WALES, Wis. (May 12, 2010) — A Wisconsin inventor and entrepreneur with a passion for cars has designed a tire that incorporates camber into the tire's design—yielding a trapezoid profile and asymmetrical sidewalls—in a bid to improve handling/braking performance, safety and fuel efficiency.
John R. Scott, inventor of the CamberTire and owner of Wales-based Optima Sports L.L.C., has partnered with M&H Racemaster, a division of Louisiana tire distributor and private brand tire marketer Interco Tire Corp., to develop the design into working prototypes, and claims to be ready to take the project to the commercial level.
Mr. Scott has been tinkering with the idea for the cambered tire for more than a dozen years. In 1999 he was granted a U.S. patent—No. 5975176—for a “tire with a constantly decreasing diameter.”
The first tires made for testing, built with a 2-degree camber sloping from the outside to the inside, have passed U.S. Department of Transportation speed and durability testing for V-rated peformance, the company claims.
Optima Sports initially is planning to market several sizes of the CamberTire for the high-performance sector, but Mr. Scott said eventually the company plans to expand the product line into more conventional tire size applications and license the design to tire makers as well as pursue OEM fitment agreements with car, truck and trailer manufacturers.
Optima claims Interco/M&H plans to license CamberTire rights for its drag racing line.
“Adopting the camber tire technology can provide us with the competitive edge we are looking for in several types of racing,” according to Tom Lorden, general manager of M&H, in a statement released by Optima.
“The camber tire design is likely to be the most significant advancement to tire performance since the introduction of radial tires,” Mr. Lorden is quoted as saying.
Optima claims cambered designs can be used on any on- or off-road vehicle with independent suspension or those with non-driven solid axle(s).
Introducing camber into a tire—and thus eliminating the need to have toe-in alignment settings—brings significant benefits, Mr. Scott claims, including enhanced handling and performance, improved fuel efficiency and improved safety with decreased incidence of rollovers.
“This advancement will revolutionize the tire industry and we are ready to bring it to market,” Mr. Scott said. “The benefits this design offers are significant to a traditionally slow changing industry….”
Automobile Magazine, in its June issue, has rated the CamberTire as one of the 10 most significant emerging automotive technologies.
Optima did not disclose which sizes it intends to bring out first, when they'll be available or at what price.
Optima Sports—originally incorporated in 1986 as Evolution Sports and reincorporated in 1994 under its current name—is dedicated to engineering new technologies and products in the automobile, tire power sports, and sports apparel industries with enhanced designs that optimize performance and functionality and drive significant paradigm shifts, the company said.
More information is available at the CamberTire website.