An unsung consumer product is being raised beyond "commodity status" by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, with a series of recent offerings that incorporate unique technologies and performance attributes to match.
The newest tire from Goodyear is the Eagle featuring ResponsEdge Technology, which features a sidewall that is reinforced with carbon fiber the same substance used in high-tech race cars and jet planes. This new high-performance touring tire, available to consumers in May, also uses DuPont KEVLAR as a noise-absorbing agent under the tread.
The Eagle featuring ResponsEdge Technology tire follows on the heels of recent Goodyear successes technologies and tires that are badged with descriptions such as TripleTred Technology, ComforTred Technology and SilentArmor Technology.
– The Goodyear Assurance featuring TripleTred Technology (for cars and minivans) and the Fortera featuring TripleTred Technology (for SUVs) are tires containing volcanic sand and glass fibers in the "Ice Zone" area of the tread compound.
– Goodyear Assurance featuring ComforTred Technology has a super-absorbent layer between the tread and belt, designed to provide additional cushion to soften road vibrations.
– For pickup trucks, the Goodyear Wrangler featuring SilentArmor Technology uses an added layer made with DuPont KEVLAR in its Armor Zone, helping to provide rugged toughness. A Goodyear-exclusive Durawall rubber compound in the tire helps resist cuts and punctures in the sidewall area of the tire.
"Our engineers are using the most creative technology in the industry to develop this new generation of products that take tire performance to a higher level," said Larry Mason, Goodyear’s North American president of consumer tires. "The application of relevant technology allows these tires not only to gain credit as true innovations, but also to translate into the kind of driving performance benefits that consumers really want."
Goodyear’s marketing team identified the consumer "wants" represented in the segment filled by the new Eagle featuring ResponsEdge Technology tire. They determined that high-performance touring drivers want to experience a "feel for the road," usually defined as responsiveness and handling. However, they do not want to sacrifice a smooth, comfortable ride. In addition, it is important to them that the tire has a sporty appearance and is high-tech, but they still want the practicality of all-season traction.
In the tire, the carbon fiber is used primarily as reinforcement in the outboard sidewall. This helps provide stiffness for responsive handling and steering precision. Combined with conventional tire construction on the inboard sidewall, the Eagle featuring ResponsEdge Technology tire delivers a smooth, comfortable ride.
Over the top of the belt package, the tire also sports a sound- and shock-absorbing InsuLayer made with DuPont KEVLAR, to help provide a smooth, quiet ride, along with promoting even treadwear.
Not all of the technology is hidden inside the tire. The tread design is asymmetric with two distinct zones that help enhance the performance of the tire. An outer High-Performance Zone features a solid rib and another with aggressive shoulder blocks. These combine to help provide confident handling during cornering.
An inner All-Season Zone has three differently designed tread ribs that incorporate Aquachutes and lateral grooves with a new silica compound. Combined, these tread elements help promote ride comfort and the evacuation of water from the road surface.
As the carbon fiber-reinforced Goodyear tire takes its place beside other recent high-tech offerings in the company’s lineup, Goodyear officials hope it will also attain the third-party accolades and positive consumer acceptance similar to the TripleTred, ComforTred and SilentArmor products.
"A tire is a product that is expected to perform consistently in all types of weather conditions, carry people to appointments and enhance the performance of the vehicle on which it’s mounted," said Mason. "Perhaps drivers are beginning to recognize the incredible quality and value that go into these tires."
For more information about Goodyear’s broad selection of tires for cars, light trucks, SUVs and more, visit www.goodyeartires.com.