Hyundai And Pirelli’s Tire Collaboration Proves The Importance of Rubbers
These tires are created specifically for the Hyundai I30 N hatchbackby Kirby Garlitos, on
The importance of good, quality tires in the day-to-day function of a car can’t be understated. It’s important enough that companies like Michelin and Bridgestone continue to spend money- to the tune of millions - to develop new technology and improve tire performance. For its part, Pirelli is in this same group, which is why it’s not a shock to learn that the Italian tire maker has collaborated with Hyundai to develop a specific set of tailor-made tires that will be exclusively used by the Hyundai i30 N.
It’s no secret that Hyundai has high hopes for the success of the i30 N. Considered as the backbone of the Korean automaker’s just-launched N Performance division, part of that success hinges on how the hot hatch will compete against its more established rivals, including the Ford Focus ST and the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Developing these exclusive tires, called the Pirelli P Zero Ultra High-Performance summer tires, is one way to do that, since, according to Pirelli, they were developed specifically for the i30 N’s driving characteristics. The tires even find their roots in the company’s “Perfect Fit” portfolio, a sub-segment of Pirelli that creates individual tires for specific applications. All put together; the P Zero UHPs were instrumental in helping the i30 N log a staggering 6,213 miles (10,000 kilometers) around the Nurburgring. Whether all of that testing and development is enough to help the hot hatch compete against the old guards of the segment remains to be seen, but you can’t deny that Hyundai is going all-out to make sure that its first offering under the N performance brand lives up to the hype.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
What’s the deal with the Hyundai I30 N-exclusive tires?
The tires themselves should help enhance the i30 N’s driving experience and character
Pirelli didn’t say the exact specifics on what went with the development of the tires. It did mention, however, that the tires themselves come with an “HN” logo on the sidewall, denoting its exclusivity to the Hyundai i30 N. Beyond the vanity, the tires themselves should help enhance the i30 N’s driving experience and character. It’s already been touted as a “corner rascal,” for its ability to achieve all-world traction around those snaky bends. There is a reason, after all, that the performance brand’s “N” logo takes the shape of a chicane.
Only time will tell if all the handwork Hyundai and Pirelli put into developing these tires pays off. For what it’s worth, the i30 N is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces a stout 271 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It also has an overcast function that spikes, albeit temporarily, the hot hatch’s torque figures up to 279 pound-feet. All told, the i30 N is capable of sprinting from 0 to 62 mph in just 6.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. If Pirelli’s tires work about as well as it says they will, then we can expect plenty of tire-squealing adventures on board this hot hatch.
The i30 N is capable of sprinting from 0 to 62 mph in just 6.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 155 mph
Hyundai i30N Drivetrain and Performance
|Engine:||turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder|
|Horsepower:||246 HP @ 6,000 RPM |
271 HP @ 6,000 RPM
|Torque:||260 LB-FT @ 1,450 RPM|
|0-to-62 mph:||6.4 seconds, 6.1 seconds|
|Top speed:||155 mph|
|Curb weight:||3,307 pounds|
The technological arms race among tire manufacturers is real
Some people may not even be aware of it because tires aren’t the sexiest topics to talk about, but they are important in every sense of the word. Two prominent tire makers - Michelin and Continental - even presented new concept technologies in recent months.
Michelin’s latest development project involves 3D printing. Yep. 3D printing. That said, there is more to the technology than just the process of “printing” them. The French tire maker’s tech also involves using 100-percent recyclable materials that take the shape of a honeycomb biomimetic structure. Not only does this process make the tires impossible to puncture, but just as important, they’re made from environmentally friendly materials.
Note: photo of the Michelin Visionary Concept tires
Continental’s new proposal isn’t so much about the tires themselves, but the whole partnership between wheel and tire. It’s called the New Wheel Concept, and its main objective, is to dramatically cut the weight of the wheel by designing a two-section layout made up of a new outer section on the wheel called the rim well, and an inner section called the carrier star that itself incorporates an aluminum brake disc. When used, these wheels are supposedly able to improve braking while also eliminating poor braking performance brought about by corrosion since according to Continental, the aluminum disc is designed to last the whole life of the car.
Note: photo of the Continental New Wheel Concept
Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30 N.
Read more Hyundai news.