Apollo Vredestein introduces the Ultrac Vorti R in style
The ambitious “promise” made by Apollo Vredestein B.V.’s Michiel Kramer at the recent Vredestein Ultrac Vorti R launch in Monaco sounded more like a mission statement.
“Premium styling by Vredestein is a concept focused on the ultimate high performance tires for the exclusive car market. Through strategic partnerships with industry-leading styling companies, we develop, manufacture and sell tires that meet the highest demands — tires that are designed for performance and safety and at the same time are aesthetically perfect.”
The new tire is a natural extension of the Vredestein Ultrac Vorti ultra-high performance tire line introduced last year. At the time, the Y-rated Vorti was designed to compete “in the absolute top segment of the market.” It is available in 32 sizes.
However, the Vorti R competes on an even higher level. Kramer, product manager for premium styling, calls it a “tire for supercars.”
From Monaco to the U.S.
Apollo Vredestein recently showcased the Ultrac Vorti R at the Top Marques Monaco Show in Monte Carlo. The event, held at the Grimaldi Forum, was filled with expensive supercars, boats, watches, a 303-carat diamond, even a jet pack.
“We call this tire ‘ultimate performance’ because the rating of the tread wear is 160 and it’s a very soft and sticky tire,” said Emil Herbak, manager of Vredestein Tyres North America Inc. “It has a lot of grip, this tire.”
The Vorti R’s compounding features resins that are activated at different temperatures, which optimizes tire traction. Side notches in the central ribs serve as flex points that extend the footprint and increase steering precision; they also help cool the tire.
The circumferential grooves have slanted flanks for enhanced block stability in the traverse direction. The 30-degree edge in the inner wall contributes to an even and fluent transition of surface pressure — and a high level of grip — when driving fast around bends.
“It’s a supercar tire. It’s a tire for the Aston Martins, the Ferrari’s, the Lamborghini’s. Porsche is one of the supercars. So are the BMW M5 and M6 and the AMG Mercedes.”
The Ultrac Vorti R will be available in 10 Y-rated sizes by the fourth quarter.
Unlike the Vorti line, the Vorti R’s size range includes 21-inch sizes (see sidebar on page 57). “These are specific sizes for the supercars,” said Herbak.
That includes not only different sizes for the front and rear axles when required, but also rear tires with adjusted tread and construction elements. In addition, the rear tires are engineered with an adjusted belt angle and lower air ratio that ensure an even larger part of the tread comes into contact with the road surface.
The Vorti R is being marketed against the Pirelli P Zero Corsa, the Michelin PS3 and the Yokohama Advan Neova. “We are considered a premium brand, and we always follow the competition price-wise,” said Herbak. “So the Vorti R will be priced below Michelin, but in the same price range as the other competitors.
“Our target distribution channel is the independent tire dealer.”
In the Vredestein booth at the Top Marques Monaco Show, the Vorti R was just one of the tires that makes up the company’s “premium styling” lineup.
The Ultrac Vorti also was on display, as was the Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta SUV tire and the Wintrac Nextreme Y-rated SUV winter tire. All four of the tire lines were designed in close collaboration with Giugiaro Design, an Italian design house.
Apollo Vredestein is already working on the next generation of summer and winter tires. According to Herbak, there will be a Vorti SUV tire. The Wintrac xtreme S will launch before the end of the year, although it will not be available in the U.S. market until the 2014-2015 winter season. Until then, the Wintrac xtreme, an H- and V-rated tire with the mountain/snowflake symbol, will have to do.
Vredestein brand tires are manufactured at the company’s plant in Enschede, Holland. It is a “highly efficient, highly flexible” facility that produces 6 million replacement tires a year, says Jaap van Wessum, Apollo Vredestein’s director of marketing and sales.
As part of a 75 million euro expansion, the plant will be able to produce 7.4 million replacement consumer tires annually in two to three years. ■
Front and/or rear: One tire size doesn’t always fit both
There are 10 sizes in the Vredestein Ultrac Vorti R size range. All of them are Y-rated, extra-load sizes.
Five of them are designed for supercars like the Porsche 911, Lamborghini Gallardo and Audi R8 that need different sizes in the front and back.
Front and rear sizes Rear sizes
235/35ZR19 91Y 255/30ZR19 91Y
245/35ZR20 95Y 295/30ZR19 100Y
265/35ZR20 99Y 305/30ZR19 102Y
245/30ZR21 91Y 305/30ZR20 103Y
265/30ZR21 96Y 305/25ZR21 98Y
Two of the sizes, 265/30ZR21 96Y XL on the front and 305/25ZR21 98Y XL on the rear, will not be available in the United States until the fourth quarter. That is because they are exclusive to Hamann Motorsport, one of the premium car stylers with whom Apollo Vredestein is partnering. Carlsson Autotechnik GmbH is another.