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Technical Review

Hankook

Mid-size and long (from 7 to 12 metres) electric buses are now a reality on many urban and suburban networks in Italy: there are at least two hundred in circulation, 51 of them in Turin alone. Unlike diesel engines, electric engines immediately generate torque that is very close to maximum, with the consequent problems of grip. Moreover, the battery pack increases the tare of a 12 m bus by about 2.5 tons compared to an equivalent internal combustion engine. Carcass structure and tread pattern must, therefore, take these differences into consideration; the first manufacturer to do this was Hankook with its Smart City AU04+ dedicated to urban electric buses. It comes in sizes 315/60 R22,5 (load index 154/158J, tread depth 13 mm, on the EU tyre label C for fuel efficiency, B for grip and 73 dB for noise level) and 275/70 R22.5 (152/149F, 19 mm, classifications D, B and 67 dB). The structure shows optimised shoulder width, which gives better handling and stability, while the sidewall has no tabs and is reinforced to prevent cuts and chips due to holes and contact with the kerb when pulling in to the bus stop. The tread is zig-zag with stiff blocks to improve traction in the presence of high torques and, therefore, faster acceleration.

Yokohama

Yokohama has announced the latest addition to its top global brand, ADVAN. The street sports tyre Advan Neova AD08RS will be on the market in Europe from this spring and the company aims to gradually make the tyre available in 31 sizes, from 185/55R15 82V to 255/30R19 91W.

A redesigned version of "Advan Neova AD08R", "Advan Neova AD08RS" has been developed to comply with European regulation ECE R117-02 S2WR2 (which establishes technical requirements regarding tyre noise, rolling resistance and performance on the wet) and increase its environmental performance. While maintaining the tread design that enabled Advan Neova AD08R to gain a solid reputation for control in dry and wet conditions and high resistance to abrasions, "Advan Neova AD08RS" has a new compound that reduces rolling resistance. The new tyre achieves excellent handling and low fuel consumption, which fully satisfies driving enthusiasts who want "speed and fun".

Yokohama Rubber has defined its hobby tyre strategy as one of the key elements in its broader strategy for consumer tyres included in the company’s medium-term management plan, Grand Design 2020 (GD2020), implemented since 2018. In line with its hobby tyre strategy, the company is accelerating the development of new products and expanding the range of sizes of existing products suitable for use on various types of hobby vehicles from racing cars to classic cars.

Evo Corse

EVO Corse targets off-road. After its triumph at the Dakar Rally in Peru, the company based in Castelfranco Veneto has expanded its range of wheels for off-road vehicles by launching the DakarZero18. Compared to the other models in the Dakar line, the new 18-inch version has a slightly different style that features dual spokes with lateral ribs: a detail that enhances the unmistakable design of an iconic product that has been victorious on race tracks all over the world. The technical specifications of the rim are the same: it has the lightness of the smaller versions and the usual high load index (1400 kg per wheel). “The DakarZero 18 was created to meet our customers’ need to use tyres with an increasingly larger diameter on latest generation off-road vehicles,” stated Luca Meneghetti, general manager of EVO Corse. “The Dakar line is – to date – the best known and most popular on the international off-road scene, as demonstrated by the results achieved in recent years. With the 18” version we complete our offer, targeting teams involved in races and enthusiasts who seek a reliable and aesthetically attractive product for their 4x4 adventures.” The new DakarZero 18 is available in the 8.5x18” size in various standard applications for Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Dodge and can be customised on request, also for single sets of four wheels. Made in aluminium alloy A356-T6 and weighing from 13.5 to 14.9 kg, depending on the application, the colours available are: white, silver, gold, anthracite, matte black and bronze. 

