Kumho tire company creates Fortis SUV

Kumho claims to be a tire manufacturer with a conscience. It produces millions of tires for today’s SUVs, but is acutely aware that such vehicles will have to change dramatically if they are to survive ever greener vehicular legislation. They will also have to provide a better balance of on?road and off?road ability. The company has therefore employed the skills of its in?house designer, Rob Dolton, to demonstrate exactly what tomorrow’s SUVs could be like. And the intriguing result is the Kumho Fortis.

Fortis has the aggressive stance expected of a highly capable SUV combined with such fresh aesthetic touches as light clusters influenced by Korean glass sculpture. Far more contemporary still are the bumper sections, doors, hood, front wings and rear hatch which are manufactured from recycled tire rubber. Underpinning all this machismo is a modular chassis and drivetrain concept that will be developed through subsequent designs, the platform allowing for different vehicles to be easily packaged around common parts.


The drivetrain comprises four 100 hp chassis?mounted motors – one powering each wheel when the vehicle is in 4?wheel drive mode. This system provides ultimate off?road traction, ESP and hill descent, while the motor configuration allows for easy transition between 4WD, 2WD, FWD and RWD. The in?wheel regenerative braking system gives optimum on?road driving response.


Power comes from a Lithium ion battery pack and Kumho believes the viability of such alternative propulsion will depend on the technology becoming as user friendly and convenient as petrol and diesel are today. Fortis’s batteries can therefore be used in two ways:

1. Recharged – at home, work or recharge stations
2. Exchanged – old batteries replaced by new ones on longer journeys

As you’d expect from one of the world’s leading tyre manufacturers, the Fortis also boasts revolutionary tire technology. Currently, the only way an SUV will provide optimum performance both on and off?road is to change the tires for each requirement. The Fortis, however, allows its driver to specify the performance required from just one set of tires by having a tread pattern that can be adjusted at will.

The tires feature metal biters in their tread that optimize off?road performance – when employed, it is primarily they that grip the terrain for maximum traction and durability. For on?road use, the tire cavity is inflated. This expands the rubber areas of the tire to cover the metal biters, offering high levels of comfort, noise performance and road?biased dynamic ability. With this technology, one really can achieve the best of all worlds.

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