John Goreham's picture

Nokian creates deployable studs for winter tires

Watch the video. The coolest thing since the Speed Racer Mach 5 may soon be a reality.

My favorite cartoon when I was a kid was Speed Racer. What am I saying? It still is! The cool thing about the Mach 5, Speed’s car, was that he could deploy stuff when he wanted to. For example, if he was going to be speeding through a forest he could deploy two spinning saws from the front and just keep on going. If he needed wings, Speed could deploy those. He could make the car jump using the deployable jack stands. I loved that stuff, but I don’t need those things. I need my tires to become insanely grippy when it is icy, but stay normal winter tires the other winter days I use them. Now, thanks to Finnish "tyre" company Nokian, that may soon be possible.

As the video shows, Nokian now has a deployable stud than can be actuated by the driven when conditions are right. With the push of a button the little ice studs pop out and the tire is now as good as the Mach 5 on ice. Of course the button will eventually go away and the little studs will be tied to a real-time sensor mounted at the front of the vehicle that measures ice thickness and deploys these automatically. That will be phase 2.

In case you are not a car nut, we will go ahead and answer the question, “Why not just have the studs all the time?” Noise mostly. They make a lot of racket inside the car. They also reduce stopping distance and turning ability on winter roads that are not particularly icy. Finally, most places limit their use by law. Mostly we like this idea because it is just so cool.

We could continue to blather on, but watch the video. It really says it all. Rumors that Nokian is also working on a deployable toupee for convertible owners that comes out only in the presence of blonds is strictly unfounded.

You might also like:
Torque News designs the ultimate winter road trip vehicle
Nokian Tyres and the E-RA Break the Electric Car Ice Speed Record

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Does this come with an oil slick option ala Spy Hunter? Gotta have that or it's a no sale.
Yes and also a sort of mechanical bird that can deliver messages and such.
That's amazing!