LOS ANGELES (Oct. 14, 2008) — Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.'s recent launch of its Proxes ST II tire in Los Angeles replaces a tire with a long history.
The Cypress, Calif.-based tire maker's new high-performance tire for sport trucks, crossover vehicles and sport-utility vehicles made it difficult at the launch to obey speed limits as drivers traversed the mountain roads and city streets of Southern California.
The Proxes ST II is Toyo's fourth new product in a little more than a year. However it is its first high-performance tire for truck, SUV and crossover fitments since the ST II's predecessor—the Proxes ST—launched in 1997, the company said.
“We knew after more than 10 years it was time for a new product,” said Steve Weinger, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Toyo, at a media pre-sentation.
The two tires share few similarities in appearance—with the ST II featuring a new directional all-season tread pattern—and during the presentation Toyo representatives further amplified the differences between the generations.
“Because owners looking to buy sport trucks are very image conscience and they want to improve the cosmetics of their vehicle, we had to create a new look that was both sporty and luxurious,” Weinger said. “From a performance perspective, we wanted to reduce both new and worn tire noise levels. In addition to reducing noise, we focused on minimizing irregular wear.”
The ST II features Toyo's Silent Wall technology, which reduces noise by suppressing pipe resonance using serrations along the tire's main groove walls to disturb air flow, the company said. The tire's five variable-pitch shoulder repeats pitch patterns every five pairs of shoulder blocks, suppressing harmonics.
Multiwave sipes, tie bars and multi-slanted block edges help to decrease tread block movement and produce more consistent tire wear, the company said. Linear grooves on the center block help reduce pressure on the block edge, creating more even tire wear and improving handling.
Toyo's target for the ST II include tech-savvy consumers who are image conscious, have an active lifestyle and like to customize their vehicles, according to company officials.
The tire is offered in 44 sizes in rim diameters ranging from 17 to 26 inches with V, W and Y speed ratings, said Matias Stella, product manager, light truck and market strategist for Toyo. Additional sizes will be introduced as new fitments are identified.