Dunlop Puts Muscle behind New Direzza Sport Z1 Extreme Tire @ 2006 SEMA
Dunlop Tires today introduced an extreme sports performance tire with
race-like characteristics for drifting, on-track and autocross motorsports.
The street-legal Direzza Sport Z1 is "Dunlop's new halo tire for
enthusiasts who want maximum dry-weather traction on the street or at the
track," according to Silvana Valencic, segment marketing manager for the
brand in North America. The tire was unveiled this morning at the
automotive aftermarket specialty-products SEMA Show here (booth 41427,
South Hall, Las Vegas Convention Center).
"Extreme sports performance is a growing niche - very specialized and
focused," Valencic said. "It's for enthusiasts who require max dry traction
at the expense of ride comfort and wet traction. Its flat-out performance
credentials also carry over into our other ultra-performance lines, such as
the Direzza DZ101 and SP Sport Maxx tires.
"Enthusiasts who use the Direzza Sport Z1 on weekends will turn to its
milder Dunlop 'cousins' during the week. They crave the Z1's race-like
performance for fun, but need the DZ101 or SP Sport Maxx for driving in the
rain and through puddles. For enthusiasts, these tires all belong under
Dunlop's performance umbrella."
Professional drift racers from the D1 Grand Prix Series in Japan also
praise the Sport Z1 for its intense grip and performance at high
temperatures. Driver Tetsuya Hibino said, "Because its front tires stick to
the ground so well, I can carry more speed into the corners. (Because we
still must tune our car for this increased grip), we still aren't getting
the most out of the new tire's performance."
Developed and built in Japan for professional drifting, the Direzza
Sport Z1 delivers "high grip, excellent control and consistency," Valencic
said. Drifting, developed in Japan a decade ago, has been described as
ballet in race cars.
"No matter how you cut it, drifting is visually spectacular and
demanding and tortuous on tires. But the Sport Z1's near-racing tread
compound provides the necessary traction and resists high temperatures
created when sliding," she said.
A wide profile, robust construction and stiff tread blocks combined
with wavy circumferential grooves deliver consistent contact with the road
and high grip during cornering.
Cutting-edge tire technology - called Digital Rolling Simulation II or
Digi-Tyre - reduces pattern noise and improves wear uniformity by
optimizing the angle and distribution of the tread grooves. The technology
simulates driving a vehicle with Sport Z1 tires in early design stages,
reproducing both tire behavior and road conditions digitally, she said.
Direzza Sport Z1 will be available in 17 sizes, beginning in 2007's
second quarter. The new tire joins the Direzza drag slick, Direzza GRP
street-legal drag race tire and Direzza DZ101 ultra-performance tire for
sport compacts in the brand's North America tire lineup.
Dunlop is a global tire brand with an excellent reputation among
performance car enthusiasts. Well known for its prestigious original-
equipment fitments and sports car racing heritage, Dunlop is also a key
supplier to sport compact enthusiasts featuring "tuner" tire sizes and race
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