Hankook launches Kinergy 4S² all-season tyre
Back in 1994, a little-known tyre brand called Hankook entered the all-season market in Europe with the Optisuper. A lot has changed for the tyre maker since then, but it is still firmly in the all-season tyre business – and has now introduced its fifth-generation tyre, the Hankook Kinergy 4S².
While the addition of a superscript is all that separates the Kinergy 4S² from its predecessor in the name department, the tyre itself is entirely new. The most obvious difference is the adoption of the v-shaped directional tread pattern currently favoured by many all-season tyre manufacturers. This has been paired with a polymer silica tread compound.
“Our team of engineers was able to fall back on more than twenty years of expertise in the field of all-weather tyres for the Kinergy 4S²,” comments Klaus Krause, head of the Hankook European Development Centre. “The result is a completely new product which makes a particularly stable performance available with the aid of an innovative tyre compound and the special tread design, independently of weather conditions and temperatures.”
Use of a directional tread pattern addresses questions of road safety in the wet. Hankook Tire says the tyre’s v-shaped interleaved tread blocks “guarantee high driving stability.” They are divided by extra-wide two-level grooves that disperse water and slush away from the contact patch, thereby preventing aquaplaning.
These tread characteristics are supported by the newly developed tyre mixture made from a high-density silica polymer compound; Hankook Tire reports that the mixture “ensures very good wet grip on nano level” thanks to, amongst other factors, a high share of natural renewable raw materials.
Remembering that it doesn’t always rain in Europe, the tyre maker notes that the “same combination of natural and synthetic high-tech ingredients also has a positive effect on the dry performance of the Kinergy 4S².” It shares that its compounding experts achieved a high rigidity that offers extra stability when cornering and improved steering precision on dry roads as well as high grip levels independent of temperature. This high rigidity, adds Hankook, is guaranteed by the solid block structure and its specific layout. “Thus, the Hankook engineers ensure that the braking distances remain short even on dry roads and at higher temperatures, and the tyre shoulder offers the necessary footing, benefiting dry handling properties as a whole.”
Driving with the Kinergy 4S² is a quieter experience than with the previous generation of tyre. Tyre/road noise is reduced through the presence of a zigzag pattern block layout in the tread centre; these blocks also contain fine 3D sipes that increase the surface area and improve grip in the snow. Rolling resistance is reduced and mileage improved by the use of functionalised polymers that offer a high-density compound with silica structures.
The 3PMSF-marked Hankook Kinergy 4S² comes to market this month in 17 sizes for 14- to 17-inch rim diameters, with T, H, V and W speed rated dimensions available. The range will be expanded to 64 sizes for 14- to 20-inch rim diameters, including Y speed rated sizes, in the second half of 2018.