Apollo Vredestein B.V. unveiled its Vredestein Sportrac 5 in Budapest, Hungary, on March 26, 2012. The summer tire is the successor to the Sportrac 3.
(The company says it has chosen not to use the name Sportrac 4 "in order to prevent confusion with Vredestein's all-season tires.)
In contrast to the Sportrac 3, the Sportrac 5 features an asymmetrical, not directional, tread pattern. The tire also has designer hinge points on its central grooves, giving it "the flexibility required for low rolling resistance and a good footprint with an excellent surface pressure distribution." This, in turn, ensures even wear and excellent handling on dry and wet surfaces.
Like its predecessor, the Sportrac 5 benefits from the "Handling Tuned Sidewall" principle. Together with the firm outer shoulders and robust construction, this gives the tire "a very sporty driving performance and superior handling," says Apollo Vredestein.
The Sportrac 5 also has four wide circumferential grooves for optimal water discharge and maximum aquaplaning reserves. "The intelligent distribution of the tire’s shoulder blocks provides a perfect performance when braking on wet surfaces, while also contributing to the low noise levels -- interior and exterior -- of the tire."
The V-rated tire is available in 14 sizes:
15-inch: 185/55R15 82V, 195/65R15 91V, 195/60R15 88V, 195/55R15 85V and 205/60R15 91V.
16-inch: 195/55R16 87V, 195/50R16 88V XL, 195/45R16 84V XL, 205/60R16 92V, 205/55R16 91V, 205/55R16 94V XL, 205/50R16 87V and 215/55R16 98V XL.
17-inch: 205/50R17 89V.
The Vredestein Sportrac 5 was developed in cooperation with Italian design company Giugiaro Design, the same partnership that has jointly introduced the Vredestein Ultrac Cento and Ultrac Sessanta.
The nine-day press conference, which began with the arrival of a convoy of no less than 35 vehicles with Vredestein branding in Budapest on March 25, also introduced the Vredestein Ultrac Vorti, the company's next generation ultra-high performance tire. The new Ultrac Vorti film featured scenes that provided viewers with a 360-degree viewing experience.
Both tires also will be sold in the United States, according to an Apollo Vredestein spokesperson.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.