YOUNTVILLE, Calif. — Nitto Tire USA Inc. introduced its first luxury touring tire, the NT850 Premium, during a ride-and-drive event April 27-29 in California's Napa Valley wine region.
The Cypress, Calif.-based based subsidiary of Japan's Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. partnered with American Tire Distributors (ATD) Inc., one of the nation's largest tire distributors, to develop the tire. ATD will sell it exclusively and only through its independent tire dealer channel.
“This new line of Nitto-branded touring tires will be very appealing to our dealers,” said Ron Sinclair, ATD's senior vice president of marketing, adding this will not be a product that is sold on every street corner.
“The objective is to be a tier 1 performance product at tier 2 pricing,” he said.
ATD will back the tire with a nationwide advertising campaign that includes in-store displays and print and online advertisements.
Nitto and ATD are targeting the NT850 Premium as a first replacement tire for compact, mid- and full-size luxury vehicles.
The tire is engineered using Toyo's advanced manufacturing process, which Nitto said “creates an exceptionally balanced tire that reduces tire vibration and provides a smoother, quieter ride.”
For noise reduction, the Nitto NT850 Premium features Advanced Quiet Serration technology that breaks up the repetitive sound waves that are audible on traction tires, the company said. In addition, it has a cushioning layer around the interior steel belt package to further reduce noise.
To provide performance in wet road conditions, Nitto engineers designed the tire's tread with deep circumferential grooves that channel away water. For performance on dry pavement, the tire features large tread blocks and continuous ribs that increase tread stiffness. An asymmetrical tread pattern enhances the tire's cornering performance, according to Nitto.
The tire maker and ATD officials said the tire took 18 months to develop, from the initial discussion to the final product release. Shipments of the tire to ATD's 82 warehouses in the U.S. already has begun, said Dan Seitler, ATD's senior vice president of procurement.
The NT850 Premium has a V-speed rating and a Uniform Tire Quality Grade of 500 for treadwear and AA for traction and temperature.
Nitto is offering the tire in nine sizes in 17- and 18-inch rim diameters and 45- to 60- series sidewall profiles. Backing the product is a 50,000-mile limited treadwear warranty.