Tokyo – The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., announced today that it will begin sales of “iceGUARD iG60”, the latest addition to its “iceGUARD” series of studless tires (Nordic friction tires) for passenger cars, on overseas markets from this autumn. Product releases will be carried out in stages, starting with Northern Europe and Russia, which are core markets for the “iceGUARD iG60” and gradually spreading to other markets in Asia and Europe. The “iceGUARD iG60” will be available in a total of 102 sizes, ranging from 265/35R19 94Q to 135/80R13 70Q. The Company also plans to gradually expand the lineup of available tire sizes. The “iceGUARD iG60” was introduced in Japan as the “iceGUARD 6” in September 2017.
In addition to the “iceGUARD” basic concept’s three core traits of “ice efficacy”, “long-term efficacy” and “fuel efficiency,” the “iceGUARD iG60” has been endowed with a new fourth merit—wet performance, or “wet efficacy”. Development of the “iceGUARD iG60” aimed at raising the tire’s wet performance as well as sharply enhancing braking on ice—the most crucial performance feature of a studless tire.
The iceGUARD iG60’s tread design features an asymmetrical pattern with the inside designed to improve performance on ice while the outside tread pattern is designed for optimal performance on snow. The inside tread pattern improves the tire’s grip on icy surfaces by enhancing the edge effect and expanding the tire’s contact area with the road surface. In addition, newly developed double micro grooves deliver optimum ice performance from the instant the tires are fitted on the vehicle, while its Quattro 3-D Dimple Sipes increase the tire’s rigidity and enhance its steering stability.
A newly developed premium absorptive compound is used in the tread compound. Absorptive micro balloons are dispersed evenly throughout the rubber, improving its ability to absorb water on the icy surface, the main reason for slippage on ice. In addition, the amount of silica compound has been increased and supplemented by the first use of a silica highly reactive white polymer, which promotes uniform dispersion of the silica and raises the tire’s ability to adhere to the surface, thereby improving its performance on icy and wet surfaces. The compound’s use of Orange Oil-S, developed specifically for use on studless tires, keeps the tires soft and pliant even after the typical deterioration of the rubber that occurs with age and use, thus extending the useful life of the tire’s performance on ice. These new technologies increase the tire’s ice performance by 15% over that of the previous product (iceGUARD iG50 PLUS) and its wet performance by 5%, while also securing higher levels of performance sustainability and fuel efficiency than achieved with the previous product. Pattern noise and road noise have also been sharply reduced in order to deliver a quieter ride.