DOWN TO EARTH - Yokohama is testing its new DB Super E CSPEC, the first ever tire made using orange oil.
"Orange oil is an inudstrial chemical that we have found a way to combine with natural rubber," Yokohama Tire's Fred Koplin said. "It softens the natural rubber so we get the grip in cornering and braking that you want in a high performace tire."
Because the tires use natural, not synthetic rubber, and the orange oil, petroleum only accounts for 20% of the materials used in production.
The tires are said to be "grippy" during testing and get more-so when they heat up. Yokohama says they will save on gas, as well. "We have been able to achieve reduced rolling resistance, for better fuel efficency. The second innovation is an inner liner that is lighter," Koplin said. "The net benefit to the consumer is that you have a tire that has better performance, better fuel efficiency, and less carbon emissions."
The first tires hit the road in California over the summer.
They are now widely availabe throughout the Central Coast and are priced at a premium-tire level.
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