Future Hype: Hankook Debuts Their Airless Tire At Frankfurt Auto Show

Posted on 09.11.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

While most of the attention at the Frankfurt Auto Show is on all the new cars coming out, Hankook is using this opportunity to debut their latest experiment: an airless tire.  Yes, you read correctly, Hankook has created a tire that uses no air.  Dubbed the “i-Flex” this tire is made from a special polyurethane sculpted into a mesh structure with an integrated “rim”. 

Obviously, the i-Flex is puncture proof.  However, its unique structure also aids in absorbing shock from the roads surface which contribute to a more comfortable ride and more stability in less than ideal conditions.

So far, Hankook has not announced plans to produce this tire for the mass market but the fact that they have such a “finished” looking concept to show off at a major auto show means that we can probably expect to see these types of tires in the future.  It should be noted that airless tires aren’t entirely new as other tire companies (namely Bridgestone) have created airless tires in the past, but as far as I know, none of those concepts have had the polished production look that the i-Flex does.

It will be interesting to see how this tech will trickle down into the consumer market over the next decade or so!

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Hype: Yokohama Tire Releases iPad App

Posted on 02.25.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

If you paid a visit to the 2010 LA Auto Show you might have had a chance to play with Yokohama Tire’s iPad app in their exhibit.  If not, then it is now available for download for free in the iTunes app store.  So, what does the app do?  Well it allows you to browse through Yokohama’s full tire line up and get an up-close look at what makes each model unique.  You can also spin the tires, zoom in, watch videos, and get info about specialty tires like their orange oil race application.  Its a fun way to kill sometime and if you are in the market for tires then this app gets even more useful.  I played with the app myself and had some fun with it.  If I were to make any suggestion to Yokohama on this I’d say make it available for Android powered tablets and phones!

Press Release:

FULLERTON, CA (Feb. 25, 2011) –Yokohama Tire Corporation’s new iPad app – the Yokohama Tire Explorer – introduced at the recent LA Auto Show, is now available free on iTunes.

“iPad apps are a new and unique way for consumers to get information,” said Alan Holtschneider, Yokohama manager, advertising, promotions & events. “Yokohama’s app takes advantage of the iPad’s touch gesture technology and provides consumers an interactive, graphically-appealing way to learn about our tires.”

Holtschneider said the app features videos and information on the technology behind Yokohama’s consumer tires. ADVAN®, GEOLANDAR®, AVID® ENVigor™, S.drive® and the orange oil-infused dB Super E-spec™ all have their respective sections for users to explore. “There’s information on tire compounds, tread design and construction, along with a ‘Tireology’ section and fun facts about tires. We hope consumers will find the Yokohama app an engaging tool, especially as they begin to consider replacement tires for their vehicle.”

Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company’s complete product line includes the dB Super E-spec™ – the world’s first tire to use orange oil to reduce petroleum – as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama’s extensive product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.

Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Details can be found at the “Tire Safety” section at www.yokohamatire.com.

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Yokohama Avid ENVigor

Posted on 12.09.09 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

At the LA Auto Show Yokohama pulled the sheet off a new tire dubbed the “Avid ENVigor”.  This new set of rubber soles are designed to combine three principals that Yokohama have been pushing lately: performance, comfort, and eco-sensibility.  That’s a lot for one tire isn’t it?  Well, if I’m deciphering the press release correctly it seems like all three of those things come into play in the tread design.  You get grip in various conditions but with a reduced road noise sound and the increase in traction is supposed to translate into better gas mileage.  I’m thinking that’s where the eco-sensibility comes in.  Good on you Yokohama!

Press Release:

FULLERTON, CA. – (Dec. 3, 2009) – Yokohama Tire Corporation is raising the bar on performance with the introduction of its all-new AVID® ENVigorTM. The tire is the first to offer consumers the ideal blend of all-season performance, low rolling resistance, smooth comfort and long treadlife. It goes on sale in March 2010 in 69 sizes, making it one of the largest tire launches in the company’s history.

“ENVigor is unlike any product the industry has developed to date,” said Dan King, Yokohama vice president, sales and marketing. “Only ENVigor delivers collectively all the performance and environmental attributes in a single tire that a new category virtually had to be created for it: Grand Performance. It provides excellent traction and handling, enhanced comfort and treadlife – all while delivering remarkable gas mileage. It’s quite possibly the most complete tire ever created.”

The ENVigor features Yokohama’s proprietary Adaptive 3D sipes that help maintain water and winter traction; angled groove walls and circumferential grooves that resist hydroplaning; a tapered center rib and unibloc shoulder for stiffness; a six-pitch tread variation for reduced pattern noise; groove-in-groove technology for reduced uneven wear; and an all-new silica compound for excellent fuel efficiency.

Designed for a broad range of vehicles – including entry-level and luxury coupes, sedans and SUVs – the ENVigor will replace Yokohama’s popular AVID H4s/V4s and W4 tires.

