GOODYEAR is hoping to win more original equipment (OE) contracts with its new range of Eagle F1 SuperSport high-performance tyres after already securing the backing of Porsche for use in its flagship GT2 RS on drive days.
Goodyear Europe vice-president and chief marketing officer Mike Rytokoski told Australian journalists at the Eagle F1 SuperSport launch at the Ascari racetrack in Spain that discussions were already underway for the brand to supply its new top-tier tyres to other performance-focused vehicles.
“The OE tyre development is a long period, so we’re working on (it). Our end objective is to get these fitted as the original equipment tyres for these sorts of cars, but until they have nominated and the vehicle has been launched, we’re not allowed to comment,” he said.
“It probably would be about half a dozen car brands that we’re working on getting these fitted as original equipment.”
With Porsche already in the mix, other manufacturers could include Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and McLaren amongst other performance car brands.
Mr Rytokoski said the Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres are not built specifically for any brand – barring the flagship RS versions which are currently only available in two sizes to accommodate the Porsche 911 GT2 RS’ 265/35 20-inch and 325/30 21-inch front and rear set-up – but there is still some fine tuning required before fitment.
“They (Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres) work across multiple brands. We then also do – with every original equipment tyres – tuning for individual vehicle needs,” he said.
“Let’s say any of these car manufacturers would come to us and say, ‘Hey we have this new car coming up’, they would give us the specifications, what they are looking for, then we would tune the tyre, and then typically they would have the car brand marking on the tyre.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Goodyear is also the OE supplier for current electric vehicles (EVs) with its entry-level Eagle F1 tyre, the Asymmetric 3, which the brand hopes to expand upon with the rollout of the new Asymmetric 5.
Mr Rytokoski said the brand is in a prime position to capitalise on the expected ramp-up of EV production and sales.
“We’re actually doing really well for developing tyres for electric vehicles, so last year … and this would be numbers for Europe, last year, of all the OE nominations that we won, 55 per cent were on electric or hybrid vehicles,” he said.
“We’re particularly good at developing tyres for electric vehicles, and as you know, electric vehicles have very different needs because they are heavier, they have more torque and you also need a more quiet tyre, so we have technologies that are very well suited for those vehicles.”
Vehicles already fitted with Goodyear rubber include the Tesla Model S and Jaguar I-Pace, while the upcoming Audi e-tron is also expected to be equipped with the latest Asymmetric 5 tyre.