Hankook All-Season Test Success
Hankook’s Optimo 4S has received the best ratings in an all-season tyre test by Auto Bild, the German car magazine, with testers acknowledging “top driving performance under any weather conditions”. The company says that the “exemplary” rating of the tyre substantiates Hankook’s claim to premium standards in its products. The Optimo 4S is also the only tyre in the world to receive the German Federal Environmental Agency’s prestigious Blue Angel mark, attributed because of the tyre’s reduced road and rolling noise, as well as helping to reduce fuel consumption by up to five per cent.
Hankook is – According to the US-Magazine Modern Tire Dealer (Jan. 2008) – currently the seventh largest and fastest growing tire manufacturer in the world, and the company is keen to emphasise the “landmark” nature of the results of the tests by Auto Bild, Europe’s largest automobile magazine. Eight all-season-products from various makers were tested on a VW Golf with the dimensions 195/65 R 15 T/H/V. The Optimo 4S (standing for four seasons), was – according to Auto Bild’’s editor – the only tested tyre “that outperforms in any kind of weather”. He also praised its “dynamic handling quality on snow-covered roads as well as short braking distances on wet as well as dry courses,” making the tyre one of only two to receive the magazine’s “exemplary” rating.
The Optimo 4S looked convincing to testers with its superior balance in any kind of weather. In snow, rain or dry conditions the Hankook offering was the only one being tested that managed to get the highest points under all “seasonal” conditions in terms of handling performance. Also when testing the most important safety criteria, namely braking on snow-covered, wet or dry roads, the Optimo 4S was the only tyre in the test that received the highest points. Its total performance on dry roads, which has always been a major deficiency for all-season tyres in the past, received the highest points possible from Auto Bild.
Seung-Do Jin, executive vice president and European COO of Hankook Tire in Europe, comments on the independent commendation: “The Auto Bild test proves that, thanks to progressive material and manufacturing technologies, a modern, high-performance and well balanced all-season tire such as the Optimo 4S occasionally can be a realistic alternative to changing summer and snow tires. We are very happy about the excellent test results for our latest product, which emphasises the effort we put in combining our high degree of developmental competence with driving comfort, efficiency and safety at the utmost highest level of technology. We will continue to market top products throughout all segments for our demanding clientele.”
The Optimo 4S has an asymmetrical tyre profile, with an interior side optimized for driving on snow and an exterior that ensures ideal handling and braking conditions on wet surfaces. According to the company, the tyre exemplifies Hankook’s technological philosophy, “Kontrol Technology”, which promises ground-breaking development and innovation prowess.
T&A reported the tyre’s launch back in the July 2008 issue in the review of Reifen 2008 (page 64), suggesting the tyre was perhaps the start of a “new breed”. These test results go some way to backing up that view of the all-weather Optimo 4S. The tyre is currently available in 41 sizes from 175/70 R 13 T for smaller vehicles up to V-rated 235/45 R 17 UHP-sizes for upper- and luxury class cars.