Eco tyres rolled out

Goodyear claims a tech­no­log­i­cal leap can save fuel and money, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

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.

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