• Aug 12, 2010
If you have even a passing interest in sportscars, you may have noticed something suspicious about your favorite speed machine's tires. Typically, manufactures build a certain amount of negative camber (tipping the top of a wheel inward) into the suspensions of their sportscars. This allows the tires' contact patches to grow larger under hard cornering, thereby giving the vehicle more grip at the same time. Grip is good, but negative camber has plenty of, well, negative side effects as well. For starters, the vehicle's ride is compromised and the tires are more likely to exhibit uneven wear.
An inventor by the name of John Scott may have come up with a solution that allows most of the benefits of negative camber while maintaining treadwear and safety. Scott designed a tire with a slightly larger circumference on the outer sidewall than the inner sidewall. This allows the suspension to be adjusted with plenty of negative camber while maintaining the contact patch of the tire.

Chances are that the new rubber will be a hit in the aftermarket world where getting a vehicle as low as possible often means building in plenty of camber, but Scott claims that the new tires can benefit nearly every car on the road today by offering up better handling, shorter braking and better grip compared to OE tires.

[Source: The New York Times]


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  • 57 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not to be a scold or anything but the plural of MPG is MPG.

      And the plural of RPM is RPM.

      Looking at you, Ford Focus TV advertisement.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How many torques does it have?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I mean Ford Fusion television advertisement.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hasn't this been done before? I imagine the benefits are very slight, or else these would be commonplace. I also imagine the optimal tyre is very nearly symmetric since minimising rolling resistance for cars travelling in a straight line is pretty important. Maybe in the past the benefits of the special tyre were not worth the trouble of having more tyre dimensions, but maybe now it is. Anyway an extreme cone tyre would look cool.
      • 4 Years Ago
      with, say, a 26" outside diameter and 24" inside diameter, in a single rotation, the outside of the tire would travel 81 inches while the inside would travel 75 inches, meaning one of the sides would be scrubbing to keep up with the other heavily wearing the tire, and creating resistance when the car tries to move forward.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That is not correct, the contactpatch would travel at the same speed against the surface across the entire tire, without scrubbing! Rotation speed is counter-relative to where in the radius you measure. Think of a bicycle with a trip computer, the small electro magnetic sensor and counter could be placed anywhere on a wheel but the measured speed (time it takes to do one revolution) is the same, no matter if it's at the edge or closest to the axle . But sure, if it was like you suggested the inner part of the tire has 6 inches less of rubber to spread out the wear on , that would make it wear faster. Still that would spread out because where theese tires would be used, would involve heavy cornering and therefore more load on the outer tire.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Disregard my post, I must have been high.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This appears to be designed by someone who does not understand suspension.

      If the contact patch is an infinitely thin line from inside to out, then there will be no scrubbing. On a car tire that deforms: scrub.

      As said, this tire will deform under cornering, undoing what the designer thought he was solving.

      UNLESS his whole invention is meant to provide that performance-camber look without the performance. This, it does well.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So basically he has "invented" the pre-worn tire. He didn't immediately see the problem with this, but I do. Now as soon as you corner hard, the *inside* edge of the tire is going to lift. Oh, and this looks like it would be absolute murder on wheel bearings.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's going to lift as much as excessive camber makes a regular tyre lift. i.e., not at all.

        You *are* aware that tyres are filled with air? They change shape and stuff? There you go.
      • 4 Years Ago
      now if you put one of those on the ground, not connected to a car, and rolled it, it would roll in a circle, right?. Seems like this setup would cause the tires to constantly toe in as they roll forward, putting a lot of undue stress on the suspension to keep them true.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hrm. Interesting thought.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You say you don't get it, but you absolutely do get it. You're exactly right why *excessive* camber is a bad thing, whether using a conical tyre like this, or a regular tyre deformed into a conical shape.

        Blocking "circ-umference" indeed. What a lame swear filter. I've written better filters over lunch...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, also the different circomeferences (I have to spell it that way or AB blocks my post) of the inner and outer edges mean the tire is continuously scrubbing as you drive down the road in a straight line. That means lost energy and increased tire wear.

        This seems like a dumb idea to me. Maybe I'm missing something?
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's what I was thinking... the inner, smaller diameter will want to make more rotations over the same distance than the larger, outer diameter.

        Take a bottle cap shaped like this--it goes in a circle. I can't really see how this works...
      • 4 Years Ago
      So obviously the best solution is to have the entire suspension tilt, as on a tilting trike. You wouldn't need any of this nonsense, only a supremely expensive auto-leveling suspension. Oh wait, I forgot they make those already.
      • 4 Years Ago
      BFG R1 tires already had this, years ago. And as far as I know, they own a patent on the tech. They stopped making them, unfortunately.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm still waiting for Michelin's "Tweel" airless tires
        • 4 Years Ago
        Let me know how that works out for ya...you're going to be waiting quite some time.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They should create multiple compound tire like they do with motorcycles tires...hard compound on the inside and soft/normal sports tire compound on the outside...this would definitly solve the un-even wear. I'd rather have that than that wierd tire.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wouldn't these tires simply negate the effect manufacturers are after when setting the negative camber in the first place?
      I don't see how there would be any benefit to having the wheel itself have negative camber, but the contact area with the road look as if there were no negative camber?

      On the other hand, with this kind of tire maybe the Infinity G-series can have tires last more than 5000 miles (curse you factory default, non adjustable, excessive, negative camber).

      In my opinion, a lot of manufacturers and "tuners" use negative camber as a short cut to add sportier performance to a suspension design that just isn't very good.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't see these helping with corners at all. The reason you put camber on a wheel in racing is so that around a corner more rubber comes in contact with pavement without rolling on to the side wall.
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