New Avon ZV5 a First Glimpse at Cooper Tire’s European Know-How
Cooper Tire’s European Technical Centre in Melksham, opened a little over a year ago, has borne its first fruit – the all-new Avon Tyres ZV5 range. This new tyre, intended as a replacement for the ZV3, is aimed at the saloon car market and will be offered in numerous sizes to fit a range of vehicles as diverse as the VW Polo through to the Ford Mondeo and Audi A4.
The asymmetric tread pattern used on the ZV5 incorporates elements that emphasise handling in dry conditions, such as the broad open slots of the tyre’s shoulders, and in the wet, like the wide circumferential grooves intended to minimise the opportunity for aquaplaning. The tread blocks and siping have also been designed to slice through thin films of water, further enhancing braking performance. Steering response compared to that of the ZV3 has been sharpened through the addition of a stiffer lower sidewall layer.
Road noise in the ZV5 has been reduced through computer optimised tread block formation, enabling Cooper Tire Europe to get a head start on noise emission regulations for replacement tyres, which are scheduled to be implemented in 2011. Another noteworthy feature of the ZV5 is its silica based compound. Often wet weather performance has traditionally come at the expense of wear characteristics; Cooper Tire reports this isn’t the case with their new tyre, thanks largely to the fourth generation compound that has been used. Tread wear is said to be 13 per cent better than that on its predecessor.
During the development process the ZV5 was extensively tested in the UK and in other European locations for both wet and dry performance, and once Cooper Tire was happy with the results of their own evaluations the new tyre was sent to TÜV for independent feedback from the globally respected organisation. The report the manufacturer received after this third party evaluation was overwhelmingly positive. “TÜV said ‘that’s a good product, you’ve got a really good product there’,” commented Marcus Hancock, general manager of Cooper Tire’s European Technical Centre.
“Everyone involved in the design of the ZV5 has done a fantastic job,” added Julian Baldwin, managing director of Cooper Tire Europe. “The ZV3 was a great base to build from, but with new technologies coming through we’re able to move up to a new level with this tyre.”
At the time of the ZV5’s initial release 22 sizes in V, W and Y speed ratings are available for 15 to 18-inch rims, and plans to greatly increase the number of available fitments are already in place. Additions will particularly be made to expand availability for 18-inch wheels, and at least three run-flat products are currently in preparation. And, Cooper Tire adds, no matter what size of rim a car is fitted with, the ZV5 will help retain its appearance – every product in the new range comes with a large rim flange protector to help guard against kerbing damage.