Nokian Tyres Introduces Runflat Winter Tyres
Nokian Tyres is improving the safety and comfort of driving by introducing the runflat property to its most important winter tyre models. If a flat occurs, the driver can drive on runflat tyres for about 100 km to reach a tyre store or service station where a new tyre can be fitted. The runflat property allows drivers to avoid danger and difficult tyre changes amid busy traffic.
Use of runflat tyres in increasing at a very quick rate. Although runflat products held only a small share of the European tyre market in 2004 (about 0.25%), sales saw a threefold increase over the previous year. Half of the runflat products sold were winter tyres. This year sales are expected to increase even more.
A real winter tyre with runflat properties
The runflat products manufactured by Nokian Tyres have reinforced sidewalls. A separate support component means that the tyre is capable of bearing the weight of the car without collapsing, even at zero pressure.
You can drive about 50 kilometres on an empty tyre if the car is fully loaded. If the car is only carrying the driver, the distance can be up to 150 kilometres. Nokian Tyres recommends a maximum speed of 80 kilometres per hour and in very slippery conditions the speed should be kept down to about 50 km/h.
Nokian Tyres has ensured the functionality of its runflat tyres by means of comprehensive testing in demanding winter conditions: freezing temperatures, snow, slush and ice.
For safety reasons, runflat tyres can only be mounted on cars with air pressure monitoring that is integrated into the IT system or some other system that warns of tyre pressure changes, and a driving stability management system (ESP).
Nokian Tyres will manufacture nine runflat products in the first phase: three different tread patterns Nokian Hakkapeliitta 4, Nokian Hakkapeliitta RSi and Nokian WR in three different sizes 195/55 R 16, 205/55 R 16 and 225/45 R 17.
Delivery of winter tyres equipped with runflat properties will begin in September of 2005.