Hankook has been selected as new original equipment manufacturer for the BMW Group. The successful current version of the legendary MINI, often praised for its direct handling characteristics, will be factory equipped with Hankook tyres. Initially, the all new ultra high performance tyre Ventus Prime 2 has been tested by the car manufacturer and will now come factory-installed in the dimension 195/55 R 16 V, the size which is originally fitted to the particularly sporty Cooper S models. In addition, Hankook Tyre will deliver the Ventus Prime 2 in the same size as an optional tyre set to the assembly lines at the MINI factory in Oxford, England for the One, Cooper, and Cooper D models.
The tyre delivery for the “new MINI” marks a further milestone on the successful road to growth for the company in Europe. “The BMW Group is known around the world for its cars with highest technical standards as well as for its long tradition of sporty, dynamic automobiles. We are very pleased to be able to now support the company with Hankook tyres as original equipment,” says Jin-Wook Choi, Executive Vice President and European head of Hankook Tyre. “The BMW Group stands for perfection and innovation in automobile manufacturing. Hankook most certainly shares this passion. I’m therefore convinced that this is the beginning of a long and successful partnership.”
The brand new Hankook Ventus Prime 2 really distinguished itself during its thorough test phase, particularly through its dynamic handling characteristics. In connection with a new kind of silica tread compound for an exceptional degree of traction on wet surfaces, the specially developed tyre contour offers a significant reduction in rolling resistance compared to its predecessor. In addition, the tread profile created in Bionic-Design also ensures driving comfort and low noise levels through the company’s new “Grip-Tech” and “Quiet Ride” technologies, which have been implemented in a Hankook tyre for the very first time.
The MINI’s sporty chassis places particularly high demands on the tyres, which have to perfectly transfer the vehicle’s performance to the road. “We have shown that our new Ventus Prime 2 provides the perfect dynamic for the agile MINI without compromising on important safety and environmental parameters such as wet traction or rolling resistance,” explains Stefan Fischer, responsible Hankook engineer for tyre development for the BMW Group and head of Hankook Tyre’s German-based European research and development center (ETC). At present, approximately 40 engineers and technicians here at Langenhagen near Hannover, Germany are involved in designing, developing and testing tyres for the European car industry.
Currently, the tyres for the MINI are being produced at Hankook’s head plant in Geumsan, South Korea. Specially designed for the manufacture of ultra-high performance tyres, the manufacturing facility was recently expanded to include a new production area for high-end tyres and represents the absolutely most modern facility. In addition to the tyres for the MINI, the facility also exclusively manufactures the company’s flagship product and winner of numerous awards, the “Ventus S1 evo.”
The main technical specifications of the all new Hankook K115 Ventus Prime 2 are:
– Optimised ground pressure for high wet grip, the Multi-Tread Radius Technology guarantees best possible road contact for top handling and high braking power, particularly in wet conditions and for extreme cornering, as well as at very high speeds.
– Ideal handling and longer life span, the Hankook-patented SCCT Technology (Stiffness Control Contour Theory) helps to achieve a very even ground pressure distribution for less wear.
– Bionic design and asymmetric tread design, the asymmetrical tread design combines excellent aquaplaning values with top handling performance and an exact steering response. The block-edge design of the outer profile ridges, which were inspired by the teeth of a predatory cat, dovetails with the road surface, thus guaranteeing a constantly optimised traction.
– Improved wet and environmental capacities, the use of a hybrid silica tread compound with novel hybrid polymer chains and nano particles in the production of the Ventus Prime 2 maximizes wet grip, tread and fuel efficiency.
– Available sizes, The Hankook Ventus Prime 2 is available in 42 dimensions from 15 to 18-inch (series 65 to 45) for vehicles of the lower middle to luxury classes in profile widths of 185 to 255 mm (speed index H-W), mainly as an especially stable Extra Load (XL) model.
Now available from Megatyre, Browns Bay, North Shore, Auckland. www.megatyre.co.nz