Many people have been pointing to a future that contains very few Sport Utility Vehicles, and some are going as far as to banish them altogether. Kumho, known for tires and other rubber products, has elected to politely disagree and released an SUV based concept drawing that makes next generation SUV's look slightly more appealing.
The Kumho Fortis is the work of Rob Dolton, who happens to be the only automotive designer employed full time by Kumho. His job relies on his ability to predict the needs and wants of customers today, so they can create products for tomorrow.
The Fortis would be powered by electric motors housed at each wheel and draw energy from a Lithium Ion battery stack. Each motor is rated at 100 horsepower and, depending on the need of the driver, could be configured via software to perform in a number of different ways. If only the front or rear wheels are needed to move the Fortis, it would be 2 wheel drive only. If the need arose for all 4 wheels to put power to the ground, a change in programming is all that is needed.
Along with the configurable drivetrain, Kumho would also be including a traction control system, vehicle stability control and a hill descent system to make everyday driving easier and safer. All of these programs could be make to work with whatever drivetrain setup you are currently using.
Of particular interest about this design study are the tires. They are also the brainchild of Mr. Dolton and actually have the ability to act as road tires or off road tires. During your daily commute, the tires are inflated to a certain pressure and look like the same ones you see every time you are near a highway. However, when the time comes to go off the nice paved roads we all know and love, the tires can be deflated to reveal a set of metal lugs. Not only will the lugs offer some extreme upgrades in the grip department, they will also act to keep your tires from getting punctured too easily.
As a last little twist for the Fortis, the body panels and much of the interior will be composed of recycled rubber. Who says big companies can't be eco-friendly? Piston Heads