Tyres form an integral part of the automobile industry and with customers increasingly demanding more from their vehicles, tyre technology has evolved in many ways over the years. In today’s age and date, performance in terms of high-speed handling, mileage, tyre noise, grip and ride comfort have become essential checkpoints in a list of features a tyre should have. Ceat recently brought the SecuraDrive tyre range to India that are focussed on optimising wet grip, dry grip, tyre noise, high-speed handling and feature a new wear resistant compound that enhance longevity of the tyre, in terms of control performance and life. Auto Tech Review tested out a set of 185/60 R 15 Ceat SecuraDrive tyres to understand more about their capabilities and benefits to the consumer. Read on for more insights.
OPTIMISING COMPOUNDS & TREAD DESIGN FOR PERFORMANCE
Originally created for the European market, the Ceat SecuraDrive has been aimed at offering optimised dry and wet grip for customers across multiple markets. While control in wet and dry conditions is essential, for India the SecuraDrive series also offers lower rolling resistance through the use of silica compounds. Further, the tread design has been developed to improve aquaplaning resistance and reduce tyre noise. The entire tread design has aided in reducing tyre noise that has been recorded at 66.1 dB for 185/65 R15 OEM-fitted tyres on a Hyundai Verna and 67 dB for 195/55 R16 tyres fitted on a Hyundai i20 in tests conducted by the tyre maker at the NATRAX facility in Indore. The wide longitudinal grooves improve aquaplaning resistance and offer enhanced control over wet conditions.
In comparison, Ceat’s SecuraDrive performed better than the tyres of three of its competitors in India that cater to the premium sedan segment under dry braking conditions. The SecuraDrive tyres stopped within 30.45 m, the next closest contender’s tyres stopped the vehicle in 30.75 m, when decelerating from 80-0 km/h. Under wet braking conditions, the SecuraDrive ranked second stopping in 32.17 m, when stopping from 80 km/h. The tyres demonstrated all-round capabilities for high-speed stability, cornering, steering performance, smooth and rough road rides.
Auto Tech Review tested the SecuraDrive range for 0-100 km/h acceleration and 100-0 km/h under dry conditions on a 2011 1.2 l, petrol-powered Volkswagen Polo. We recorded a 0-100 km/h time of 19.5 s with the engine producing a maximum of 58.6 hp at 5,259 rpm. Braking time while decelerating from 100 km/h to standstill was noted at 8.19 s. While braking under panic braking conditions, we noted the tyres offered superior grip and stability. Further, over the course of testing the tyres for more than 900 km, the SecuraDrive series displays resistance to wear. The SecuraDrive series features a tread depth of 7.2 mm, which is usable up to 5.6 mm.
We also conducted tests for fuel economy while driving with Ceat SecuraDrive tyres fitted on the same vehicle. Under these tests, we extracted data directly from the vehicles OBD II port onto computing systems. Measuring the long-term average and instant fuel economy, we noted the SecuraDrive series offered reasonably good fuel economy under heavy traffic conditions. The mileage figures were computed on a mixture of city driving and idle driving. Tested over 22 km for mileage, the run comprised 66.17 % city drive and 33.83 % idle time. The average trip speed recorded over this test was noted at 22.5 km/h. We noted a long-term average of 10.9 km/l in these conditions, with the maximum dependence on vehicle momentum to determine rolling resistance performance. Over the course of this test, we also noted instant average to reach as high as 34 km/l while the vehicle was rolling. With a rolling resistance of 9.5 kg/ton RRC, the SecuraDrive series offers low rolling resistance, when fitted on premium sedans such as the Hyundai Verna.
The last test we conducted was of tyre surface temperature over the course of 20 km. Noting the average ambient temperature as 37 °C at the time, we measured surface temperatures of all four tyres before the vehicle was started. To record surface temperatures we used an HTC MT-04 industrial grade laser guided thermometer. The average surface temperatures noted on all four tyres at the beginning of the test was recorded at 39.6 °C. After driving for 20 km we noted an increase of 12.97 °C, with average tyre surface temperatures standing at 52.57 °C. We noted an average increase in 14.35 °C on the front tyres and 11.6 °C on the rear tyres. The major difference in the two can be attributed to higher dependence on the front disc brake system.
The Ceat SecuraDrive series will focus on serving consumers looking for high performing tyres that do not compromise on control, stability, noise and tyre life. Through our tests, we have established that the tyres exude high cornering stiffness, offer immense control and stability at high-speeds. Further, with a silica-based compound, Ceat has optimised the tyres to offer reasonably good fuel averages. Combining the compound with a unique tread pattern, the tyres feature a low noise quotient that is at par with industry standards.
TEXT: Joshua David Luther