Falken is working on a tire specifically designed for hybrid SUVs, inspired by motorcycle rubber.

Falken’s conceptual tire could, per the company, meet hybrid SUV driver’s challenging demands for both extended range and dynamic handling

In Falken’s brief, this tire featuring different tread areas could point the way to how drivers can enjoy both sporty handling and efficiency for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) SUVs.

It is a challenge for tire engineers to combine both low rolling resistance to increase the car’s range while offering sharp, sporty dynamics expected by sporty SUV drivers… And this is also true for tires aimed at other types of vehicles, but the larger weight and dynamic particularities of an SUV makes the challenge even greater.

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The concept tire was first shown earlier on Mitsubishi’s Concept XR-PHEV II SUV, powered by a new PHEV system.

Mitsubishi’s Concept XR-PHEV II SUV

Mitsubishi’s Concept XR-PHEV II SUV

The outer third of Falken’s concept tire is made of a primarily low rolling resistance slick surface with water dispersion grooves that prevent hydroplaning and also enhance wet road grip. To offer better grip under hard cornering, Falken has made the inner third of the tire in the shape of a curved (like a motorcycle) surface that comes in greater contact with the road when the vehicle is being pushed harder.

No production date has been set for the tire but Falken believes that such tire technology is the way tire design will progress.