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Superior grip and precision for SUVs

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 SUV


As SUV sales keep soaring Goodyear is ready to meet the challenge. Its latest effort  guarantees innovation and high performance and is ready to equip top-of-the-range models. Grip, driving precision, and stability are the main strengths of the EAGLE F1 Asymmetric 3 SUV, as track tests clearly showed.

Guido Gambassi

SUVs everywhere you look. Recent market researches, forecast a stable growth for the automotive market in Europe until 2022, with a particularly lively SUV segment (+11.4% for the period 2012-2022), which will further increase its already significant market share. In the last 5 years, manufacturers have launched 64 new SUVs, with a further 43 in the pipeline. As a result, tire manufacturers are actively looking at expanding and innovating their specific offers for this segment. With this in mind, Goodyear developed the new Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 SUV, a summer UHP tire that guarantees superior driving precision, braking and handling, which also means greater safety, and makes the experience of driving more similar to that of a traditional car. The launch event, which was held in May at the breathtaking Mireval race track owned by Goodyear, allowed journalists from all over Europe to get the feel of Goodyear’s “new born”, and to discover the different solutions used  to reach such results.


Three different solutions for greater performance

A key feature of the new Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 SUV is its Active Braking Technology, which allows the tread blocks to deform when braking thus increasing the contact area with the road for greater grip and reduced braking distances in both dry and wet conditions.

This solution, combined with the adhesive resins used in the compound, known as Grip Booster Technology, maximizes grip when braking as well as guaranteeing perfect handling on dry and wet roads.

Tread design and tire structure were also improved by Goodyear engineers using a new construction technology optimized for SUV tires (SUV Optimized Construction Technology). It is a set of solutions designed to make the tire stronger, more resistant and lighter at the same time, enhancing handling and stability at high speed. First of all, new types of cords have been studied for the different layers of the structure, so that the three steel belts overlaid in three different angles and another external ply made of an innovative nylon and aramid composite offer the perfect balance between strength and elasticity. Moreover, the UHP Cool Cushion Layer Technology, thanks to a special rubber compound located just beneath the tread, reduces deformations which means better rolling resistance and greater fuel efficiency, earning the tire a B rating on the European labelling system. Finally, tread design and grooves have been designed to allow an even wear of the tread.


“Biting edges”

Perfectly at home on tar roads, Goodyear’s new born was put through its paces by the several journalists engaged in extensive test drives at the Mireval race track, all of whom were pleasantly surprised by the Eagle’s braking performance. In fact, while TÜV Süd tests commissioned by Goodyear show, according to the manufacturer, that braking distance on both dry and wet roads are 1.2 metres shorter than the best competitor, the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 SUV mounted on several Range Rover Velars made available during the launch event, surprised everyone stopping the test vehicles travelling at 80 km/h 2.7 metres before any other tire - with an average 39.4 metres against the 42.1 of the competition, after 40 tests.

Great stability at high speed, handling and precision through corners are some of the characteristics of the new Eagle in dry conditions. Whether speeding along the circuit or engaged in a slalom between pins, the two tons of the Velar, and its high centre of gravity caused no difficulties for the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 SUVs, able to perform even the most demanding moves effortlessly. However, the tire performs at its best in wet conditions, even at high speed: darting on a flooded track, the impression was the same as driving on a dry road, so much was the grip offered by the compound and the stability of the casing; only by taking the car to the limit when cornering (but you really have to try hard) then a slight loss of grip is experienced, though surprisingly gradual and without noticeable “jerks", allowing the driver to regain full control quickly and easily.

The test offered a tangible feedback on the differences with the predecessor (the Eagle F1 Asymmetric SUV): while rolling resistance and handling on dry roads remain consistent, braking performance in dry conditions improved by 4.3%. At the same time overall wet performance showed considerable improvements in handling (14.8%), braking distance (4.6%) and grip (17.1%).  

The first 10 of the future 28 models in the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 SUV range are already on the market, the rest will follow in the next few months, with the last one expected to hit the market by February 2019. Already used as original equipment of several premium models (Jaguar E Pace, Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Citroen D7 Crossback), the sized range  from 18 to 22 inches, treads from 235 to 315 mm, speed codes from V to Y and load index from 97 to 111.


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