- Hankook is the original equipment manufacturer with the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class across all markets for the very first time, with three different tire types for summer, winter and all-season
- Excellent properties in terms of comfort, safety and performance contributed significantly to the decision of this luxury vehicle manufacturer
It is the “MO” label on the tire wall that tire manufacturer Hankook is particularly proud of, as the two letters stand for “Mercedes Original”. Only tires with this seal of approval are approved as original equipment for a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, who abide by aa criteria in this regard. After all, the tires must be perfectly matched to the respective vehicle model. A tire has to fulfill up to 50 criteria to meet the strict quality requirements of the Mercedes-Benz Group in terms of safety, precision and comfort.
Jeongho Park, Executive Vice President and Director of OE Division at Hankook Tire says, “’We are very proud to be the original equipment supplier for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which is considered the absolute top of the luxury segment in the global automotive industry. We see this as confirmation that our products meet the highest requirements across different markets.”
On this occasion, Mr. Marwan Bin Shihon, explained that the trust of Mercedes-Benz, a giant in the automotive sector, on Hankook Tires and entrusting their tires to suit the most luxurious car in their collection, the S-class, reflect the high position occupied by Hankook Tires compared to all competitors in this field. “We are proud to be the exclusive dealers of one of the best brands in the automotive tire sector. This ongoing partnership is a result of our constant desire to provide the best to our customers, and undoubtedly, there is nothing better than Hankook Tires to offer to them. Hankook Tires has affirmed its success globally and, on our roads, and terrains, amid the difficult climatic conditions in the summer in most regions in Saudi Arabia,” he continued.
Multiple Hankook tire dimensions and types for the top model
After Hankook was already represented with a basic tire on a previous model, the premium car manufacturer has now included Hankook as original equipment manufacturer for a large number of different tire sizes and types following its approval for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. For the current luxury saloon car presented in September 2020, Hankook supplies three different tire types, for summer, winter and all-season in a range of different sizes.
In the European market, the Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 summer tires range from size 255/50 R 18 to 285/40 R 19. The Mercedes-Benz Group has approved the Hankook Winter i*cept evo 2 in sizes 255/50 R 18 and 255/45 R 19 as winter tires for its top model. The Hankook engineers were able to significantly improve the driving behavior of both tire types with an aramid hybrid reinforcement belt.
The Hankook Winter i*cept evo 2 also boasts a further optimized tread stiffness, which is of benefit in terms of handling and mileage. Moonhwa Hong, Senior Vice President and CTO of OE Development Department at Hankook Tire comments, “During the transition from the first to the second casting, we applied additional cross-braces and a lower tread depth. Narrower, lateral tread grooves and a modified contour on the second upper groove once again brought about measurable progress in terms of noise comfort”.
Runflat versions also released
With the Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 and the Hankook Winter i*cept evo 2, the global leading tire manufacturer also meets the extreme requirements of a runflat tire and has earned the MOE seal of approval on the tire wall. The Mercedes-Benz Group uses the “MOE” (= Mercedes Original Extended) label to designate runflat tires with reinforced sidewalls. They can continue to be driven at up to 80 km/h even in the event of a sudden loss of pressure. They guarantee sufficient mobility even in the event of a flat tire, allowing the driver to get from the motorway or a country road to the nearest Mercedes-Benz dealership for example. Nevertheless, even the Hankook runflat tires are characterized by a high level of driving comfort, since they only pass on the bumps in the road to the chassis and thus the passengers to a very small extent.
In the United States, high speed indices play a minor role due to restrictive speed limits. On the other hand, this market, which is very important for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, has extremely high requirements when it comes to ride and noise comfort. These are all criteria for which even the all-weather tires from Hankook were able to win over. American customers of this luxury model benefit from the excellent properties of the Hankook Ventus S1 noble 2 in size 255/45 R 19 and in the runflat design.
For the USA only: Hankook Sound Absorber™ for particular noise comfort
The Ventus S1 noble 2 in size 255/40 R 20 is even more comfortable. The “MOE-S” label (Mercedes Original Extended Silent) on the tire wall indicates that the tire is particularly quiet. In order to meet the stringent noise requirements for this category, Hankook engineers applied Hankook Sound Absorber™. This involves integrating a special polyurethane foam plate into the tire body during the manufacturing process. The plate minimizes the vibrations of the air column inside the tire which are perceived as a particularly unpleasant humming sound. Sound absorber tires can reduce the peak noise level by five to seven dB(A) and are particularly suitable for ultra-high-performance tires with small cross-sections but large overall resonance cavities.
Complex simulation tools were used when developing tires for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, especially when optimizing the pass-by noise. These tools make it possible to precisely compare the values calculated in advance with the actual noise development of prototype tires. While the main part of the development work took place in the high-tech R&D center Hankook Technodome, which opened in 2016, the engineers mainly used test tracks in Germany, Finland or Spain for practical testing.
Improvements also in the manufacturing process
The Hankook engineers also identified potential for improvement in the manufacturing process. The all-season and winter tires in particular have benefited from a new mold release method. While the even separation of the green tire and the mold was previously ensured by eight mold sectors with almost identical angles, Hankook now uses nine or eleven sectors with different angles. The result of this is that the tires now meet the strict uniformity goals of the premium manufacturer even better than before while also boasting more harmonious rolling characteristics.