Texa

Konfort 712R is the new mid-range A/C charging station from TEXA that boasts the typical technical characteristics of top-of-the-range models, like, for example, the completely automatic maintenance service management and the measuring of the amount of oil recovered with the electronic scale. It can be purchased in the R134a or R1234yf version, with the possibility of changing the configuration subsequently by means of an optional retrofit kit. Other distinctive features of Konfort 712R compared to the models in its category, is the possibility of installing the Refrigerant Identification Kit and its use in combination with REC+, TEXA’s innovative patented device for recovering contaminated refrigerants from the vehicle’s air-conditioning system. In addition, the special closed chassis means that it is extremely durable in a demanding environment like a repair shop. Konfort 712R is the ideal solution because with a reasonable investment the repair shop can have a charging station with exclusive top-of-the-range functions and performance, thereby ensuring that customers receive very high levels of service over time.

Continental

Continental’s Crosstrac tyres are designed for urban construction sites and all those uses where the last mile in extremely severe working conditions in which robustness is essential (sharp stones and metal, steep slopes, uneven surfaces, mud) must coexist with long journeys on asphalt where an off-road tyre would increase consumption too much. Presented during the summer of 2018, they come in the three HS3 series for steering axles, HD3 for drive axles and HT3 for trailers; the compound reconciles consumption with wear resistance, a self-cleaning tread pattern, they can be hot or cold retreaded and mounted with sensors for the TPMS Conti Pressure Check. The only size missing to date is the 13.00 R22.5, which is still highly requested by the Italian market also for new trucks. At Transpotec, in addition to important additions to the network which we’ll talk about in the next issue, the German multinational announced that this size has gone into production. 

Michelin

Michelin has expanded its range of tyres dedicated to the road Enduro with the addition of the Michelin Anakee Adventure. Conceived for 80% road and 20% off-road use, the Michelin Anakee Adventure is the ideal solution for the majority of motorcycles of this type. Michelin has developed a completely new tyre with regard to rubber compounds, structure, sculpture and technologies, all in order to obtain a tyre with greater grip on wet as well as dry surfaces, with excellent characteristics of handling, stability, especially at high speeds, and comfort. It is therefore the first time that a Michelin tyre in the «Enduro street» range has adopted technologies originally dedicated to Michelin’s radial road range: Michelin 2CT and Michelin 2CT+ technologies. This tyre completes Michelin’s offer dedicated to the road Enduro, which already includes Michelin Road 5 Trail (100% road) and Michelin Anakee Wild (50% road and 50% off-road) tyres. The Michelin Anakee Adventure includes new elastomers, new formulas, new technologies and a new construction, with high performance grip on wet and dry surfaces, without compromising mileage or handling. The Michelin 2CT and Michelin 2CT+ technologies were already new in the field of road enduro: with Anakee Adventure, a tyre in the “Enduro street” range for the first time incorporates Michelin 2CT technologies for the front tyre and Michelin 2CT + for the rear. Thanks to 2CT technology, the front tyre has two compounds, with 100% silica, that are different in the tread centre and shoulder. The Michelin 2CT + technology allows the centre compound to act as a “rigid” substrate in that the harder compound in the centre extends below the softer compound in the shoulders and reaches the ends. This configuration gives the sculpture supplementary rigidity to improve motorcycle stability on corners. Anakee Adventure has been distributed since January 2019 in three sizes for the front and three for the rear, while in August a new size for the front an another two for the rear will be introduced.

