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New rain tyre now available through dealers:
Uniroyal RainExpert for extra safety in the wet

06.03.2009

Hanover, February 2009. The new RainExpert rain tyre is available through tyre dealers with immediate effect. And this rain tyre from Uniroyal has even more than ever to offer: up to five percent more resistance to aquaplaning, as much as a three percent reduction in braking distances, and five percent more mileage performance. The new RainExpert is manufactured in 78 different versions spanning sizes between 13 and 16 inches, and is ideal for vehicles ranging from super-mini and compact cars through to the medium category.

Here you can download this press release as a MS-Word document.

Here you can download this tyre image of the RainExpert in high resolution.

Tread pattern provides faster water drainage

Tyre engineer Jürgen Brockmann has given the new RainExpert tyre a hydrodynamic tread featuring a directionally orientated and consistent V-shaped pattern. A three or four groove version is used depending on the tyre’s size. In rainy weather, the tread pattern’s circumferential grooves quickly take up the water and efficiently disperse it to the sides of the tyre via channels between the tread segments. “Even the grooves themselves have a double concave shape”, explains Brockmann. “This prevents any swirling of water which would counteract the effect of rapid water dispersion.” Depending on the tyre’s width and speed, and the depth of water on the road, a rain tyre needs to shift up to 42 litres of water per second to maintain contact: “This is where the V-shaped tread pattern helps because it is better than a non-directional pattern at expelling the water in the right direction away from the contact patch”, he adds.

Wet braking performance of the new RainExpert is also better than that of its predecessor: By using special sipes – the fine slits in the tread segment – instead of standard sipes, tread stiffness during braking is increased. And that means shorter wet-braking distances, thus making a key contribution to enhanced safety on the roads. The RainExpert tops the preceding model which already had good wet-weather properties. Extra safety also comes from the tyre’s more stable tread elements in the shoulder region. They serve to improve handling and assist the driver in critical steering manoeuvres.

Uniroyal tyre owners not only get high safety reserves. They can expect their tyres to deliver good mileage as well. “Abrasive tyre wear is low and evenly distributed thanks to the RainExpert’s well-balanced tread stiffness”, explains Brockmann. “This adds up to a long tyre life and, consequently, more economical and resource-conserving driving.”

Here you can download this motif of the RainExpert in high resolution.

First Uniroyal tyre with summer indicators

Experts agree that summer tyres should be replaced once they have worn down to a tread depth of three millimetres. This is the limit at which water drainage rapidly deteriorates, the risk of aquaplaning increases significantly, and braking distances become longer, above all on wet roads. “So we decided to give the new RainExpert a system of tread wear indicators to warn drivers once that limit has been reached”, explains Lukas Kosmala, product manager at Uniroyal. “Small bars with a height of three millimetres have been placed between the individual tread elements. The tyre’s wear limit has been reached once the bars are at an even level with the surrounding tread.” A raindrop on the tyre shoulder indicates where these S-TWIs (summer tread wear indicators) are located. The bars run across the grooves in a line with the raindrop.

Here you can download this image of the "S-TWI" technology in high resolution.

Another helpful feature in extending the life of the tyre is the VAI or visual alignment indicator on the tread. VAIs are umbrella symbols vulcanized into the tyre and serving as visual identification of a vehicle’s misalignment. “Wheel alignment is precise if the VAIs are worn down evenly on both sides of the tread. If the indicators are worn down to different degrees, wheel alignment should be checked to prevent uneven tyre wear”, advises Kosmala.

Here you can find the entire size range of the RainExpert.

Back in 1895, the Belgian rubber goods manufacturer Englebert started producing tyres for Continental AG and other companies. After merging with US Rubber in 1958, the company changed its name to Uniroyal Englebert. Uniroyal, the inventor of the rain tyre, has been a European brand within the portfolio of Continental AG in Hanover, Germany, since 1979.

With targeted annual sales of €25 billion for 2008, the Continental Corporation is one of the top automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of tires, brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes towards enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Today, the corporation employs approximately 146,500 at nearly 200 locations in 36 countries.

A quarter of all tires in Europe are manufactured by Continental, the market leader. More than 30 percent of all new European cars leave the factory fitted with Continental tires. The tire divisions are an official sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. For further details, please go to www.ContiSoccerWorld.com.

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Klaus Engelhart
Continental AG
Rubber Group
Press and Public Relations, Passenger & Light Truck Tyres Division
Büttnerstr. 25
D-30165 Hannover

Telefon: +49 (0) 511/ 938 2285
Fax: +49 (0) 511/ 9382455

E-mail: klaus.engelhart@conti.de

www.uniroyal.de

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