Kumho’s new Le Sport “designed for Europe’s top marques”
The first 25 sizes of Kumho’s replacement for the KU19 and proven KU31 have been launched on the UK market. The Ecsta Le Sport KU39, to give it its full title, is an asymmetric ultra high performance tyre designed with Europe’s top car marques in mind, and was developed using the twin methods of the latest KADAS prediction tools and on Europe’s most demanding test tracks. The Y-speed rated product’s key selling points are its enhanced performance, braking in wet conditions and controlled ride and refinement, according to the Korean manufacturer. Its high grip tread compound delivers improved traction and braking performance, while its specially designed casing provides impressive high speed stability.
This fresh offering from the technology-driven Korean company is regarded as a milestone product for Kumho, which believes the tyre takes it “to the next tier of tyre performance”. In due course, the newcomer will be available in over 50 sizes from 16” to 20”, most with extra load capability.
Meanwhile the Ecsta HM KH31 is aimed at one of the most demanding areas of the European tyre market – that occupied by such perennial top selling models as the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and VW Golf. In a recent tyre test, the highly influential German automotive magazine Auto Bild ranked it third overall out of 14 summer products from 13 tyre manufacturers (including premium brands such as Michelin, Continental, Pirelli and Goodyear, and “exemplary” overall. The tyre is available in a wide range of sizes from 155/65R14 to 225/40R18.
Kumho has had a comparatively long history of supplying run-flat tyres to the European replacement market; the company introduced its first XRP, or “extended run-flat performance” version of the Ecsta SPT KU31 for the Mini Cooper in 2005. This has since been joined by the most popular BMW fitments from 195/55R16 to 245/40R18, which between them cover the majority of models in the Mini, 1, 3 and 5 Series BMW ranges.
The company says it continues to increase its original equipment business in Europe, the most recent example of which was the supply of the Ecsta KU19 in size 245/45R18 for the latest Mercedes-Benz Viano X-Clusive. The company now has ongoing global OE business with Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, Smart, SsangYong, VW and Daimler AG, to whom it has supplied tyres for the A-Class model since 2007.