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It's all in the "knobbies'

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LAS VEGAS—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. unveiled a new mid-range touring performance tire during the SEMA Show, the Cooper CS3 Touring.

The tire is a replacement for the Lifeliner GLS.

Scott Jamieson, director of product management for Cooper's North American Tire Operations, described the CS3 as an all-season touring tire that will be available in T, H and V speed ratings starting in the spring of 2013.

The tire is designed with a five-rib tread pattern and features a patent-pending “stable-edge” technology for both utility and design.

Chuck Yurkovich, Cooper's vice president of global technology, described the stable-edge technology as little knobbies sticking out between the ribs on the tire's tread.

“Typically, as the tire rotates through the footprint, you've got compression and expansion that goes on below those elements, and it tends to close when you come through the footprint and open up when you go out of it,” he said. “What these little knobbies in between the ribs do is they maintain that space between the edges of the elements—meaning you've got more wet grip as you go through that contact patch, the footprint. You have less squirm, so it helps you from a wet and dry traction standpoint, and actually directionally it improves tread wear as well because you don't have as much scrubbing going on.”

The CS3 is the first tire in Cooper's lineup to use this new technology, which likely will be seen again in other lines.

Mr. Yurkovich said the CS3 also is significantly lighter than the GLS as a result of new materials, new technology and new design techniques.

“So what it not only does is maintain a really good level of performance, increase the traction, but it is going to have directionally better rolling resistance because of that weight,” he said.

The tire, designed for fitment on sedans such as the Ford Taurus and Toyota Camry, will be offered in 58 sizes.

Cooper has significantly increased its pace of new product development, Mr. Yurkovich said, and developed this product from scratch in six months.

He said 28 to 30 percent of Cooper's product portfolio are new products, meaning they were introduced into the market within the previous two years. This compares to the industry norm, which he said is in the 18-20 percent range.

Cooper also showcased at SEMA the Mastercraft Courser AXT, introduced this past June, in SUV and light trucksizes.

The tire features an aggressive, five-rib, all-terrain tread pattern, wide center tread elements and variable full-depth siping, Mr. Jamieson said.

The deep siping makes sure the tire keeps the same aggressive tread pattern appearance and functionality as the tire wears, Mr. Yurkovich said.

The Courser AXT comes with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty and a UTQG rating of 500 AB.

It is offered in 25 SUV sizes, three in black sidewall styling and 22 in outline white letter. In LT sizes, the Courser AXT is available in five blackwall and 20 in outline white letter.

To reach this reporter:; 330-865-6131.
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