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Hankook Tire’s Winter Line-up Excels in Northern European Field Tests
“Winter tires are specifically designed for use on snowy and icy roads. These tires have more
sipes than summer tires and are optimized to drive at temperatures below 7°C.”
Every driver knows that the presence of snow and ice makes winter driving more dangerous than any other season. Winter cars that are not equipped with specialized seasonal tires face increased accident risks so much, so that Quebec and Germany have made specialized winter tires mandatory for all drivers. After Germany made winter tires mandatory in 2008, the rate of personal-injury collisions during winter decreased by nearly 50 percent compared to 2005 figures. Quebec’s winter tire policy resulted in a 5 percent drop in personal injury collisions. (Source: wheels.ca)
In order to help illustrate the importance of winter tires, Hankook Tire invited journalists to the ‘Hankook Tire Experience Day’ field test. The event was held in Ivalo, Finland, one of the premier winter sports destinations in Europe. Ivalo is so far north that winter conditions can start as early as September, making it the perfect place to showcase Hankook Tire’s latest winter tires.
Winter Tire Line-ups Introduced at Hankook Tire Experience Day
While the Ultra High Performance (UHP) winter tire market was almost non-existent just 10-15 years ago, demand for winter tires catering to high-performance vehicles has exploded in recent years. Hankook Tire’s i*cept evo2 and i*cept evo2 SUV winter tires stand out as the ultimate tires in the company’s UHP winter line-up.
The tread pattern of the i*cept evo2 is specifically designed to guarantee precision control for a wide range of upper midsize and prestige vehicles such as luxury limousines and sports cars in winter driving conditions. The i*cept evo2 follows the tread pattern and overall design concept of the previous model, but its snow handling and traction performance has been improved to ensure enhanced braking performance on snow, slush, and wet roads. The i*cept evo2 is available in tread width up to 275mm and with an aspect ratio of up to 35.
i*cept evo2 SUV is an entirely new model which has been developed to meet the specific requirements of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV). The tire focuses on delivering on-load performance in order to maximize the synergetic effect of SUVs while driving in the winter. Designed for dealing with high-load SUVs, i*cept evo2 SUV is available in tread sizes up to 295 mm.
Perfect for compact and mid-sized cars, the i*cept RS2 was designed to offer stable and consistent handling on wet and snowy roads without sacrificing performance on dry surfaces. The tire’s unique features provide a best-in-class winter performance for lighter vehicles than the i*cept evo. Hankook Tire’s i*cept RS2 is available in sizes from 165 mm to 225 mm.
With its advanced snow and ice performance, Hankook Tire’s i*cept iZ² is optimized for severe winter road conditions. The tire’s unidirectional, aggressive tread design and sidewall give the i*cept iZ² superior snow performance capabilities and reliable handling on snowy and icy roads. A specially developed winter tread compound with high grip silica ensures that the tire’s tread stays elastic and flexible even in freezing temperatures, providing excellent traction and braking power.
Hankook Tire’s spiked i*pike RS+ has been designed to deal with even the harshest winter driving conditions. The tire's flexible studs provide a high controllability, minimizing the damage on the paved roads when delivering the vehicle's loads. The product of years of intense R&D, the optimized snowflake-shape stud provides a remarkable performance on both heavy snowy and icy surfaces, making Hankook Tire’s i*pike RS+ the ideal choice for driving in regions with the most intense winter driving conditions.
Hankook Tire Experience Day (2015 Sep.7-9)
Roughly 50 journalists from various media outlets across the world were invited to the ‘Hankook Tire Experience Day’ test driving event, though most journalists came from markets with a strong appetite for specialized winter tires. The event gave journalists an opportunity to experience the benefits of Hankook Tire’s winter lineup for themselves while driving on an outdoor test course as well as an indoor testing facility at ‘Test World’ located in Ivalo, Finland.
The outdoor test course was a 93.2 km loop Ivalo to the Finnish-Russian border, giving journalists the opportunity to see Hankook Tire’s 19-inch i*cept evo2 face every conceivable challenge. The warm weather gave the i*cept evo2 the opportunity to convince journalists that Hankook Tire has successfully designed winter tires that area as capable in warm weather as they are in the cold. Participants were impressed with the tire’s consistent control as well as its balanced shock absorption on the course’s uneven back roads.
After a brief rest at the mid-point, journalists drove a BMW X5 xDrive35d fitted with the Hankook Tire’s i*cept evo2 SUV back to Ivalo. The structural rigidity of the tire allowed for it to provide a sports car-quality performance even though the BMW SUV weighs more than two tons. In addition, participants were given the opportunity to drive the Volkswagen Golf VII 2.0TDI and the new Mercedes-Benz C180 which were equipped with Hankook Tire’s i*cept RS2 and i*cept evo2, respectively.
The most advanced indoor/outdoor proving ground in Finland, Test World’s new indoor facility (‘INDOOR2’) played host to ‘Hankook Tire Experience Day’. Guests were able to conduct three different tests to observe the tires’ Snow Handling, Ice Braking, and Snow Braking performance while equipped to the VW Golf VII 2.0TDI.
When evaluating the performance of winter tires, Hankook Tire generally focuses on grip force. Journalists were very satisfied with the i*cept RS2‘s stability and control on the snowy road. In addition, the optimized tread design of the i*cept iZ² provided delivered outstanding drainage results when tested on the facility’s icy road. In the hundreds of Ice Braking tests conducted by Hankook Tire, vehicles equipped with the i*cept iZ² never slid off the icy roads. The last tire tested was the i*pike RS+, Hankook Tire’s studdable winter tire which offers unparalleled acceleration and deceleration grip force on snowy roads.
Hankook Tire is currently providing original equipment (OE) to several premium automakers such as BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche. To meet the standards of these industry leaders, Hankook Tire has been consistently developing tires to meet the diverse needs of several car types operating in various road conditions. Hankook Tire believes that it is always better to present drivers with a wide range of choices in order to make driving safer and more convenient.