When you watched Westworld this season have you noticed those dope buggies cruising around don’t have regular tires? To give the dune buggies a futuristic look the set designers replaced the regular old tires with “tweels,” a combination of tire and wheels. The awesome part is that the airless tweels are actually available for you to buy and put on your utility vehicle. Say sayonara to flat tires.
Michelin has been working on airless tires for over a decade and they finally rolled out their tweels for various UTVs and lawnmowers. Michelin originally developed the tweel for light-tactical vehicles used by military special operations. Michelin’s X Tweel UTV is being marketed towards farmers, construction vehicles, emergency service responders, and anybody who ventures into the wilderness and doesn’t want to try to change a tire in the mud. The tires adapt to the terrain meaning that you’ll get more traction on uneven surfaces such as rocks and logs.
The 26-inch airless tweels are rated for a 2,860-pound maximum gross vehicle weight and can never pop because there’s no air in them. No need to worry about pumps, patches, or fix-a-flat. However, there’s a catch, because there’s always a catch. Tweels are much heavier than typical radial tires. As a result, tweels are not recommended on all UTVs and they’re not meant to go faster than 37 mph. So it doesn’t sound like they’re be available for cars or trucks anytime soon. But dammit they look so cool.
“UTV users operate these machines in arduous environments and extreme conditions where vehicles are exposed to rugged roads, jagged terrain and other hostile elements,” said Olivier Brauen, vice president of Michelin Tweel Technologies. “The Michelin X Tweel UTV airless radial tire is a solution that will provide unmatched traction and uninterrupted vehicle mobility during long journeys or in remote areas where a flat tire can be problematic.”
So while these tweels might not be for everybody just yet, they look awesome when chasing down malfunctioning androids at a theme park.