While in Vegas for SEMA this year, we did our best to concentrate on the cars... and occasionally their hostesses. We deliberately stayed away from the thousands of individual products being introduced in order to spend more time on the cars, trucks, bikes and Snowbarus. Well, maybe we should have looked a little more closely at the products, or at the very least the wheels and tires. If we had spent more time in the lower level of the South Hall, we might have noticed a rather large crowd around the Nexen booth.
While the name might not be a household word, Nexen is a company with more than 50 years of tire-making experience under its steel belt. As impressive as that might be, it's not the reason everyone was standing around, mouths agape. The focus of their attention was a new tire by Nexen, one with an impressive 365 mm width and 24 inch diameter. As ridiculous as those numbers might be, they pale in comparison to the middle number in the equation.
You see, Nexen was showing off the very first 15-series tire. That's right, the world's first and only 365/15R24 tire. If you thought 35s looked like rubber bands wrapped around 19- and 20-inch wheels, this thing looks like a smear of black paint on that two-footer. We shudder to think of what the ride quality might be like, but we seriously doubt there will be any sidewall flex, mainly because there's no sidewall.