Apollo Tyres had recently introduced its premium Vredestein range of tyres in India and you can read about the launch here. And now, we have finally managed to get a taste of the tyres.
So Vredestein has come up with two different range of tyres for the Indian market. The Ultrac range of tyres caters to the likes of the Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai Venue, and more. Then you have the Ultrac Vorti which will cater to luxury brands like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW.
For our initial impressions at the Buddh International Circuit, Vredestein had brought in only the Ultrac Vorti range. Now, this first impression was conducted in a slightly different way as compared to the usual. Since Vredestein will be making its tyres available only in the replacement market for now, we had a bunch of luxury sedans that already had quite a bit of kilometres on their odometer.
Now according to Vredestein, the Ultrac Vorti are ultra-high performance tyres that aim to offer a sporty and responsive handling experience, superior dry and wet braking along with improved fuel efficiency. Our set of wheels was a Mercedes-Benz E 200. Now, this isn’t the ideal car to test an ultra-high performance tyre but nevertheless, it would still give an idea about what the tyres actually feel like when pushed.
Now we know that a race track like the Buddh International Circuit will not give a complete idea of how the tyre can perform in real-world conditions, but it would give an idea of how sporty the tyre really is.
During the warm-up lap, I wanted to check road noise because, let’s face it, on BIC’s butter-smooth tarmac meant for F1 cars, we weren’t really going to find out how much these tyres aid ride quality. Talking about road noise again, this wasn’t the ideal road to check it, but I’ll just say we had none and the Vredestein’s were as silent as the empty stands.
Next up, it was time to find out how well the tyres contain a semi-limo on a race track. We weren’t given free reign and we had to follow the lead car in a convoy, which again limited the testing of the tyres because my pace depended on the car in front.
Now, as I mentioned before, the E 200 wasn’t the ideal test car for high-performance tyres on a race track, but pushing the luxobarge hard, the Ultrac Vorti offered plenty of grip around Budd’s demanding corners. After a point, I even turned off the ESP and TC to see how the tyres behave out of their comfort zone.
The stiffer shoulder and sidewall construction means, the tyres hold their form as much as possible when going hard into a corner. What this means is there is less squirming and less movement which leads to better feedback and stability during hard cornering and braking. According to Vredestein, additionally, the stable centre rib and the solid outer shoulder construction helps with bettering the steering response at high speeds. And yes it works. Our car was shod with 225 section, 17-inch tyres with a high-ish 50 profile. Even then the tyres refused to fold while attacking corners.
We were also told that the tyres use next-generation body compounds which help reduce rolling resistance and thereby increase fuel efficiency. But that’s something we will verify when we get the tyre to test over a longer duration.
Vredestein has also paid special attention to the way the tyre looks and each tyre carries a signature touch of renowned automobile designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro. The tyres will be available in a wide range of sizes from 17-20 inches.
First impressions though limited are pretty good. Also we haven’t tried the Ultrac range which is for mass-market cars. Hopefully, Vredestein will provide an experience with those soon as well. For now, we know that Vredestein comes with a lot of promise and not to mention a lot of potential. Let’s hope it lives up to both of them.