Eagle With Treds
Goodyear Calls F1 ‘The Most Sophisticated Eagle Ever’
To say that Goodyear unveiled its newest tire in the middle of nowhere is a bit misleading. While remote, the San Angelo Proving Grounds, Goodyear’s largest testing facility, located in Texas, is hardly the middle of nowhere – especially when the facility takes up more than 11 square miles.
But some of the Proving Grounds’ 33 test surfaces were ideal for giving dealers and media an up-close look at the ultra-high performance Eagle F1.
Developed in Europe, the tire will replace the Eagle F1 GS, GS-D2 and the Eagle GS-C lines.
"This is Goodyear’s most technically sophisticated Eagle ultra-high performance radial ever," said Bob Toth, marketing manager.
The F1 was designed with upscale sportscar and sedan owners, along with street tuners, in mind. Goodyear said its target market is extremely knowledgeable about cars and expects performance capability, along with style.
What gives the Eagle F1 its functionality and styling is the unidirectional V-TRED technology, which Goodyear says improves water flow through the footprint for better wet traction.
The channels in the V-TRED bend at a right angle as they approach the footprint edge to reduce noise and improve ride comfort.
The tire also utilizes OneTRED, a technology that, according to the tiremaker, provides continuous road contact and places an emphasis on dry contact and cornering. The concept is to deliver shoulder-to-shoulder tread contact with the road.
"If you look at conventional tires, the horizontal grooves in the tread are usually interrupted by cross groove patterns," said Toth. "This means the contact between the tire and the road surface is broken at regular intervals.
"But with the Eagle F1, the tread runs uninterrupted from shoulder to shoulder – like a racing slick – and ensures there is always a very large contact area with the road."
In addition to a blend of traction resins, Goodyear said there is a significant amount of silica in the tire to increase surface adhesion.
Manufactured in Lawton, Okla., the Eagle F1 is available in 39 sizes ranging from 195/50VR15 to 285/30ZR21.
To go along with the tire launch, Goodyear has developed a new Web site for the tire: www.eaglef1.com. The Flash-enabled site comes complete with tire construction details, educational packages, dealer locators, and, yes, even entertainment.
Visitors to www.eaglef1.com have the ability to watch as five-time 24 Hours of LeMans winner Derek Bell drives a Ruf R Porsche turbo around a 2.5-mile A1 Ring track in Austria, and other F1 tracks. You can then listen to a small clip of Bell talking, the sound of the Porsche or several music tracks.
Also available are six small screens that show a view of the car on the track, a close-up showing the car’s position on the track, the g-force, speed, time and gear.
Goodyear feels interactive media is the best way to get information about the Eagle F1 to consumer because it can deliver video, data and all the detail they could possibly need.
The launch of the Eagle F1 was so high-profile that Goodyear had its newest Blimp, the "Spirit of America" on hand. The airship offered rides above the San Angelo Proving Grounds before it continued on to its base in Carson, Calif.
Since it opened in San Angelo in 1944, Goodyear has tested all manner of tires at its Proving Grounds – tires ranging from 13-inch passenger tires to giant earthmover and mining tires.
The company says developmental tires are subjected to more than 100 tests, including braking, handling treadwear, durability and ride comfort. Last year, drivers logged 63 million tire-millions at the facility.