Pirelli has won several summer tyre tests carried out by German motoring publications. Products ranging from the ultra high performance sector to the balanced performance ranges were put through their paces.
In particular, Pirelli’s UHP tyre, P Zero Nero, fitted to BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz C 320 Sport Coupé, Audi A3 and Audi TT and the P Zero Rosso fitted to Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 returned performances of “extremely high levels,” says the manufacturer, winning tests on both wet and dry asphalt.
Pirelli’s SUV Scorpion STR tyre, tested on a Jeep Cherokee, also received recognition, as did the high performance P6 on a Volkswagen Golf V and P3000 Energy on a Ford Fiesta.
The German retreading industry has, for some time now, been concerned about when and how the ECE regulations 108 (passenger tyres) and 109 (truck tyres) would eventually be transferred into mandatory national law. In fact concerns over how the regulations will affect the German retreading market have been lingering since they were put into place in Geneva in June 1998.
Continental’s Hanover headquarters have denied claims that the company “will do anything to win magazine tyre tests.” The company’s rebuttal follows motoring journalist Robert Collin’s accusations that the company manipulated test results by providing specially produced products rather than the series units they should have. Furthermore, the Swedish Aftonbladet magazine article suggested that Continental had a “secret test tyre department” whose role it was to produce such tyres.
In a statement issued by the manufacturer’s head office, Continental “emphatically denies” the claims. “We don’t have a secret department that produces special tyres to be used in tests,” added Rainer Strang, Continental corporate spokesperson. He also pointed out that the company’s good reputation was confirmed by its market success in addition to its “consistently outstanding test results.” “Continental tyres undergo months and even years of rigorous testing and development with the world’s leading car manufacturers,” he added.
Well-known motoring journalist, Robert Collin, has accused Continental of doing “anything to win magazine tyre tests.” In an article published by the Swedish Aftonbladet magazine, the journalist suggests that the company has won tests by supplying “special” tyres.
The apparent motivation for the alleged underhanded behaviour is simple. Winning a tyre test can mean an increase in sales and is therefore big business. The Aftonbladet reports that this effect is particularly marked in countries like Germany and France and so the temptation for manufacturers is great. From a magazine’s point of view, the problem is that when the latest tyres are reviewed, they are generally not available in the shops and so testers have to trust manufacturers when they provide tyres for testing.
Autocar magazine has published its annual tyre tests this week, with Goodyear dominating the results. The independent tyre test compared five leading tyre brands in the UK, across two categories of car.
Auto Express has completed its longest and largest ever test, confirming Vredestein as the number one, for the third year in a row.
The assessment put 16 different brands of tyres to the test, and nine different aspects of tyre performance were measured, including wet and dry braking characteristics, rolling resistance, cornering ability and resistance to aquaplaning.
The well-known motoring magazine described Vredestein’s Sportrac 2 as a “superb wet weather all rounder”. The tests confirmed that from a speed of 62 mph a car on Vredestein tyres stops quicker than any other and that on a wet road the Sportrac 2 beats the poorest performer by four car lengths.
“We are extremely proud that Vredestein tyres have again been shown to be the best quality tyre on the UK market,” commented Vredestein UK’s MD, Bert Stellinga. “It’s great to see the result of all the work that our engineers, our product development people and our partners Giugiaro Design have done in developing the Vredestein range of tyres.”
The magazine did not hide its surprise that the tyre, which performed so well in wet conditions could also perform well in the dry, writing: “It was a shock to see wet weather ace Vredestein at the top again.”
The September edition of the German magazine “Transporting” has tested whether or not using super single tyres instead of conventional dual tyres on trucks can save fuel. Examining the effect that a lower rolling resistance has on reducing fuel consumption was not the only idea behind the comparison of both tyres. The testers also wanted to check if and how, the driving characteristics of a truck are influenced by the reduced weight of the super broad tyres. And the results – they found that utilising super singles on the rear axle “recognisably” deteriorates the spring/damping characteristics. However, there were no differences found between the two types of tyres with regards to lane keeping and traction. But, in accordance with expectations fuel savings of around four per cent were recorded during the tests.
The Internet’s largest compilation of Tyres Tests is now available online. The tests, which cover more than 940 tyres from across the UK and Europe have been collated and published on the Tyres & Accessories for the first time. Each entry contains a brief profile, review and a reference to the original source.
In order to navigate this huge database, products can be searched in terms of brand, model, year, width, height, diameter or speed index.
The test database is regularly kept up-to-date and will include the results of the new winter tyre tests when they come out in early October.
To visit the tyre test database click here or look out for the ‘tyre tests online’ animation.
Renault’s F1 test driver Franck Montagny accomplished Michelin tyre tests this week in Barcelona. At first the Michelin tyres were only tested regarding compounds, later different tyre constructions were added to the programme. According to chief test engineer, Christian Silk, a few improvements were found in the tyres.
Pirelli’s P Zero Nero has emerged as the winner of a summer tyre test carried out by the German magazine auto motor und sport. Ten well-known brands in tyre size 225/45 R17 Y were tested. The Pirelli tyre was top points scorer in seven out of ten categories tested and performed particularly well in wet testing, scoring 99 out of a possible 100.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company plans to launch AVON Tyres USA, a new collection of performance passenger, light truck, sport truck and motorsport tyres. Completely new to the U.S. and Canadian markets, the AVON Tyres USA line is the first ever to have been designed and engineered from consumer feedback data. All data was collected and analyzed by The Tire Rack, the country’s largest independent tyre tester, through its web site, www.tirerack.com.
Consumer Association magazine, Which? put the leading UHP tyres through their paces recently with the Goodyear Eagle F1 coming top of its category
again. A convoy of cars were driven over 6,000 miles each in order to compile the results, with the spotlight turned on performance in both wet and dry conditions, ride comfort, noise creation, rolling resistance and wear. The Which? test saw the Goodyear Eagle F1 competing in the 17 inch category, a tyre that would normally be fitted on sporty versions of cars such as BMW 3 Series, Ford Mondeo and VW Golfs. The extensive testing saw the Eagle F1 given an impressive score of 70 per cent across all categories, with Which? reserving special comment for its grip in both wet and dry conditions, as well as declaring it the quietest in its section.
Reports from the annual tyre tests at Daytona Superbike trials have been called off due to a series of tyre failures. Dunlop is working frenetically to overcome the difficulties but leading racers are not blaming Dunlop for the failures but rather the condition of the banked Daytona circuit and the power of the Superbikes. “Tyre wear is not the issue or the reason why for the failures.” Said team manager Matt Mladin. “The problem Dunlop is facing is that they just don’t know why it’s happening. The bottom line is that the speeds and the forces generated on the banking, I don’t think can be replicated in a closed testing environment and that makes it hard. The banking does have what feels like very sharp holes, what would feel like stutter bumps on a motocross bike, but at 270kph, so is this additional load causing the tyre to fracture. That’s the thing at the moment, we just don’t know.”