Eco tyres rolled out
Goodyear claims a technological leap can save fuel and money, writes Paul Gover
THE battle to improve fuel economy has finally— and literally — hit the road. Goodyear has developed a special fuel-economy tyre it claims can improve economy by 4 per cent, enough for a $400 saving at the pump over the life of the tyres.
The Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max is suitable for use on about 60 per cent of the cars sold in Australia, from the baby Honda Jazz and Hyundai Getz through to the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore.
Sizes range from 175x65R14 to a 235x45R17 coming later in the year, with prices from $147 to $301.
Blake Vincent of Goodyear says: ‘‘Basically, this tyre has been designed to keep more fuel in your tank, and more money in your wallet.’’
The tyre has been tweaked for Australian conditions and Goodyear claims that, unlike other economyfocused tyres, there is no compromise on dry or wet-weather grip.
‘‘With the Assurance Fuel Max, we have achieved a breakthrough in proprietary technology that has enabled us to expand performance attributes,’’ Vincent says.
‘‘This compound significantly reduces the energy needed to keep the tyres rotating, so less effort is required to keep the car moving; hence less petrol is consumed by the vehicle.
‘‘Many fuel-efficient tyres currently available depend on replacing carbon black material with silica in the tread compound to minimise rolling resistance. Goodyear’s new tread is a blend of polymers, which increase their selective reactivity with the silica filler, helping to improve silica dispersion and enhancing the overall physical properties of the tread.’’
So, how does the tyre boost fuel economy? Goodyear says it’s down to low rolling resistance, a hard base beneath the tread to reduce deformation and heat build-up, and even pressure distribution, to cut wear.
It also highlights the tread pattern shared with its ArmorGrip tyre, which recently won a Choice comparison, to give good grip without excessive road noise.
Despite the economy claims — backed by European testing, using a Citroen C4— the Fuel Max is not yet fitted as standard equipment by any local carmaker.
No compromise: Goodyear claims its new tyre has not sacrificed grip.