Hmmm, Dunlop in HK, Pirelli in UK. I stumbled onto this press release this afternoon...
Wednesday January 23, 11:00 am Eastern Time
SOURCE: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
New Minis Arrive on Goodyear Eagle Run-flat Tires
AKRON, Ohio, Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Goodyear run-flat tires have arrived in America on the most British of motorcars -- the 2003 Mini.
The Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S cars, now made by BMW, are due in the States in March. The original British-made Mini hasn't been sold here since the early 1960s.
Goodyear Eagle NCT 5 EMT run-flat tires, manufactured in Fulda, Germany, are a summer-tire option on all Minis coming to America.
Byron Meyer, original equipment consumer marketing manager, said today that only V-speed-rated (certified for speeds up to 150 mph) versions of the 195/55R16 run-flat tire are approved for Minis coming here.
Meyer said Goodyear all-season run-flat tires, available in 16- and 17- inch wheel diameters, are in development in Fulda and Lawton, Okla.
Goodyear extended mobility technology allows high-performance tires -- on standard wheels -- to run without air fully loaded for up to 80 miles at speeds up to 50 mph. A tire-pressure monitoring system is standard equipment.
The run-flat tire's strength is derived from a sophisticated reinforced flank. When inflation pressure is lost, the reinforcements prevent the tire from leaving the rim and avoid any noticeable loss of handling, comfort and safety, Meyer said.
"You shouldn't see any Mini Coopers stranded along the road in America with a flat tire," he said. "Motorists, riding on Goodyear run-flat tires, will continue on their way until they can have the tire inspected."
Minis wearing run-flat tires come without spare tires. An all-season conventional tire, yet to be approved, will require a spare in the trunk.
Meyer said, "Goodyear is excited to have its highly visible run-flat tire technology on an equally high-visibility car. The new Mini evokes images of a swinging London back in the 1960s, but if you look beyond its cute-as-a-button looks, you'll see a modern BMW."
BMW now owns Mini, and German engineers designed this reincarnation.
"To understand the attraction this car will have to so many people, it's important to look back at its roots," Meyer said. "And in the case of the Mini Cooper, BMW stayed true to its roots."
The original Mini, introduced in 1959, sold 5.3 million cars in 41 years. But that's not the whole story. The miniskirt was named after the car. And the Queen knighted the first Mini designer.
Unmistakably Mini, the new Mini Cooper and its supercharged Cooper S retain its classic appearance while adding interior space and modern engineering, down to its run-flat tires.
To add fuel to the fire, BMW makes the Mini affordable. The base 115-hp Mini Cooper will retail for $16,850 including destination charges, while the 163-hp Mini Cooper S will sticker at $19,850.
Goodyear already is the world's leading manufacturer of run-flat tires, with applications on the Chevrolet Corvette, Chrysler Prowler and BMW sports cars.
"We're finding that specifically tuning run-flat tires on new exciting cars, such as the Mini Cooper, is the best way to increase run-flat applications," Meyer said. "Watch for more fitments down the road."