Apollo Tyres has completed its second Vehicle Dynamics Workshop in the southern Indian city of Chennai.
Apollo began the event two years ago as a biannual platform for auto and tiremakers, tire testing authorities and homologation bodies to discuss vehicle dynamics, complexities, issues being faced and ways and means of addressing them. The company says the workshop comes at a time when regulations across the world are being tightened, and both car companies and tiremakers are actively seeking ways to bring out products that meet customer needs of safety, fuel efficiency, price and comfort while applying environmentally safe options.
The first day comprised presentations by leading automotive and testing experts on the work that is being done on topics as varied as lower rolling resistance, traffic and vehicle noise reduction, simulation approaches for robust and safer tire designs, upcoming EU regulations and others, revolving around the workshop theme of “Vehicle Dynamics for a Safer and Greener World.”
In his opening remarks, Satish Sharma, chief of India Operations at Apollo Tyres, noted, “We created this forum with the thought of moving beyond a pure ‘transactional relationship’ with all those we work with, especially our OEMs. Workshops like this provide all of us with learnings, which enable all of us to develop technologies, at a price which adds value to our customers.”
Day two was devoted to providing practical examples of the first day’s ideas. These included a section on runflats: participants drove high-end cars fitted with Apollo Acelere and Acelere Maxx run-flat tires to experience the drive difference and vehicle handling on run-flats. This was also to showcase Apollo’s run-flat technology, which has been tested, but is yet to be launched commercially. Apollo run-flat tires can cover a distance of 120 kilometres at a maximum speed of 80 kilometres per hour.
Dry and wet handling and braking was also demonstrated by expert drivers from ATP Germany, IDIADA Spain and Apollo’s European operations. Apollo says they showed the superiority of silica tread compounding over carbon black in wet handling and braking in high-speed situations. A demonstration showcased the need for auto and tiremakers to work closely in developing tires tuned to each vehicle’s requirements, according to the car’s suspension and other characteristics.
A 1,500-metre off-road fun track was provided to give a feel of true off-roading. The track had deep pits, wooden logs, boulders, steep drops, elevations and muddy terrain. Vehicles fitted with the Hawkz RT and Hawkz AT drove through the specially designed and constructed 4×4 track.
Finally, the Apollo-Evonik lightweight car showed off its more fuel-efficient systems. The Apollo Aspire range of ultra-high performance tires, with low rolling resistance were fitted on the Evonik vehicle. (Tyres & Accessories)
Apollo’s Hawkz tires were fitted to illustrate off-road driving.