China is very far from Europe, but actually in many respects it is much closer, than it seems, and it is especially noticeable in the tire market. One model of tires from China - Star Performer SUV-1 has taken part in the last Auto Bild Allrad test. These are one of those tires that have been "welded" somewhere in China, are supplied with the beautiful name of brand and are delivered in container to the West and though it so, behind brand actually there is company from Germany. The Star Performer brand belongs to the Hanover giant Delticom - the company founded in 1999 by two being staff of Continental and since then becoming more and more largely due to online trade (their German website - reifendirekt.de). Now turnover of Delticom already exceeds half a billion euro a year.
Tires Star Performer are manufactured on technologies of the Taiwan tire manufacturer of Nankang who releases tires for the mass market since 1959. However, in the tire world of Nankang still it is considered rather new player, as it is unsurprising as for example, Continental releases tires since 1891, Goodyear - from the 1898th, and Bridgestone - from the 1931st.
In respect of reasonable price the Chinese tires still do not have equal. It is not too surprising as at tire plants in the country manual skills which are much cheaper, than in the West are still widely used. Therefore the Chinese tires of the size 235/50 R18 cost in Germany 80 euros apiece, and tires from such brands as Goodyear, Michelin or Continental, will be twice more expensive.
Tests were carried out on Continental polygon to Yuvalde (the State of Texas, the USA)
Anyway, experts recognize that quality of the Chinese tires already not such catastrophic as a few years ago. Chinese quickly study and master the western know-how, including engaging the former employees of the famous producers. The proof of progress were also results of Star Performer which though inertly react to turns of wheel on dry asphalt have good resistance to hydroplaning (better, than at absolutely new Continental), and also the low resistance to swing.
Despite certain advantages, Star Performer have all the same taken the last place, but it should be noted that in respect of coupling on wet surface (still weak point of cheap tires of production of China and Taiwan) some tires have acted worse. Besides, if earlier when braking on wet track from 100 km/h the difference in 20 meters of brake distance between the Chinese tires and leaders was commonplace, in this Star Performer test have stopped the car 12 meters farther, than Hankook which have shown the best result. In the overall ranking of Hankook have taken the second place, having conceded only Goodyear, and, by the way, the Korean company has begun to release tires only in 1941. Two leaders were extremely close and if in brief, Goodyear could shoot ahead at the expense of more smooth motion.
Thrust effort on grass. On wet grass road tires can have big difficulties, and between applicants for victory essential distinctions have been revealed. Vredestein have shown surprisingly high coupling, and at Goodyear the situation with it is much worse.
Thrust effort on gravel. Gravel complicates dispersal, but all tires have well coped with task. The best for steel Bridgestone and Star Performer which have faced serious problems in dirt later.
Thrust effort on sand. Road tires use sand well, and first place was won by Maxxis which have very badly coped with the test on wet grass before. It is known that it is impossible to receive everything and at once.
Thrust effort in dirt. In dirt which many road tires "are afraid" differences between candidates were especially big, and the best for steel Continental and Maxxis.
Controllability on gravel. All street tires not really well cope with driving on gravel and regularly begin cross sliding. Estimates vary from 2+ for Continental, Star Performer, Goodyear and Hankook to 3 for Vredestein.
Side stability on wet surface. Side stability is of great importance for safety during the emergency maneuver, and some tires have shown really bad results. The best were Continental and Dunlop.
Resistance to longitudinal hydroplaning. "What was it?" - experts have asked question, looking at Continental indicators. However, it should be noted that their speed of "emersion" was noncritical, that is the result can be considered satisfactory. Hankook show just excellent resilience to hydroplaning.
Resistance to cross hydroplaning. In this test the picture was same, as well as in previous, and results say that Hankook, Goodyear and Bridgestone possess tread patterns most of which effectively dewater from contact spot.
Controllability on wet surface. The best in this discipline of Hankook and Goodyear steel which have already shown very high resilience to hydroplaning before. Besides, the list of leaders had included Continental and it means that with small depth of sheet of water their coupling is significantly better, than, for example, at hit in deep pool in turn.
Braking on wet surface. In this Star Performer test have come to the real grief as 58,5 meters - it are simple too much. It is also worth noting that insufficiently well brake on wet covering of the tire from Bridgestone, Vredestein and Kumho.
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