Nokian Tyres has designed an ultra-high performance tire with all-season durability specifically for the North American market. The new zLine will cover passenger cars as well as SUVs.
The Nokian zLine A/S tire is W-rated and will be available in 31 sizes for wheels 16 to 20 inches. Dealers can begin placing orders now, and the tires will ship for consumer purchases in January 2017.
Tommi Heinonen is in charge of Nokian for all of North America, and says the manufacturer best known for its winter tires has studied the market and is jumping into the fastest growing segment: all-season UHP tires. The company previously has marketed summer UHP tires.
Olli Seppälä, product development manager for Nokian, says “The new Nokian zLine A/S immediately responds to steering, which is an essential requirement for safe operation at the extreme limits. In addition to the precise handling, these advances in technology also manifest themselves in the commendable driving comfort and durability of the tire."
Handling and stability
A stiff outside shoulder stabilizes the handling of the rigid tread pattern on wet and slushy roads, especially during hydroplaning, the company says. The contoured groove corners provide additional support during cornering and lane changes, which allow the Nokian zLine A/S to maintain balanced road contact at all times. The 3D siping binds the tread blocks together, improving the tire's handling.
Nokian's Cooling Edge technology provides more efficient cooling to the hottest parts of the tire, improving both handling and durability.
Traction and wear
The polished longitudinal and transversal grooves are designed to remove water and slush from between the road surface and the tire and also work to maximize grip on wet and slushy roads.
A new rubber compound, the Dynamic Traction Boost Tread Compound, was specially tailored for demanding use at higher speeds. The company says the compound improves wet grip and saves fuel.
The full silica compound adapts to changes in temperature to provide wet grip every day of the year. The new rubber compound can also withstand the stress from rough asphalt, which results in good wear resistance.
The zLine A/S tires come fitted with Nokian’ s Driving Safety Indicator on the center rib which indicates what percentage of tread depth remains.
The Comfort Base Compound below the tread surface is designed to soften the impacts during driving, giving the tire a light and comfortable feel even when it's driven on bumpy or grooved roads.
A Clinch Rubber Compound was developed for the bead area of the tire. It's designed to minimize interior noise, since it dampens the vibrations from the tire body, preventing them from passing into the tire and further inside the vehicle. This Silent Groove Design innovation also reduces the interior noise and external rolling noise of the vehicle.
The high tensile steel belt structure makes the structure light but hard, which can be felt in the precise handling during evasions and lane changes, even at higher speeds. The tough structure improves mileage and effectively prevents cuts caused by curbs, Nokian says.
The SUV tire
The Nokian zLine A/S also is available for SUVs. The tread compound is even stiffer than in the passenger car model, which makes the SUV version especially balanced to handle. The service life also is improved by Nokian's Aramid sidewall technology, which reduces the sidewall damage that is common to SUV drivers.
The SUV tire will be available in three sizes:
255/55R18 109W XL
255/50R19 107W XL
235/55R19 105W XL