The calendar winter is not over yet but the tire manufacturers are already busy preparing for the upcoming summer. In the run-up to the new season, the tire manufacturers are racing to present their hot new releases 2019. Following the tradition, we are making a review of the most interesting of the presented models.
The most prolific manufacturer of the year is the German giant Continental that renewed not only its own model range but also the ranges of its subsidiary brands. New high-performance summer tires for adrenaline fans were also presented by Goodyear, Michelin, and Toyo.
The Continental brands
Effective of March 2019, the main brand will be represented at the market by the fuel-efficient touring tires Continental EcoContact 6, whose impressive size selection will cover a broad range of passenger cars of different types.
The company is gradually getting rid of the «Continental — Conti» tautology, removing the «Conti» prefix from the names of the new models: instead of ContiEcoContact 5, it is now going to be merely EcoContact 6.
Still prior to its release, the successor of ContiEcoContact 5 was homologated by 12 car manufacturers.
Now let’s see what the subsidiary brands of Continental have in store for us. In this area, it is not without the cloning technology, which has recently become so widespread. For example, the sales are in full swing of the new summer tire Gislaved Ultra*Speed 2 and its exact replica — Viking ProTech NewGen. These new summer tires 2019 are designed to be installed on passenger cars, sports cars, and SUV’s as well.
Skipping over the «four», the «high mileage» Barum Bravuris 3HM is retiring from the scene to be replaced by Barum Bravuris 5HM designed for passenger cars and SUV’s. What makes it different from its predecessor is its fuel saving performance and an increased running life. At the same time, the manufacturers also laid a stress on the low noise feature.
Bravuris 5HM is made in two modifications: with three circumferential grooves (twelve 15-inch sizes) and with four circumferential grooves (all the other sizes).
The tires General Altimax One (with a three-groove tread pattern) and General Altimax One S (with a four-groove tread pattern) became the quintessence of the idea of consolidating the brand’s model range. These models are coming to replace Altimax Comfort and Altimax Sport. From the earlier models, the new products of 2019 inherited united and improved performance properties, particularly increased rolling resistance and longer running life.
Uniroyal Rain Max 3, high performance rain tires designed to be fitted to a passenger car, were presented at the end of the last summer season, in July 2018. Therefore, for many drivers they will only become a new product in 2019. Marketed as a replacement for Uniroyal RainMax 2, they ensure safe driving and short braking distances in wet conditions, outstanding handling and braking performance on dry roads, a better resistance to wear and a better rolling resistance.
New summer products from Goodyear
In 2019, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company decided to please the speed fans, for whom it developed four new products at once.
«We don’t know how appropriate using this term is in the case of Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 tires, but if in their name the digit three was replaced by five, this definitely means a generation change»says our technical expert
Just like Continental, this tire maker seems to try to avoid using a «four» in the model name. Regretfully, the tread pattern remained unchanged, at least, visually.
What changed, however, was the rubber compound. The optimization of its formula ensured better braking on wet roads without having to sacrifice either handling on dry roads or resistance to wear. Well, Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 is a worthy competitor for Michelin PS4 and Continental SC6.
These new summer models of 2019 were developed based on the manufacturer’s many years’ experience of participating in various car races. While the basic Super Sport model is essentially a UUHP road tire, the habitat of R and RS is dangerously close to the race track.
In 2019, Michelin Group also turned its gaze to the race track, bringing to the market semi-slicks Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R, in whose name R stands for «racing» and hints that these tires are best used on a race track. But not only there! Just like in the case of the Eagle F1 SuperSport line, this model can be used both on public roads or fitted on powerful sports cars.
Parallel to that, this tire maker renewed its range of SUV tires with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV, which passed the DEKRA and TÜV SÜD pre-sales tests that showed that its running life triples that of some other premium-grade tires.
Summer SUV tires PS4 are designed to be fitted on SUV’s like Audi Q7, Lexus LX, Range Rover and Mercedes GLS. The size range of this new product includes options with a fitting diameter up to 23 inches inclusively.
As a subsidiary brand, Michelin launched the sales of summer tires Kleber Dynaxer HP4 and Kleber Dynaxer UHP, which will come as a replacement for the previous-generation tires Kleber Dynaxer HP3: HP4 comes in sizes with fitting diameters of 14–17 inches, while the UHP modification comes with fitting diameters of 17–10 inches.
