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What's new? Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance

The new Goodyear tire features two new tread compounds and a new design package in order to achieve leading performance across the board 

by Rachel Evans

 

With its newest product in the ultra high-performance sector, Goodyear claims it has developed a tire that has one of the highest label ratings on the market. The wet grip index and rolling resistance have each been improved by one grade over the predecessor tire, achieving a claimed percentage performance increase of between 13-15% in the criteria. The EfficientGrip Performance is available in sizes 15-18in, of which, Goodyear says, two thirds of the volume have a BA fuel efficiency/wet-grip rating.

According to Percy Lemaire, regional tech director at the Goodyear Innovation Center in Luxembourg, the aim was to achieve improved performance across the board, “It’s fairly easy to optimize rolling resistance, but it’s difficult to optimize the triangle; wet grip, rolling resistance and noise. And if you want to maintain the cornering ability of the tire, for example, then the challenge becomes even bigger.”

To reduce rolling resistance, Goodyear removed as much of the unecessary mass as possible. To minimize the compromise between wet grip and rolling resistance, the new cavity shape is narrower and the tire has a footprint, which is narrower and longer.

A further step in maintaining a balance of performance is the use of two new tread compounds developed especially with a high silica loading, and the latest functionalized polymers. Hosker tells us, “These were particularly tricky to mix and required a significant investment in equipment. They’re also difficult to manufacture.”

The tread cap compound is optimized to give very good wet performance, and the tread base compound is optimized for rolling resistance. Both are described as very soft and pliable. Natural rubber was extensively used, too, forming 20% of the tire.

The tread design features three central ribs in addition to the shoulder pattern: “We looked to maintain stiffness here for good handling, but we also wanted to reduce frictional energy,” adds Nigel Hosker, technical project leader. The newcomer also benefits from Goodyear’s active braking technology, a design technique that uses crown ribs so that when the driver brakes, the contact with the road is increased.

Extensive testing for the EfficientGrip Performance, which was developed with input from Goodyear’s technical centers in Akron, Ohio USA, Luxembourg and Hanover in Germany, was mainly carried out at Mireval Proving Ground in Southern France, while lab testing took place in Luxembourg.

For a full feature on Mireval, see the March 2013 issue of Tire Technology International.

 

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