Welcome to the Hankook Tire press room, where you can access the latest news on Hankook Tire and our industry.
Hankook Tire Continues Its Pioneering Technology Leadership with Two Future-oriented Tires
- - Third-generation runflats and non-pneumatic tires illustrate Hankook Tire’s commitment to realizing future driving experiences
- - Moving forward on the technology leadership, Hankook Tire will continue making significant R&D investments to further enhance brand competitiveness with top-tier tire technology
Hankook Tire continues to reinforce its competitiveness as a leading global tire brand through extensive R&D investment in new tire technology.
Hankook Tire’s research and development-centered philosophy has resulted in its products being selected as the original equipment for several premium German automakers, including the recently announced high performance SUV starting in early 2015. Continuing its legacy of technological leadership, Hankook Tire has unveiled its third-generation runflats and future-oriented non-pneumatic tires (NPT) tires aiming to open the door to the next generation of tires
NPT: Hankook iFlex, Tires without Air Pressure
Tires that are able to support vehicle weight without relying on air pressure are called ‘non-pneumatic tires (NPT).’ The three main components of NPTs, the tread, the spokes, and the wheel all use the tire’s structural framework to support vehicle load, eliminating the need for air pressure. NPT treads, which generates brake and control performance, are unique because they replace the air pressure only by their structure.
Developed out of an eco-friendly urethane uni-material, NPTs are seen as one of the most promising concepts in tire design, signaling a paradigm shift away from rubber-based tires. In addition to its environmental benefits, the material also increases convenience by reducing the frequency of upkeep tasks such as tire pressure check-ups. The advanced tires also enhance driver safety by completely eliminating the possibility of an accident caused by a lack of air pressure. Considering those benefits, Hankook Tire recently released its brand-new NPT concept tire named ‘Hankook iFlex.’
The iFlex is made out of an advanced uni-material that makes it much easier to recycle than traditional rubber tires, making them highly environmentally friendly. In order to further reduce the carbon footprint of its NPTs, Hankook Tire integrates revolutionary new tire construction techniques which simplified the manufacturing process from eight stages down to just four. These innovations which push the boundaries of driving technology are a direct result of Hankook Tire’s consistent investment in R&D as well as its world-class technological prowess.
Hankook Tire showcased its first NPT in 2011. The company has made a number of important breakthroughs in the development of NPTs that have allowed for its tires to perform up to the standard of conventional air pressure tires under normal driving conditions while simultaneously enhancing the tires’ high speed performance. The iFlex is compatible with real vehicles and capable of being driven at high speeds, making it the culmination of Hankook Tire’s NPT development efforts.
All Extreme Rallycross cars will use the same 17-inch Hankook Ventus tire with exacting specifications. “Hankook Australia worked closely with Extreme Rallycross to determine what they were trying to achieve, in regards to grip and ‘the show’,” added Evans. With feedback from Alister McRae and Chris Atkinson during the test day in May, Hankook chose a size, pattern and compound of tire that offered the best balance between grip, cost and durability, and assuring a safe and reliable tire for the Extreme Rallycross championship.
During development, Hankook Tire put the iFlex through a serious of rigorous tests on the tires’ durability, hardness, stability, slalom handling and speed. Each test was designed to push the iFlex to its limits. For example, in the speed test, an electric car equipped with iFlex tires reached astounding 130km/h. Impressive results in all five categories demonstrated that the NPTs could match the performance of conventional tires. These results are expected to help Hankook Tire solidify its position as a global top-tier tire company and give new momentum to its future-oriented R&D operations.
Runflats: The Integration of Hankook Tire’s Top-Tier Technology
Runflat is a type of pneumatic tire designed to operate with zero air pressure at speeds of up to 80km/h. By allowing for drivers to retain control of their vehicle in the event of a tire puncture, runflat tires greatly enhance user safety. In addition, runflat eliminates the need to carry spare tires, reducing the weight of vehicle and increasing fuel efficiency.
The ability of Hankook Tire’s advanced runflats to enhance driver safety while simultaneously minimizing the environmental impact of driving has helped increase the company’s brand value among industry leaders. The reputation of runflats even attracted the interest of premium German automakers who have each sought out Hankook Tire for original fitment contracts.
Hankook Tire’s advanced third-generation runflat tires incorporate ultra-high performance (UHP) tire features while also significantly improving rolling resistance and raising driver comfort balancing rolling resistance, durability, and braking performance.
This illustrates Hankook Tire’s status as a global leader in top-tier tire technology and once again proves the company’s continued investment in cutting-edge R&D capabilities.
In 2014, Hankook Tire was selected as the original equipment supplier for premium automakers as both manufacturers selected the high-end runflat Ventus S1 evo2.
Future Driving with Hankook Tire
Hankook Tire is committed to developing future-oriented tires based on the innovations which emerge from the company’s extensive R&D investment. The company currently has a number of promising projects underway that are centered on developing future-oriented tires. For example, the high-profile ‘The Next Driving Lab,’ brand campaign began in 2013 with the goal of empowering talented engineers and designers to bring their wildest and the most innovative driving concepts to life.
Further illustrating its commitment to trailblazing design, Hankook Tire collaborates every two years with world-renowned design schools in its ‘Design Innovation’ project. Hankook Tire introduced three futuristic concept tires that were developed through this collaborative project at the 2014 Essen Motors Show, and the company intends to continue presenting new pioneering visions and ideas to revolutionize the future driving experience.
In 2016, Hankook Tire will further strengthen its R&D capabilities as well as increase the potential of its long-term technology development with the completion of its new R&D center ‘HANKOOK TECHNODOME’ in South Korea.