Ferrari has chosen a custom version of Bridgestone’s new Potenza Sport ultra-high performance tyre for its new GT car. The tyre manufacturer collaborated with the supercar brand to produce bespoke rubber for the 620bhp, rear-wheel drive Ferrari Roma. The tyre is produced in the Bridgestone’s specialist Rome EMIA Technology and Innovation Centre, boasting the tyre-maker’s latest technologies, and is the result of close development work to fine-tune the all-round performance of the newly-launched Bridgestone tyre. It is supplied to the Ferrari Roma in 245/35ZR20 91Y and 285/35ZR20 (100Y) front and rear sizes.
Giti Tire has heralded the ‘good’ rating awarded to its new GT Radial Winterpro2 in the 2021 Auto Motor und Sport (AM&S) winter tyre test. The test pitted ten tyre brands from the premium and mid-range against each other in an all-round tyre of winter tyre performances. The WinterPro2 scored well in all tests, with especially good results in braking on dry, wet and snowy surfaces. The magazine also praised the tyre for ‘its comfortable ride properties [and] a firm and good grip on both wet and dry roads’.
After a Covid-enforced delay, Auto Express has published its 2021 Summer Tyre Test, with Hankook leading a list of nine top tyre brands. Each of the nine tyres displayed strengths in at least one of the test segments. The UK magazine used Continental’s Contidrom proving ground near Hanover in Germany to conduct its objective performance tests, enlisting the help of a local independent tyre tester to get around travel restrictions in the country before verifying the results. The problems of testing tyres in Europe with rules around travel in flux also affected the way Auto Express was able to get tyres to the proving ground; rather than acquire tyres on the open market, it asked manufacturers to send sets, verifying the test-topping tyres against regular production models after the fact. The magazine used the size 225/45 R17, as it had previously in 2018 – a very popular UK size for compact to medium-sized family cars, and in this case one fitted to the tyre test mainstay Volkswagen Golf.
Bridgestone has developed a broad range of technologies and partnerships designed to address the coming wave of electric vehicles. The tyre manufacturer has said its tyre range for electric vehicles will make up one-fifth of its original equipment range by 2024. These tyres contain several technologies that Bridgestone has been developing over the last few years. It worked with BMW to develop dedicated tyres for the i3, i3s and i8 EVs, with its proprietary ologic technology. Ologic offers rolling resistance and aerodynamics benefits. Bridgestone’s Enliten technology meanwhile helps to reduce the weight of tyres by 10 per cent without compromising on wear life – rolling resistance can be reduced by up to 20 per cent, according to the company.
Hankook is supplying its new Ventus S1 evo Z ultra-ultra-high performance tyres for the new Porsche Panamera in 19 and 20-inch variants. The tyre-maker extensively tested the tyre at maximum speed on the Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack, a popular proving ground for sporty handling and longevity. “The Porsche Panamera is a high performing four-passenger sports car with outstanding comfort,” says Sanghoon Lee, president of Hankook Tire Europe. “As such, we are very pleased to be the first to equip this model, as it shows that our products are extremely competitive even in the high-end segment. Additional tyres for future Porsche models are already in development at Hankook.” The tyre made its debut on the Mini John Cooper Works GP in late 2020.
Pirelli tyres are chosen for many of the most sustainable cars from the world’s leading brands. Nearly three in ten electric cars (29 per cent) at the at the 2021 International IAA Mobility Show in Munich fit Pirelli P Zero or Scorpion tyres. Pirelli is equipping these ranges with its new Elect technology for cars with zero or low emissions, some of which are among those at the IAA show. Pirelli’s Cinturato P7 tyres are also at the show on the BMW 320e hybrid and 3 Series models.
Continental has launched the SportContact 7, the latest in its ultra-high performance tyre line. The manufacturer will offer an initial run of 42 sizes for rim diameters between 19 and 23 inches with expansions due over the next year. The tyre is oriented towards handling and high mileage, with safety at its core. Compared to the previous sixth-generation model, itself a multi-test winning product for this segment in the six years since its launch, Conti says it has improved track performance by 10 per cent, wet braking distances have been reduced by 8 per cent, dry braking is 6 per cent shorter, and mileage has increased by 17 per cent (according to tests on the size 245/30 R20). Handling and grip in the wet and dry are also significantly improved, Conti says. The tyre’s C-grade rolling resistance label score also places it among the top-rated premium brand U-UHP tyres in this metric.
