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2011 Toyota Camry - Goodyear Assurance TripleTred - Tire Review

The idea of having distinct traction zones on an all-season tire isn’t exactly new.

Dec 12, 2011

Specs & Details
Goodyear Assurance TripleTred
Type Premium all-season
Size 215/60R16
UTQG 640 A A

Key Features

  • Evolving Traction Grooves begin as 0.10-inch-wide sipes to maximize footprint contact when the tire is new and broaden into wider lateral grooves as the tire wears
  • Three distinct tread zones specifically tuned to deliver traction in dry, wet and wintry conditions
  • Dry Zone features large shoulder blocks to provide grip and responsiveness on dry pavement
  • Water Zone uses sculptured Aquachannel grooves that help evacuate water and slush to increase traction on wet roads
  • Ice Zone features a unique tread compound made of innovative polymers mixed with traction-enhancing volcanic sand and glass fibers

Test Mule
‘11 Toyota Camry
Test Driver David Pratte, Modified columnist and contributor
Test Track Goodyear Proving Grounds in Akron, OH
Track Condition Dry lane change, wet skidpad with a large-radius, 180-degree turn, damp slalom

Modp 1112 01+2011 toyota camry+cover Photo 1/2   |   Goodyear’s new Assurance TripleTred all-season tire provides impressive wet grip and stability to go along with its innovative Evolving Traction Grooves.

We don’t normally get excited about an all-season tire, especially one that’s designed primarily for the commuter-car crowd, but we’re big enough tire nerds to have been extremely impressed by some of the innovations Goodyear has brought to market with the new Assurance TripleTred.

The idea of having distinct traction zones on an all-season tire isn’t exactly new (we’ve tested lots of all-season rubber that apply this concept), but Goodyear has definitely refined the idea with the TripleTred. The tread design has the usual big blocks on the outer shoulder for dry grip and turn-in response and arrow-shaped Aquachannels toward the center of the tread that help evacuate water and slush. Nothing too radical there, but down the center of the tire (including the continuous center rib) Goodyear has used a totally unique tread compound that uses volcanic sand and glass fiber to give the rubber added grip on icy or slick surfaces.

A tread that uses volcanic sand in its compound definitely scores some serious tech nerd points with us, but where the big blimpin’ boys from Akron impressed us most was with the development of what they call Evolving Traction Grooves. It’s a pretty simple concept (but then all the best ideas are), where some of the thin grooves in the tread open up as the tread is worn down. So although you lose tread depth as the tire wears, by having some of the grooves increase in width you end up with water evacuation properties very similar to a brand-new tire. How cool is that?

Although we weren’t able to test the effect of Evolving Traction Grooves since we didn’t have enough time to wear a set down, we were able to test the TripleTred’s dry, wet and damp handling characteristics on a course setup at Goodyear’s proving grounds. The course included a lane-change exercise on dry pavement, a large-radius (around 200 feet), 180-degree, left-hand turn on a wet skidpad area, and a three-turn slalom on damp pavement.

For testing purposes, we drove bone-stock Toyota Camry V-6s with auto transmissions that were equipped with the new Goodyear Assurance TripleTred rubber, as well as Michelin’s HydroEdge all-season offering. In the dry lane-change exercise, the Goodyears definitely felt more responsive, providing quicker turn-in response when making the equivalent to an emergency lane change at about 35–40 mph. We also entered the wet skidpad at about 40 mph, where both the Michelins and the Goodyears hydroplaned when hitting the water. The Goodyear TripleTred’s regained grip more quickly and then provided impressively high grip levels the rest of the way around the wet 180-degree turn. In fact, I also took a Cadillac CTS around the course with the intent of drifting the wet skidpad, but the TripleTred’s it was equipped with had more grip than the RWD Cadillac had grip-breaking horsepower — impressive, to say the least. In the damp slalom, the Goodyears again felt like the more responsive tire, generating more grip at the apex and a more stable feel when changing directions rapidly.

Modp 1112 02+2011 toyota camry+tire Photo 2/2   |   2011 Toyota Camry - Goodyear Assurance TripleTred - Tire Review

We’re not suggesting you equip your highly tuned sport compact machine with the Assurance TripleTred if maximum dry grip and cornering power are your main concerns, but if you’re looking for a premium all-season tire for your daily driver, something that’ll safely get you home in wet or snowy conditions (and Goodyear pointed out to us during testing that half of the largest 40 U.S. cities average more than 100 days of rain or snow each year), then this latest offering from Goodyear appears to be a real winner.

Sources

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co
Akron, OH 44316
330-796-2121
www.goodyeartires.com

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