Driving enthusiasts rank comfort alongside performance when choosing replacement tyres

02-07-2024 Passenger Vehicle

Driving enthusiasts in Europe value ride comfort just as much as performance when buying replacement tyres, according to a new survey commissioned by Apollo Tyres. When asked: “Which characteristics would you prioritise when buying a replacement tyre?” 30% of those who say they ‘love’ or ‘like’ driving cite ‘ride refinement and low noise’, compared to 33% who mention ‘high-performance grip and traction’.

In addition, a larger proportion of enthusiast drivers would now favour ‘a smaller wheel with a larger-profile tyre that gives enhanced comfort’ (46%) over ‘a larger wheel and a low-profile tyre that looks great on the vehicle’ (33%).

The findings highlight the importance of comfort to those who are most likely to purchase high-performance road tyres. This is at odds with the fact that these products traditionally provide comparatively low levels of ride refinement – a direct consequence of the more rigid structure and very stiff sidewalls that manufacturers use to maximise dynamic capabilities.

The Apollo Tyres survey also found that, among all motorists, the most important criteria when selecting replacement tyres is ‘price / affordability’ (identified as a priority for 55%), followed by ‘year-round grip and traction’ (35%), and ‘safety – short stopping distances’ (49%).

Delivering the best of both worlds

Earlier this year Apollo Tyres’ launched the all-new Vredestein Ultrac Pro, an ultra-ultra-high-performance (UUHP) summer tyre engineered to offer the best of both worlds: advanced handling capabilities coupled with superior driving comfort. The Ultrac Pro’s unique balance of attributes is possible due to its advanced new tread compound and a highly innovative structure that includes a completely rethought bead area and a larger ‘flex-zone’ in the sidewall.

The new Ultrac Pro was recently the focus of a comprehensive tyre assessment conducted by independent Spanish testing and engineering company Applus+ IDIADA. The testers compared the Ultrac Pro with three UUHP tyres that are strongest in terms of performance capabilities, and a further three that lead on comfort. The flagship Vredestein tyre outperformed all but one of the performance-focused UUHP tyres in the ‘Limit Handling’ assessment (a difference of less than 1km/h in entry and exit speed compared to the first-placed tyre), while also beating the more comfort-centric UUHP tyres in the overall ‘Ride Comfort’ tests.

Yves Pouliquen, Group Head of Sales and Marketing at Apollo Tyres, comments: “Our survey highlights that performance-car drivers seek greater versatility from their tyres. Many will commute in the same car that they take on track or use for a spirited weekend drive. The Ultrac Pro is the first tyre to meet this broad range of requirements so effectively.”

Please find country-specific results below.



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