All of Your Tire Questions Answered
Mark H. Stowers
— an overlooked part of your vehicle — that is, until
you need them. Really need them. Hitting the
replacement tire market this year, Goodyear introduces
the newest addition to their Eagle lineup, The Goodyear
Eagle featuring ResponsEdge Technology.
invited journalists from across North America to Phoenix,
Ariz., to test the new tire at the Bob Bondurant School
of High Performance Driving and on local highways
through the South Mountain area.
With gorgeous Arizona sunshine surrounding us, our
day began with an explanation of the ample technology
built into the new Goodyear Eagle.
fiber, KEVLAR, Aquachutes and TredLock microgrooves
help make up this tire. No, this isn't a military
vehicle tire, but carbon fiber is the same material
used in fighter and commercial jet planes, motorcycle
helmets, and sports equipment such as ice skates,
snow skis, hockey sticks, tennis rackets, golf clubs
adding it to the tire's outer sidewall, it helps stiffen
the tire and keep more rubber on the road. This enhances
cornering and maneuverability and steering precision.
Carbon fiber weighs less than the same amount of steel
belts, is three times stronger and more durable and
helps dampen vibration while resisting abrasions and
the top of the belt package, the tire also sports
a sound- and shock-absorbing InsuLayer made with Dupont
KEVLAR®, to help provide a smooth, quiet ride,
while promoting even treadwear. And the TredLock microgrooves
lock together in tight maneuvers to keep more tread
on the road and traction for the vehicle.
unique construction allows our engineers to develop
a product we call a performance tire with manners,"
says Bob Toth, Goodyear's marketing manager, auto
With two Cadillac CTSs
and two 300 Series BMWs waiting for our lead feet,
(one of each fit with the ResponsEdge Technology
and the other fit with comparable Michelins), we broke
into two groups and put the tires through their paces.
The first course was laid out for cornering and traction
on both wet and dry pavement. There were plenty of
sharp turns allowing us to get the feel of how the
through the cones with the Michelins, I felt some
drift in corners but didn't feel out of control. Braking
seemed relatively easy. But after switching to the
ResponsEdge Technology, I definitely felt them hugging
the turns with very minimal drift and offering plenty
of grip coming out of each turn. Stopping was impeccable.
over to the slalom course, the dominance of the ResponsEdge Technology really stood out. Imagine yourself
driving the Olympic ski slalom, veering in and out
but using orange traffic cones. The Michelins hung
on for dear life but drifted quite a bit as I sprung
more than a few cones in the air. Advice from the
Goodyear test drivers manning the course said to hit
45 mph through the course. My partner Dave Young and
I were quite a bit under that and couldn't imagine
hitting that number without rolling one of these performance
ResponsEdge tires performed beautifully and hugged
each cone like a newborn baby, tender and sweet, leaving
each one firmly in place. An accident avoidance course
was quickly set up allowing vehicles to veer quickly
to the left and immediately back to the right, much
like trying to avoid an errant squirrel or even a
driver that comes into your lane. The results were
the same: Drift with the Michelins and plenty of cone
popping while the ResponsEdge hugged the pavement
with each quick maneuver.
afternoon test drive took us on Arizona highways and
up a scenic South Mountain tour, putting each set
of tires on trial. While the Goodyear ResponsEdge
gave a slightly louder road hum than the Michelins,
their performance on the tight, winding curves and
handling through the mountains certainly outweighed
any road noise. The minimal road noise could be covered
by any radio/CD output though.
An impressive tire brimming with technology that performed
brilliantly on the test track and the open highway.
If you are looking for replacement tires and you are
in the high performance touring driver who wants to
experience a feel for the road but don't want to sacrifice
a smooth, comfortable ride, this tire is for you.
A full range of sizes will be available for the performance
market and Goodyear is fielding requests to use the
tire as original equipment on upcoming models. This
all-season tire probably has more technology than
you'll ever need but just like your vehicle, you'll
be glad its there when you need it.
more information on the Goodyear featuring ResponsEdge Technology, log onto www.Goodyear.com.
And if you'd like to check out the Bondurant School
of High Performance Driving, log onto www.bondurant.com.