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Cooper debuts CS5 Touring tires

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Cooper debuts CS5 Touring tires

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has introduced the CS5 Touring, a premium touring tire line with two all-season tread options. It also has four speed ratings, including the company’s first-ever W rating for a touring tire. The CS5 is available in 78 sizes in Grand Touring (T-rated) and Ultra Touring (H-, V- and W- rated) tread options.

The CS5 Grand Touring tire has an 80,000-mile tread wear warranty. It is available in 30 sizes, which cover 75% of the market.

Speed ratings, tread wear, sizes and market coverage for the CS5 Ultra Touring are:

• H-rated — 60,000 miles in 23 sizes with 74% coverage;

• V-rated — 60,000 miles in 20 sizes with 78% coverage; and

• W-rated — 50,000 miles in five sizes with 20% coverage.

The company says a new silica tread compound significantly improves the wet handling performance of the CS5 tires versus the line it replaces, the CS4. The CS5 is the first Cooper product to use the new compound, which contains four times more silica than the CS4’s compound. In addition to improving wet traction, the extra silica in the tread compound shortens stopping distance and lowers rolling resistance without giving up tread wear.

“We targeted wet performance from the beginning,” says Bruce Sanborn, product segment manager. “It rains almost everywhere we sell products. So we need to be really good in the rain. That’s when consumers realize tires might not stop in time. They lose grip more often. Almost everyone can relate to wet performance,”

The CS4 also had two tread patterns, but Cooper also used different compounds in the two CS5 lines, according to Sanborn.

“The Grand Touring has a compound that is tuned for the consumer set, such as the Dodge minivan customer,” says Sanborn. “The Ultra Touring compound is tuned for, say, a Toyota Camry V-rated, a little more sporty, a little more responsive. The characteristics of the car and driver are different so we have two unique compounds between the lines.”

To boost consumer confidence in the CS5, Cooper added a tread wear indicator called “Wear Square” to the tire. As the tire wears, the shape of the visual wear indicator changes to help consumers approximate remaining tread life. The indicator also helps dealers begin conversations with customers on the condition of vehicle components, according to Sanborn.

“It’s not meant to replace an actual tread depth gauge. But it does provide a sense of what’s worn out from a component standpoint. That’s a discussion the tire retailer can have with a consumer.”

Engineers incorporated Cooper’s Stabiledge technology (introduced on the mid-range CS3 touring tire) and 3D Micro-Gauge Siping (an innovation developed for the Zeon RS3-A UHP tire) into the CS5.

The Stabiledge technology is visible in the tread, giving dealers something to physically show consumers when describing benefits. Under the weight and pressure of driving, tire treads tend to close. However, tiny Stabiledge “bumpers” keep the tread open for better traction and response in dry conditions.

Cooper’s siping technology locks the tread elements together to maximize surface contact for better handling and control. The sipes run the full-depth of the tire, rather than halfway or variable depths.

“Being full depth and locking together means we have 85% more sipes from half-worn down to 2/32nds than traditional tires,” says Sanborn.

Changes to the overall profile and tread contact patch improve ride quality and help the tire wear evenly and quietly. The use of lighter and stronger materials in construction reduced weight, which improves responsiveness and lowers rolling resistance.

The CS5 also adds a W-rated touring tire to Cooper’s line-up. “It’s a growing trend by OEs, so we just want to capture those sales,” says Sanborn, who cited W-rated fitments on Ford Focus and Buick LaCrosse models as examples.

The tires are produced at the company’s Tupelo, Miss., manufacturing plant and are available now. The CS5 will be priced the same as the CS4, which has been the company’s best-selling tire line. “We have cutting edge technology and leading performance all at the traditional Cooper brand price point,” says Sanborn.    ■

To read the entire June 2014 issue of Modern Tire Dealer, see our digital version by clicking here.

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