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Summer high performance meets value in new Yokohama S.drive


S.drive, a summer high performance tire that brings nanotechnology to the street, was launched by Yokohama Tire (Canada) Inc. in the spring of 2007.

The Yokohama S.drive balances superior handling, aggressive style and better wear in a high-value package that will make real high performance accessible to many more enthusiasts, the company says.

S.drive incorporates the latest construction techniques with optimized tread design and a new compound in a line of tires that will eventually reach 66 popular sizes, from 15 to 19 inches.

The new Yokohama S.drive is the first mainstream tire to benefit from the technically sophisticated nanotechnology engineered for the Yokohama ADVAN line, says Brad Sherwin, marketing communications manager for Yokohama Canada.

“The Yokohama ADVAN line has pioneered the use of nanotechnology in ultra high performance (UHPT) tires, and that engineering is now available in the Yokohama S.drive,” says Sherwin. “Real high performance just became a lot more accessible.”

A new silica-based compound that conforms to the surface irregularities of the road, rather than rides up and over them, makes a major contribution to a high level of wet and dry grip. Nanotechnology manipulates the individual elements in the compound so they bond at a molecular level, creating a compound with the seemingly-contradictory virtues of great flexibility, high grip and improved durability.

“In this case, nanotechnology works to combine extremely fine silica with extremely fine, very flexible polymer,” Sherwin explains. “At the point of contact, the tread compound is very compliant and deforms to comply with road irregularities. The compound effectively creates a larger contact area versus the same tire using a different compound.”

The tread design, too, borrows from the ground-breaking engineering of the ADVAN line.

Four wide circumferential grooves with angled groove walls help evacuate water and reduce hydroplaning. The variable angle of the circumferential groove walls optimize contact with the road and contribute to precise cornering. A solid centre rib contributes to straight-line stability and helps reduce noise and un-even wear. Grooves within the edges of the circumferential grooves help stabilize the tread blocks, another contributor to better cornering.

Jointless rayon belts, rather than the less expensive polyester, are important in creating a stable structure in the new S.drive tire, with greater strength and better heat resistance necessary for a high performance tire. Jointless nylon edge and cap plies, and two steel belts also contribute to the high performance credentials of S.drive.

The new Yokohama S.drive line will be positioned between the ADVAN line and the current Yokohama AVS ES100 line, eventually replacing the ES100 altogether, Sherwin says.

The new S.drive has a UTQG durability rating of 300 – very good for a high performance tire. S.drive tires will be V, W or Y-rated, with 75 per cent of the line given a Y rating. Twenty-six of the most popular sizes will be available for the summer of 2007, Sherwin says, to meet the needs of the owners of selected Audi, Acura, BMW, Infiniti, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz cars.

Yokohama Tire (Canada) Inc. markets and distributes a full line of tires for high performance, passenger car, light truck, and commercial truck applications, as well as off-the-road tires for mining and construction applications. It maintains distribution centres across Canada to serve more than 800 independent tire dealers.