Tony O'Kane | Nov 2, 2012

Korean tyre company Hankook has launched the latest iteration of its high-performance road tyre in Australia.

Dubbed the Ventus S1 Evo2, the new tyre improves upon the performance offered by the award-winning Ventus S1 Evo by utilising a range of cutting-edge tyre tech.

Rolling resistance is down, lateral grip is up and braking performance is improved in both wet and dry conditions thanks to a new tread pattern, improved rubber chemistry and motorsport-derived materials.

The Evo2 should also deliver more consistent grip over its lifespan than its predecessor.

A stepped tread design increases the width of the tread blocks as the tyre wears down, and a new tyre compound with cross-linked sulphur particles reduces the effect of heat cycling to keep the tyre grippier for longer.

Ribs located in the main groove channels allow heat to dissipate, as do small indentations that are moulded into the tread’s shoulder blocks.

Hankook also says the new Evo2 generates less aerodynamic drag than the Evo1, thanks to indentations in the sidewall rubber that act much like the dimpled surface of a golf ball.

These indentations also generate a reduction in tyre noise, and Hankook claims the Evo2 is eight percent quieter than its predecessor.

To demonstrate the Evo2’s enhanced performance, Hankook invited TMR to put it to the test on a technical test course set up at Sandown Raceway in Victoria.

Consisting of a 60km/h slalom, a 60-0km/h wet braking test, an 80-0km/h dry braking test, a roudabout and a 15km/h coasting test designed to demonstrate the Evo2’s low rolling resistance, the short test loop gave us a good taste of the Evo2’s abilities.

To give us something to compare it to, Hankook also fitted one of the test cars (Holden Commodore SV6s) with the superseded Ventus S1 Evo tyre. On some of the tests, the difference between the two tyres was stark.

On the slalom, the Evo2 had noticeably better turn-in responsiveness, something which Hankook attributes to the tyre’s stiffer tread block design and deformation-resistant tyre carcass.

The Evo2 also pulled up quicker in both wet and dry conditions than the Evo1, but the biggest difference could be felt around the constant-radius roundabout.

Here, the Evo2 had hugely improved resistance to understeer. It didn’t break traction as easily under power either, and it gave much better control at the limit.

It is undoubtedly a very impressive performance tyre, and it’s not difficult to see why BMW now equips its four-cylinder 3 Series range with the Hankook Ventus S1 Evo2.

As the control tyre supplier for DTM, Hankook is - despite its humble Korean origins - making big strides as a maker of high-performance road tyres. So much so that the Evo2 recently picked up an iF Design Award in Germany.

The Ventus S1 Evo2 is available in a range of sizes to suit 17, 18 and 19-inch wheels, with prices ranging from $196 to $412 (excluding GST).

Tyres to suit a Commodore SV6 in 245/45R18 sizing have an RRP of $385 per corner, while those for a VW Golf in 225/45R17 sizing cost $204 per tyre.

For a full list of tyre sizes and pricing, visit hankooktyre.com.au

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