• 26-MAY-2016

  • SOURCE: Goodyear Dunlop

Winter tires solve the SUV paradox for safer winter driving

UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen-1 - 3/4 view

SUV drivers have an extra reason to feel safer: Goodyear‘s UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen-1 winter tire delivers shorter braking distances on dry, wet and icy roads.[1]

Continuously improving its top-notch winter tire technologies, Goodyear launches a new tire aimed at SUVs: the UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen-1. The youngest member of the UltraGrip winter tire family is available from May 2016.

SUV drivers often feel safer in their bigger vehicle, particularly when equipped with four-wheel drive, hence tending to think they don’t need winter tires. It is however even more important for these vehicles to be equipped with appropriate tires in winter conditions.

Making SUVs actually safer

Due to their size, SUVs and 4x4’s increase the drivers’ confidence. These vehicles are however heavier and their center of gravity is higher than that of passenger cars. As a consequence, forces applying to the tire are stronger, making braking and handling more challenging. A paradox that Goodyear has solved.

Alexis Bortoluzzi, Goodyear’s Marketing Director Consumer EMEA: "With SUVs, we were facing a real paradox. So we leveraged both our experience in SUV tires and our top-notch winter tire technologies and we enhanced our award-winning UltraGrip Performance line for SUVs. Thanks to its modified design, the UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen-1 delivers enhanced[2] grip and therefore safer driving on wintery roads."

Main technologies and features of the UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen-1

Interlocking sipes and tread design

  • Goodyear’s engineering explained: In order to balace the higher load (or weight) of the vehicle, the tire needs to be more rigid ("stifnesss"). This bigger stifness of the tire blocks enhances, amongst other benefits, the handling on dry roads. Despite the stifness, however, the blocks remain flexible (due to the particular design of the sipes), which enhances grip on snow.
  • Technology: 3D BIS (Block Interlocking System)
  • Benefits: Better balance between dry handling and snow performance

SUV optimized sipe and block arrangements

  • Goodyear’s engineering explained: The blocks are now angled, instead of being totally straight, which improves grip on snow.
  • Benefits: Enhanced braking and traction on snowy and icy roads

Optimal road contact patch

  • Goodyear’s engineering explained: As the vehicle is heavier, the load on the tire is higher. In order to work against these bigger forces, the tire width ("footprint") has been increased compared to its predecessor[3]. Having more rubber on the road means more surface contact, which improves stability.
  • Technology: ActiveGrip
  • Benefits: Enhanced grip and braking performance

Tread optimal performance indicator

  • Goodyear’s engineering explained: Along the life of the tire, the snow symbol designed on the tire gradually disappears. Once completely erased, the tire needs to be replaced to ensure optimal winter performance.
  • Technology: TOP Indicator
  • Benefits: Allows the driver to change tires at the correct interval to ensure optimal winter performance

45 years of excellence in winter tires

Goodyear launched its first UltraGrip tire in 1971, a winter tire range that engineers have continued to improve. Continued innovation over the last 45 years has made Goodyear one of the leaders of the winter tire market. Consumers have embraced the UltraGrip family with over 60 million tires bought since then[4]. The SUV and 4x4 car production has increased sharply in EMEA since 2012[5] and is expected to grow steadily in the coming years. With the launch of this UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen-1, we can anticipate that it will fulfill the growing demand.

Goodyear’s UltraGrip once more TÜV’s performance leader

The UltraGrip family has been lauded over and over in tests conducted by renowned automotive and test magazines and independently run tests. Reiterating the success of the UltraGrip family in tire tests, Goodyear’s UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen-1 outclassed the competition during TÜV tests[6] for braking on wet, dry, icy and snowy roads.

The tests results6 demonstrated the following performances:

1.9 meters shorter braking distance on wet roads (7% better performance)6;
2.3 meters shorter braking distance on dry roads (5% better performance)6;
4% better braking performance on icy roads6;
2% better braking performance on snowy roads, representing the second best snow braking performance of the tires tested[7].

Practical information

Goodyear’s UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen-1 will be introduced in May 2016 and will be available in sixteen sizes, covering over 40% of the SUV car park[8].

The attached complete press release contains a table with the tire sizes and their respective dates of availability, as well as examples of general vehicle fitment.

[1] Compared to the average performance of 3 latest designs for main competitors for Winter SUV HP segment. Tested by TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH in Feb – Mar 2016 by order of Goodyear Dunlop. New Winter HP SUV, Tire Size: 235/65 R17; Test Car: Audi Q5; Test Locations: Mireval (F), Saariselkä (FIN); Report No. 713074748 -02. Scores for snow braking: Michelin Latitude Alpin – 100.1; Goodyear UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen-1 – 100; average of leading competitors – 98.1. Part of test specified above with report No. 713074748-02.

[2] Compared to predecessor Goodyear Ultragrip +SUV

[3] Predecessor: Goodyear Ultragrip SUV+

[4] Goodyear internal data.

[5] Global Insights / IHS EMEA 2015. SUV / 4x4 Production and Car Park Evolution EMEA  2012 – 2022.

[6] Compared to the average performance of 3 latest designs for main competitors for Winter SUV HP segment. Tested by TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH in Feb – Mar 2016 by order of Goodyear Dunlop. New Winter HP SUV, Tire Size: 235/65 R17; Test Car: Audi Q5; Test Locations: Mireval (F), Saariselkä (FIN); Report No. 713074748 -02.

[7] Scores for snow braking: Michelin Latitude Alpin – 100.1; Goodyear UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen-1 – 100; average of leading competitors – 98.1. Part of test specified above with report No. 713074748-02.

[8] EUROPOOL 2015 - 2016 - SUV Winter Standard Non Studded. Non Nordics, at size, load and speed index