Remember sometime in late July I was in Hua Hin? It was for the launch of two new tyres for Goodyear - the Eagle F1 Asymmetric II and the Eagle F1 Directional 5. Here’s the story about the launch event where we got to test the tyres…
Text and photos by Cheryl Tay
The latest from Goodyear is its double launch of its ultra high performance (UHP) Eagle F1 tyres – namely the Eagle F1 Asymmetric II and the Eagle F1 Directional 5.
It was an early day the next morning – An hour ride from the hotel and we were at the Kaeng Krachan circuit, where we spent the rest of the day testing the two new Goodyear tyres.
The EF1 GS-D3 has been around for some time and it’s about time that it gets replaced, by the EF1 Directional 5. Starting the day with the EF1 Directional 5, Goodyear showed us how the dynamic look of the tyre made it very suitable for +1” or +2” kit-ups, especially with matching alloy rims, for sizes anywhere from 15” to 20”.
Next was a ‘live’ demonstration of the improvement in noise reduction, using a noise recorder on track to measure the same car – first fixed with the EF1 Directional 5, then immediately changing tyres on-site to a leading competitor. Sitting through a product presentation after that, we then went on track to try the EF1 Directional 5 on wet and dry surfaces through a series of sharp turns and tight bends.
The main technology behind the new EF1 Directional 5 is its SportGrip technology. Positioned in the mid-UHP segment, the EF1 Directional 5 has a solid centre line rib and continuous shoulder rib combined with high weight polymers and a race-inspired compound.
This helps to give maximum rigidity to the tread design and hence reduces deformation under heavy force during rapid steering movement and heavy cornering. As a result, steering response, handling and grip are improved.
Moving on to the new EF1 Asymmetric II, this comes three years after the EF1 Asymmetric was created. Available in 17” to 20” only, the EF1 Asymmetric II sits at the top end of the UHP range, targeted at luxury sports performance vehicles. Following the success of its predecessor, Goodyear didn’t want to wait too long to introduce its successor, which proudly boasts the ActiveBraking technology, a first for the brand.
To help cope with the high speeds from those sporty performance vehicles, the ActiveBraking technology improves braking and handling performance in both the dry and wet.
Extensive testing by independent testing organization TÜV SÜD Automotive at test tracks in France and Germany in December 2010 concluded that the EF1 Asymmetric II stops up to three metres less than before in the wet and up to 2 metres less on dry roads, compared to three other leading competitors.
When I wasn’t executing the slalom, I witnessed a ‘live’ wet braking demonstration of both tyres compared against a leading competitor and indeed both the new EF1 tyres stopped within three metres of its competitor tyre.
The EF1 Asymmetric II was also put through the same noise test as the Directional 5 and we had a seminar-style tutorial about the various features technologies behind the tyre. Similarly, the EF1 Asymmetric II has been designed with lower noise emission levels, increased mileage and reduced fuel consumption with Goodyear’s proven FuelSaving Technology.
Sweetening my day was the hour-long scenic drive out of the circuit onto main roads and highways in a Maserati Coupe Cambiocorsa fixed with the EF1 Asymmetric II, with its electrohydraulic manual transmission.
There was a lot of power in that little monster but the tyres and its good grip could keep it all within control as I tore down the highway straights at speeds up to 180km/h.
To spice up the end of the long day at the circuit, a drifting display was put up by Goodyear Racing Thailand’s official drift team, showing that the tyres are safe even under extreme conditions.
Already selling in stores at all Goodyear dealers, you can check out both the new EF1 Asymmetric II and Directional 5 tyres. Caution: limited sizes only!