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Hankook Design Tyres on visionary Opel GT Concept
Hankook will be debuting its futuristic concept tyres based upon a roller skate design amongst other products at the Geneva Auto salon on Thursday 3rd – Sunday 13th March 2016 in the Opel booth 2231 in Hall 2. For the fascinating Opel study GT Concept, the premium manufacturer has developed special red and black tyres which, despite their prototype status, permit speeds in the three-digit km/h range. The red Hankook tyres on the front axle place a focal emphasis to the futuristic look of the sports car study.
Neu-Isenburg, Germany, 2 March 2016 – Amongst other products, premium tyre maker Hankook will be exhibiting its concept tyre on the new Opel GT Concept at the Geneva Auto salon. Despite its prototype status and futuristic roller skate design, the specially solid coloured tyres, red placed on the front axle and black on the rear axle, can be driven at speeds of up to 100 km/h. The tyre sidewall and tread design follows the seamless curves and futuristic look of the GT body reflecting the dynamic flowing shapes of the study. Its sophisticated door mechanism permits a pleasing view of the tyres especially adapted tread design including the incorporated GT logos.
When producing the concept tyres, Hankook engineers faced challenges of preparing the sidewall and tread pattern alongside the creation of rubber colour samples according to Opel specifications. The red front tyres in particular are reminiscent of the Opel Motorbike Motoclub 500 unveiled in 1928 that are an essential visual component of the study forming the beginning of the striking red “signature line” which highlights the contour of the GT Concept and makes it distinctive, resembling that of a pictogram. The prominent colouring is made possible by a special tread and side wall compound which contains alternative filler materials on a white colour basis rather than carbon black.
Design and structure of the concept tyres are similar to regular road tyres despite the red and black colour differences, they both provide an identical construction. Referencing sizing of the concept tyres, they correspond approximately to the conventional tyre size 225/40R18
The following processes of production are similar to the manufacturing steps for regular road tyres using the rapid prototyping method and subsequent construction of a mould, with suitable red and black rim inserts also produced from the same material as the tread compound. Hankook Vice President Klaus Krause, Head of the Company’s European Technical Centre in Hanover, Germany, which played a crucial role in turning the specifications into real tyres, confirms that coloured tyres do not have to remain an element of fun for exhibition cars. “Visual aspects can favour coloured tyres by all means. They would provide car drivers with further customisation options for their vehicles, and the beautiful Opel GT Concept will certainly provide drivers with an insight to what the future can hold.” However, Krause admits that “in technical terms, taking the coloured design further than the sidewall would lead to significantly higher production costs.”