Giti Tire has launched its new winter tyre on the European aftermarket. The GitiWinterW2 delivers improved dry dynamics, wet braking and aquaplaning resistance, the manufacturer states, while snow and ice grip and traction are maintained from the first edition. The tyre is available initially in 13 car and SUV sizes, including the 10 most popular in the European market, for rims between 15 and 19-inches. Giti adds that extra sizes will be introduced in 2022. The tyre targets a wide range of vehicles, from small and medium cars such as the VW Polo or VW Golf up to premium limousines such as the Mercedes C Class. CUV and SUV sizes are designed to be fitted on popular models like the Nissan Qashqai and VW Tiguan.
Giti Tire’s all-season tyre range has been boosted by 13 new sizes of the GT Radial 4Seasons tyre. Launched in May 2018 at Tire Cologne, the passenger car portfolio has increased by eight sizes to stand at 28, and now covers 26 of the 30 of the most in-demand sizes in Europe. The manufacturer has added five new SUV-marked tyres, bringing the SUV derivative up to a total of eight size options. The GT Radial 4Seasons range now includes 13 of the top 20 SUV size combinations in Europe, which equates to 70 per cent of market demand.
July’s new car registrations fell by -29.5 per cent to 123,296 units, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The decline was artificially heightened by comparison with the same month last year, when registrations rose dramatically as showrooms enjoyed a full month’s operation following the first 2020 lockdown.
Reporting market trends for the month of June, Michelin notes that the current shortage of semiconductors strongly dampened recovery within the global automotive industry, which impacted upon sales of original equipment passenger vehicle and light truck tyres.
Nankang has launched a new winter tyre developed exclusively for the European cold season. The Winter Activa SV-4 will be available on the European market from the third quarter. The tyre will initially be available in 20 sizes from 13 to 21 inches. A second phase with additional sizes will follow during 2022.
Kevin Burke Tyres (KBT) has signed an initial three-year distribution partnership with Groupe Michelin brand BFGoodrich. The wholesaler will supply BFGoodrich tyres across the whole of Ireland until at least mid-2024 with the option to extend for a further two years. The deal covers BFGoodrich car, van, SUV and 4×4 tyres, all of which will be stocked for next-day delivery at KBT’s warehouse facility in Athenry, County Galway. The company has stocked “large quantities” of BFGoodrich tyres since 2015, it said, with the new deal representing the latest step in its developing relationship with the brand. The deal follows news from Great Britain that newly appointed UK BFGoodrich 4×4 wholesaler Micheldever Tyre Services has almost doubled its sales of the brand in the last year.
The significant decline in revenue for global tyre makers based on headwinds from the Covid-19 pandemic was felt most keenly by companies with the greatest exposure to the consumer vehicle tyre markets. (For the effects of the crisis on manufacturers, see our ranking of the world’s top tyre manufacturers in the Company section of our 75th anniversary special issue.) As many countries reduced private mileage considerably with working from home orders and travel restrictions – not to mention the negative effects of measures such as the UK’s MOT freeze, which removed a significant push factor in the market for much of 2020 – car tyre sales last year dropped considerably, though again there were big differences even within the EU27 and UK. Within car tyre segments there were significant differences in the depth of the contraction too. Broadly speaking, the higher value the segment, the better it tended to fare. Pirelli’s financial reporting for 2020, and the subsequent first-quarter growth in 2021, provide a good illustration of how higher performance segments provided increased resilience in these difficult times.
Earlier this month, Lotus revealed its latest sports car; the Lotus Emira. According to the company, it “delivers exotic supercar appeal in the sports car segment” and “above all, it looks like a Lotus”, while the design is “beautiful, timeless, memorable and modern.” Of course, what really interests this magazine are the wheels and tyres, and Lotus says that the Emira will have four 20-inch wheels. Standard tyre fitment is the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport, with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 available as an option. Lotus says that both tyres have been specially developed for the Emira by their manufacturers.