DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. has selected a pair of 19.5-inch Hankook SmartFlex truck tires as OE fitments on its 2020 Super Duty F-450 and F-550 Chassis Cab pickups.
Ford selected Hankook's SmartFlex AH35 and DH35 truck tires in size 225/70R19.5, the tire maker said recently, noting the SmartFlex models are designed to deliver low rolling resistance and "excellent" driving performance.
Youngjong Kwon, head of the truck/bus tire development department at Hankook Tire & Technology Ltd., said the F-450's and F-550's focus on handling performance made it "essential" for Hankook to find the "optimized balance between the tire's tread compound, patterns, block size alignment, and dimension to enhance block stiffness to find that perfect handling performance."
Hyunjun Cho, head of Hankook's OE Division, said, "Being chosen as the original equipment tire to one of the best-selling auto makers puts us in the position of solidifying Hankook as a leader in global tire making."
This new fitment extends Hankook's 20-year OE relationship with Ford to nine models; The others are the Expedition, Explorer, Mustang, Ranger, F150, Edge, Econoline and Transit.
The SmartFlex AH35 features multi-3D sipes anchored in the tread to help improve traction, Hankook said, and a combination of straight and wave-shaped grooves improves water run-off and helps prevent aquaplaning.
The tread design also supports even tire wear, Hankook said, helping reduce the cost of ownership.
The SmartFlex DH35's tread features four zig-zag groove lines that help increase tire life and driving performance in various road and traffic conditions, Hankook said.
Both tires were honored in 2016 by the Red Dot product design award.
Hankook added the DH35 recently to the product portfolio in North America, and said it will be available soon in three sizes: 225/70R19.5 14PR, 245/70R19.5 16PR and 265/70R19.5 14PR.