South African tyre manufacturer Firestone has announced the launch of its new Multihawk tyre which will become its core General Use (GU) product for the foreseeable future. The Multihawk replaces the F900, which is being phased out in all sizes except the 12-inch ‘trailer-size’ tyres. The Multihawk also supplants the venerable S211, which has been a South African tyre icon since 1981, and was produced as the S211T variant from 1996.
“We believe the Multihawk will build on both the S211’s iconic status and the F900’s wide acceptance as a tyre for the discerning motorist,” said Bridgestone General Manager for Marketing, Romano Daniels. “We are targeting buyers who consciously seek reliability and value at a reasonable price, meaning the Multihawk will be available in a range of sizes typically used by B and C-Segment sedans and hatches,” he added.
The Multihawk is a safety-focused tyre and particular attention has been paid to its wet-weather performance. Despite this, the tyre compound is formulated to perform well in dry weather without compromising on durability. Firestone says the tyre gives above-average steering precision and is more resistant than previous tyres to abnormal wear patterns which can result from wheel alignment or suspension defects.
Special attention has been paid to the styling of the tyre to ensure it is an attractive match for the wheels and bodywork of the modern vehicles to which it will be fitted. It also has a noticeably different tread footprint to its predecessors, with a bigger contact patch than an equivalent-sized F900. This gives better dry weather roadholding and braking distances.
Meanwhile, the void ratio (the ratio of the tread gaps to the total footprint) increases to 26 percent versus the 24 percent of the F900. Apart from reducing tyre noise, this change improves water dispersion on wet roads, giving greater resistance to aquaplaning. The higher void ratio partly accounts for the tyre’s improved resistance to irregular wear.
Another factor in extending durability and improving resistance to irregular wear has been the elimination of the F900’s twin-rib configuration in the centre of the tread pattern in favour of lens-shaped blocks. These also play a part in improving dry handling characteristics, while at the same time contributing to the better water dispersion performance.
“The result of these advances is an exceptionally well-balanced tyre under all conditions,” said Daniels. “The Multihawk has proven its mettle in real-world testing, with sound levels observed at just 68dBa versus the current EU regulation limit of 74 dBa,” he continued.
“We are confident the Multihawk will become the benchmark in this tyre category,” Daniels commented. “Motorists will enjoy the immediate advantages, like better safety and lower noise, while benefiting from greater durability in the long term,” he concluded.
[Issued by Bridgestone]