In the immortal words of Harry Hogge, tires is what wins a race. Indeed, the fates and fortunes of Formula 1 drivers often swing wildly in favor of one or another based on tiny changes in a tire manufacturer’s rubber compounds, making the critical balance of car, driver, engine, and tire clearly visible to anyone paying attention. That said, top-level auto racing is at a bit of a crossroads in terms of technology, and – while some look to biofuels and hybrid technology or battery power to guide the way forward – very few seem to consider the future of tires, and what that future means for the future of racing.
Sergio Rinland, an engineer and designer at Dunlop, set his pen to paper and designed an all-new, all-electric race car around the capabilities of Dunlop’s motorsport tires that make the most of the energy available to the batteries. Interestingly, the car depends on mechanical grip instead of wings to corner, reducing drag, improving range and speed, and depending on Dunlop’s “intelligent” concept tires to help the car and driver maintain its momentum around corners.
Rinland also foresees the race cars getting energy from a charged track, but also making use of a small battery and KERS system, which will allow drivers who are good at manipulating their speed an momentum to build up a charge that can be used to give them a passing/power boost.
It’s a really well thought-out design, and I strongly recommend that anyone with an interest in car design and racing, in particular, take a look at Dunlop’s vision of the future. Then of course, let us know what you think of it in the comments, below. Enjoy!
Dunlop’s Racecar of the Future
PS: if you don’t know who Harry Hogge is, go find out, and don’t come back until you know.