Hankook Design Acknowledged at iF Awards
Hankook Tire has picked up awards for the design of its enfren and Optimo 4S tyres at the iF Product Design Awards 2009 ceremony, held in the German city of Hanover. The two tyres became the first passenger car tyres to ever win the design award organised by the International Forum Design. They were both awarded in the ‘Transportation’ category, and were judged according to their technology, environment friendliness, functionality, safety and design quality.
The tyres are appraised independently for their quality and performance in terms of the environment and fuel efficiency, and Hankook attributes the tyre’s recognised innovative qualities to its consistent 5 per cent investment into its Kontrol Technology programme, which it states is one of the highest proportional levels of R&D investment in the tyre industry. The enfren tyre was launched in Korea in June 2008 and according to the Korea Automotive Technology Institute reduces rolling resistance by 21 per cent and improves fuel economy by two per cent. The Optimo 4S is currently the only tyre in the world and first all-season tyre ever to receive the famous German eco-label, the Blue Angel (Der Blaue Engel, in use since 1978 and considered to be the world’s first environmental-related label for products and services).
“Functional design can help creatively unlock product innovation and plays an integral role in the product development cycle,” said Seung-Hwa Suh, CEO of Hankook Tire. “Technology is at the heart of everything Hankook Tire does and clever design plays a major role in enhancing performance. We want to continue to discover further opportunities on how green design, in particular, can affect and influence functionality.”
The judges, in particular, pointed to the functionality of the leaf-shaped tread pattern design used in the enfren and how this both reflected and benefited the product’s fuel efficiency attributes. The leaf-shaped tread design, reports Hankook, enables higher performance characteristics in terms of fuel efficiency, lower CO2 emissions, improved water drainage, optimal riding comfort and stability. The enfren was also awarded with the Good Design certificate in Korea earlier this month. The enfren is selling well in Korea and there are plans to expand the range of tyre sizes on sale in Korea and to launch the tyre in other markets, such as Australia and Japan, in the near future, as well as across Europe and the US in the mid-term.
The awarded tyres, comments the Korean manufacturer, are examples of Hankook Tire’s Kontrol Technology, a set of technological innovations applied through research, development and production to guarantee a controlled driving experience. Kontrol Technology embodies the company’s approach to technological innovation and results in a range of driving benefits across four areas which customers identify as key when choosing quality tyres: performance; safety; comfort; and a tyre’s impact on the environment.
The iF Product Design Award was introduced in 1953, and this year 2,808 products with 1,025 applicants from 39 countries were judged for the iF Product Design Awards. Along with inclusion in the iF Yearbook Product 2009, the enfren and Optimo 4S will be officially awarded at the iF design exhibition 2009, which opens its doors on March 3 at the Hanover Exhibition Centre. The exhibition continues until August 2009. The winners of the iF Gold Awards will be also be announced at the CeBit Exhibition in Hanover in March 2009.