During the 2022 SEMA Show, Kenda Tire debuted its new “four season” tire: the Vezda Touring 4S KR211 as well as announced new sizes for its Klever M/T2 and a revamp to its UHP tire line. All this is set to launch next year, as the company looks to tackle key segments and spread awareness around its “premium performance at a value price” mission.
Brandon Stotsenburg, vice president of automotive, said when creating the Vezda Touring 4S KR211, engineers at Kenda’s technical center in Akron, Ohio, studied the performance of all-weather competitors. Not only do tires in this category traditionally have balanced wet, dry and wear characteristics, but they also have light snow performance that’s typically better than your traditional all-season, which lends many tires in this category to display a three-peak mountain snowflake rating. However, Stotsenburg says Kenda took it a step further with this tire.
“The three-peak mountain snowflake rating is a self-certification from a manufacturer,” he said. “We wish there were stronger test criteria because we’ve seen others fail relative to their actual performance. We have verified this tire [through third-party testing] and believe it exhibits Tier 1 performance characteristics.”
Stotsenburg also said that with the launch of the Vezda Touring 4S, Kenda is careful to classify this tire as “four-season.”
“Our market research found that consumers don’t know the difference between all-season and all-weather,” he said. “The market research on the consumer has to match with what they understand.”
He said the Vezda Touring 4S is a touring tire developed for drivers of coupes, family sedans, crossovers and minivans. In addition to a three-peak mountain snowflake rating, it features:
- A durable four-season high silica compound with soybean oil molded into an asymmetric tread compound to provide traction in all conditions;
- Siping density in the center ribs to ensure tread stiffness and water evacuation for predictable steering response;
- Four large circumferential grooves to provide hydroplaning and wet traction performance;
- Large outer shoulder blocks that generate confident dry cornering characteristics;
The tire will come in 45 sizes ranging from 15-20 in. rim diameters and carry an H or V speed rating. It will be ready to order come late Q1 of 2023.
Klever M/T2 KR629
Stotsenburg said more sizes will be added for Klever M/T2, including six sizes with raised red lettering. The additional sizes will be available to order in mid-January.
Read more about the tire here.
Vezda UHP and UHP Max
The Kenda Vezda UHP and UHP Max are getting revamped, Stotsenburg said. Kenda’s UHP summer tires, which offer strong wear characteristics, are getting upgraded to better compete in drift, autocross and endurance racing, demonstrating its “Podium2Pavement” philosophy.
The Vezda UHP Max offers strong wet and dry performance thanks to an optimized silica tread compound for heat tolerance and enhanced grip. Kenda says that the tire’s upgraded belt package provides stability for crisp handling and braking across the contact patch through turns.
The tire, which has a symmetric tread compound, has won drift competitions in Japan and the US. It is suited for high-performance vehicles and sedans and currently comes in 36 sizes in 15-, 17-, 18-, 19-, and 20-in. rim diameters. The revamped Vezda UHP and UHP Max will go into production in early Q1 2023.