Called the iFlex, the new tyre is the latest in a line of concepts from Hankook that it hopes it will soon be ready for mass-production.
Hankook has been developing airless tyres since 2011, and this fifth and latest iFlex concept is currently undergoing ride and handling tests with a focus on runs at freeway speeds of up to 130km/h.
The tyre-maker also tested the iFlex for hardness, stability and durability, along with its ability to negotiate the classic slalom course.
The company says the results from its latest round of testing were impressive and matched what could be expected of conventional pneumatic tyres.
Furthermore, the iFlex is made from environmentally-friendly materials to maximise energy efficiency during the tyre’s life and ensure it is easy to recycle once its useful life is at an end
The iFlex requires just four ‘stages’ during manufacturing, against eight for conventional pneumatic tyres, which further enhances its ‘green’ credentials.
"The Hankook iFlex's ability to deliver the perfect high-speed driving performance is the result of Hankook’s longstanding commitment to independently developing progressive, innovative tyre technology,” Hankook CEO, Seung-Hwa Suh, said.
“[We aim] to strengthen our technological leadership in the global tyre market, and we will continue to develop cutting-edge, eco-friendly and future-oriented tyres."
Hankook also unveiled three more futuristic tyre concepts late last year, called ‘Boostrac’, ‘Aplike’ and ‘Hyblade’, with each featuring a transformable and seemingly indestructible tread.
The arrival of mainstream airless tyres can’t come too soon for carmakers, with countless new models offering no spare tyres to owners in favour of a tyre repair kit, or limited-use ‘space-saver’ spares to save weight and allow for more generous cargo areas.
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