Italmatic

At Autopromotec 2019, Italmatic, a company that manufactures and distributes consumables for tyre mounting and servicing, presented the new generation of TPMS universal sensor, italsensor 3.0evo. It was conceived thanks to expertise and investments in the TPMS sector and features the use of innovative technologies to simplify the work of the tyre specialist, optimise processes in industrial wheel assembly contexts, and offer excellent value for money. Italsensor 3.0evo integrates three different programming techniques in the same product: it can be configured in about 3 seconds (the protocols are already memorised in the sensor); it can be programmed in the traditional method, in about 20 seconds, and is never obsolete; it is Fit&Go, in other words, ready for installation without any programming in a selection of Mercedes and BMW vehicles. The sensor is supported by the main programming tools like ATEQ VT56, for example. In September 2019 Italmatic will expand italsensor 3.0evo with the exclusive SmartTouch function used for the first time on the TPMS market, which allows the sensor to be programmed in milliseconds, simply by passing an Android smartphone in front of it, or with Windows. The SmartTouch function uses the same technology (NFC) now regularly adopted for credit cards. In addition to guaranteeing imperceptible programming times, this technology totally eliminates the risk of interference typical of programming traditional sensors. Italsensor 3.0evo is available with three different assembled valves: rubber, aluminium, black. italsensor 3.0evo has maximum coverage levels (99%) and is the ideal solution in terms of technological content, quality and price, to meet the after-market needs of cars in Europe.

Cordiant

Cordiant is a historical Russian brand founded in 1932. It has 3 factories and a research centre and in 2014 it launched the Cordiant Professional brand for industrial vehicles, which have been its main focus since 2011; it produces over 650,000 tyres a year and its range of products ensures excellent coverage of the European market. The brand is now part of the product portfolio of Intergomma, the exclusive distributor for Italy. The tyres for steering axles FL-1 (315/60 and 295/60 R22.5) and FL-2 (315/70 and 385/55 R22.5), together with the drive axle tyres DL-1 (315/60 and 295/60 R22,5) and DL-2 (315/70 R22,5) cover applications for long-haul transport, the steering axle tyres FR-1 (385/65, 315/80 and /70, 295/80 R22.5, 285/70 and 245/70 R19.5, 235/75 and 215/75 R17.5) and drive axle tyres DR-1 (315/80 and /70, 295/80 and /75 R22.5, 245/70 R19.5, 235/75, 215/75 and 205/75 R17.5) were created for regional transport. Covering both applications are the tyres for trailers and semi-trailers TR-1 (385/76 R22.5 or 245/70 R17.5) and TR-2 (385/65, 385/55 R22.5, 265/70 R19.5, 235/75 and 215/75 R 17.5). For light construction site and municipal uses there is the VM-1 multi-position (315/80 R22.5, 13R22.5, 11R22.5); for more challenging construction sites and off-road use the tyres for drive axles are DM-1 (315/80 R22.5, 13R22.5, 12R22.5, 13R22.5) and TM1 for trailers (385/65R22.5). For urban and interurban buses the tyres are the VC-1 and VR-1 (275/70 R22.5 and 245/70 R19.5). The tyre patterns for more demanding uses have reinforced shoulders and a ring strengthened with independent wires; all of them, including those for long distance transport, offer high resistance to poor road surfaces and 3D stone ejectors at the bottom of the longitudinal grooves. Thanks to a supplementary layer under the double belt, all the models can be regrooved; carried out when residual tread thickness is between 2 and 3 mm (shown on the wear indicators), the operation saves a 2 mm layer between the bottom and top part of the radial’s metal structure. Depending on the models, Cordiants have the C, D or E qualification on the EU tyre label for fuel economy, B, C or D for wet grip, and noise levels of between 69 and 74 dB (A).

Oz

The Superturismo rim created, like all OZ rims, thanks to experience in competitions, takes a step forward and is enriched with an accessory, the Central Lock Cap. This is the Superturismo Evoluzione. It was in 2013 when OZ first launched a new rim that would change the market by introducing a new style: Formula HLT and the Central Lock Cap which simulates the single nut typical of competition cars. Superturismo Evoluzione replicates this highly successful style and introduces it on a model that has become a cult. The new cap is an acclaimed aesthetic upgrade that has been awaited by the OZ tribe. The finish chosen for the Superturismo Evoluzione rim is Gloss Black in line with the dictates of the latest trends and ideal for giving a car an even more racing appearance. But real enthusiasts ae those who love tuning and stanced cars, in total Wörthersee, XS Car Night or Raceism style. Superturismo Evoluzione was designed for cars that are the protagonists of tuning, like the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3. The sizes available are: 8x18” 5x112 ET 35-45-48, 8.5x19” 5x112 ET 35-45-48 and 8.5x20” 5x112 ET 30-45. Like all OZ wheels, Superturismo Evoluzione is TUV and NAD homologated to guarantee maximum safety.

