The International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2021 have honoured Hankook Tire as a finalist in the Automotive and Transportation category for its Hankook Platform System (HPS)-Cell innovation. HPS-Cell has already won a Red Dot Design Award in the Mobility and Transportation category in July and was announced as winner of the iF Design Award 2021 in the Professional Concept category in April.
Hankook will serve as exclusive tyre partner to the relaunched Deutsche Tourenwagen Challenge (DTC), a German motorsport series aimed at young and amateur drivers and contested by affordable cars with a maximum engine capacity of 1.65 litres such as the Ford Fiesta ST, Hyundai i20 N, Peugeot 208, Renault Clio Cup or Toyota Yaris. All vehicles will compete on Hankook Ventus Race tyres when the series gets underway next year.
The 2015-launched Hankook Winter i*cept RS² is still delivering strong performances in comparative tyre tests, such as its ‘good’ rating in Auto Bild’s winter 2021 evaluation, but a successor tyre is already available – in Korea, at least. Hankook Tire & Technology is launching the Winter i*cept RS³ in its domestic market today.
Hankook Tire is expanding its Dynapro line-up in North America with the introduction of the new ‘Rugged Terrain’ Hankook Dynapro XT and next-generation Dynapro AT2 Xtreme. It will offer the Dynapro XT is 30 sizes in this market. At launch the Dynapro AT2 Xtreme will cover 32 sizes, however Hankook says it will continue adding new sizes through a phased launch, eventually reaching 98 total sizes by 2022. The tyre maker states that the introduction of the two products will accelerate its penetration into the US market.
Business sustainability ratings provider EcoVadis has awarded Hankook Tire & Technology a platinum medal in its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) 2021 assessment. Platinum is, the tyre maker notes, a status bestowed upon companies whose performance is within the top one per cent of their industry sector. The current platinum medal is Hankook’s third back-to-back top-tier EcoVadis award; it earned the then highest gold award in 2019, followed by a platinum award upon the introduction of this recognition last year.
Hankook Tire and Apollo Tyres are the latest tyre manufacturers to align their natural rubber procurement policies with the framework adopted by the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) in September 2020. Indian firm Apollo has released its first natural rubber policy document, while South Korea’s Hankook has updated the policy it introduced in 2018. Earlier this week, Yokohama Rubber announced it had altered its natural rubber procurement policy to accommodate the GPSNR policy framework.
In the preamble to its latest tyre test, Auto Bild Allrad comments that the “future belongs to all-season tyres” and notes the evolution of these products into a true alternative to dedicated summer or winter tyres. This year, the German magazine for 4×4 and SUV enthusiasts tested ten brands of all-season tyre in size 215/65 R17. Victory was claimed by the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 X, a tyre that Auto Bild’s testers declared an “exemplary compromise” for safe driving in all weather conditions.
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.
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.
Hankook has published its 2020/21 ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) Report. The document details the company’s sustainable management activities, responsible governance, integrated environmental management, climate change response, community involvement and development, transparency and business ethics, employee value creation, employee safety and health management, and win-win partnership in the supply chain. It also presents Hankook’s 2030 goals and the strategies of the recently launched ESG committee within the board of directors. The committee will be responsible for consulting, deliberating, and recommending regarding environmental, social and governance businesses.
Hankook Tire has introduced a new generation of regional to long-distance truck tyres into its SmartFlex Series. It premiered the SmartFlex AH51 steer axle and SmartFlex DH51 drive axle tyres at the CV Show in Birmingham today, and reports that the first six dimensions will be available in selected European markets from November.
Hankook Tire has extended its commitment to the UEFA Europa League for a further three years. This third renewal of the tyre maker’s sponsorship covers the period until the end of the 2023/24 season and additionally includes the new for 2021 UEFA Europa Conference League. It will sponsor this competition via its Laufenn tyre brand. Hankook and UEFA jointly announced the partnership’s extension and Laufenn’s Europa Conference engagement following the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League group stage draw.
Next week the Commercial Vehicle Show returns to the NEC in Birmingham after a year’s absence, and Hankook Tire will be present as an exhibitor. The tyre maker will debut two new products for European markets during the show, the Hankook SmartFlex AH51 and DH51 steer and drive tyres.
A new partnership with DriverReviews gives Hankook Tyre UK a means of supplementing its consumer-facing website with user reviews. The fruits of integrating the DriverReviews platform can already be seen on Hankook’s UK site, and the tyre maker plans to roll out the concept in further markets next year.