ERJ staff report (DS)
Nokia Finland -- Nokian Tyres last month held a demonstration in which they rolled a car off a ramp in ideal conditions and let it run. A premium European summer tyre --rumoured to be a Michelin Energy Saver by those present -- rolled for 78.9 metres; Nokian's production tyre, a Hakkapeliitta R friction tyre rolled for 99.5 metres, while a Nokian prototype tyre rolled for 129 metres.
Nokian did not make any specific comment on the wet grip or the life of the prototype tyre beyond saying, "the prototype offers a normal level with all other features.â€ Teppo Huovila, Vice President R&D with Nokian Tyres said Nokian will introduce many of the features used in the prototype into its next generation of summer tyres. Some are ready for production, while others are still at a laboratory stage, he noted.
The company said the prototype falls easily in the B-rating of Europe's rolling resistance labelling, and almost reaches A class. It noted that a rolling distance of 130m or more puts a tyre in the A class; while 95 - 130 m is the B class and C class is in the 70 - 95m range. This puts both Nokian tyres in the B class, while the other tyre fell into the C category.
â€œTyre material development actively searches for new improving possibilities. Up and coming are, among others, the next generation silica compounds and steel belt structures. They emit less heat during the deformation of the tyre and consequently lower the tyre's rolling resistance. In 2015, the best passenger car tyres will probably further decrease fuel consumption by 5 per cent compared to the best of today's tyres without compromising on the current safety features,â€ said Huovila.
The test took place in a Nokian warehouse using a Toyota Prius rolling down a ramp of about 1.5 metres in height. The engine was switched off.
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Press release from Nokian
Video of test from Nokian