rezulteo were at the presentation of the new Nokian Powerproof UHP summer tyre
Once again Nokian has proved that high performance is an integral part of its DNA with the launch of the Powerproof. A new tyre presented under the expert guidance of the famous Finnish driver Mika Hakkinen on the Portimao circuit. We went to check whether the performances announced by Nokian live up to expectations.
A new strategic direction
Nokian Tyres is the world’s northernmost tyre manufacturer, universally recognised for its expertise in the field of Nordic and winter tyres. But over the last few years, the Finnish brand has changed direction by supporting the development of its summer ranges. A strategy already underway with products such as the Z G2 or the Zline, and continued with the launch of the new Powerproof and Wetproof tyres.
To achieve its objectives, Nokian has adapted to its market and has invested heavily in research and development with, in particular, a new centre based in Spain. The tyre manufacturer has also developed its new tyres based on its customers needs by conducting an opinion survey to find out more about their real expectations for summer tyres i.e.: wet grip, stability and safety. Especially when used for fast driving.
The new Nokian Powerproof summer tyre
The latest addition, the Powerproof, is the result of a long development process spanning over four years which uses Nokian's best technology, particularly in the field of high performance. It features the “Dual Zone Safety” solution which maintains an optimum contact surface whether on wet roads or on the sun-scorched roads of Andalusia. For steering precision, the stiffness of the tyre’s shoulder area has been carefully designed. The “Wet Safety Zone” quickly removes water to maximise performance on wet roads.
The tyre tread has been developed for demanding use and to withstand the forces of high performance vehicles and sports cars. It uses a complex rubber compound that results in a tyre offering consistency and durability. Don’t forget, it is first and foremost a road tyre and performance must not be achieved at the expense of other criteria.
A good tyre for whom?
The new Nokian Powerproof summer tyre is a high performance tyre in the UHP category. It has been specially developed for changing summer weather conditions and the different road surfaces in Europe. Drivers who value safety while looking for driving pleasure will appreciate the Nokian Powerproof. It is developed for high performance and sports cars with tyre approvals for the W (270 km/h) and Y (300 km/h) speed ratings.
We tested it
We were given the opportunity to evaluate this tyre on the road but also on the Portimao circuit in Portugal, a highly technical and hilly international track, just perfect to reveal the multiple aspects of a sports tyre.
The first road test drive did not allow us to objectively evaluate this tyre. As is often the case in this type of test, the objective is to highlight the versatility of a tyre, its comfort and its ability to manage the requirements for use on a daily basis. And as expected, the Powerproof does the job.
Then comes the interesting part, the track test with an Audi RS5, customary with Nokian. From the first bends, the Powerproof is very incisive. Its steering response is very precise, each steering angle results in a clear direction change. The pleasure is absolute, the feeling of a highly efficient tyre is undeniable. On the fast and bumpy parts of the circuit the tyre does not shy away, it withstands the forces and is always responsive.
A test concluded with a spin in a Mercedes C 43 AMG with the two-time Formula 1 World Champion, Mika Hakkinen. The opportunity for the driver to explain how he is involved in the development of this tyre, and clearly demonstrate the results achieved. A successful demonstration, allowing us to fully appreciate the tyre’s capabilities.
Incidentally, Mika Hakkinen is not only ambassador for the Nokian Tyres brand, he also provides his experience and insight into the testing and development of tyres.
Nokian asked the independent TüV SüD testing organisation to evaluate the performances of the Powerproof in comparison with some of its competitors and the results announced for certain performances confirm the undeniable competitiveness of the product. However, wait for more complete tests to see how it is really positioned in its market segment.
The choice of sizes includes 51 products for 17 to 20-inch rim diameters. The Nokian Powerproof will be available in the spring of 2019.