Airless - or non-pneumatic - tyres aren't new. They've been developed and used in the military, as nothing sucks more than getting a flattie in the heat of battle. But now, thanks to a new civilian all-terrain vehicle, they're available to the public.
Rowan Horncastle19 November 2013
Polaris reinvents the wheel
New ATV wheels can be shot at by an AK47 and still do over 1000 miles
This is the Polaris Sportsman WV850 H.O, the first non-military vehicle to adopt airless ‘TerrainArmor' tyres. They look awesome, but that pattern isn't for pimpin' style. It's a polymeric web which deforms like a normal tyre when going over rough stuff, for better traction and a (slightly) smoother ride. This web is then wrapped with a layer of rubber tread to give decent off-road grip.
Polaris claims that these tyres can sustain being shot at by an AK47 and still do over 1000 miles. And if you happen to take a direct hit from a 50 Cal bullet - though if that's a genuine concern you should really consider re-routing your morning commute - these puncture-proof wheels will get you home. Even if home is 350 miles away.
The ATV they're attached to is based on the military-spec Polaris MV850. It's powered by a 77bhp, 850cc engine, can tow 680kg, carry 272kg and winch 1.75 tons. Perfect for the upcoming Christmas shop, then. All you need is £9,300 and someone with a boat to ship it over from the USA for you.
The biggest issue facing non-pneumatic tyres on more real-world road cars is the amount of heat they generate. Until manufacturers can overcome that, we can't help thinking they'd do a fine job on our Arctic Hilux. Especially if those polar bears ever get hold of AK47s...
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