Several tire manufacturers launched tires during the recent SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The following were among those roll outs:
Goodyear launches UHP summer tire
Goodyear's hoping to get a firmer grip on the ultra-high-performance market with its latest Eagle, the F1 Asymmetric, which features an asymmetric casing design as well as asymmetric tread pattern.
The casing design, known as Active CornerGrip Technology, includes an aramid fiber insert in the inward-facing sidewall of the directional tire that helps keep more of the contact patch on the road during hard cornering.
The tire, which debuted in Europe in the first quarter, was rolled out for the North American market at the SEMA Show.
Building on the launch earlier this year of the Eagle F1 All-Season tire, the F1 Asymmetric is designed for dry and wet handling to target drivers of performance vehicles. Goodyear is in talks to gain original equipment fitments for the tire in Europe, officials said.
The tire is available in 22 sizes with 10 more to follow in the first quarter ranging from 17- to 20-inch rim diameters.
The F1 Asymmetric's tread pattern has three distinct zones-an open pattern on the inner side for water dispersion, a continuous center rib for high-speed stability and wide, solid blocks on the outer side for maximum cornering grip. Goodyear also claims the new tire is 25-percent quieter than its predecessor.
The tire is being produced at Goodyear plants in Philippsburg, Hanau and Fulda, Germany.
Joey Viselli, director of the Goodyear brand, said marketing for the tire will be ``highly targeted'' to performance drivers.
``This won't be the kind of thing you see on Oprah (Winfrey's TV show),'' he told Tire Business.
``Our development team is using creative technology in the industry to develop this new generation of Goodyear products that take tire performance to the next level,'' Mr. Viselli said in a statement.
The tire also is designed to offer a quiet ride. ``This is a very quiet ultra-high-performance tire,'' Mr. Viselli said. ``Better to hear your engine.''
Cooper introduces Zeon LTZ tire
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is launching the Zeon LTZ, a combination off-road, sport truck tire that was developed in concert with Discount Tire Co., which is selling the tire exclusively through mid-2008.
Chris Pantani, Cooper's director of UHP marketing and business development, said the tire will be available to all dealers after mid-year 2008. Discount Tire by then will have sold the tire exclusively for one year in exchange for its development participation, he said.
``They were involved every step of the way,'' Mr. Pantani said.
The Findlay, Ohio-based tire maker may partner again with a large dealer for future development projects, he added.
The new tire is being offered in 18- to 24-inch sizes initially and will expand to include 16- and 17-inch sizes by mid-year.
Kumho rolls out new Ecsta LX
Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. launched the Ecsta LX Platinum luxury touring tire, designed for a range of domestic and imported luxury sedans and coupes, at the 2007 SEMA Show.
The tire will be available in the first quarter in 36 sizes in 14- to 19-inch rim diameters and H, V and W speed ratings, The sizes range from 185/60R14 82H to 245/40R19 98W.
The tire features an asymmetrical tread design, three dimensional waffle sipes, jointless nylon cap ply and a 60,000-mile limited treadwear warranty. Target vehicles include the BMW 3 and 5 Series, Audi A4 and A6, Mercedes C, D, E and S Class, Honda Accord V6, Cadillac CTS, Acura RL/TL, Infiniti G34, M35 and Q, Lexus IS, GS and LS, and Lincoln MKZ and Town Car, Kumho said.