Hankook product line update

There’s no ignoring Hankook these days as the chances are if you are in the market for a new Mercedes or BMW it will come on the Korean maker’s tyres. Motorsport followers will also know it from its supply of the control tyre for the high-profile German DTM touring car race series.

This growing confidence and profile also saw it stage its first media tyre launch at the Castelloli race circuit just outside Barcelona, Spain. Apart from passenger rides in the mighty impressive Mercedes DTM car we also got to see four tyres from the Ventus line-up including, importantly, two new patterns – S1 evo2 SUV and V12 evo2.

 

Hankook Tyres

 

Hankook Ventus S1 evo2 SUV

Hankook S1 evo2 SUV

This latest version is already original equipment on BMW’s new X5 making it the fifth car from the group to get Hankook tyres as standard. Hankook says it has produced a high performance tyre to suit the demands of premium SUVs without compromising comfort, noise or fuel economy.

 

Design 

Hankook says it had used technology developed for the DTM race series in the tread surface design and double layer rayon carcass to optimise the footprint. It says this gives balance and performance on wet and dry roads plus good resistance to lateral aquaplaning. The tread blocks have three layers to increase the contact patch as the tyre wears and it’s made from a new compound designed to improve wet braking, wear and resistance to ageing through heat. Heat control is also helped by ridges in the tread grooves which increase the surface area to help cool the tyre. Cleverly there are sipes in the shoulder which can be used to monitor suspension alignment as the tyre wears.

 

Range

The range is now on sale with the initial sizes covering 17-22-inch rims, 60 to 30 profile and 225-315mm width.



 

Hankook Ventus V12 evo2

Hankook V12 evo2

While much of Hankook’s range is firmly aimed at the original equipment market this latest version of the V12 is for the tuning aftermarket. That focus has enabled Hankook to opt for a directional tread when most makers have long moved on to asymmetric patterns. One reason for the switch was the noise generated by the original directional patterns and the reluctance of car makers to have tyres mounted for each side of the car on the production line. Once an asymmetric tyre is fitted correctly it can go on either side of the car.

 

Design

Looks count in the tuner market which was one reason why Hankook has retained the directional tread but it has worked to bring it up to date. The pattern’s advantage in the wet has been flow-optimised the improve water flow under the tyre with a stiff, lightweight steel belt in the casing to maximise the contact patch under hard cornering. The silica-based compound is claimed to cut braking distance in both wet and dry by up to five per cent over the existing V12 with reduced rolling resistance. Hankook has also worked hard to reduce nose with special block edges and dimples in the sidewall.

It shares the S1’s fins in the tread grooves for increased heat loss and to improve water flow plus the alignment warning sipes.

 

Range

Initial 25-size range covers 16 to 19-inch rims, 195 to 255 width and 30-50 series.

 

Driving

With no comparison tyre and just a couple of laps in a MINI Cooper of a soaking, tight handling circuit impressions are limited, but the wet road prowess of the directional tread was obvious. The turn in was positive and the rear stable despite vigorous provocation. We were also impressed with traction in the wet even with the electronic aids turned off.



 

Hankook Ventus S1 evo2

Hankook S1 evo2

Take one look at the original S1 evo2 and it’s easy to see the SUV version’s roots. Like the newcomer it has an original equipment listing with BMW, this time the new 5-Series and covers the 520i, 528i, 530i, 535i and 520d models. Naturally with such a line up Hankook emphasises the sporting performance of the tyre while retaining good fuel economy and comfort.

 

Design

The S1 evo2 pioneered the tread design which increases the contact patch and is designed to balance dry and wet road performance. Hankook also says it is particularly good in lateral aquaplaning - high speed cornering in the wet. It  has the DTM-inspired triple layer outer tread blocks which increase the contact patch as the tread wears. Engineers have also worked on how the compound is mixed which is often more critical than the ingredients. The longer, cooler process is said to improve rubber and carbon bonding to reduce heat generation cutting wear and fuel consumption. The ribbed grooves bases and suspension alignment warning sipes have also been passed on to the SUV version.

Interestingly Hankook claims the dimpled sidewall reduces noise and vibration improving comfort.

 

Range

The Spring 2014 line up covers 16-20-inch rims, 60 to 30 profile and 205-305 width.

 

Driving

A few laps of the swooping Castelloli circuit provided a brief insight in to the evo S1 evo2 and it was clear it suited the BMW 5 Series well. Turn in was sharp and positive and, despite some provocation, the rear was stable. It was quiet too even when cornering hard.   

 



 

Further Reading:

Further Tyre Information




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