Hankook has announced that it is now an Original Equipment (OE) tyre supplier for the new generation BMW 3-Series.
Hankook's new high-performance Ventus S1 evo² tyres - initially in the size 205/60 R 16 W - will be fitted as standard on the BMW 3 series versions 316d to 320d and 316i to 320i.
The brand-new 3-Series is the third model from BMW Group to be fitted with Hankook tyres, joining the new generation BMW 1-Series and MINI Cooper.
Hankook's European President and CEO Jin-Wook Choi said the 3-Series contract was another important milestone on the global expansion course set by the tyre manufacturer in the premium segment.
"Supplying Original Equipment for one of the key models in the BMW range is proof of trust and motivation," said Mr Choi.
"With our new high-end product Ventus S1 evo² we have developed a tyre that convinced the critical BMW engineers with regard to driving dynamics and comfort as well as wet grip and rolling resistance during the intensive selection process."
To be launched on the Australian market in June, the Ventus S1 evo² is notable for its high level of driving comfort and low rolling resistance combined with distinctively dynamic driving characteristics.
This was achieved in part through a significant reduction in tyre weight and un-sprung masses, thanks to the use of extremely light - yet highly durable -steel cord material in the tyre belt package.
This cord technology was developed for Hankook racing tyres used in the German-based DTM touring car series.
The Ventus S1 evo² fitted to the BMW 3-Series also features a newly developed styrene-butadiene polymer in the tyre compound.
By optimising the vulcanisation parametres at reduced temperatures a significant increase in the connection rate and a more targeted cross-linking of the rubber material was achieved.
In combination, these measures ensure a significant increase in grip level leading to outstanding braking and traction performance even in the wet, coupled with a very low rolling resistance.
"Like our Ventus S1 evo² tyre, the new BMW 3-Series is one of the few vehicles to master the balancing act between sporty driving dynamics and relaxed long-distance driving comfort, while at the same time being a leader in energy efficiency," said Stefan Fischer, Head of Hankook Tyre's European Technology Centre (ETC).
Located at Langenhagent near Hannover in Germany, the ETC currently has 45 engineers and specialists working on bespoke tyres for the European vehicle industry, including the BMW Group.
All tyres for the BMW Group are manufactured at the company's state-of-the-art factory in Geumsan in South Korea.
The high-tech plant, which currently has the most modern production facilities in the world, was recently expanded with the addition of a new production division for high-end tyres such as those fitted to 3-Series,1-Series and MINI.
Technical characteristics of the Hankook Ventus S1 evo²
1. DTM-engineered Multi Tread Radius for equal ground contact pressure through ideal tyre footprint:
- Outstanding high speed driving performance and straight stability.
- Perfect balance in both wet and dry conditions.
- Increased performance especially in lateral hydroplaning.
2. DTM-inspired triple layered block design for superior traction:
- The staircase arrangement of the outer rib blocks is designed to increase the tyre contact patch with the surface as the tyre wear progresses, ensuring a consistently high traction performance throughout the tyre-lifecycle.
3. Latest generation Mixing Technologies and all new Tread Compound for reduced Rolling Resistance, dynamic handling characteristics and improved wet braking performance:
- The extension of mixing times at reduced temperatures significantly increases the bonding rate and more targeted cross linking between carbon and rubber molecules for reduced heat generation during driving thus improving handling characteristics while at the same time reducing rolling resistance, tread wear and thermal caused aging.
- A new High Styrene Polymer enhances the tyre's wet braking performance as well.
4. Advanced Cooling System with Intercoolers for improved heat regulation:
- Surface enlarging cooling fins in the ground of tyre grooves provide a permanent heat reduction providing a more stable handling performance.
- Double step dimples at outer block edges generate micro cooling turbulences thus reducing
5. VAI Siping System (Vehicle Alignment Indicator):
- Provides drivers an easy and convenient way to check the vehicles alignment themselves by comparing wear on the sipes of both of the tyre's shoulders and realign as necessary.
6. Aero Dynamic Sidewall with embedded letters:
- Rectangular dimples-design minimises noise and vibration level for increased driving-comfort.
- The line-up for the 2012 spring season will first come in sizes 16 to 19 inches in series 60 to 35 and cover tread width from 205 to 275 for high powered compact cars, luxury limousines and sports cars and will be completed further in 2012/2013.