When Vredestein invited EC to test its new Ultrac Vorti UHP tire on Budapest's famed Hungaroring F1 track, my email reply couldn't have gone out faster. And despite lost luggage on the trip to Hungary, nothing mattered after we set off for a day of testing.
In the US, typical tire test events usually involve half the day in school learning about the tire and its features, catered Starbucks, and the remainder in a parking lot autocross experiencing the tire. However, Dutch firm Vredestein marches to a different tune. Its event featured breathalyzer screenings for alcohol, which was understandable given Europe's penchant for lunchtime drinking and the cars at our disposal: Aston Martin, Audi S4, Jaguar XKR-S, Merc CLS63 AMG, etc. This was followed by copious amounts of coffee, with inevitable side effects.
The product presentation was mercifully short because they wanted to let the tires do the talking. I do recall the use of "Vorti" in the name was derived from the word vortex to embody the extreme forces the tires can contain.
For the new design, Vredestein's engineers sought to increase the amount of rubber in contact with the road during acceleration and cornering. And while most tires utilize a three-radii construction to address this concern, Vredestein went one better, incorporating a four-radii contour to create a multi-angled arch that gradually steps down from the center of the tire tread to the sidewall. Each contour turns the tread towards the road surface, increasing contact and evenly distributing pressure under acceleration. It also helps prevent the sidewall deforming under extreme cornering load.
On the track, we can't say for sure if it was the extra radii in the Ultrac Vorti's asymmetric tread pattern that made me push the Vantage faster and faster, lap after lap, or whether it was the copious amounts of espresso caffeine coursing through my veins. However, the result of the collaboration between the Vredestein engineers and Giugiaro designers has again been extremely successful, and I wouldn't think twice about fitting a set of Ultrac Vorti to my own car.
- Optimized lateral shoulder groove angles with precisely placed tread blocks to reduce noise and prevent sound amplification
- Rear axle-specific fitments featuring more rubber and adjusted belt angle for increased grip
- Double-angled outer wall design of the two circumferential grooves increase tread block lateral stability
- Lateral grooves incorporate 10° angle to ensure even wear and reduced noise
- Four-radii contour creates larger contact patch with even distribution of surface pressure