COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 8, 2000)—Goodyear has introduced the third generation of its Aquatred rain tire—the Aquatred 3, which features improved wet and dry traction and a longer treadwear warranty.
The Aquatred 3 is designed with a wider footprint, directional tread design and two aqua channels that displace 18 percent more water than its predecessor—the single-channel Aquatred II, Goodyear said.
That tire, which the company introduced in 1995, carried a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty vs. the 80,000-mile warranty for the Aquatred 3.
Goodyear demonstrated the new, premium all-season passenger tire at a ride-and-drive outing for dealers and the trade press in Colorado Springs, June 8.
The Aquatred 3 comes with a T speed rating, 640 UTQG treadwear grade and an AA wet traction grade.
Production of the tire, which will be available in 18 60-, 65- and 70-series sizes, began in April. It is being manufactured in Gadsen, Ala., Union City, Tenn., and Lawton, Okla. The company will begin taking dealer orders for the tire June 15.
Goodyear said introduction of the Aquatred 3 completes the transformation of its broadline passenger tire lineup, which has been reduced to four lines from eight in 1997.
The new lineup, headed by the Aquatred 3, includes the Club, a 40,000-mile entry level tire introduced in January of this year, the 50,000-mile Integrity original equipment line introduced in 1998, and the 70,000-mile Regatta II.
These four lines replace the Aquatred II, Infinitred, Regatta, Intrepid, S4S, T-Metric and Decathlon.
Goodyear said it will promote the new Aquatred 3 this summer during the Olympics, where it will be the official sponsor of the U.S. swim team.
Bob Toth, Goodyear marketing manager for auto tires, said buyer loyalty to Aquatred line already runs high. Nearly 65 percent of Aquatred owners, he said, replace their worn tires with new Aquatreds vs. the industry average of about 40 percent for other tires.
Mr. Toth said the Aquatred 3´s advantages are needed to meet the global climatic changes that affect motor travel.
Studies by the National Oceanic Administration, he said, show most of North America´s rainfall is concentrated in heavy downpours between September and November.
While precipitation has risen about 1 percent worldwide in the last century, rainfall in North America as a whole has increased by 5 percent, Mr. Toth said. Meanwhile, rainfall along the northern tier of states and in southern Canada has skyrocketed by 10 to 15 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
To battle increased puddling on the roadways, Goodyear said the Aquatred 3´s features include:
*A 10-percent wider tread footprint for improved wet and dry handling;
*Special "Touring" tread compound the company said helped the Aquatred 3 achieve an "AA" wet-traction rating—Goodyear´s first broad-market tire to do so;
*7.6-percent greater aqua channel groove volume than its predecessor, the Aquatred II, for improved water displacement;
*A dry-traction improvement of 6 percent compared to the same tire;
*An 8-percent improvement in wet braking distance, which at 45 mph amounts to a reduction in braking distance of nearly 13 feet compared to the Aquatred II;
*About a 5-percent improvement in wet handling on a controlled course; and,
*Improved steering feel, riding comfort and reduced tread noise.