When it becomes available in June or July, the Kumho Ecsta 4X will be the latest tire in the ever-evolving ultra-high performance all-season tire segment.
The tire, which eventually will replace the Ecsta ASX, was a long time in the making. Research on the next generation ASX began in 2006. However, by the time the tire was ready to be marketed, it was, in a way, obsolete.
Other tire companies already had replaced their UHP all-season tires with advanced products such as the Dunlop SP Sport Signature (W- and Y-rated), Yokohama Envigor (W-rated), Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season, ContiExtremeContact DWS, Goodyear Eagle F1 All Season and the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus.
(Charles van Heusden, manager of training and product planning for Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc., says new Hankook and Toyo tires in that category are in development.)
So Kumho started over. The company determined that the best tire in the segment was the Pirell P Zero Nero All Season, and used it as the performance benchmark.
The result is the Ecsta 4X, which features a unique asymmetrical tread design that " delivers improved grip, cornering and braking in both wet and dry conditions and even in light snow." It will be available in 48 sizes, broken out as follows:
15 inch = 3,
16 inch = 7,
17 inch = 17,
18 inch = 14,
19 inch = 3 and
20 inch = 4.
The Ecsta 4X "is the main push for Kumho in 2011, especially in the middle of the year," says Rick Brennan, Kumho's vice president of marketing.
The tire will be one of five Ecsta UHP lines (along with the LE Sport KU 39, SPT KU31, ASX KU21 and LX Platinum KU27) backed by Kumho's new 25% Road Hazard Warranty. If the tire fails for any reason up to the 25% wear mark, Kumho will replace it for free.