Apart from introducing its latest Ecopia line of tires and giving us an in-depth look into these green tires\' characteristics, Bridgestone has also revealed two tire concepts that further push the boundaries for environment-friendly and sustainable rubber.
The first is the Large & Narrow Concept, whose 155/55 R19 specifications are true to the name. It is designed to have a bigger contact patch by length rather than by width. The combination of a long contact patch and increased internal air pressure prevents \"water from accumulating between the tire and the road,\" while the use of grip-enhancing compounds and tread patterns also contributes to wet-weather performance.
That said, the main advantage of the tire\'s being tall and skinny is a rolling resistance coefficient \"that is approximately 30% lower than [those of] conventional-size tires (175/65 R15).\" In our recent eco-tire feature story, we discussed how this directly contributes to better fuel consumption.
The other development tire is the non-pneumatic Air-Free Concept. As with the Large & Narrow, this one is also what its moniker suggests, with an internal structure composed of thermoplastic-resin spokes in an interlaced structure. There is \"no need to periodically refill [this tire] with air,\" according to Bridgestone, so it \"requires less maintenance\" and \"the worry of punctures is eliminated.\" Moreover, the Air-Free is 100% recyclable.
The Japanese tiremaker does concede that these \"next-generation\" rollers are quite a long way down the road; we\'re talking about generation in the human, not automotive, sense. Still, these tires of the future make you wonder what the cars of the future will be like, don\'t they?