AKRON—The quickest, most powerful Jeep every built will roll into showrooms early next year on Goodyear run-flats, the latest component of the tire maker´s campaign to win original equipment fitments.
The 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 will sport 20-inch Goodyear Eagle RSA run-flats, the largest run-flat tire available on the market. The vehicle is one of 80 OE run-flat fitments Goodyear has achieved globally, and another 100 are under evaluation, according to Bill Hopkins, Goodyear vice president of product marketing and technology planning.
The new OE business will help push Goodyear´s output of run-flats to 2 million this year, double that produced in 2004. Hopkins said it took Goodyear 10 years, from 1993-2003, to reach the 1 million mark in run-flats produced, and then just one year to make the second million.
Most of the contracts are with European car makers, Hopkins said, which have embraced the run-flat concept more readily than their American or Japanese counterparts. In Europe, Goodyear calls this product segment the run-on-flat, a name the firm eventually might adopt globally, he said.
The Grand Cherokee contract technically qualifies as run-flat fitment on a sport-utility vehicle, but it doesn´t mean Goodyear has engineered run-flat light truck/SUV tires.
The vehicle loads and performance demands of the LT/SUV sector will require a run-flat other than that provided by current technology used on cars, Hopkins said during an Oct. 5 presentation at Goodyear´s Technical Center in Akron. He didn´t divulge Goodyear´s specific plans for this sector.
The executive did say designing a run-flat for light trucks/SUVs is one of the goals of his company´s research and design agreement with Michelin, which is pushing its non-standard Pax tire/wheel assembly as a potential solution for this segment.
The Grand Cherokee SRT8 features a 6.1-liter Hemi V8 putting out 415 horsepower and running through a beefed-up, full-time four-wheel-drive system, according to DaimlerChrysler A.G. data. The vehicle should accelerate 0-60 mph in less than 5 seconds and 0-100-0 mph in the low 19-second range and stop 60-0 mph in approximately 125 feet.
The new vehicle comes standard with W-speed-rated Goodyear run-flats—255/45/20 in the front and 285/40/20 in the rear—on specially designed five-spoke aluminum rims. The vehicle has no spare tire and no place reserved for one, DaimlerChrysler said. It comes standard with a tire pressure monitoring system.