With a grand total of three contenders, the latest comparative evaluation from Auto Express may be able to claim kudos for being the smallest tyre test ever. The motoring publication examined the new SportContact 7 in size 235/35ZR19 91 Y at Continental’s Ulvade providing ground in the USA, fitting the tyres to a VW Golf GTI and pitting them against two rivals from the ultra-ultra-high-performance segment, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S and the Pirelli P Zero PZ4.
Hankook says the Ventus S1 Evo Z marks a new era in its high-end-tyre portfolio, streamlined for highly demanding sportscars. The manufacturer focused on delivering high grip in different weather conditions, developing a new silica enriched compound mixture with the latest generation of functional polymers, technology originating from its racing tyre development. This compound undergoes a slower curing process with low temperature vulcanisation to increase the blending of those molecules that then influences the driving performance. This ensures a consistently high level of grip across a wide range of applications and the result is a tread compound which is bespoke for sports cars of premium manufacturers, representing the top of their range.
GfK data shows that the 17” and above UK tyre replacement market continues to offer both increased volume and value. While the 19” and above segment retains the characteristics of specialised fitments, the top two fitments account for more than one-fifth of replacement tyres sized 17-18”.
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.
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.”
For many petrolheads, a lap of the Nürburgring is akin to a pilgrimage, and the circuit in Germany’s Eifel region is also a favourite site for performance car developers. Hankook Tire now has a presence in the neighbourhood, too. During a small ceremony held yesterday, the tyre maker officially opened the Nürburgring Workshop, a new branch office of its Hankook Europe Technical Centre (ETC).
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.
The new Ferrari 296 GTB, launched on 24 June 2021, claims to define what “fun to drive” means. And with the ability to hit 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds in an extremely attractive Ferrari package, you can see their point. But what tyres are transmitting all this acceleration and handling to the road?
Hankook Tyre UK is the official tyre sponsor at Supercar Fest for a second year. After the event’s successful debut in 2019 at Shelsley Walsh, event organisers will be hosting two events in 2021. Supercar Fest: The Runway will take place on 30 May at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire, which will see the supercars go head-to-head on a one kilometre runway whilst Supercar Fest: The Hill Climb will be returning to the historic Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, in the heart of the picturesque Worcestershire countryside on 29 August 2021. Both events will offer exclusive supercar, classic car and motorsport demo runs, trade stands, live music, and close-up experiences in ‘The Paddock’.
Not all sports car drivers want to compete in track day events, with fast but comfortable a greater priority for many. With this in mind, German car magazine sport auto utilised two vehicles for its 2021 summer tyre test. The chosen duo were the Toyota Supra and BMW Z4, cars that share a platform and come equipped with the same-sized tyres, but developed to satisfy differing customer tastes.
It has been nearly two years since the Goodyear brand’s reintroduction to motorsport in Europe, and it is fair to say that operating in a pandemic was not part of the plan when this brand strategy was set out. Tyres & Accessories spoke to Ben Crawley, Goodyear motorsport director EMEA, about his experiences of the 2020 season. Goodyear re-entered European motorsport almost two years ago. While the brand on a global level has “never really been out of motorsport,” bearing in mind its six continuous decades of NASCAR in the USA, Crawley tells T&A that the thinking behind Goodyear’s reentry in more global series “fits into a wider brand rejuvenation” strategy. “We know we have this fantastic legacy and history in racing, and we want to be able to use that to reengage and provide some excitement for the brand and how we communicate the brand with consumers.” The motorsport strategy also coincided with Goodyear’s introduction of ultra-ultra-high performance (UUHP) Eagle F1 Supersport tyres, and “the natural synergies that come with high performance tyres for the road and racing.” Beyond the new product range, the “brand rejuvenation strategy includes the Blimp, racing, and broader advertising and marketing partnerships,” Crawley adds. Subscribers can view the video of this interview in the full version of this article.
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.