As a company, Vredestein is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year. When Emile Louis Constant Schiff founded N.V. Rubberfabriek Vredestein in the Netherlands in 1909, Modern Tire Dealer was still 10 years from existence.
Vredestein was already producing bicycle and passenger tires when the first issue of Tires & Accessories, a predecessor to MTD, was published in 1919. That same year, Vredestein participated in the first Dutch rally race.
It took a generation before Vredestein tires entered the U.S. market (see time line on page 21). There were starts and stops along the way, but eventually the brand became known for its winter tire technology (remember the Vredestein Snow+?).
The company, purchased by Apollo Tyres Ltd. in 2009, has since promoted its products as premium tires. All the history and marketing efforts have come together in 2019, and the result is the Vredestein Quatrac Pro all-weather tire.
26 years of all-season tires
Vredestein launched its first all-season tire, the Quatrac, in 1993. The new Quatrac Pro is more of an all-weather tire, with its improved seasonal performance characteristics and 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake label.
The Quatrac Pro “is the first all-season tire fully dedicated to the ultra-high performance segment,” said Apollo Vredestein BV Product Manager Michele Sala. It targets cars such as the BMW 5-series.
“Why this tire? Why Quatrac Pro? Why all-season tires?” asked Sala. “In Europe we have areas where more and more we have frequent changes of weather. You can really experience four seasons in one day or four seasons in a week. So an all-season tire is a way… to be ready, to be safe in many weather conditions.”
Vredestein is also looking to bond with customers who are not really into the summer-to-winter-to-summer changeover, he said. “We want to challenge… the summer segment and the winter segment with an alternative.”
The asymmetric tread design features a “summer-oriented” external side with more rubber and straight sipes, and a “winter-oriented” side with more open sipes that allow the tire to perform in snowy and winter conditions. Wide center ribs also help with dry handling.
Four wide longitudinal grooves combined with diverging grooves in the shoulder optimize traction on wet roads. The tire compound’s high silica and resin content results in improved wet and snow traction.
According to Vredestein testing, the Quatrac Pro has 10% better wet grip and 5% better snow handling than the Quatrac 5, introduced in 2014. ■