“Anywhere is possible”
Most of the launches we attend usually involve test driving and reviewing new cars. Last week, we turned our focus onto an integral component of any car – tyres. Tyres are an important component of any vehicle, and, as the only part of your vehicle with direct contact to the road and other surfaces, they play a big role in your driving safety, comfort, efficiency and capability. Without appropriate tyres, even the most advanced vehicle can lose its credit and make for an underwhelming experience.
We joined General Tire, a brand of Continental Tyre SA, at Kilpbokkop to experience the all-new Grabber AT3 and X3 tyres. The action-packed day involved driving the new Fiat Fullback (fitted with the AT3 Grabbers) and the current Jeep Wrangler (fitted with the X3 Grabbers) both on and off-road.
The new all-terrain Grabber AT3 and extreme terrain X3 build onto General Tires’ existing range of proven performance tyres. While the AT3 replaces the previous-generation Grabber AT, General Tires’ flagship mud-terrain tyre, the new Grabber X3 delivers uncompromising off-road performance as well as good on-road manners.
“Anywhere is possible” – General Tire Grabber X3
Leaving Cape Town International, we opted to drive the Jeep Wrangler, fitted with the new Grabber X3 tyres. You’d think that it would be more suitable to wait until we were off-road to try the new Grabber X3s, but we wanted to find out what these tyres were like on everyday road surfaces too. While the X3’s claim-to-fame relates to its off-road capabilities (mud, rock and dirt), South African 4×4-goers still spend a fair amount of time on-road and want piece of mind, knowing that tyres like these are still going to provide a comfortable and efficient on-road driving experience. I have a number of 4×4 enthusiasts in my circle of friends who’ve asked what the new X3s are like on the open road, particularly in terms of road-noise, so I paid special attention to this. After driving a few hundred kms on highways and main roads before reaching our off-road destination, road noise wasn’t something I noticed.
Of course, the Grabber X3 is best suited to heavy-duty off-road driving. After all, that’s what they were designed for, so the next few hours were spent on a variety of rough terrains (mud, rock and dirt). (Check out the videos below for some of our off-roading experiences.)
In muddy conditions, the X3’s aggressive and open tread pattern achieves high traction levels, thanks to the specially designed evacuation channels, which ensure a quick and efficient self-cleaning action. This also contributes to greater traction in sand and gravel.
Of all the terrains, the rocky sections of the 4×4 course were where I was most impressed. I still can’t believe the obstacles we managed to climb and, as overwhelming as some of them may have looked to start with, getting themreally was a piece of cake, thanks to the Grabber X3s superior grip and unique tread design.
The Grabber X3 is available in a total of five sizes spanning 15 to 17-inch rim sizes.
“Your access to any adventure” – General Tire AT3
While the new X3 is best suited to off-road environments, the new Grabber AT3 tyres focus on a more capable all-round driving experience both on and off-road.
The Grabber AT3 features three key technologies developed to enhance all-round performance: TRAGGEN, DURAGEN and COMFORT BALANCE.
TRACGEN Technology uses traction ribs and multi-angled sipes in the tread to achieve exceptional loose surface traction through gripping edges that interlock with the off-road surface. An open tread shoulder ensures efficient self-cleaning action for greater traction in mud.
General Tire’s DURAGEN Technology features a robust rubber compound that offers excellent cut and chip resistance, while reinforced tread blocks reduce deformation. This improves tread life in rugged terrain and maximises stability under load. Additionally, ultra high-strength steel belts ensure an even footprint to further aid stability.
With COMFORT BALANCE Technology, the tyre’s uniform geometry with enhanced tread stiffness guarantees more even material distribution and optimised tread block orientation. This allows for a smooth interaction with the road surface and considerably improved on-road driving characteristics.
We got to test the AT3s around Klipbokkop’s sandy terrains and I really enjoyed how smooth and comfortable we felt even over bumpy sand dunes.
The Grabber AT3 tyre range offers 13 sizes for 15 to 20-inch rims. A further nine reinforced light truck (LT) offerings will be available later this year.
Take a look at some highlights from our day with General Tires and the new Grabber AT3 and X3s…
Video Credits – Ernest Page
Source: General Tire SA