Much has been made about the tall narrow tires on the BMW i3. They are really unlike any tire on any other car currently in production and they certainly don't look like they belong on a BMW. However BMW and Bridgestone did their homework on this, and accomplished the goals they set out to. That was to develop a tire that is not only efficient, but also delivers the performance expected of any BMW.
Tire Technology International Awards 2014 winner interview – Tire Technology of the Year
So why are they so special? They must have done something right to win the Tire Technology of the Year award, no? Here is an excerpt of how Bridgestone explains why these are indeed special:
"A Unique Concept for a Unique Car
BMW has achieved a genuine milestone with the i3 electric car. Doing justice to its unprecedented levels of both efficiency and performance demanded more than just a new tyre but an entire new tyre concept. Bridgestone’s answer came in the form of the ologic technology, which capitalises on the synergies of a large diameter coupled with a narrow tread design. The result is a tyre that delivers significant improvements in aerodynamics and rolling resistance, while still offering outstanding grip in wet weather conditions.
Combining a large diameter with a narrow tread pattern has several advantages. While the tread on smaller diameter tyres is typically inclined to excessive movement or “deformation” during driving, the larger diameter and higher belt tension significantly reduce tyre deformation and therefore conserve energy that is otherwise lost through internal friction which helps to reduce rolling resistance. By the same token, the narrow tread concept improves aerodynamics. The most spectacular achievement, however is that these improvements do not involve a trade-off in terms of safety. The tyre’s long contact patch (relative to its narrow width), revolutionary tread design and compound still ensure outstanding grip in both wet and dry conditions."