In a rather intriguing supposition, the guys from Torque News talk about a possible move from BMW that would have the German manufacturer adopt Michelin’s latest invention, the Tweel.
The Tweel is an airless wheel that has proven itself to be quite resistant to all sorts of damage and bring a couple of advantages to the table. One of them is saving weight compared to a regular spare wheel. But BMW uses run-flat tires, why would they go back to selling cars with spares in the back?
It’s true, the blue and white roundel company is currently selling its cars with run-flat tires that eliminate the need for a spare altogether and save weight at the same time. However, this is not the ideal situation for a company that calls its products ‘the ultimate driving machine’.
There are a couple of simple reasons for that. First of all, run-flat tires use harder tire that doesn’t allow the cars to reach the very edge of their performance limits. They are also noisier than normal ones and, in case you do get a puncture, you have to replace them altogether.
That’s why a lot of people have complained about BMW’s decision to sell its cars with such rubber on them. BMW has been listening, apparently, and is now slowly reintroducing normal tires on some of its cars. A clear example are the X5 M and X6 M models that can be ordered with super performance tires instead of run flats. Of course, they are high-performance SUVs so it is somewhat justifiable but this could point to further developments.
Reading the article on Torque News really got me thinking and the guys might be on to something. Sure, their theory is based on the location Michelin chose for their new plant, which is 40 minutes away from BMW’s North American plant but it’s still an interesting take.