Falken

During the year, Falken will expand the range of its summer tyres Falken Azenis Fk510 and Ziex Ze310 Ecorun by almost 40 sizes. The Falken Azenis Fk510 model will have 16 new sizes. Starting from summer 2019, the UHP summer model will be available in 89 sizes, for rims from 17 to 21 inches. Also the SUV version, Falken Azenis Fk510 SUV, this year will have 10 new sizes and will be available for rims from 17 to 22 inches. In this way SUV owners will be able to choose from 56 sizes. The Falken Azenis Fk510 and Falken Fk510 SUV will be amongst the most modern tyres in the UHP segment, offering everything that enthusiasts of dynamic driving could desire: high directional stability on straight roads or with numerous corners, extraordinary stability on bends, shorter braking distances and exceptional resistance to aquaplaning. Also the Ziex Ze310 Ecorun will be expanded with 19 new sizes, for a new range of no fewer than 128 sizes and rims from 14 to 18 inches. The Ziex Ze310 Ecorun has speed indexes H, V and W (210 km/h, 240 km/h and 270 km/h) and since 2016 it has excited sporty drivers who don’t want to give up on comfort. “By expanding our ranges, we meet the needs of our customers and integrate our already vast assortment with sizes the market demand for which continues to grow”, was how Markus Bögner, operations director and chairman of Falken Tyre Europe GmbH, commented on the expansion of the portfolio.

Mak

Mak is ready to launch the innovative Mak 2019 range, Midlands, the alloy wheel dedicated to the style of Land/Range Rovers and Volvos that is perfectly compatible with the original bolts and hubcaps. This new-entry perfectly suits the lines of the trendiest SUVs of the moment, enhancing their style without being overwhelming. Maintaining the family feeling is essential for Mak, which always aims at refined, but at the same time, feisty design. Land Rover, Range Rover and Volvo have always stood out for their special and attractive design solutions, which this model adapts to in an exemplary way. Five double and slightly asymmetric spokes define the design of Midlands, which looks elegant and dynamic while at the same time guaranteeing strength and solidity. A design inspired by slim, sporty and eye-catching shapes, perfect, for example, for the new Evoque due to come out in March, to give it a more original and aggressive look with bigger rims suitable for the upcoming good weather. The spring is also the right time to display more impressive and refined finishes. Midlands comes in Silver, always chic and classy; Black Mirror, feistier thanks to the brilliant polish of the spoke surface, and, lastly, Matte Black, the special colour that will give the vehicle a totally customised look that is full of character. Having overcome the fear of damaging them due to ice and snow, purchasing is more emotional with the choice of a wheel with a more refined design that will further improve vehicle aesthetics and increase the admiration of enthusiasts. The entire range boasts Nad homologation, a confirmation of the maximum requirements of quality and reliability. Midlands is available in sizes 8x20”, 8.5x20”, 8.5x21” and, lastly, 9.5x21”.

