Goodyear has announced that its first AA-labelled truck tyre will be available on the market soon. A first concept of the tyre is displayed at the 2012 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show which takes place in Hanover, Germany from 20-27 September, to illustrate the progress on the AA tyre, which is currently undergoing further development and testing to ensure it meets all the ambitious goals set for it by the Goodyear engineering team.
The development of an AA tyre is a major jump in technology, delivering tyres that get an A in both wet grip and fuel efficiency as set out by the European tyre label regulation, which will become compulsory as of 1 November. The European tyre label looks similar to existing energy efficiency labels (such as on household appliances) with A being the highest performing tyre in its category and G the least performing. The label will inform tyre buyers of three key tyre performance attributes - fuel efficiency, wet grip performance and exterior rolling noise. New compound technology
The concept tyre uses proprietary technology developed by Goodyear at its Innovations Centre in Luxembourg. This includes the development of new compound technology, an improved tread structure and an adapted manufacturing technique. The concept tyre shown is in size 385/55R22.5.
Goodyear has decided not to unveil the actual tread design at this stage. Instead, the concept tyre shows a creative tread design highlighting the tyre's label performance by displaying two label icons - a fuel pump on one side, and a cloud and rain icon on the other side, accompanied by two A-letters.
"We are proud to announce that Goodyear will soon launch its first AA truck tyre," said Henk van Tuyl, director of tyre technology commercial tyres for Europe, Middle East & Africa. "The new tyre is a technological breakthrough that will deliver improved levels of wet grip performance and fuel efficiency to fleets. Shorter breaking distance
"To give some concrete examples, the difference between a complete set of new A-graded and F-graded tyres could reduce a truck's fuel consumption by up to 15%, which represent around 7 000 euro per year. For what concerns wet grip, in the case of full braking, the difference between A-graded and F-graded tyres could be up to 30% shorter braking distance. This means for a typical truck driving at 80km/h up to 25m shorter braking distance," Van Tuyl said.
A-grade tyres are not new to Goodyear. The Goodyear LHT II trailer tyre boasts an EU label A-class in fuel efficiency in two sizes, and has been on the market since 2010. Currently, around 50% of current Goodyear truck tyres score a C/C or better, which is impressive proof of the superb performance characteristics of Goodyear premium products. The Association of the German Rubber Industry describes tyres with C/C and higher as very good and tyres with A/C - A/A and C/A - A/A as extraordinary tyres of very high quality.