This concept car is not from a car manufacturer but is instead from Kumho, a Korean tyre company. It is more of an idea concept instead of a working concept prototype, but the ideas that Kumho have for the car of the future are rather interesting. The concept car is called the Kumho Epoch.
For a start, the chassis of the Epoch is supposed to be grown from bamboo, which provides an immediate carbon offset. Its body panels are made of recycled tyre tread rubber. The car moves via in-wheel power, however it is far from what we’re used to with in-wheel propulsion like the Mitsubishi i-MIEV.
Instead, the Kumho Epoch uses Maglev units, or Magnetic Levitation units integrated into the four wheel hubs. This means zero friction, and maximum torque across the entire speed range.
The tyres used use EAP technology, which stands for Electro Active Polymer. The tread and shape of these tyres can be changed on a fly by passing an electric current through the rubber, thus enabling the tyre to have different characteristics in different situations. Grooved during wet, slicks during dry, and varying thickness to switch between performance and comfort is an idea.
The interior rubber uses Kumho’s scented rubber technology which uses heat-resistant oils to give the rubber scents such as lavender, neroli or jasmine. This technology has already been used for a production tyre – the Kumho ECSTA DX Aroma.