Its market launch was actually planned for last autumn, but Continental postponed the introduction of its new WinterContact TS 870 until 2021 for corona-related reasons. The wait is now almost over, as a company representative has confirmed that “preparations to bring the WinterContact TS 870 to market are on schedule” with a launch range that consists of almost 20 SKUs in 14- to 17- rim diameter sizes. And this winter tyre isn’t the only new product that Continental is bringing out – a number of online retailers have already made space for a successor to the SportContact 6.
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.
The Lamborghini Huracán STO will roll on custom-developed Bridgestone Potenza tyres. The ultra-high performance tyre will help to maximise the traction, handling, control, and extreme overall performance of the new supersports car. The Huracán STO will be launched in 2021.
One way or another 2020 has been an eventful year for all of us. The same is true at Apollo Tyres where, at a global level, the company has had to navigate pandemic-related production pauses and restarts along with new factory openings and the decision to enter the two-wheel segment. At the same time as continuing to develop the Apollo brand, the company has also given the Vredestein brand a big push during the last month or so. First, with the launch of a new all-season range, then with the introduction of a new North American tyre line-up and – in order to support both – a pitch-side advertising partnership with Manchester United football club. Tyres & Accessories recently interviewed Neeraj Kanwar, vice chairman and MD, Apollo Tyres Ltd in order to find out more.
Pirelli is exclusively supplying tyres for the new McLaren 765LT, the British supercar company’s fastest-ever Super Series car to lap a circuit. P Zero Trofeo R tyres were chosen as the starting point for this latest collaboration. Now, the Trofeo R has been further refined in a joint effort from Pirelli and McLaren to meet the high-performance requirements of this latest car. For drivers who are less inclined to use their cars on track, the Pirelli P Zero tyres are also available.
Bridgestone is the exclusive tyre supplier for the MC20, Maserati’s new super sports car. The manufacturer has custom-engineered its Potenza tyres to meet Maserati’s demand for exceptional performance. Bridgestone is Maserati’s long-term development partner. The tyre manufacturer says it played a “significant role” in supporting the generational shift in performance over previous models of the MC20.
Leading tyre market data analyst Astutus Research has predicted that the European trend for higher performance tyres looks set to continue. The analyst’s report, ‘Future Dynamics of the European PCLT Tire Industry’, published in association with Tyrepress, has been updated for 2019 with an eye to the trends of the next five years. The analyst states: “The movement towards tyres with a higher rim diameter is clear within the European PCLT tyre replacement market. This reflects the trend towards larger tyres on new car models and changes in the composition of the car parc, with a greater share of SUVs. The replacement market reflects the changes in the original equipment segment, albeit with a lag.
The latest GfK data based on its tyre retail sell-out sources – what it refers to as its panelmarket – shows that UHP tyre sizes, especially above 17″, continued to represent a growing market in 2019. The analyst compared UHP tyres, here defined as 17” and above, in the period from January 2018 to December 2018 with January 2019 to December 2019. The first column shows that 17” takes a share of the total tyre market of just over one-fifth (21 per cent). 17” has been a popular size for many years, benefitting from the transition of more compact cars onto higher rim sizes. However, growth in 17” dimensions has now plateaued, with this figure representing no change on the previous year’s data.
Goodyear has launched its new EfficientGrip Performance 2 with a bold claim. The manufacturer believes the new tyre can reach around 50 per cent higher mileage than the first edition of its car tyre product line. In internal tests, driving open roads in Luxembourg and France in a VW Golf fitted with 205/55R16 91V size tyres, this is what Goodyear says the second edition EfficientGrip Performance achieved.
With coronavirus lockdowns lifting around the world, heightened vigilance in social interactions is likely to continue for some time. One effect of this could be an increased use of private cars, as commuters eschew public transport options to limit their contact with other people. The economic reality of this suggests that those in the financial position to drive are even more likely to do so. And in turn these motorists are more likely to drive cars that require the fitment of larger tyres. In its preparation for the launch of the new Cinturato P7 over the last month, Pirelli commissioned a survey of drivers using 18-inch and above tyre sizes. This highlighted the tendency for increased car use in future – especially while social distancing measures are in place. In China, 68 per cent of respondents said they would use their cars more, in Italy the figure was 31 per cent, and in Germany 20 per cent.
Pirelli has launched a new high performance tyre for premium cars in European and Asian markets, the next generation Cinturato P7. The Cinturato product line has one of the longest histories in the car tyre segment. The brand, with which Pirelli claims to have “invented the concept of the sporting tyre for the road”, celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. While the P Zero line is Pirelli’s primary focus for the highest performance vehicles, the Formula 1 tyre supplier includes Cinturato branding via the series’s wet weather tyres with good reason. Such is Pirelli’s focus on the ultra-high performance sector, that the Cinturato is positioned as another tyre line for top premium segment cars. Preparations for the launch of the new P7 focused on drivers using 18” and above sizes, while Pirelli’s original equipment focus has also yielded 70-plus homologations for the tyre.
The coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdowns mean that sales of car tyres especially have sustained a harsh blow around the world. But as measures introduced to halt the spread of COVID-19 begin to be eased, motorists will steadily begin to use their cars again, increasing demand. In the car tyre sector, high value, ultra-high performance segments could prove vital, as better potential margins offer attractive opportunities for increasing cashflow quicker. The other side of that coin is that motorists’ finances are also under pressure, putting the price they pay for their car tyres under even greater scrutiny. Could this, therefore, present an opportunity for mid-range brands to make a case for their products, offering more palatable performance compromises compared with premium rivals than the lowest-priced brands?
Giti Tire has made its latest ultra-high performance tyre, the GT Radial WinterPro2 Sport, available to order. The tyre is the brand’s latest winter tyre for the UHP market, launching in nine 17-19” sizes. The manufacturer states that the tyre is designed for both high powered passenger cars and premium SUVs.
Yokohama’s ultra-high performance Advan Apex V601tyre has been named a winner of an iF Design Award 2020. The tyre, which is currently available in the US market, combines new high-performance tyre technology with an asymmetrical tread pattern reminiscent of that used in the Yokohama A008, one of the its most historically important tyres. The tyre delivers superior wet performance and handling while delivering a most comfortable and quiet ride, while its high-grade micro silica tread compound delivers excellent cornering performance.
Davanti marked its fifth anniversary with its first international dealer conference at the end of February. The tyre brand hosted more than 150 attendees by Everton Football Club’s Goodison Park, where it’s development director Gary Cross took the opportunity to announce its upcoming products, including range extensions and what might be called the second generation of Davanti tyres given the new naming conventions first introduced in the Wintoura winter tyre and Terratoura all-terrain 4×4 tyre ranges. Davanti sales director for UK and Ireland Sean Maddocks also presented observations on tyre markets, the development of the brand’s global dealer network over the past five years, and its commercial partnerships including the renewal of its official brand partnership with Everton FC.