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What's new? Geneva Motor Show tire round-up

A round-up of some of the latest summer and winter tires, which were on display at Geneva Motor Show 2014

Compiled by Rachel Evans


On exhibition at Continental’s stand was its new WinterContact TS 850 P tire, which features a tread design with higher angles and shorter spacing between the sipes in comparison with the predecessor model. A greater number of tread bars have been incorporated into the contact surface to significantly increase the number of gripping edges in transverse motion. The sipes in the center of the contact surface and on the inner side of the tire can pick up more snow and thereby create more friction – and thus grip. The sipes on the outer bars of the tire are designed to support the stiffness of the tread bar, enabling greater precision when turning corners at speed. At the same time, the sipes and bars on the inside and in the center of the tread pattern likewise support one another to enable additional traction. The reduced sidewall aids the fast build-up of lateral forces. The center of the tread pattern features an intermittent rib structure that prevents the tread bars from tilting to ensure that the high forces can be effectively transmitted when braking on dry and wet roads.

Pirelli has developed a bespoke P Zero tire for the new Lamborghini Huracán, designed using simulation technology derived from Formula 1. According to the tire maker this meant that the number of real prototypes created during the research phase was reduced by 50%. Thanks to the use of compounds directly derived from motorsport, roadholding and grip have been increased by 7% compared to the previous-generation P Zero. A bigger contact patch when cornering and better distribution of pressure onto the road surface, ensures improved stability in all usage conditions.

The Yokohama Rubber Company unveiled three new products at the show. The W*drive V905 winter passenger car tire is constructed using a new compound comprising various materials, including micro silica and orange oil. A reconfiguration of the tire's surface contact area has resulted in improved snow traction and drainage when running on wet roads, while maintaining performance on dry roads. The new compound, in combination with the tire’s lightweight construction contribute to lower rolling resistance and higher fuel efficiency. The iceGUARD Stud iG55 is a studded winter tire with improved stud retention and new tread pattern, which features an aggressive design intended to increase the tires' snow and water discharge capability. The shape of the studs and the stud holes have been developed, which along with the tire’s new design, helps to optimize tread thickness around the studs and stud hole allocation. Meanwhile, a new edition to the BluEarth tire line for passenger cars in Europe and Asia, benefits from the application of a nano blend compound based on Yokohama’s advance compound technology. This is combined with an asymmetrical tread pattern and a noise-controlled pitch that contributes to a quieter ride by reducing uneven tire wear.

Goodyear took the opportunity to reveal it's new future SUV tire concept, which builds on a standard SUV tire with a large central groove. Thanks to this groove the tire has a reduced contact patch with the road, which could improve the tire’s overall rolling resistance. The groove is also designed to evacuate large quantities of water and mud away from the tire’s contact patch during wet conditions. Unlike many other concepts, the Goodyear tire does not put two small tires together on one rim, but builds the double contact patch tire on a single SUV tire construction. This approach means that the tire is able to support the load weight of an SUV, while still offering the benefits of a double contact patch tire. As an additional benefit, the removal of a large patch of rubber from the tire to create the groove means that its overall weight is reduced. Additional features built into the tire include auto-clean hydrophobic textures, designed to expel mud and other solids from the tread, and advanced noise absorbing textures in tread grooves to reduce the noise the tire makes when rolling over the tarmac.

Starting in April, Apollo’s entire product range for SUVs and 4X4s will be marketed under the Apterra name, and its newest introduction is the Apterra H/P, an on-road high-performance summer tire for SUVs. The Apterra range of tires feature a tread consisting of a multi-polymer compound for increased safety while large shoulder blocks, combined with a continuous center rib, ensure a high degree of stability on the road. The central rib also ensures accurate handling. Advanced Sipe Technology provides effective water dispersion and high levels of resistance to aquaplaning, while carefully positioned tread segments reduce noise levels considerably. The Apterra H/P’s strong carcass gives it an extra load capacity, making it ideal for heavier SUVs, such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 and X5.



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