INNOVATION IN CONTINUAL MOTION
GOODYEAR DUNLOP AT VALLELUNGA
The renewal of the car range by Goodyear and Dunlop, the two premium brands sold in Europe by the American company, has reached its peak. Three new products: Dunlop Sport BluResponse, EfficientGrip Performance and EfficientGrip Compact. Safety on the wet, less rolling resistance and driving pleasure are their future-oriented distinctive characteristics
THE PARAMETERS introduced by the recent European tyre labelling law to which all manufacturers have adapted meet the need to provide an immediate criterion for drivers who are fairly unaccustomed to analysing specialized products like tyres. “Goodyear Dunlop has supported and will continue to openly support the European tyre label because it is an important step forward that enables drivers to be better informed when buying products like tyres, about which it is normal to have limited knowledge” confirmed Daniela Poggio, communication manager at Goodyear Dunlop Tires Italia, when commenting on the high opinion of the new models with A-B ratings in the top range and B-C in the intermediate range. Although the ratings cover three main elements, the characteristics concerning a tyre’s global performance must not be undervalued as they are equally important aspects that the law does not take into consideration at the moment.
Specialized and independent publications frequently consider at least 15 criteria when assessing a tyre, but for Goodyear Dunlop the research and development stages take no fewer than 50 into account. It is this experience that led to the updating of the Goodyear and Dunlop ranges, which were presented from 25 February to 2 March at a wide-ranging national event for over 500 sector operators - including distributors, fleet managers and dealers – at the prestigious Vallelunga circuit near Rome. Updating across the board that involved standard products for the most popular city cars and saloons, and HPs and UHPs, which gave us the chance to personally test the entire range by simulating every driving condition in different cars ranging from the Fiat Panda to the BMW M3.
The efficient, Goodyear
EfficientGrip is Goodyear’s summer line that is original equipment on numerous cars and now comes in two versions with wider distribution: EfficientGrip Compact, for city cars and compacts, and EfficientGrip Performance, for saloons and station wagons in a higher class. “Goodyear has always meant safety” – stated Roberto Finetti, Goodyear consumer product manager – “This is how the new ‘Made to feel good’ positioning is understood because it expresses driving pleasure that comes from knowing you have a safe product. Safety and also innovation, thanks above all to the work done in close contact with the main vehicle manufacturers with which we develop the tyres that will be factory mounted”.
The Group’s two Research & Development centres (in Ohio and Luxemburg) are the sources of the reference technologies for the two new models. EfficientGrip Performance includes a range of HPs and UHPs packed with technological content, starting with the tread that features three-dimensional blocks thanks to the ActiveBraking technology, which increases the lengthwise and crosswise contact area when accelerating and braking – caused by the dynamic movement of weights – to give more road contact for good grip and shorter braking distances. The dual compound with Wear Control Technology offers the right balance between wet grip and rolling resistance throughout its life, whereas CoolCushion Layer 2 technology reduces heat generation to improve energy efficiency and have earned it an A rating for wet braking for almost the entire range of sizes, and B for fuel efficiency. Speed ratings H, V, W come in an array of 59 sizes from 14 to 18 inches (another 9 will be added in the future), so it is suitable for the majority of vehicles in the mid to mid-high range.
For standard applications on smaller compacts, city cars and class B saloons, the EfficientGrip family includes a new Compact version with a tread design that features biting edges and dual wide grooves for good grip on the wet. The rounder shape creates a “ship’s bow” effect, which stops the normal accumulation of water in the front of a moving tyre to help prevent aquaplaning while maintaining good pressure on the ground. The lighter structure (reduced by 5% compared to the previous DuraGrip) and a stronger compound mean less energy dispersion while at the same time reducing heat generation on the inside. For the majority of the 26 sizes from 13 to 15 inches, the range has obtained B rating for wet grip and C for rolling resistance.
The performing, Dunlop
Dunlop know-how comes from a 125-year-old history during which it has always played an important role in the development of tyres. Today, it has reached its peak with a high-performance catalogue that significantly interprets the needs of high-performance and ultra-high performance vehicles. Along with the Sport Maxx Race, the UHP introduced last year and whose potential we experienced on the Vallelunga track on a BMW M3, Dunlop has presented Sport BluResponse, the new summer tyre for cars in the mid and mid-high classes. The advanced technology applied to this product has allowed the substantial development of the parameters that, until now, were a benchmark, with 40% improvement in performance compared to the previous Dunlop FastResponse. A result achieved by a lighter casing structure that considerably reduces rolling resistance, 30% less than its predecessor, and a low heat generation compound derived from experience in motorsports.
The considerable potential of the most recent Dunlop range, available in 52 sizes from 14 to 17 inches, is clear from comments by Dunlop brand manager Adriana Di Loro: “For almost all the sizes, the new Sport BluResponse range has achieved A rating for wet grip and B for rolling resistance. It is construction work that demonstrates the entire philosophy of Dunlop products that do not make compromises when it comes to precision, grip and handling”.