Safer, more comfortable, better performance. These three qualities are what Pirelli says motorists can now expect from its Scorpion range of SUV tyres following the range’s recent revamp, which the tyre maker undertook in response to forecasted global growth in SUV sales over the next few years.
A new Vredestein tyre specifically developed for electric vehicles (EVs) will debut later this year. Sharing a few details about this upcoming all-season product, Apollo Tyres says it is currently evaluating the tyre through computer simulation and at proving grounds around the world following a “major new research and development programme” that includes close collaboration with leading car manufacturers.
When Nexen Tire first threw its hat into the ring of Europe’s all-season tyre market a decade ago, most motorists – and most tyre makers – considered these products best suited to smaller cars with just a handful of horses under the bonnet. Product development has brought all-season tyres a long way since then, and attitudes have changed too. So it was that when Nexen recently launched its latest tyre for this segment, there wasn’t a single dimension for runabouts or city cars to be seen.
Product testing at the Pirelli Sottozero Centre in Lapland, Sweden is now taking place in summer as well as winter. Pirelli says it switched the facility to year-round testing in response to increased demand for product development on both wet and dry roads, particularly for all-season and winter tyres. The team at the Sottozero Centre recently wrapped up its winter test programme for the season and is now beginning the summer programme.
VW Caddy models supplied with 16- and 17-inch rims will be available with Continental all-season tyres as original equipment. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is equipping the Caddy with the AllSeasonContact in sizes 205/60 R16 96H XL and 215/55 R17 98H XL. It has also approved the Continental EcoContact 6 summer tyre for the Caddy in size 215/55 R17 98H XL.
The latest Michelin all-season tyre for SUVs has been launched in European markets. Arriving from 1 May, Michelin says the CrossClimate 2 SUV is targeted at “drivers seeking a safe ride first and foremost, regardless of the SUV category.” It adds that this “new generation of four-season tyres” combines “multiple performances” and allows drivers to “contend with the majority of weather conditions, no matter the season.” CrossClimate 2 SUV is available at launch in 40 dimensions for 17- to 20-inch rim diameters.
During 2020, the whole of the sell-out market declined albeit not as badly as was feared. Still, with the exception of some distinct niches – such as instances in the logistics industry where tyre service providers were kept busy throughout the lockdowns – everyone was affected. SUV tyres were no different and saw overall value and volume figures fall 12 per cent, according to market analyst GfK’s January to December 2020 panelmarket data. 2021, however, was almost the mirror image of 2020 with the value of UK 4×4 and SUV tyre sales up 12 per cent compared with the equivalent full-year 2020 data. In other words, SUV tyre sales returned to growth mode in 2021, something that sets 2022 up for an even better year for those selling SUV and 4×4 tyres.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has selected Apollo Tyres’ latest Vredestein Quatrac all-season tyre as original equipment for the new Caddy. It will fit the Quatrac in 205/65R15 99H XL to selected Caddy models manufactured at the Volkswagen production facility in Poznan, Poland.
Red Dot isn’t announcing its Product Design 2022 winners until 20 June, but Nexen Tire have let us in on the secret that two of its products are awardees. The Nexen N’Blue 4 Season 2 and N’Blue 4 Season Van are winners in the Product Design category this year.
Continental is introducing a further five AllSeasonContact dimensions, and these tyres are the first in the range to offer an EU label rating of A for fuel efficiency. Furthermore, four of the five new sizes are XL rated for heavier loads; Continental says this combination “makes the tyre the ideal retrofit option for electric vehicles, as it can carry the higher average weight and extend the range of e-vehicles.”
Hankook will launch a new line of speciality electric vehicle tyres in May 2022. The line of Hankook iON tyres is developed to offer reduced rolling resistance and therefore an increase in range, lower tyre noise for more comfort, and higher resilience to deal with the higher torque of electric vehicles. The Korean manufacturer said that it is launching the iON line as a contribution to the transition towards zero emission vehicles. The iON line will be available initially in three designs for summer, winter, and all-season applications – the latter in North America, but with European seasonal fitments – in sizes between 18 and 22 inches. The tyres will respectively be launched as the Hankook Ventus iON S summer tyre pattern, the Hankook Winter i*cept iON (from September 2022), and the Hankook Ventus iON A. In addition to supplying its tyres to EV manufacturers and launching an EV tyre line in its domestic South Korean market, Hankook has recently aligned itself with a range of electric mobility projects, such as its title sponsorship of the inaugural Top Gear EV Awards in 2021. Hankook adds that further specific product designs are in the pipeline.
From 1 March, motorhome drivers keen to extend the camping season beyond the summer months have a new tyre option in the form of the Michelin CrossClimate Camping. By summer 2022 Michelin will offer the tyre in eight dimensions, a line-up that covers 99 per cent of the market.
Continental has launched a new all-season tyre for airport ground handling vehicles, the ContiRV20 All Season. The tyre is produced in Continental’s facility for industrial material Handling tyres in Otrokovice, Czech Republic, and is available in 16-inch and 16.5-inch sizes.
International contract tyre producer SD International is expanding its range of private brand Zeta car and SUV tyres. The range now includes seven models, with runflat, all-season and winter options for extended mobility joining the key Alventi and Impero lines of summer tyres.
As of this month, BFGoodrich is offering a new all-season tyre for vans and light commercial vehicles, the BFGoodrich Activans 4S. It describes this as a tyre that “responds perfectly to the expectations of professionals seeking safety and simplicity” by ensuring safety on the road all year round.