New Bridgestone Tires 2019
Bridgestone also renewed its flagship model: Potenza S001, which was homologated for a multitude of premium passenger cars, was replaced by the new summer tire Potenza S007A. It is designed to deliver maximum traction in warm, dry and wet conditions, higher resistance to wear, and enhanced driving comfort.
Closer to the Land of the Rising Sun, in the Asia-Pacific region, Bridgestone has presented premium-class tires Turanza T005A, which are standing every chance of getting to the neighboring countries «by the backdoor».
Hankook also presented a new Ultra High Performance summer tire. The model Ventus S1 evo3 K127 turned out to be even better than its predecessor Hankook K117 (which was hitherto considered the greatest success of this Korean tire maker) in terms of handling, wear resistance, sturdiness; this tire is also more environmentally friendly.
The tire K127 was developed by the engineers of the Hankook European Technical Center (ETC) in Hannover, Germany, who also took care to create a modification of this model to be fitted on SUV’s — Ventus S1 evo3 SUV K127A.
Looking to expand its market outlets after an unsuccessful year, Nokian developed two new models designed specifically for the weather conditions of the Central Europe. The first of them, Nokian Powerproof demonstrates versatility, stable handling, and logical steering under various weather conditions. Using Nokian Powerproof will ensure safety on the cold spring days and in the midsummer heat, which may become a factor on Alpine secondary roads, often in want of repair.
The second new Finnish tire product of 2019 is Nokian Wetproof. This tire demonstrates excellent wet braking abilities, which makes driving easy and comfortable even on rainy days. The sales of both models, whose extensive size selection comprises 51 products from 17 to 20 inches, will begin in spring.
Yokohama Tire Corporation has finally augmented its fuel efficient and environmentally friendly lineup BlueEarth. The company expanded the lineup with a touring model Yokohama BluEarth-GT AE51 to be fitted on passenger cars, which provides both acoustic and mechanic comfort, high resistance to aquaplaning, and features an ability to optimize the fuel consumption.
The summer highway tires Yokohama Geolandar X-CV G057 are designed for the drivers of powerful frameless SUV’s. The Japanese tire maker claims that they keep up the optimum traction even in a sudden blizzard. This is obviously confirmed by the «M+S» letters on the sidewalls of the tire (confident drive in the mud and snow).
Still in 2017, Yokohama announced that it was planning to launch on the European market its subsidiary brand Alliance. The actual appearance of the product on the market was a little slow to come but finally the first shot — the summer tire Alliance 030Ex AL30 — is ready to compete with the budget models Barum (Continental) and Firestone (Bridgestone). These models, just like other Alliance tires, are priced 20–30% lower than the product marketed as the main brand of this Japanese tire maker.
In the spring of 2019, the sales of Toyo Proxes TR1 tires are due to start. This sports model will come as a replacement for the Toyo Proxes T1R tire, popular among the fans of the Japanese brand. From its predecessor, it has inherited the easily recognizable long angled sipes in the middle part of the tread pattern.
The new 2019 model Toyo Proxes TR1 comes adapted to the stringent requirements of the «Tokio drift» fans.
Nexen N’Fera Sport SU2, the successor of Nexen N’Fera SU1, was presented in 2018 at the Tire Cologne trade fair, together with the all-season Nexen Roadian AT 4×4 tire, which is also marketed as a new model of 2019.
Designed to be fitted on passenger cars, this sports UHP tire can impress not only seasoned drivers who prefer dynamic driving but also novices looking for an adrenaline rush.
China’s Triangle Group began to persistently court the «passenger car» segment of the European market, presenting two new summer models at once in 2019.
In the upcoming summer season, the company will launch the sales of the Triangle AdvanteX TC101 tire, designed to be fitted on passenger cars and capable of adapting to abrupt weather changes (or at least that’s what the manufacturer claims), and the wear-resistant model Triangle AdvanteX SUV TR259 with a maximum grip on asphalt roads.
Our review of the new models of summer tires is completed by Italy’s Momo Tires, which only entered the market in 2012 and has been steadily expanding its range ever since. Momo Outrun M20 (a model to be fitted on passenger cars), the production of which has been set up in Indonesia, will expand the list of the brand’s offerings predominantly meant for the drivers of city cars with a rim diameter of up to 16 inches inclusively.