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Monday 3rd August 2009


KUMHO FORTIS CONCEPT

Tyre manufacturer dreams up strange SUV with shards of metal in its boots.


Korean tyre manufacturer Kumho has taken the unusual step of releasing images and details of its own concept car, an oddball SUV that Kumho believes may represent the future for off-roaders.

We're not so sure. The front of the concept (first image) looks more like the rear, while the whole thing seems a bit like a Renault Avantime being melted over a Range Rover.

The Fortis is the surreal brainchild of Kumho's in-house designer Rob Dolton. The former Fiat designer has created this strange concept for Kumho to demonstrate how SUVs (Kumho's main tyre niche) can be part of a sustainable environmental future. Accordingly, the Fortis is fully electric. It runs on a lithium-ion battery pack powering four individual 100bhp motors - one for each wheel - allowing for easy configuration switches to select which wheels are powered.


Continuing the green theme, the bumpers, doors, bonnet, front wings and rear hatch would all be made from recycled tyre rubber, and there is a regenerative braking system to 'recycle' energy, too.

Intriguingly, the tyre treads can be adjusted by the driver. The rubber contains metal 'biters' that give extra grip in off-road conditions, but for normal on-road use the tyres inflate differently to cover the biters and function as normal road tyres. Just, er, don't lean on the button when you're on the M1.

Kumho also states that the drivetrain and chassis are modular, and are designed to allow for different vehicles to be designed around them in the future, so this probably won't be the last concept car from this tyre manufacturer. PH is already on the edge of its nifty recycled chair.




Author: SiMan
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