This is no ordinary rubber.
Tires are evolving just as fast as cars. We've seen Pirelli develop a special tire for the new Land Rover Defender, while Michelin has come up with the world's first carbon-neutral tire. There's even a new "connected tire" that Michelin has made for the BMW M2 CS. Brands like these have the ability to push tire technology further due to their deep and long-standing motorsport connections, so it may come as a bit of a surprise that Audi has decided to offer the RS Q8 with optional tires supplied by lesser-known South Korean brand Hankook. However, Hankook has actually been the supplier of choice for Audi for some time, and its quality is never in question.
Hyunjun Cho, Head of Hankook OE Division, says that "Hankook has already built up a long tradition of original equipment at Audi. The RS models in particular have long been supplied with Hankook tires. Of course, it's always a great honor for our development engineers when Hankook summer and winter tires are also used on top models."
He continues by saying that the "resilience of the tire construction was of particular importance" and that tire developers "paid special attention to the performance characteristics" of the tires in both wet and dry conditions. Thus, the Ventus S1 evo 3 SUV tires fitted to the RS Q8 have stronger sidewalls compared to those of standard products.
This greater sidewall stiffness and resilience has been achieved thanks to a two-layer carcass and the implementation of an aramid composite material that helps reduce the unwanted expansion of the rolling circumference at high speeds by as much as 60 percent compared to previous profiles. As such, this tire is an ideal choice for the RS Q8's winter driving. With outer side of the tread pattern boasting a wide block pattern for better handling in dry conditions and the inner side featuring an increased number of edges and sipes, Hankook promises excellent braking and traction whether on slush, snow, or wet roads. In a car capable of just under 190 mph, that's good news.