A decade ago, Air France entered into a ten-year tyre supply contract with Michelin. The French airline has now renewed this arrangement, extending its partnership for a further ten years. The Michelin Group will equip the company’s short-, medium- and long-haul aircraft, except for the Boeing 787, with new and retreaded tyres primarily produced at the company’s Saint Doulchard plant in Bourges, France
Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM and Continental Motorcycle Tires have announced a new cooperation for the new year: Upon its launch in 2021, the KTM 890 Duke will come equipped with ContiRoad tyres as standard equipment.
Hankook Tire is delivering original equipment tyres for the Audi RS Q8. The 600 hp SUV will thus roll off the production line fitted with the Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 SUV in 295/40 ZR22 112Y XL AO. To ensure safe driving in the colder months, Audi customers can additionally order the Hankook Winter i*cept evo 2 in sizes 275/40 R22 107V XL AO or 295/35 R23 108W XL AO.
Pirelli shares that its tyres have gained a total of 78 original equipment homologations for the latest versions of the BMW 8 Series Coupe, Gran Coupe, and Cabrio, including M Sport models. These cars ride on bespoke Pirelli P Zero and Cinturato P7 tyres. Depending on model, Pirelli will supply BMW with 18- to 20-inch fitments.
Over 80 fitments, more than 30 vehicle models, 13 car manufacturers – this is Bridgestone’s tally of new original equipment fitments for 2020. The tyre maker has summarised its OE achievements in an 80-second-long video. Steven De Bock, vice-president Consumer Replacement and OE at Bridgestone EMIA, comments that it’s “fantastic that we’ve been able to work in partnership with the world’s leading car manufacturers to meet our collective environmental goals and shape a more sustainable future of mobility.”
Qingdao Sentury Tire Co., Ltd. has appointed Martin Winter as global technical director OE. Winter has more than 20 years’ experience of working in original equipment tyre development with Continental, Goodyear, and most recently Hankook. Sentury Tire states that Winter will work to establish relationships with leading original equipment manufacturers. Sentury is seeking to “establish and increase a competitive partnership and relationship” with European and global light vehicle makers. Manufacturing from its base in Qingdao, China and in Thailand, Sentury is primarily known for its Landsail brand in the UK and Europe.
At the start of 2021, the Potenza Sport will take over from the Potenza S001 as the flagship of Bridgestone’s tyre range. Bridgestone says the new ultra-high-performance tyre possesses “excellent capabilities in both the dry and wet” as well as higher mileage potential than its predecessor. All 96 dimensions in the Potenza Sport range have an EU label ‘A’ grade for wet grip.
Pirelli has created a bespoke new Scorpion Zero All Season SUV tyre as original equipment for the latest Land Rover Defender. The new development reinforces the manufacturer’s partnership with Land Rover. Work on the bespoke tyre was begun at Pirelli’s factories in Carlisle and Milan, with Pirelli engineers working closely with their Land Rover counterparts. Over the full course of the intensive development programme, testing was conducted all over the world in the most extreme conditions possible, Pirelli adds.
Giti Tire has produced its first AA-rated EU label tyre. The GitiSynergyH2 original equipment tyre, produced in size 215/55R17 XL 98H for the bestselling VW Caddy 5 light commercial vehicle, achieved A grades in the EU label’s wet grip and fuel efficiency metrics. The deal follows Giti’s first LCV OE deal with Volkswagen earlier in 2020, for the larger Crafter model. An aftermarket version of the new GitiSynergyH2 will be launched in the aftermarket in March 2021, replacing the GitiSynergyE1 and GitiPremiumH1, both of which were part of the original Giti brand launch into Europe in 2016. Label ratings for the replacement range will be confirmed during the model’s aftermarket launch.
Michelin has developed a new slick iteration of its Pilot Sport Cup UUHP tyre for the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992). The model is the latest tyre from a technical partnership between the tyre-maker and German car brand of more than 20 years. The new 911 is reserved for the manufacturer’s single-make championships – series that are described as “a valuable proving ground” for Michelin too.
The working relationship between Avon Tyres and motorcycle manufacturer KTM continues in 2021 with the selection of Avon tyres for the new KTM 890 Adventure. This successor to the 790 Adventure – which also wore Avon tyres – comes with the Avon Trailrider as standard in a 21-inch front wheel size (90/90-21) and 18-inch rear (150/70 R18).
Ducati’s latest bike for the maxi enduro segment is the Multistrada V4. Like the three prior generations of Multistrada, the new V4 rides on Pirelli tyres. It will be sold with the Pirelli Scorpion Trail II as original equipment, while the Scorpion Rally STR and Scorpion Rally off-road tyres are also homologated for the new bike.
Bridgestone tyres are original equipment on yet another Yamaha motorcycle. The tyre maker will supply its Battlax Sport Touring T32 for factory fitment on the 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 ABS and Tracer 9 GT ABS in the front wheel size 120/70ZR17M/C (58W) and rear wheel size 180/55ZR17M/C (73W).
Another two-wheel OEM approval for Bridgestone. Kawasaki Heavy Industries has selected the Bridgestone Battlax Racing Street RS11 as an original equipment fitment on the 2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. This new Ninja, which was released this month, is fitted with the RS11 in the front wheel size 120/70ZR17 M/C (58W) and rear size 190/55ZR17 M/C (75W).