Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:57 AM

Goodyear, Michelin debut UUHP tires

Mar 12, 2019 8:56 AM

GENEVA, Switzerland — Goodyear and Group Michelin have launched tires designed for dual track and steet use, products defined as "ultra-ultra high-performance (UUHP) tires.

Both tire makers showed their entries in this hyper-performance category at the recent Geneva International Motor Show.

Goodyear rolled out an Eagle F1 SuperSport series comprising three models — SuperSport, SuperSport R and SuperSport RS — while Michelin displayed its Pilot Sport Cup2 R for maximum grip on dry circuits.

Goodyear said the SuperSport series tires deploy "innovative" technologies and compounds that enable measurable improvements in braking distances and lap times without neglecting more intangible elements of the driving experience, such as feedback during turn-in, under braking and approaching breakaway.

The SuperSport features stiff tread ribs for responsive directional changes while a closed tread pattern on the tire's outside shoulder provides control during load transfers in corners. A stiff sidewall design further improves handling without unduly compromising ride comfort, Goodyear said.

Wet performance is addressed through the deployment of dry-optimized tread compound on the tire's outer sections paired with three wet-optimized central segments.

Goodyear is rolling out F1 SuperSport through May in 25 sizes covering fitments ranging from 18 to 21 inches in rim diameter, 205 to 305 mm widths and aspect ratios of 45 to 30.

The SuperSport R offers increased grip levels and steering precision through use of a high-friction compound and bridges in the tread pattern's inner groove that reduced deformation of tread blocks under extreme cornering forces. Steering precision and feedback also have been further enhanced by optimizing the tire's footprint for more consistent pressure distribution.

The SuperSport R will be offered in 10 sizes covering 18- to 21-inch rim diameters, 205 to 305 mm widths and aspect ratios of 40 to 25.

The SuperSport RS is Goodyear's most race-focused tire, designed to push the limit on track while remaining road legal. A highly specialized racing-originated compound provides ultimate grip and performance levels in dry conditions. It will be offered in just two sizes — 265/35 ZR20 and 325/30 ZR21.

The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 R was developed in conjunction with prestigious car manufacturers, such as Porsche A.G. and Ferrari S.p.A., to meet the needs of experienced drivers in UHP cars who are looking for the ultimate performance during track days.

Homologated for use on the road, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 R maximizes the grip on dry circuits.

In the last two years Porsche GT2 RS and GT3 RS sports cars fitted with Pilot Sport Cup2 R tires have set three new record drives on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife, Michelin said.

Michelin engineers used tread compounds taken from the Motorsport Department in the Pilot Sport Cup2 R to help generate the improved grip, especially in dry track conditions. The number of tread blocks on the outer shoulder of the tire has been reduced, and the central grooves are closer together, making the tread blocks more rigid and increasing the contact patch by nearly 10 percent, Michelin said.

For tires developed by Michelin for Ferrari, driving simulators from both companies played an important part in the design and development. Ferrari's test drivers worked alongside Michelin's engineers on Michelin TameTire, a software developed by Michelin that simulates and models tire behavior and enables the drivers to test the tire virtually before running tests on a real circuit.

Michelin did not disclose how many or which sizes will be available.