Hankook said the tire features a “bionic” tread pattern and “triple-radius” tread technology, coupled with a hybrid-silica tread compound for enhanced grip in wet and dry road conditions. The Sealguard sealing material in the tires repairs punctures to the tire tread up to a fifth of an inch (5 mm).
Seung Hwa Suh, Hankook vice chairman and CEO, said VW's selecting Hankook as an OE supplier for the Touran strengthens the firms' “longstanding relationship.”
Mr. Suh predicted that Hankook will “further diversify” its Sealguard OE business going forward but did not elaborate. Hankook said the Sealguard line was developed initially for Europe, where demand is higher, but that eventually it expects to have run-flat tires available in other markets as well.
The fitment with Audi is Hankook's second with the VW Group company, after gaining an OE position last year on the Audi TT and TTS, also with the Ventus S1 evo2.
Audi will use three sizes of the evo2 on the new A4 models — 225/50R17Y, partially also as extra load (XL) version, as well as 245/40R18Y (XL) and 245/35R19Y (XL) — on different spec versions.
Hankook said the OE version of the Ventus S1 evo² was developed at its European Technology Centre (ETC) in Germany and and is manufactured at its plant in Rácalmás, Hungary.
The tire is built with a lightweight, high-tensile-strenghth steel cord that Hankook was developed for the racing tires it supplies to the DTM German Touring Car championship. The evo2 also offers reduced rolling resistance and lower rolling noise than predecessor models, Hankook said.
“All newly developed technologies of the new Audi A4 generation particularly focus on reducing drive resistances as well as the subsequent reduction of CO2 emissions,” said Ho-Youl Pae, head of Hankook Tire Europe.
The 2016 A4 lineup is expected in North American dealers' showrooms by mid-2016.