While being only months away from their 100th birthday, General Tire has launched its latest passenger tyre for the South African market, the Altimax. The American brand already has a footprint (or is that tread print?) in the local market thanks to their Grabber range (AT, MT and GT) of off-road tyres that have proven very popular and have also won top honours in a few local tests.The Altimax is available in Comfort and Sport and it marks the brandâs re-entry into the high-volume passenger car market. The Comfort range has been designed for compact and medium sized cars and offers high levels of driving safety due to its capabilities in terms of wet braking, handling and aquaplaning and is available in 18 popular sizes. The Altimax Sport offers the same but incorporates a modern silica tread compound that offers the same wet weather performance but also a compromise that offers low rolling resistance and improved fuel consumption. It covers nine popular sizes from 15-18-inches. Theyâre available though a strong countrywide network – basically where youâll find Continental tyres, youâll find Altimax.Next page —>
The Altimax range has some cool new tech with the Visual Alignment Indicator (VAI) and Replacement Tire Monitor (RTM). The VAI is a set of stripes moulded into either side of the tread at defined points for drivers to monitor the wear in the first 1000km and to adjust alignment accordingly if needed. The RTM is a tread wear indicator, the coolest one Iâve seen to date. The phrase ‘Replacement Tire Monitor’ is seen in the centre rib of the tyre and when the tread reaches a depth of 3mm, the words change to read, ‘Replace Tire’. This makes monitoring safety a cool gimmick that drivers will tell their friends about. Very clever.At Gerotek many of us in the industry got to drive a bunch of cars all fitted with Altimax Sport tyres as well as a cheaper alternative brand of tyre. All the cars were in the same spec and had the same tyre pressures. The testing wasnât to highlight that a better tyre would do better in wet, dry and aquaplaning conditions, it was to highlight the vast differences in the handling capabilities.Next page —>
The competitor tyres were inferior in every way, feedback, feel and grip levels. The worst attribute being their unpredictability. In the cars with the Altimax tyres on the cars had so much more grip that it was laughable, and the cars also did what was expected of them â and the price versus the cheap imports makes a tyre choice a no-brainer.These days everyone is trying to save a buck here or there, but the Gerotek Altimax experience has shown that if thereâs one place you simply donât compromise on, itâs your tyres. Those 4 little contact patches that keep you in touch with terra-firma need to steer, brake and turn for you and if theyâre not up to the task, youâre risking your life.