Hankook's i-Flex 'twheels' bid farewell to flat tires

Improvements to the common car tire have occurred incrementally since its inception, but over the next decade, the average rubber roller may become a thing of the past. Hankook (and other manufacturers such as Michelin and Bridgestone) are prepping next-generation tires that are airless, recyclable, and quite odd looking.

Shown at this year's International Motor Show in Frankfurt, the Hankook i-Flex radically differs from the norm by combining a tire and wheel together into a single object. The spinner doesn't need any air to roll, which means no more flats or unexpected accidents.… Read more

How Goodyear uses tech to make a faster race tire

AKRON, Ohio and INDIANAPOLIS -- If you want to know how a major Nascar race is won, think about the fact that when Ryan Newman won last month's Brickyard 400, his sub-three-second margin of victory was chalked up to having replaced just two tires on his last pit stop rather than all four.

Considering that a pit crew like the one that supports Newman can change all four tires in about 14 seconds (see video below), it's easy to see how choosing to skip replacing two may have saved him enough time to end up ahead of race … Read more

Sizzling, civilized Audi RS7: Rubber-burning tech toy (CNET On Cars, Episode 23)


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We received a lot of e-mail asking about the gear we use to shoot cars. In this episode we take you behind the camera to see what we use and how we use it. With so many people shooting great amateur auto video these days, I hope this segment gives you some useable information on the lay of the land beyond just CNET's work.

The XCAR team in London has a great video of the new Audi RS7 for us. … Read more

All-new Chevy Impala and Range Rover Sport (CNET On Cars, Episode 22)


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Lots of new products this week: The (dramatically) new 2014 Chevy Impala and the equally new Range Rover Sport. I tested the Impala personally, and I came away liking it a lot, but feeling it has a bit of the old car's DNA. Maybe when the Chevy SS comes along it will be a "driver's Impala," as much of an oxymoron as that has traditionally been. That said, the new Impala is a major step out of … Read more

How to get better gas mileage (and save a little time)

The most recent gas prices report (January 22, 2013) from AAA wrote that the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel is $3.31. The same report said annual household spending on gas in the United States in 2011 and 2012 was more than $4,000 each year. That's a lot of money any way you slice it.

Whether you've cut down on your driving, begun relying on public transportation, or even invested in a hybrid vehicle, there's still money to be saved by following just a few easy tips. We've put together a … Read more

Concept tire uses color-coding to monitor treadwear

Your car's tires are, simply put, the most important bit of equipment on your car; they are literally where the rubber meets the road, and keeping them in their best condition is paramount in maintaining your vehicle's performance and safety. Tires are a consumable part that eventually wears out, but it can be difficult to tell how worn a tire is simply by looking at it. Designers Gao Fenglin and Zhou Buyi hope that their Discolor Tyre concept can help with that.

The Discolor Tyre is a conceptual tire design that looks like your average black rubber tire, but features a layer of bright-orange rubber that is molded and embedded within.

When the tire has worn down to the legal minimum level (after about 20,000 km or 12,400 miles) that orange rubber is exposed and can be easily seen from curbside by the driver. When you see orange, then it's time to replace the tire. It sounds simple, yet effective.… Read more

Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera: Call it Un-mellow Yellow. CNET On Cars, Episode 6


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I've been reviewing about 100 cars a year for CNET Car Tech since 2005, but until now, never had a Lamborghini darken my doorstep. That changes this week as we take you into the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. Now, you know me, I seldom like to follow the well-worn path when cars come in. I've shown the miserable failings of some of the most celebrated cars on earth, and stacked up the heroic strengths of some of the most pedestrian. … Read more

Rolling, rolling, rolling: Lego, the world's biggest tire maker

When you think of the giant tire manufacturers, names like Goodyear, Firestone, and BFGoodrich probably come to mind. So it might surprise you to learn that the largest maker of tires on the planet is none other than the most famous toy company in the world: Lego.

To be sure, Lego's tires are not all-weather, nor can they go off-road. They also fit in the palm of your hand. But for 50 years, Lego has been churning out its little wheels, millions per year, topping out at an unbelievable 381 million in 2011, the company said.

This tire empire … Read more

Bridgestone's $36.6-million investment will boost truck and bus tire production

In order to meet consumer demand for truck and bus tires, Bridgestone Americas announced it will invest $36.6 million in its Warren County, Tenn., plant. The investment will boost production to 900 truck and bus tires a day, the company said in a press release.

Bridgestone's planned expansion is slated for completion in the first quarter of 2013, and will create 50 new jobs, the company said.

This is one part of a $1.2 billion investment Bridgestone is making in its U.S. manufacturing operations. The company is also expected to create more than 900 new jobs … Read more