Britain has reinvented the wheel. Well, at least how to attach one.
The Automobile Association (The United Kingdom’s answer to AAA) is currently road testing a universal spare wheel/tire combo that fits nearly every car on the road.
The simple, but innovative five-lug, 17-inch wheel works with a set of adaptors that comes in 10 different sizes that allows it to be used with a variety of vehicles.
The system was developed to help out in situations where a stranded car has no spare tire, or just a fix-a-flat kit that can’t handle a serious puncture or blow-out.
Typically the only option in those situations is a tow, or leaving the vehicle behind while the tire is brought to a service center to be repaired. With the universal spare, the motorist simply puts down a £200 deposit and continues on their way – at less than 50 mph, of course.
It is still a temporary tire, after all.
The AA estimates that there are millions of cars travelling UK roads that don’t have a proper spare tire on board, and in the United States one in seven new cars is delivered with a tire inflation kit in lieu of a spare in order to save weight and improve fuel economy, according to AAA.
While there are no announced plans to test the universal spare on American roads, with seven times the number of passenger cars as the U.K. it could keep a lot of cars on the move.