 

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Yokohama ADVAN Sport ZPS

Posted on 07.30.09 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

No matter how awesome a tire is once its flat its gone and quickly turns from performance enhancer to crappy situation.  Most sport tires grip well but aren’t really known for handling rough situations that well so Yokohama decided to give us the best of performance and durability by creating an ADVAN Sport tire that has “ZPS” or (Zero Pressure System) technology.  Basically what we have here is a run-flat sport tire.  According to Yokohama the ADVAN Sport ZPS can be driven for 50 miles up to 50mph after the loss of air.  That’s some James Bond type stuff…

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ADVAN Neova AD08 Officially Drops Today

Posted on 05.01.09 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

We were one of the first to tell you about the new ADVAN Neova AD08′s and today is officially the first day that you can go to your local tire shop and pick up a set!  Its finally time for you to pick up some new running shoes for your track car or daily driver.

Press Release:

FULLERTON, CA (May 1, 2009) – The wait is over: Yokohama Tire Corporation’s latest addition to its global flagship ADVAN® line, the ultra high-performance ADVAN Neova® AD08, goes on sale today at tire stores across the country.

The ADVAN Neova AD08 is an updated version of Yokohama’s ADVAN Neova AD07, known since 2006 as “the fastest street tire.” The all-new ADVAN AD08, available in 32 sizes ranging from 15 to 19 inches, is designed for a variety of premium sports cars and sedans, including Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus and others.

“The Neova AD07 set the standard for max-grip, full-tread tires,” said Mark Chung, director, corporate strategy and planning, “but the new AD08 is the best of the best. Extensive testing reveals the Neova AD08′s distinct advancements in four key areas: dry grip, wet grip, ride comfort and noise level, taking it to remarkable new heights and maintaining our leadership in the industry. All of these improvements are very important to consumers in the ultra high-performance segment and demonstrate Yokohama’s technical achievements and innovations.”

Neova AD08 sizes are:

205/50R15 86V, 205/55R16 91V, 225/50R16 92V, 205/45R17 84W,

205/50R17 89W, 215/40R17 83W, 215/45R17 87W, 225/45R17 91W,

235/40R17 90W, 235/45R17 94W, 245/40R17 91W, 245/45R17 95W,

255/40R17 94W, 215/45R18 89W, 225/40R18 88W, 225/45R18 91W,

235/40R18 91W, 245/40R18 93W, 245/45R18 96W, 255/35R18 90W,

255/40R18 95W, 265/35R18 93W, 285/30R18 93W, 295/30R18 94W,

225/35R19 88W, 235/35R19 87W, 245/35R19 89W, 255/30R19 91W,

255/35R19 92W, 265/30R19 89W, 275/30R19 92W and 295/30R19 100W
Many of the new Neova’s improvements, especially the wet and dry grip, are attributed to a new Micro Silica compound with Hyper Density Carbon (H.D.C.), which also extends treadwear. Other highlights include specially-placed steel sidewall inserts (for improved handling and enhanced cornering), rapid reflex twin ribs that add stability and steering response, an extra-wide unibloc shoulder for continuous rubber-to-road contact during high-speed cornering, adaptive flare blocks for better lateral strength and turning power, and stress control grooves that minimize uneven wear.

“The new ADVAN Neova AD08 definitely lives up to the ADVAN legacy,” said Chung. “This is an ultra high-performance tire that ADVAN enthusiasts are going to love.”

 

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Team Falken Update

Posted on 04.14.09 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

With the first round of Formula D here and gone Team Falken had their first official run of their new drift program.  Some of their guys did well and some of them had some troubles.  They were nice enough to send us an update on their take of the event and their plans to shore things up before round two.

Press Release:

TEAM FALKEN LAUNCHES EXPANDED DRIFTING PROGRAM AT FORMULA DRIFT SEASON OPENER IN LONG BEACH, CA

LONG BEACH, CA, April 11, 2009

The inaugural event in the 2009 Formula Drift season began on the famed street course of Long Beach where Team Falken faced a very competitive field of works drivers and privateers and successfully qualified eight cars in the top 32 tandem competition, a new component to Formula D this season.

This is the 4th year Formula Drift has competed on the tough track that was previously the domain of open wheel racing. However, the increasing popularity of drifting, especially in Southern California, has prompted its addition to the track for a dedicated weekend. It also was the perfect location for Team Falken to debut its new team which consists of veteran member Vaughn Gittin, Jr., driving his brand new 2010 Ford Mustang; Daijiro Yoshihara in his Discount Tire Lexus IS350; Tyler McQuarrie with his Nissan 350Z Convertible; Calvin Wan, competing in a Nissan S15 Silvia; and Darren McNamara, returning in his Sears Auto Center Saturn Sky.

