin North America has challenged designers from around the world to create innovative vehicle concepts. The company put those concepts before some judges, and then displayed a chosen few at the North American International Auto Show
(NAIAS). The 2011 "Plus 10: The Best is Yet to Come" challenge was to come up with a vehicle that could be enjoyed by people local to the designers in 2021. From the record number of entries received, Michelin's judges chose 34 works to go on display. Let's take a quick look at some of them ...
Despite not becoming the personal transport revolution that it was designed to be, the Segway
has provided a wealth of design fodder for numerous self-balancing concepts
single occupancy vehicles. Mohamad Sadegh Samakoush Darounkolayi's entry into this year's Michelin Design Challenge, however, probably owes more to the Disney/Pixar film WALL-E
– hopefully the users of his Supple concept won't end up being the grossly overweight, lethargic, mentally-challenged descendants of humanity like those aboard the Axiom cruise ship.
Bicycle inner tubes that contain a small-puncture-sealing slimy liquid
may not be a new development in and of themselves, but Michelin has released a product that takes the concept a step further. The company's Protek Max tube not only contains a sealant, but is designed to compress when punctured to assist the self-sealing process.
Like many other regions of the world, Brazil has a transport congestion problem. Once seen as a city issue, traffic jams have spread to smaller and smaller towns. The designers of the OU concept propose a possible solution where existing roadways have rails installed and drivers of specially kitted-out vehicles can join road trains to flow through otherwise congested areas at a constant pace. The electric OU vehicle's wheels would operate in either an open configuration – for normal driving – or closed, for rail travel.
Although I live by a river, I don't own a boat so am not faced with having to drag a trailer down to the water's edge and unload my dinghy every time I want to cross the great expanse. I might just be persuaded to spend more time on the water, though, if there was something like the Manta waiting outside my front door. The sporty-looking three-wheeler concept is designed to be run on twin electric motors, with the rear wheels taking care of propulsion on water as well as on the road. The design is amongst the entries chosen by this year's Michelin Challenge Design judges for display at the recent North American International Auto Show