Hanover, November 30, 2020. With the new Grabber GT Plus, off-road 4x4 tire specialist General Tire is launching an innovative summer tire for SUVs and 4x4 vehicles. From now on, the Grabber GT Plus will gradually replace the Grabber GT. Drivers who opt for this newcomer will get what the Plus in the name promises: a marked plus in performance in all areas affecting economy and safety. By way of example, the tire’s developers have managed to reduce the rolling resistance of the Grabber GT Plus by a substantial 12 percent compared to its proven predecessor, while at the same time achieving five percent more mileage. This is all the more remarkable, given that they have also succeeded in delivering a tangible boost in wet-weather performance. On the EU tire label, all Grabber GT Plus products show A-class performance for wet grip. On dry roads, the Grabber GT Plus offers substantially shorter braking distances and improved handling performance than the predecessor.
To make this possible, the tire has been given a redesigned pattern, mainly optimized for on-road use, combined with an innovative tread compound. The new silica-enriched compound features special damping properties that play a major part in delivering shorter braking distances on wet roads. The stable polymer matrix also stiffens the tread blocks, with a positive impact on vehicle handling in particular. Along with the more even pressure distribution in the footprint, the added stability also makes for lower rolling resistance and reduced wear, which has a positive knock-on effect for the environment and for the driver’s wallet. The optimized siping and notched tread ribs present a greater number of gripping edges for further improved grip on wet and slippery surfaces.
Another focus of attention for the developers was on delivering a more robust product across the board, particularly with a view to meeting the requirements of heavy SUVs in the best possible way. Here, they continued to rely on the DuraGen technology already employed in the Grabber GT, which helps to shield the tire from damage caused by stones and sharp objects in off-road use.
In the tire structure of the Grabber GT Plus, the high-tensile steel belts are reinforced by two spirally wound nylon cap plies. The resilient tread blocks have been further reinforced through the introduction of Tread Block Reinforcement Buttresses, while the redesigned blocks are now larger than before.
This combination of construction measures not only makes these tires less susceptible to damage but also reduces the distortion of the tire under the impact of vehicle weight and dynamic forces. Less distortion makes for better high-speed handling in particular. The use of more material in the sensitive area between rim and sidewall also shields the tire and wheel bead area from damage caused by curbstone impacts and off-road obstacles.
To protect against uneven wear, frequently caused by incorrect wheel alignment, General Tire has provided this new product too with a Visual Alignment Indicator (VAI). Small sipes, located opposite one another at different points on either side of the tire reveal any difference in wear, pointing to incorrect alignment. If, after the first 1,000 kilometers, the driver checks these sipes and finds that those on one side of the tire have worn away, this shows that the two sides of the tire are exposed to uneven wear and a visit to the workshop should be scheduled to have the wheels realigned. Another clearly visible indicator is set in the central tread ribs that run around the tire: This is the wording “Replacement Tire Monitor” which, when the tread depth reaches three millimeters, changes to read “Replace Tire”. Both these indicators help drivers to monitor the mileage of their tires and ensure they continue to drive safely with the necessary tread depth.
Between now and year-end, the new Grabber GT Plus is initially being produced in 16 sizes for 17- to 20-inch rims with aspect ratios between 65 and 45 percent. Available in widths from 215 to 255 millimeters, these tires have speed approvals for up to 300 km/h and all feature a rim protection rib and many articles also have the XL marking indicating higher load capacity. Plans for 2021 include the gradual expansion of the range through the addition of 48 sizes – from 215/70 R 16 H to 305/30 R 23 W.