Car Enthusiast - click here to access the home page


Kumho's eco SUV. Image by Kumho.

Kumho's eco SUV
Tyre manufacturer branches out with the Fortis, an electric off-roader based on a modular chassis.


News homepage -> Kumho news

Kumho is usually associated with car tyres rather than concept cars, but that has not stopped it from designing a futuristic, environmentally-friendly SUV called the Fortis.

The Fortis is the work of a British designer working in Kumho's European Technical centre in Birmingham. To address criticisms that off-road vehicles are not the most environmentally friendly machines the Fortis has a strong 'eco' emphasis. It is powered by a lithium ion battery pack, which supplies charge to four, 100bhp electric motors - one for each wheel. The individual motors allow easy switching between front-, rear- and four-wheel drive. The batteries can either be charged as normal or, when there isn't time for a full charge, the battery pack can be swapped for a fresh one.

Other design touches include light clusters apparently inspired by Korean glass sculpture and body panels made from recycled tyre rubber. The chassis is described as a modular design that 'will be developed through subsequent designs' with four vehicles planned in total.

As you might expect from a tyre company the rubber is something special. Rather than needing different covers for on- and off-road driving, the Fortis has tread that can be adjusted by altering the tyre pressures. Metal 'biters' inside the tread provide the necessary off-road performance, but for road driving the tyre is fully inflated so that the rubber covers the biters.

The Fortis certainly looks the part of the 21st century sport utility vehicle and electric cars are currently in vogue. However, don't expect Kumho to start building cars.

John Lambert - 31 Jul 2009

2009 Kumho Fortis concept. Image by Kumho.       - Kumho news
- Fortis images

 215 Racing
 A. Kahn Design
 AC Cars
 AC Schnitzer
 Alfa Romeo
 APS Sportec
 Aston Martin
 Auto Union
 Cooper Tires
 David Brown
 David Brown Automotive
 De Tomaso
 Detroit Electric
 Eagle E-type
 edo competition
 FAB Design

 Factory Five
 Faralli & Mazzanti
 General Motors
 Gordon Murray
 Gordon Murray Automotive
 Gordon Murray Design
 Gray Design
 Great Wall
 Heffner Performance
 Joss Developments
 Land Rover
 Loma Performance
 Monte Carlo
 Nichols Cars

 Project Runningblade
 Project Velocity
 Range Rover
 Red Bull
 Ronn Motor Company
 SDR Sportscars
 The Little Car Company
 Thunder Power
 Tommy Kaira
 Vanda Electrics
 VL Automotive


External links:   | Irish Car Market News |

Internal links:   | Home | Privacy | Contact us | Archives | Old motor show reports | Follow Car Enthusiast on Twitter | Copyright 1999-2024 ©