New sports SUV-specific tyre delivers improved stability and handling
Owners of Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport, BMW X6 and Audi Q7 can now specify a tyre exclusively designed to improve the stability, feel and noise of such cars from Japanese manufacturer Falken.
Available in 14 sizes, for everything from a BMW X3 right through to a Mercedes ML, Falken’s Azenis FK453CC is specifically created to meet the exacting demands of the performance SUV market, a sector that has grown to be the fourth most popular in countries such as Germany. To deliver the unique stability and higher speed requirements, coupled with the increased loading experienced with sportier SUVs, the Azenis FK453CC features a more warp-resistant casing construction than comparable tyres in its segment. Secondly, the “NUR-Spec” design incorporates an additional, nylon-reinforced cover ply and more rigid sidewalls to improve stability, even at speeds up to 300km/h (186mph). This construction is complemented by a rounder tyre shoulder shape to optimise pressure deployment on the tread area. The result is a 21 percent improvement in steering stability over the previous S/TZ01 offering.
With larger rim sizes and lower profiles commonplace on performance SUVs, Falken has also addressed the noise issue that is widely experienced and endured by drivers and passengers. “Thanks to the rounder shoulder and phase-shifted tread bars, pass-by noise is reduced by 15 percent compared with the tyre’s predecessor,” says Yukio Yoshida, Falken Tyre Europe’s corporate planning director.
Renowned for its ability to provide exceptional performance often at lower price point, Falken has ensured the FK453CC retains the sporting characteristics enjoyed by its enthusiasts. Silica percentage has been increased over the tyre’s predecessor to achieve stronger interaction with the road surface, further enhancing steering responsiveness and handling. Dry handling in particular is improved, with grip levels up 14 percent compared to the predecessor.
Rigorous testing and benchmarking, including an extensive evaluation at the Nürburgring, leads Falken to believe its FK453CC surpasses its competitors in terms of high speed stability, wet and dry handling and hydroplaning resistance.
“Resistance to hydroplaning, critical for heavier and taller SUVs, is up seven percent improvement thanks to advances in tread pattern,” continues Yoshida. “Three central tread grooves in the tread design allow efficient water deflection. In addition, the staggered sipes integrated into the first tread bar at the tyre shoulder break up the water film more effectively than conventional tread patterns.”
The Azenis FK453CC will be available from January 2012 in 14 different sizes with V, W and Y speed ratings.
235/65R17 108W Audi Q5, Land Rover Freelander, Cadillac SRX
245/55R17 102W BMW X3
235/50R18 101V BMW X3, Land Rover Freelander
235/55R18 100V Audi Q5, Opel Antara, Lexus RX, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX7, Volvo XC60
255/55R18 109W Porsche Cayenne, AUDI Q7, VW Touareg, BMW X5,Range Rover Sport, Mercedes R Class
235/60R18 107W Audi Q7, Cadillac SRX, Land Rover Freelander, Lexus RX, Mazda CX-7, Volvo XC60 und XC90
275/45R19 108Y Porsche Cayenne, AUDI Q7, VW Touareg
285/45R19 111W Mercedes M Class, BMW X5, BMW X6
255/50R19 107W Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg, BMW X5, BMW X6, Range Rover Sport, Mercedes M Class, Mercedes R Class
235/55R19 105W Audi Q5, Mazda CX7, Volvo XC60, Land Rover Freelander
315/35R20 110W BMW X5, BMW X6
275/40R20 106Y Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg, Range Rover Sport
295/40R20 110W Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7, Range Rover Sport, Mercedes ML Class
255/50R20 109W Cadillac SRX, Range Rover, Mazda CX9