“Considering four out of our five team vehicles are completely new builds to our team, we had a very successful first showing,” declared Nick Fousekis, Senior Consumer Marketing Manager, Falken Tire. “This accomplishment truly is a testament to our drivers’ skill, our vehicle builders’ capabilities, the Azenis RT615s’ performance and Falken’s dedication to the sport of drifting.”

After the final session, overall standings had Gittin, Jr., tied for 6th; McNamara stood in 10th; Yoshihara finished at 18th; and McQuarrie tied with his Falken teammate Wan in 19th. All Team Falken drivers used the lightweight and high-gripping Azenis RT615 line.

“This was a great start for our expanded program as we launched our new consumer activation area and our VIP hospitality tent,” stated Andrew Hoit, Director of Marketing, Falken Tire. “We rolled out our new display, which was the largest in the pit area, underscoring our commitment to Formula Drift. And while we would have liked to have taken the top rungs of the Long Beach competition, we are confident we will in the very near future.”

Additionally, results of privateers competing on Falken Tires included Taka Aono, Toyota Corolla; 5th; and Ross Petty, Nissan S15 Silvia, who also tied for 19th, along with John Russakoff, in a Toyota Corolla.

Among the action over the two days, McNamara lost a hard fought top 16 battle to Tony Brakohiapa, and Gittin, Jr., endured a tough tandem match against eventual second-place finisher Samuel Hubinette in the Great 8 session.

To kick off Falken’s comprehensive marketing program tied to its expanded motorsports efforts, “Dai” Yoshihara helped give away a special Falken-Discount Tire?America’s Tire guitar to James Warner, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in San Diego. Additional promotional items were handed out by Falken’s new group of Spokesmodels who attracted a large crowd throughout the two-day event. Guests of Falken were treated to the company’s new hospitality section.

The full complement of activation area, hospitality rig and factory support will travel to all seven rounds this year. Team Falken will next compete in Formula D on the proving ground at Road Atlanta, May 8-9. Prior to Round 2, rigorous vehicle testing will take place for all Team Falken drivers.

 

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Falken Website RE-Deux

Posted on 04.13.09 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Check it out over the last week Falken’s website pulled an optimus prime and totally transformed.  There is way more info about their motorsports and now they have a “Pro-Fit” application system that helps you find the perfect fitment for your setup.  Check it out: falkentire.com

Press Release:

Falken Tire Launches New 2009 Consumer Website

Fontana, CA, April 10, 2009 – Falken Tire announces the release of their redesigned North American website encompassing a content driven interface with ease of navigation, and improved load times. Keeping with their corporate colors, the new website will comprise of blues, reds, and whites with teal motifs that spawn from Falken Tire’s motorsport program. Complete emphasis was placed on a thorough user experience through current events, visuals, and multimedia.

Returning, is the Pro-Fit guide, that allow visitors the unique opportunity to locate direct and upsized wheel and tire fitments for their vehicles, through Falken’s vast product offerings. Included is an improved Motorsports section, comprised of Falken’s inhouse efforts in the American Le Mans Series and the Formula Drift series. It will allow users to get to know their favorite drivers and spokesmodels through event photography, streaming videos, and personal biographies.

In all, visitors will find a broad website derived from Falken’s ever expansive product lines and indepth marketing efforts throughout North America. “Our goal was to enhance the web experience of our fans and customers through visuals and content that is current, informative, and entertaining.” Andrew Hoit, Director of Marketing, Falken Tire.

For more information, visit www.falkentire.com.

 

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American LeMans: Team Falken Running Porsche GT3 RSR

Posted on 03.27.09 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Last year Team Falken built a carbon fiber Ford GT to run in the GT class of the American LeMans series.  It looks like this year they’ve decided to go with a battle tested and proven platform: a Porsche GT3 RSR.  I caught wind of this while looking at a press release on UrbanRacer.com where Team Falken announced a new team sponsor, Cleveland Golf.  That Porsche looks absolutely FRESH in the Team Falken color scheme.  I can’t wait to see it up close at the Long Beach Grand Prix next month.

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Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S

Posted on 03.24.09 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

So lets say you have your high performance track day car in the garage (Michelin Pilot Sport Cup) and your weekend sports car (Michelin Pilot Sport PS2) and for the daily driver you have something inbetween.  You don’t want to throw track tires on it and PS2′s are still a little much.  Well say helloooo to the Pilot Exalto A/S.  If you want to know where it fits in the line up, just imagine this as a V-rated version of the PS2.  The Exalto still has great grip and cornering ability as well as wet traction but not quite as “extreme” as its brothers.

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G-Power Hurricane Based On BMW M5

Posted on 02.11.09 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

RJ found this over at TunerManuver.  G-Power (BMW Tuner from Europe) took a BMW M5 which is already badass by nature, slapped two superchargers onto it, tuned the aero, tuned the suspension, slapped some Michelin Pilot Sport 2′s and went top speed hunting.  What did they catch? About 228mph!

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