Never get a flat tyre again with Hankook iFlex

Hankook iFlex KiaThings are getting better for cars. Better Safety, better fuel efficiency, and better range of prices. One of the things that is set for a full revolution is the tyre. True, handling, profile, liquid dispersion have all improved but, they all still need air. Or do they?

Car tyres, as they stand, are still piles of air surrounded by a black rubber doughnut.

Hankook reckons that this can be changed and that there’s a better way.

The South Korean manufacturer has been developing a non-pneumatic tyre for a while, the concept first landed back 2013, and now is showing it’s latest model of the iFlex tyre.

Hankook has completed initial testing on its fifth-generation airless iFlex tyre which replaces air with a new type of eco-friendly material that relies on geometric shapes to provide the bounce and springiness normally provided by air pressure. As to what the mysterious compound is, Hankook isn’t saying but, according to prior information, it could well be madeĀ from polyurethane synthetics and be up to 95% recyclable.

Hankook iFlex tyre coloursWhere the previous iFlex designs were integrated rims and tyres, this latest version is designed to mount onto a traditional rim, making it compatible with current vehicles.

Hankook ran the iFlex through a battery of tests to compare it to more conventional rubber, measuring durability, hardness, stability, slalom and speed, at up to 80 mph. The company says that the tyres matched conventional rubber in terms of performance.

The company is not yet ready to predict when these tyres will hit the market, or how much they’ll cost. I can see these not only benefit drivers from no more flats, but I can see customisers getting in on the limitless colour possibilities.