The future of tires?

what do you think about this?
MICHELIN Uptis :: Michelin North America, Inc. (

Looks cool, maybe the future, using old world technology for now.

not sure how it will hold up with todays high HP muscle cars. the first burn out and the rim might separate from the rest of the tire.

I may be too old fashioned but I don’t think it will fly. I can’t see that it would wok very good on muddy roads ,snow and ice and gravel road’s.

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I could definitely see it as a spare tire.

It would be better than the doughnut we have now as most people don’t check the air pressure in the spare.

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Michelin introduce the Tweel fourteen years ago.

I didn’t think they would ever market it.


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For promotion purposes perhaps they can get NASCAR or the Indy car circuit to run them for a season. If successful would certainly help with acceptance.

Induatrial lawn mowers have been using these for over a decade.

The concept is at least 50 years old from several different tire companies.

Maybe this time it sticks? I dunno, pressurized air is a pretty good support medium.

Hope it actually works and can be replaced reasonably, the Pax runflat tires weren’t as cheap or easy to replace as many owners would have liked.

Uhm, won’t this design tend to pick up snow, icy slush, mud such that it ends up with unbalanced wheels at least in short duration?


The Tweel tires can be covered with a sidewall like a conventional tire, the sidewalls were omitted to show the design of the tire.

Ah, that makes more sense to me.

Several potential problem areas. One is that I wonder what will happen to all of those internal ribs after being subjected to some age, heat, and constant flexing. Some ribs break loose and then a lumpy, vibrating tire?

With the trend towards eliminating the use of fossil fuels aren’t these tires going to be consuming more materials; namely the use of carbon black? About 70% of carbon black goes to tires and without it tires won’t last long.

There’s a carbon black plant 10 miles from me and they ship out countless tons of it every day by truck and rail. And it’s all made from fossil fuels…

Carbon black is also used in electrical components. wire insulation, plastics, belts, ink, toner cartridges, shoe soles, and a 1000 other products.

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If it’s covered by a sidewall, as suggested by @Nevada_545, then it doesn’t matter whether the support ribs are blackened or not.

Full disclosure: I worked for one of Michelin’s competitors.

Michelin has tried to introduce a number of “innovations”. The TRX, PAX - none of which took off, and a lot of people were stuck with the expense of going back to the old technology. All this verbiage sounds very much like what they did in the past. It’s short on details, long on hype!


The color of tires being darker is a side effect of the use of carbon black. The main purpose of it is to direct heat away from the tread and belt areas along with increasing tire life.
The use of it in belts is for the same reason; to increase durability.

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With the current focus on fuel efficiency I just don’t see how they can reduce rolling resistance to an acceptable level.
Pressurized air has virtually no internal friction.
What material can compete with that, at reasonable cost?

A lot of people buy tires and rims for the look. Those tires may not look right on certain vehicles.

I’ve read about this technology years ago (maybe even decades). We’ll see.

When I was a kid–which was a LONG time ago–there was an upscale tire dealer that had a display of 3 or 4 tires which were pigmented in various colors. I recall that one of them was green, but I’m not sure about the other colors, and I don’t recall the brand of the tires because I was so young at the time. Apparently this concept wasn’t considered to be practical, or it wasn’t considered to be a saleable item, because I don’t think they ever came to market.

Does anyone else have any recollection of these tires from the early '50s?

Edited to add:
I found this online, so apparently various colored tires have been available in recent times: