Here on the cusp of daylight savings time, you’d be forgiven for thinking a spring tire might be something with which you replace your winter tires, but these Spring Tires by Goodyear get their name from the 800 load-bearing springs within.
Goodyear won an R & D 100 award for its spring tire technology in 2010, and is showing them off in Geneva. Developed in conjunction with NASA, the tires could be used to explore not only the roughest terrain Earth has to offer, but well beyond – like the moon.
The Spring Tire is designed to carry heavy loads over greater distances than the wire mesh tire Goodyear helped develop for Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle in 1971. While an air-filled tire may puncture and deflate on hard impact, the Spring Tire is likely to sustain damage to just one of its 800 springs. It has a combination of stiffness and flexibility that allows off-road vehicles to travel fast over rough terrain with little motion transfer to the vehicle. Pneumatic tires are impractical on other planets also because rubber properties vary significantly with temperature extremes and unfiltered solar radiation degrades them.
The 2014 Kia Rondo is a compact crossover that may moonlight as a minivan, but lacks the signature sliding doors found on its principal rival, the Mazda5. Without moving away from its family-hauler vocation, the new Rondo is a more modern and dynamic product than previous generations.