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Hankook wades into the future with airless tire concept

We've seen plenty of companies dream up airless tires, and now it's Hankook's turn.

Hankook i Flex airless tire concept
Airless tires could play a big part in our future of transportation.

Hankook has an eye on the future, and it like so many other companies, believes the future tire is completely airless. At last week's CES 2022, the company revealed its future airless tire concept called the i-Flex. The tire debuted alongside Hyundai Motor's Plug & Drive module, which the Korean company fitted to its futuristic pod.

The tire features a biometric-inspired design, with multilayer interlocking "spokes" to absorb bumps, imperfections and to support stability. Like any airless tire concept, there's no chance of a blowout, no tire pressure maintenance and looks so wild compared to the tires rolling on every single car in production today.

This particular tire isn't exactly ready for a mass market vehicle, though. It only measures 10 inches since it was part of Hyundai's little pod car shown at CES 2022. That's not to say we won't ever see Hankook develop an airless tire with inspiration from the i-Flex. The company said it will continue designing future tire concepts in the hope one day, the airless tire is ready to roll. But, Michelin could beat it to the punch. The tire maker alongside General Motors hope to have production-ready airless tires come 2024.

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