The main way automakers control the airflow around the wheels is through designing the rim, but it doesn’t have to be limited to just that. Japanese tire manufacturer Yokohama says that actually adding small “spoilers” on the tire sidewall has great benefits.
It did some research with the help of a team from the Institute of Fluid Science at Tohoku University, Yokohama and basically these extra fins seem to help with reducing drag.
The company doesn’t reveal all that much about the concept, but we are lead to believe that efficiency won’t be the only gain – they may also have a positive impact on performance.
So far nothing but shots of the simulation have been shown. A supercomputer was used to achieve it and the conclusion was that placement is vital if these fins are to do their job.
The tires will be shown by the end of the month, though, at the 44th edition of the Tokyo motor show, held from 28 October.