Novi-based Maxion Wheels has partnered with Michelin, a German tire company, to reinvent the wheel and help eliminate road-based damage to tires and rims. The patented new technology, developed by both companies for the passenger car wheel market, incorporates two flexible rubber flanges mounted on a special wheel body to create a flexible wheel to improve the ride and absorb impact from potholes and curbs.
The new wheel is compatible with all tires on the market and features a narrower alloy rim, two rubber flanges, and an optimal cosmetic insert to protect the alloy wheel. When the updated wheel was tested with a 285/30R21 driven through a pothole, the standard rim version punctured the tire at 28 kilometers per hours, whereas the Michelin Acorus Technology did not puncture, or sustain damage at any speed.
“This is a game changer for wheels; a standard wheel driven through a pothole can damage the tire and potentially crack the alloy rim, putting the safety of driver and passengers at risk,” says Pieter Klinkers, Maxion Wheels’ CEO. “When the Maxion Flexible Wheel hits a pothole, the Michelin Acorus Technology flange flexes and protects the tire and the wheel.”
In addition to damage reduction, safety, and improved mobility, the Maxion Flexible Wheel with Michelin Acorus Technology helps overcome other shortcomings associated with low profile tires with short sidewalls, and comfort and noise levels are both improved due to the flexible rubber flange, which sits between the wheel and tire. Michelin Acorus Technology also provides environmental benefits, and was designed to work with any brand of tire, including low rolling resistance tires, which leads to lower carbon dioxide emissions and better fuel economy.
Launched at the Frankfurt IAA this week, the Maxion Flexible Wheel will initially be sold in 19 inch and above sizes to the OE premium automakers by the partnership between Michelin and Maxion Wheels.