In a busy week for General Tire, the Continental Tire-owned company debuted the General G-MAX RS, the company’s entry into the summer ultra-high performance tire category.
In a day part of the tire company’s almost week-long launch event, the handling and grip of the G-MAX RS were put to the test at the NOLA Motorsports Park outside New Orleans. During the launch, the company also debuted the GRABBER A/TX, an all-terrain tire with a three-peak mountain snowflake rating and studdability.
A wet and dry handling course, as well as a trip around the Motorsports Park track and a roadway simulation course, were part of the tests General Tire staff, dealers, media and other present performed to explore the tire’s capabilities.
“They have much better wet traction and handling characteristics than [their competitors],” said Rick Gerardi, of Chicago’s Cassidy Tire & Service, about the G-MAX RS.
A wet/dry handling course showed those in attendance the tire’s capabilities in different driving conditions against its competitors. G-MAX RS tires were tested on a Mini Cooper JCW and BMW 240i against what the company chose as its competitors. On the Mini Cooper, other tires tested included ones from BF Goodrich and Yokohama. On the BMW, competitors’ tires included ones made by Hankook and Firestone.
Tire dealers and distributors unanimously noticed a difference. Many that they felt safer and both cars had better handling with G-MAX RS.
“I was surprised to see the difference on of the [General Tire’s] UHP tires against other tires,” said Rick Lopez, an outside sales representative for Hesselbein Tire’s southwest division. “Today there was a big gap in the performance tires with their competitors. It was like night and day. In the BMW, I saw a big difference.”
The tier two tire’s tread pattern first debuted in the European market on Continental’s Semperit Speed Life 2 and was adapted for the South American market. It was further fine-tuned for the North American market with greater styling, mileage and handling for sports cars in North America, said Bjoern Glaeser, a Continental Tire engineer on the tire.
“The sweet thing about this product is that we had a lot of time tune it,” he said. “In the end, that’s part of the secret sauce that made this happen. We had a lot of opportunity and time to do this, and it was important because we’re entering the segment.”
According to the company, the GMAX-RS stops up to 25 feet shorter and has a 35% longer tread life than its competitors in tests performed on different tracks across the nation.
The tire features Smart Grip technology with a center rib for steering response and stable shoulder blocks for maximum grip. Its StabiliTread Technology provides a larger footprint and pattern stiffness for even wear and longer tread life. In a simple, smart touch, the tire features SmartMonitor Technology with a strip on the center rib that changes from Replacement Tire Monitor to read “replace tire” when the tire wears to 2/32s of tread depth, alerting the driver that they need to change the tires.
Travis Roffler, director of marketing for Continental Tire, said the tire succeeds the G-MAX AS-05 UHP all-season tire General Tire introduced last year. He said the tire comes in 16 to 20-inch diameters in 50 sizes. Its key fitment is for performance vehicles.
“We believe this tire will set a new benchmark in the tier 2 summer UHP segment,” Roffler said.