Kumho unveils new Ecsta and winter tires in Germany
Kumho unveiled several new tires at the REIFEN Show in Germany last week, including giving European audiences their first look at the Ecsta PS91, which is already available in the U.S.
It was also the first chance many in the tire industry had to see the Ecsta PS71, which will be available in the U.S. next year.
Kumho’s manager of product intelligence for Europe, Dietmar Damm, told Traction News: “It’s an ultra-high-performance summer tire; it’s the successor of the KU39. The focus was improving wet performance. It has improved wet braking and wet handling by 10 percent compared to the predecessor tire.”
The date for the U.S. release of the PS71 has not yet been decided. It will be available in 17- to 20-inch sizes.
Kumho has also not yet made a decision about whether another summer tire, the Wattrun VS31, will be released to the North American market.
The Wattrun is a run flat tire. Damm said Kumho wanted to be a market leader in this segment and had focused on weight reduction in the tire — which weighs 25 percent less than standard run flat tires. It was especially developed for the European market but could still be released in the U.S.
“The structure here is important. We wanted to reduce the rolling resistance, so having some new high technology materials as well as the tread compound was really important, because we still needed to keep the wet performance,” he said.
New winter tires for Canadian market
Kumho also released two new winter tires, the WinterCraft WP71 and the WinterIce WS31. Neither tire will be sold in the U.S. but will be available in Canada this coming winter.
Damm said the ultra-high-performance WP71 replaces the KW27 and suits cars like the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A4.
“The aim was to improve the wet braking especially, keeping the snow performance and also improving wear,” he said.
“The idea for the pattern design was lateral grooves, providing road traction, wet traction, but even more (traction) for snow.”
The WinterIce WS31 was designed especially for icy conditions, with a focus on braking. Both the design and the tire compound are designed to optimize braking distance.
Check out Kumho’s latest tire releases in the U.S. market here.