The Korean company Kumho is currently celebrating 60 years of tyre manufacture, during which it has maintained an enviable reputation for innovation. It was among the first to offer run-flat patterns to the replacement tyre market, and over the years has explored everything from coloured smoke tyres to aroma ones. This ongoing commitment to research and development has made it a serial winner of the world’s top three design accolades – the Red Dot Award (Germany), iF International Forum (Germany), and International Design Excellence Awards (United States). It’s also resulted in numerous headline-grabbing concept tyres – eg: the super-low aspect ratio ‘Maxplo’ that changed shape to suit the driving conditions; ‘Smasher’, that featured such futuristic technologies as suction plates and grinder-shaped tread blocks; and ‘Sealant’ which, as the name suggests, automatically sealed itself when penetrated by debris.
Motorsport-bred performance tyres
Success in motorsport has always underpinned the development of Kumho’s high performance (HP) road tyres, and its CV contains countless relevant race and rally successes. Small wonder then that its current trio of HP products, the ECSTA PS91, ECSTA PS71 and ECSTA HS51, are so popular with enthusiast drivers.
The move to ever more environmentally friendly vehicles has resulted in its own specialist approach to tyre manufacture, which Kumho has been at the forefront of since the beginning. Its Ecowing ES31 has been specifically designed for motorists who prioritise low rolling resistance over optimum grip, thereby saving money at the pumps and so the world’s natural resources as well. The WATTRUN VS31, on the other hand, is aimed squarely at the electric vehicle market and is a full 25 percent lighter than a conventional tyre.
The original equipment (OE) fitment of tyres is a vote of confidence from car manufacturers, and so it’s worth noting that Kumho is currently a supplier to most of the leading European makes, including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Mini and Volkswagen, as well its fellow Korean producers Kia and Hyundai.
Further information on Kumho and its products for passenger cars, SUVs, vans and trucks can be found at www.kumhotyre.co.uk.