The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has officially opened its new manufacturing facility in Dudelange, Luxembourg, an operation it calls a “first of its kind” for the company. The inauguration on 5 May follows a US$77 million investment in industry 4.0 digital manufacturing processes at the site.
Bridgestone has launched the semi-slick Bridgestone Potenza Race, its first ever tyre day tyre for the replacement market. In testing conducted by TÜV SÜD at the 6.115km Nardo circuit in Italy, the tyre was able to improve upon average times set by three leading competitor tyres over three laps by an average of more than two seconds. It was also ranked second for longevity, and delivered class-leading dry braking at Bridgestone’s European proving ground. The Potenza Race is homologated for public roads, but with performance focussed on track days. Developed and manufactured in Europe, the Potenza Race will be available in 13 popular sizes between 17 and 20 inches from June 2022, supporting the most commonly sighted hot hatchbacks and sportscars at track days.
When searching for the best tyre for sporty driving, the choice is between maximum safety and the highest possible dynamics. The former involves good grip and deep grooves, especially in the rain. But for the fastest cornering and optimal contact with the road, especially in dry conditions, a tyre with a low void ratio is the way to go.
Continental’s new SportContact 7 won its first independent tyre test when Tyre Reviews made it the winner of its 2022 Ultra High-Performance test. The new model improves on the sixth generation SportContact with braking distances eight per cent shorter in the wet and six per cent shorter in the dry. Peter Robb, marketing director at Continental, said: “What a win for the SportContact 7! With the success of its predecessor, this result is evidence of Continental’s commitment to producing class-leading high performance tyres. We are thrilled with the win, especially as it is the first tyre test for the new tyre.”
Tyre comparison website Tyre Reviews has put ten popular tyres for performance cars to the test, making the brand-new Continental SportContact 7 a winner in its first outing on the independent assessment circuit. Reviewer Jonathan Benson fitted the ten tyre combinations to a BMW-powered Toyota Supra in sizes 255/35 R19 (front) and 275/35 R19 (rear) for the test, which he conducted over nine disciplines at Conti’s Contidrom facility. Given that the tyre was proven at the circuit, and is at least 12 months newer than any other product in this test, it is perhaps a little unsurprising that the SportContact 7 prevailed, but with reasonably comfortable first-place finishes in the dry and wet handling and braking tests, Tyre Reviews concludes that the tyre sets “a new standard for the UUHP segment.”
Mounting paste, or tyre soap as it is called, is an indispensable part of changing tyres. According to garage supplier Rema Tip Top, many automotive businesses that focus on mounting ultra-high performance tyres and run-flats with standard mounting equipment – select Remaxx Sport as their first choice. Here Moris Khalil, product manager Automotive at Rema Tip Top, explains how Remaxx Sport can also be used on electric vehicles with very high torques.
Falken is to launch a new flagship car tyre for performance cars and SUVs in spring 2022. The Azenis FK520 is the Sumitomo Rubber Industries brand’s new tyre that exhibits Falken’s latest technologies, many of which are derived from its successful, race-winning European motorsport programme. Falken states that its next-generation UHP tyre is stiffer and lighter than its predecessor, reducing unsprung mass, and improving stability and efficiency. The new Falken Azenis FK520 will initially come in 81 sizes between 17 and 21 inches for cars and powerful SUVs. Every variation is certified for speed category Y (300 km/h).
Yokohama’s flagship Advan tyre range has secured original equipment approvals from some of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche. The manufacturer will launch a new flagship replacement market tyre in 2022, the Advan Sport V107, developed for premium vehicles in an initial range of 30-plus sizes between 18 and 23 inches. Versions of the tyre developed alongside leading OEMs, have already been specified for fitment on a variety of new models, such as the Brabus Off Roader range and BMW’s first fully electric “sports activity vehicles.”
Michelin has announced the launch of its fifth generation Pilot Sport and the upgraded Primacy 4+. The new summer tyres represent the manufacturer’s newest solutions for the ultra-high performance and touring segments, following up multi-award winning predecessors. Both tyres are designed to deliver on Michelin’s efforts to decrease the environmental impact of its tyres by increasing the longevity of the tyres’ key safety performance characteristics.
The latest iteration of the Goodyear Eagle F1 ultra-high-performance tyre range will arrive early next year. Goodyear will initially launch the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6 in 28 sizes during the first quarter of 2022, including a number of popular 17- and 18-inch fitments, and then release additional dimensions throughout the year. By 2023, Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6 will be available in no fewer than 65 sizes for 17- to 22-inch rim diameters.
Pirelli is raising its full-year 2021 sales forecast off the back of better-than-expected performance in the third quarter of 2021, a trend that was particularly driven by performance in the so-called “high value” tyre segment. According to the Italian tyre manufacturer’s nine-month figures, which were published on the evening of 11 November, sales rose 28.6 per cent to almost 4 billion euros. At the same time, Pirelli more than doubled its earnings and can now report a pre-tax profit margin (EBIT) of 15 per cent.
Ferrari has chosen a custom version of Bridgestone’s new Potenza Sport ultra-high performance tyre for its new GT car. The tyre manufacturer collaborated with the supercar brand to produce bespoke rubber for the 620bhp, rear-wheel drive Ferrari Roma. The tyre is produced in the Bridgestone’s specialist Rome EMIA Technology and Innovation Centre, boasting the tyre-maker’s latest technologies, and is the result of close development work to fine-tune the all-round performance of the newly-launched Bridgestone tyre. It is supplied to the Ferrari Roma in 245/35ZR20 91Y and 285/35ZR20 (100Y) front and rear sizes.
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.
Continental has launched the SportContact 7, the latest in its ultra-high performance tyre line. The manufacturer will offer an initial run of 42 sizes for rim diameters between 19 and 23 inches with expansions due over the next year. The tyre is oriented towards handling and high mileage, with safety at its core. Compared to the previous sixth-generation model, itself a multi-test winning product for this segment in the six years since its launch, Conti says it has improved track performance by 10 per cent, wet braking distances have been reduced by 8 per cent, dry braking is 6 per cent shorter, and mileage has increased by 17 per cent (according to tests on the size 245/30 R20). Handling and grip in the wet and dry are also significantly improved, Conti says. The tyre’s C-grade rolling resistance label score also places it among the top-rated premium brand U-UHP tyres in this metric.