LAS VEGAS—Yokohama Tire Corp. debuted two ultra high-performance tires Nov. 2 at the International Tire Exposition in Las Vegas. One of the tires, the Z speed-rated Parada, is designed specifically for the street tuner market, Yokohama said. The other, the AVS dB (decibel) is an ultra high-performance tire with an especially quiet ride.
The Parada features diagonal tread blocks, low void shoulders, helical long grooves and a solitary circumferential groove.
The company said the tire's diagonal tread block is designed to maximize grip by placing more rubber on the road. Parada's low shoulder void also is said to increase the ``rubber-to-road'' contact during hard cornering and lateral acceleration, the company said.
That low shoulder void increases shoulder block stability and counteracts a ``twitchy'' feeling that comes with the application of larger, low-profile tires on small sedans prominent in the street tuner market, according to Yokohama.
``Street tuners are very image conscious,'' said Dan King, director of marketing for Yokohama consumer products. ``But looks without performance don't mean anything. Steet tuners want both. Yokohama has delivered that combination in the Parada....''
Parada incorporates a functional Rim Protector Bar said to help protect expensive wheel packages from potholes and curbs. Yokohama said the tire's sidewall has been specially designed to optimize the RPB placement and function.
Yokohama also unveiled what it called the ``quietest'' ultra-high-performance tire in the marketplace. The AVS dB combines low noise, ride comfort and all-season traction, the company said.
The company said the tire's tread design features tusk grooves that become narrow at their open end to reduce noise caused by trapped air.
These same tusk grooves are placed at a 20-degree angle to break up noise patterns and channel water from under the center portion of the tread, the company said.
According to Yokohama, the AVS dB's quietness comes from a wave pattern in the tusk groove walls that prevents distortion of the groove during road contact and minimizes noise caused by escaping, compressed air. Narrow grooves in the shoulder restrict the space required for airflow noise,
The tread blocks also vary in size and position, which is said to create a self-canceling effect on the footstep noise common among ultra-high-performance tires.
Yokohama said it also developed a new casing design, called Active Flex Control (AFC) technology to control tire flex and produce ride comfort. AFC technology is said to provide the tire with greater flexibility to easily absorb shock, creating a smooth ride.
The company said both the Parada and the AVS dB will be available during the second quarter of 2000.
Parada will be offered in eight sizes: 205/45ZR16, 205/40ZR17, 205/45ZR17, 215/40ZR17, 215/35ZR18, 215/40ZR18, 225/35ZR18 and 225/40ZR18.
The AVS dB will be available to fit 15-, 16- and 17-inch rims. Additional sizes, including an 18-inch rim fitment, will be added to the line-up during the third quarter of 2000, Yokohama said.
In addition to its new products, Yokohama is continuing its "Inch-Up" campaign begun a year ago. Inch-up is the process of mounting a shorter, wider tire with a larger diameter wheel to improve the overall look and performance of the vehicle.
Inch-Up includes advertising, Web site announcements, dealer showroom displays and in-store point-of-purchase materials.