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Toyo Tires Debuts New Open Country R/T Trail

As the sun peaked over the larger-than-life Southern California mountains, eight off-road vehicles followed one after the other through mud, soft sand and rocky terrain to test Toyo Tires‘ new rugged trail tire. Toyo introduced the Open Country R/T Trail during a two-day ride-and-drive event in Big Bear Lake, California, highlighting the tire’s rugged capabilities to members of the media and Toyo employees.

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“[The Open Country R/T Trail] makes Toyo Tires a true and authentic [off-roading] enthusiast brand,” explained Tim Chaney, vice president of marketing for Toyo Tires.

Toyo Tire’s Open Country R/T Trail flexes its aggressive tread pattern muscles on a large boulder during an off-road ride-and-drive event for the tire.

The new Open-Country R/T Trail tackled the elements as its sturdy sidewall held up under rocky terrain and its thick lugs and wide contact patch waded through mud and dirt, collecting and ejecting debris from the trail.

With off-road technology to perform in varying terrain while also having a comfortable and quiet ride, the Open Country R/T Trail is a hybrid tire that is positioned between the M/T and A/T product categories and fills a role in between the Toyo’s Open Country R/T and Open Country A/T III. The R/T Trail follows the launch of the Open Country R/T, introduced in 2014.

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In developing the Open Country R/T Trail, Toyo engineers and product managers went straight to the source. According to Todd Bergeson, senior manager of product planning, dealer and customer feedback, as well as advances from Toyo’s R&D department, allowed the tire to become what it is today: an off-road product with exceptional handling for customers who want more off-road capability without the extra noise or harshness of a dedicated mud or all-terrain tire.

“We spent a great deal of time out there talking and meeting with customers,” Bergeson said. “We didn’t just say, ‘Hey, what do you want in a tire?’ We went out there and actually went off-roading with them. This made us realize the tire has to be able to give the driver confidence that they can go off-road and handle the trails while also [getting them] home without any issue. There are those that want something that looks a little more aggressive and performs a little bit more aggressively off-road. This tire is for them.”

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Bergeson attributed the tire’s tread design and handling attributes to R&D Engineer Mia Evans, who was instrumental in helping change the tread design for improved on-and off-road durability, traction and stability.

“Some of the changes to construction she made really resulted in a tire with exceptional ride quality and superb handling,” he said.

Todd Bergeson, senior manager of product planning, covers important features of the Open Country R/T Trail tire.

To test the tire, Toyo also utilized its off-roading and overlanding customers in the U.S. to provide real feedback, making sure the tire would be tailored to their needs and handle whatever they confronted on the trails. Chaney said Toyo’s off-roading and overlanding communities were also involved in creating promotional materials for the tire.

“[We filmed a commercial] with no actors, just friends in our off-roading network and real people who took their real vehicles out,” he added.

Bergeson highlighted the Open Country R/T Trail’s features, which include:

  • Staggered, scalloped shoulder blocks and extra-thick sidewall lugs that dig into soft terrain and uneven surfaces;
  • Wide circumferential grooves;
  • Lateral zig-zag grooves with stone ejectors;
  • Four-way tapered notches;
  • A heavy gauge sidewall to help protect the tire from cuts, impacts and punctures;
  • And a rim protector to shield the wheel from debris.

Bergeson said the tire is designed for light truck and SUV owners who want off-road capability and the look of a rugged all-terrain or mud-terrain tire, which is important in today’s enthusiast environment.

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“The design needs to match the modern design of vehicles today, and it was important for us that the tire match or look like it’s in the right place mounted on these new, very modern looking trucks,” he said. “The overlanding community pays a lot of attention to everything that goes on their vehicle. The tires have to look the part. If they had a tire that wasn’t aggressive enough, it just wouldn’t look right on a modern build.”

Toyo said the Open Country R/T Trail comes in 47 size and load combinations for 16-to 24-in. wheel diameters and up to a 38-in. overall diameter. Popular sizes will be available in November with additional sizes and fitments coming in the months to follow.

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The Open Country R/T Trail is backed by a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty and the Toyo Tires “No Regrets” 45-Day/500-mile trial offer.

A view of the sidewall on the Toyo Tires Open Country R/T Trail.

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