The first entirely electric Škoda to wear the brand’s go-fast vRS badge arrives in UK showrooms this week. This is of course the Škoda Enyaq Coupé iV vRS, a 299PS EV capable of completing the 0-62mph sprint in just 6.5 seconds and achieving a top speed of 111mph. Enyaq Coupé iV vRS models are equipped with black 20-inch Taurus wheels as standard or optional 21-inch Vision wheels with an anthracite finish. Original equipment tyres come courtesy of Bridgestone, Hankook or Pirelli.
Hankook Tire is set to reduce costs and wastage in its production facilities thanks to a research collaboration with Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and HM3DP, a 3D printing start-up. Working with these partners, Hankook has developed ‘Damaged Parts Restoration 3D Printing Technology’, which it will use to restore titanium alloy blades that are damaged while cutting tyre rubber during the production process.
If asked which tyres are worn by cars competing in Lamborghini Super Trofeo races, you may be tempted to name an Italian brand starting with ‘P’ – but you’d be wrong. As of the 2023 season, Hankook Tire is now official technical partner and exclusive tyre supplier to all three series of the one-make cup. It has also developed a new, high-performance race tyre for this engagement, the Hankook Ventus Race, a product specifically tailored to the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2 racing car.
The bZ4X is the first model in Toyota’s beyond Zero range of all-electric vehicles, and the crossover SUV is now being sold in global markets. The UK-spec car is available with 18- or 20-inch rims as standard, and Toyota has selected Bridgestone as original equipment supplier for both. The entry-level Toyota bZ4X Pure and mid-range bZ4X Motion are equipped with Bridgestone Alenza 001 tyres in 235/60 R18 103 H, while the top-of-the-range bZ4X Vision wears 235/50 R20 104 V XL.
Rob Williams is heading Hankook Tire’s business in North America as the new President of Hankook Tire America Corp. His colleague Jong Jin (JJ) Park has been promoted to the role of Vice-President of USA PC/LT Sales, while Intae (Ted) Choi has become Vice President of North American Marketing Strategy, and Byoungjoe (Joe) Park has been named Vice President of Corporate Management.
The European Commission has provisionally recalculated anti-Chinese-produced truck tyre import tariffs to between €21.12 and €61.76 per tyre, equating to a reduction of between 0 and 51 per cent, depending on the manufacturer. Consultation on the provisional recalculation is now open until 23 January, before the final determination will be made on 25 January 2023.
Mono Mars is, I am told, a virtual influencer inspired by Mars exploration rovers. His quest to go to Mars has helped Mono Mars gain more than 115,000 followers, and Hankook Tire has now joined up with this Red Planet-obsessed robot to reach out to motorsports fans as part of its Formula E partnership.
Hankook Tire, new official technical partner and tyre supplier of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and title sponsor of the current season’s opening race, says it is “prepared and ready” for its engagement in the all-electric race series. The Hankook Mexico City E-Prix takes place on 14 January and is the first of eleven race weekends around the world this year that will host a total of 16 races.
It has supplied original equipment tyres to the US version of the Nissan X-Trail for more than a decade, and now Hankook Tire is additionally equipping this model in international markets. The SUV will wear Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 tyres in size 235/55R 19V.
According to the recent Hankook Tire Gauge Index, a survey of Americans’ driving habits, 46 per cent of Americans plan to purchase or lease an electric vehicle (EV) within the next five years. Therefore, the arrival of Hankook’s EV-specific iON brand across the pond is timely. Catering to local preferences, the Hankook iON range for the USA has a strong all-season flavour, and the tyre maker has introduced two lines – the iON evo AS and iON evo AS SUV.
Hankook will commence its role as the new official technical partner and tyre supplier of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in 2023. The manufacturer, which is taking over from the original tyre supplier to the championship, Michelin, will further underline its commitment to the series with title sponsorship of three rounds in 2023, including the season finale in London. Hankook has invested heavily in the marketing of its new line of tyres for electric vehicles in 2022, the iON series. The manufacturer will supply the iON Race to Formula E, having tested the tyre in Valencia in December.
A special report on a delicate situation shows why the major supplier to the European commercial vehicle tyre market made new supply agreements with contracted OEM partners, and how the period of flux could work in its favour as tender processes commence
Hankook Tire Europe’s intensive expansion of its original equipment truck tyres business over the last half-decade hit significant headwinds at the end of 2021. As a result, the manufacturer made the decision to largely discontinue corresponding deliveries at the start of 2022. Speaking to Tyres & Accessories’ sister magazine in Germany, Neue Reifenzeitung (NRZ), representatives from Hankook’s European headquarters in Neu-Isenburg were clear that the company had not withdrawn from original equipment, but that there has been an interruption, which will be followed by a “restart” in the next two years. This raises the question of how this strategic decision will be received in a shrinking market, while many in the aftermarket are wondering why such a drastic move was necessary in the first place.
Prosecutors raided the offices of Hankook Tire & Technology Co. on 24 November as part of an investigation into alleged “unfair intra-affiliate trading”. According to the South Korean Yonhap news agency, investigators from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office seized documents from “the headquarters and offices of its affiliates in connection with suspicions of unfair business practices among the group’s affiliates”. Yonhap also reported that prosecutors specifically searched the office of Cho Hyun-bum, the chairman of Hankook Tire.
The public launch of the new Hankook iON race will take place at the Essen Motor Show early next month, ahead of the tyre’s competitive debut at the Mexico City E-Prix on 14 January 2023. Hankook Tire is an exclusive technical partner and tyre supplier to Formula E and has developed a tyre specifically for the series that contains around 30 per cent sustainable materials.