Is Hankook's i-Flex the Future of Airless Tires?

As seen on Hyundai’s plug and drive concept at CES 2022.

Automotive
9,187 Hypes 9 Comments

Airless tires aren’t new — you can thank the likes of Michelin for that — but that hasn’t stopped Hankook from exploring what’s possible when it comes to reinventing the wheel with its new i-Flex tire.

i-Flex was debuted at CES 2022 on a conceptual Hyundai plug and drive model, but it’s the tires themselves that have garnered all the attention. If you suffer from trypophobia, look away, as the i-Flex presents a cylindrical array of biometric-looking holes that link together to provide structure to the exterior tire wall, which measures 10” in size with a 400mm diameter and 105mm width, made for the aforementioned concept vehicle.

The airless tire is the perfect technological advancement as the automotive industry continues to go autonomous — it cannot be punctured, and it requires less maintenance, making it perfect for self-driving cars. The cellular structure, similar to that of a living organism’s DNA, packs better shock absorption than a regular tire while also offering high levels of stability.

Take a look at the Hankook i-Flex tire above, and sound off below on whether you think something like this should come to the mass market in the near future.

In case you missed it, check out the latest issue of DRIVERS.

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