• Jan 13, 2009
To some of us, at least, of the most visually annoying elements of many past concept cars has been the installation of huge wheels on cars with normal size brakes. The resulting product can end up looking ridiculous. As I was checking out the littlest Lincoln, the Concept C on the Cobo Hall show floor today, I noticed something interesting in the wheels. Take a close look at the brake caliper in the photo above. Typically, the brake rotor is attached to the wheel hub and the caliper grips the disk from the out edge. On the Concept C, the braking surface is attached to the inside edge of the wheel rim with caliper wrapping around the inside edge of the rotor. This basic idea has been tried before... mostly on concept cars.

An internal caliper mount has the advantage of allowing a larger effective radius for where the braking force is applied. Since torque is defined as a force applied at a distance from a pivot point, the greater the distance, the greater the braking force. Such a setup allows more brake force with a smaller caliper, which in turn can provide better brake feel since the fluid displacement is smaller. The downside is that changing wheels becomes a much more complicated matter since the brake hardware is mounted on the wheel.



Live photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Frank Filipponio / Weblogs, Inc.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is an old idea in motorcycling. Take a look at the Buell Firebolt (which has been on the market for a couple of years) which uses it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, I've seen this in a lot of bikes, but first time in a car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What PGH said. It's Eric Buell's idea (and somebody else before that) called ZTL, or Zero Torsional Load. The idea being that the torque from the caliper doesn't have to be carried back down to the hub and out through the wheel to get to the tire. This way the load is more directly attached to the tire through the wheel and you can lighten the hub assembly.

        Cross pollination can be a wonderful thing if Engineers can be open minded enough.
      • 6 Years Ago
      See all the little nuggets you can glean from these concept cars! Obviously Ford is not going to produce a Lincoln like this, but we can see new brake technology, the 1.6L Ecoboost 4 cylinder, 43 mpg, weight reducing technologies. This concept is meant to get us excited for the 2011 Focus family.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I disagree. I think what we see here is the end of the Mercury brand and the beginning of a new Lincoln brand. A Lincoln that is targeted at Acura, Infiniti and the middle lines of Audi and BMW. To do that, you'll need both small, fun cars and very unique cars like this to hook younger buyers. It's obvious Mercury is dead, since they have NO new cars at the show.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I was wondering the same thing about Mercury. It was just a few months ago that Ford was saying that they were going to reposition Mercury towards making small luxury vehicles. Mercury would be the Mini to Lincoln's BMW (I know, I laughed at that statement too). This concept seems to erase that new direction. Maybe all the stuff that happened in Nov/Dec is probably making them reconsider the need for the Mercury brand.
      • 6 Years Ago
      looks like a renault megane
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, I was going to wonder if Lincoln had hired a French design team... the outside looks like a Megane, the inside looks like a Citroen designer was drinking absinthe on the job.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Its always funny to see huge rims with tiny drum brakes poking through...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Especially when they are painted red or yellow.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here we go again with Ford. This concept is already on the raods. This is the 2009 Volvo C30 with no major differences. A couple days ago, it was with Ford automatic parking system. Now with this concept which actaully is as curious as it may appears, the same car as the 2009 Volvo C30 and this Volvo can be seen everywhere today. What is wrong with Ford?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hey,
        Are you blind?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm guessing you didn't see this picture.
        http://www.autoblog.com/photos/detroit-2009-detroit-people-gallery/1286429/
        Notice there are 6 people in the car. The C30 can barely fit 4 people in it.
        The only thing these two vehicles have in common is they are both "Fords".
        • 6 Years Ago
        You mean the Volvo C30 built off the current gen EU Ford Focus or the parking system that differs from the one offered by the competition?

        I don't see how this concept built from the next gen global Focus is identical to the C30 in any way.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hey Mike,
        just open your eyes and you will be able to see the true.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe if they moved to the Sbarro hubless wheel, this would be easier to deal with.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubless_wheel
      http://www.burningart.com/meico/moto/sbarro/index.html

      I would love a car or bike running on rims like that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mmmm, realy interesting. It leads to a better heat dissipation too.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Imagine this on the F150! That would make braking incredible!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I like this idea a lot. This would be very beneficial on a very sporty car, but a Lincoln Hatch?

        JCUOIT, Lincoln would likely put run-flat tires on the car anyway. So, you wouldn't even have a spare tire to use in case of a flat.
        • 6 Years Ago
        i have been waiting for this for years

        its works better and i fully expect that this will become the new standard over time
        • 6 Years Ago
        They would be totally clogged up with snow and ice just trying to drive down my driveway.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That’s true, likely a marked increase in heat dissipation, braking power, and likely less fade, but the down side would be more unsprung mass, it would also be difficult to upgrade to larger rims, or even winter rims, let alone just getting the wheel off.

        To get the wheel off you'd have to remove bolts holding the disc to the wheel, then remove the wheel lugs, then some how get the disc through the wheel or manoeuvre the wheel and disc out of the calliper and pads without damaging the disc, wheel, calliper or pads.

        Good idea, but damn I’d hate to change a flat with one of those wheels.

        JC
      • 6 Years Ago
      Internal calipers would be great until you bent the wheel, even a little. Then you couldn't even drive the car. The nice thing about today's tried-and-true brake design is the brake hardware is independent of the ravages of road damage.

      I hope it remains a concept only.
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