Port Elizabeth - General Tyre is entering the fiercely contested passenger car tyre segment in South Africa with a brace of new, cutting-edge offerings under the Altimax banner.
The Altimax Sport and Altimax Comfort tyre ranges arrive in SA fresh from their European debut last year, and incorporate the latest innovations in passenger car tyre technology. “The General Tyre brand has a superb reputation in SA, both from an historical perspective and due to the exceptional performance of its latest range of off-road tyres,” says Niel Langner, marketing manager for Continental Tyre SA.
“With the relaunch of the General Tyre brand in SA, it’s the perfect time to expand our product portfolio with the advanced Altimax passenger car tyre range, which sets new standards as far as technology and performance are concerned.
“This will allow the General Tyre brand to establish a much stronger presence in the local market, while providing customers with a broader product range that spans all of the mainstream segments.”
The design of the new Altimax Sport and Comfort is based on European demands, and the tyres were developed to suit the latest generation of cars from this region, which is closely emulated by the South African market. Both products incorporate General Tyre’s innovative Monitor Technology, which focuses on enhanced mileage and improved safety. The Visual Alignment Indicator (VAI) boasts sipes moulded on either side of the tread at defined points.
Within the first 1 000 km of use, drivers are able to monitor the wear characteristics of these markings and easily determine if the vehicle’s wheel alignment is out. If the VAI disappears unevenly during this initial period, it suggests that the alignment should be checked in order to avoid premature wear of the tyre. This brings commensurate benefits in terms of both increased mileage and lower running costs for the consumer during the life cycle of the tyre.
The Replacement Tyre Monitor (RTM) represents the latest innovation as far as tread wear indicators are concerned. On new tyres, the inscription ‘Replacement Tire Monitor’is visible in the centre rib of the tyre. As the tyre reaches a tread depth of 3 mm the inscription wears and changes to ‘Replace Tire’, thus indicating that it is nearing the recommended tread depth limit and replacement is necessary.
This is a major innovation in the interests of improved driving safety and awareness. General Altimax Sport The all-new asymmetric General Altimax Sport has been designed to be a top contender in handling and performance, and employs the most advanced technology currently available in the passenger car segment.
Developed to suit a wide range of high-performance cars, the Altimax Sport incorporates a modern silica tread compound that bridges the gap between ultimate levels of grip and wet weather performance on the one hand, and the competing requirements of low rolling resistance and reduced fuel consumption on the other. It features wide circumferential grooves and open shoulder blocks to allow faster water dispersion from the contact patch, along with high levels of lateral stiffness and optimal stability.
This leads to shorter braking distances, precise steering and improved safety on twisty roads. Stiff outer shoulder blocks further contribute to greater steering precision and responsiveness, thereby optimizing the driving experience.
The General Altimax Sport is available in 10 sizes and related speed ratings, ranging from 15-inch (195/55 R15) to 18-inch (225/40 ZR18). General Altimax Comfort The new General Altimax Comfort places the focus firmly on low fuel consumption and high levels of efficiency, and is suited to compact and medium-size cars. It boasts innovative composite and contour technologies that deliver superb performance and long service life.
A special wet-grip silica compound is used for the tread, which features lateral sipes in the tread blocks. This affords the Altimax Comfort superb wet grip and braking performance. The compound also provides low rolling resistance and heat generation, thereby contributing to reduced fuel consumption and high mileage.
The design also uses stiff outside tread blocks, inside shoulder blocks connected with the tie bars and straight longitudinal grooves to provide good stability and steering response, allied to improved water dispersion to reduce the risk of aquaplaning. Introduced in a wide range of sizes spanning 13 to 15-inch wheel options, the Altimax Comfort has two different tread designs. A three-groove design is used for tyres spanning the 155 to 195 mm width range. The range-topping 205/60 R15 version incorporates a four-groove pattern with a continuous central rib that guarantees improved grip and braking performance.