AURORA, Colo.—Sixteen years after launching its original touring comfort tire, Goodyear has launched the latest iteration, the Assurance ComfortDrive, which it calls the "most comfortable" riding all-season tire in its portfolio.
The tire, which features an "innovative" tread design and sidewall features that the company said deliver "outstanding" comfort and handling in wet conditions, was one of two new products the Akron-based tire maker revealed to dealers Feb. 3 at the opening session of its 2020 Customer Conference in Aurora.
The other tire is the WinterCommand Ultra, a studless winter tire that Goodyear said is for drivers who want to maximize traction and starting and stopping power in winter driving conditions.
Around 1,400 dealers and guests are attending the four-day event, which concludes Feb. 5 at the Gaylord Rockies Convention Center.
Chief Customer Officer Mike Dwyer introduced both tires during the morning session, which also featured presentations from Steve McClellan, president of Goodyear Americas; Dave Beasley, vice president of commercial tires for North America; Cary Budzinksi, senior director of commercial sales for North America; and Scott Rogers, president of North American consumer sales.
The Assurance ComfortDrive will be available in 44 sizes covering 16- to 20-inch rim diameters to fit sedans, minivans, CUVs and SUVs such as the Audi Q5, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, GMC Acadia, Honda Accord, CR-V and Pilot, Kia Sorento, Lexus IS and RX, Nissan Maxima, Subaru Forester and Toyota Rav4 and Sienna.
Goodyear introduced the original comfort tire 16 years ago, then updated the line 10 years ago with the Assurance ComforTred Touring tire. The ComfrortDrive will replace the ComforTred in the tire maker's portfolio.
"We know that drivers value a premium ride," Dwyer said. "Not only does the Assurance ComfortDrive deliver on that, it also provides outstanding handling and wet performance to give consumers confidence when they drive."
Among the tire's attributes, according to Goodyear, are:
- ComfortFlex technology, designed for smoother transitions and impact absorption to deliver refined handling;
- Optimized AquaChannel grooves symmetrically balanced to help maximize water evacuation and reduce hydroplaning;
- A noise-reducing tread pattern that helps eliminate sound from the road;
- Evolving traction grooves and TredLock technology, combined with soybean oil compound, helping to maintain traction while providing control and responsiveness.
- Sustainable compounds: In addition to soybean oil, some Assurance ComfortDrive tires feature rice husk ash silica, helping to reduce waste going to landfills. The specialized tread compound handles well in wet and cold conditions without compromising fuel economy or tread life; and
- Built-in wear gauges, allowing consumers to check tread depth.
The WinterCommand Ultra, meanwhile will launch in the third quarter with 23 sizes initially, covering 15- to 18-inch rim diameters predominantly for passenger sedans and CUVs, such as the Audi A6, BMW 3 Series, Nissan Rogue, Dodge Charger, Volvo XC90 and GMC Acadia.
Approximately 30 additional sizes for 18- to 20-inch rim diameters will be introduced in 2021. It replaces the Ultra Grip Ice WRT in the lineup.
Goodyear said the tire demonstrates "exceptional" performance on ice and snow, and claims, based on internal testing, that it outperformed leading competitors in wet handling, wet cornering grip, deep water curved hydroplaning and ride comfort.
Among the features Goodyear cites for the tire's performance are:
- A "Cryo-Adaptative" compound, engineered to improve pliability to let drivers own the road in extreme cold;
- "V-Tred" technology, featuring "hydrodynamic" grooves to maximize water, slush and snow evacuation without compromising ride comfort;
- "ActiveGrip" technology, offering handling and traction in wet and slushy conditions; and
- Active Block Cuts and Adaptive SipeGrip Technology, delivering superior gripping power under slippery conditions caused by rain, snow and ice.
"The performance of Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra is the result of Goodyear's concentrated focus on the revitalization of our winter portfolio," Ron Henegar, senior product marketing manager, said.
"Investing in new technology and targeting the premium sedan and CUV segment of the market with this product gives us a strong winter line that will help to drive growth in a segment with enormous potential," Henegar said.
More sizes for Fuel Max RTD
Goodyear also said that it will add three sizes for its Fuel Max RTD regional-haul truck tire.
By the second quarter, Goodyear said, all six Fuel Max RTD sizes will be available in original equipment and as replacement tires.
Goodyear calls the Fuel Max RTD its best premium regional drive tire, boasting fuel efficiency with traction and long miles to removal.
The tire features a low rolling-resistance compound and boasts the industry's 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake certification, providing enhanced traction in all weather conditions.
Dustin Lancy, commercial product marketing manager, said the tread design and compounds enhance traction, fuel efficiency and longevity. Applications include trucks, day cabs, box trucks, heavy duty pickups, utility vehicles and any regional truck that requires extra traction in all weather conditions.
The Fuel Max RTD line is available in OE sizes 11R22.5 (load ranges G and H) and 255/70R22.5 (load range H). By the second quarter, Goodyear plans to add sizes 225/70R19.5 (load range G), 245/70R19.5 (load range H) and 295/75R22.5 (load range G).