Pirelli

At the Geneva International Auto Show Pirelli presented the new P Zero Winter. From Pirelli’s winter experience the new tyre took safety and performance on cold asphalt, from P Zero it took the driving feel that remains the same. The requests from car manufacturers showed a need to offer more high-performance cars tyres that can cope with the power and torque they generate even in conditions of poor grip. This convinced Pirelli to make the P Zero Winter follow the same path as its summer sibling throughout its development, technical choices and homologation with car manufacturers. The objective set at the beginning of the project and achieved with the final result, was to offer owners of supercars and luxury cars the same driving feel typical of P Zero, making the seasonal change unnoticeable. The technical, compound and tread pattern solutions adapt the tyre to the road conditions typical of winter, while maintaining the same levels of safety and control. With the debut of Winter, the P Zero family offers every type of tyre to equip the most sporty and prestigious cars. Each one is distinguished by the marking on the sidewall that testifies to the joint development work by Pirelli’s engineers and the car manufacturers’ engineers, ensuring the creation of the right P Zero for every car. It is Pirelli’s Perfect Fit strategy which means that every marked tyre combines the various technologies that guarantee that it will complement the qualities of the car it is mounted on.

Otani

The offer from Thai company Otani is composed of four ranges that are imported by Intergomma. All the steering axle tyres are multi-position and suitable also for trailers. The long-haul applications are covered by the OH-101 Super (multi-position and for buses, 4 grooves, closed shoulder - 315/80 R22.5) and OH-102 (steering axle and for trailers, 5 grooves, heat resistant compound, M+S - 385/65 R22.5), OH-109 (multi-position, 3 grooves, wide contact patch, M+S - 215/75 R17.5 PR12 and 16). Between long-haul and regional transport there is the OH115 (multi-position, wide tread, 5 slim ribs and 4 grooves, M+S - 215/75 R17.5 PR 12, 16 or 18; 235/75 R17.5 PR14 or 18), OH119 (steering axle, 4 grooves, 5 blocks, closed shoulder, M+S - 385/65 R22.5), OH-311 (steering axle, 3 grooves, open shoulder, M+S and 3PMSF – 9.5 R17.5 PR14 and 18, 215/75 R17.5 PR 14 and 16, 235/75 R17.5 PR14 and 18), OH-319 (drive axle, M+S and 3PMSF, 315/70 and 315/80 R22.5), OH-108 (multi-position, 4 grooves, wear resistance compound, closed shoulders, M+S - 285/70 R19.5, 385/55 and /65 R22.5) and OH-111 for trailers (wide tread, 5 grooves, closed shoulder, M+S - 385/55 R19.5). Specific for regional applications is OH-101 (multi-position, heat resistant compound, reinforced shoulders, M+S - 275/80, 295/80 and 315/80 R22.5, available also in the less common 11 and 12R 22.5), OH-107 (multi-position, also for buses, 4 grooves, wear resistance compound, M+S – sizes as for the OH-101), OH-110 (multi-position, 4 grooves, unidirectional, closed shoulder, M+S - 315/70 R22.5), OH-112 (multi-position, reinforced shoulders, 4 grooves, M+S - 7.0 and 7.50 R16, 9.5 R17.5 PR 14 and 18, 215/75 R17.5 PR 12 and 16, 225/80 R17.5), OH-301 (drive axle, reinforced belt and ring, 4 grooves, M+S and 3PMSF - 295/80, 315/70, 315/80, 11R22.5 and 12R22.5), OH-320 (drive axle, M+S and 3PMSF, large blocks - 315/70 and /80 R22.5). For mixed on-off road use, there are 5 ranges: OH-201 (multi-position, deep tread, 3 zig-zag grooves, M+S, 295/80, 315/80 and 11R22.5), OH-203 (multi-position, 3 zig-zag grooves, hexagonal blocks, M+S, 385/65 R22.5), OH-204 (multi-position, 3 grooves, closed shoulder, M+S - 265/70 R19.5), OH-207 (multi-position, 4 grooves, closed shoulder, M+S - 215/75 R22.5) and OH-209 (multi-position, 4 grooves, closed shoulder, deep tread, M+S - 315/80 R22.5). The off-road models are OH-312 (drive axle, large blocks, two central grooves, open shoulder, M+S - 11, 12 and 13 R22.5, 295/80 and 315/80 R22.5) and OH-402 (drive axle, open shoulder and wide tread, M+S and 3PMSF - 315/80 R22.5).