Falken Azenis FK510
Falkens Latest Contender Has Entered The Ring
Rubber lovers prepare yourselves. Falken has launched its all new ultra high performance tyre(UHP), the Azenis FK510 and it is quite the gripper! Launched this August, the FK510 replaces the 5 year old FK453, as the brands flagship performance tyre in market today.
Despite being launched in Europe over a year ago, the FK510 has just made it to our shores and the news from overseas is in its favour. The latest tyre variant has captured a fair share of media attention by ranking 2nd place in Germany’s Auto Bild tyre review, earning a ‘Highly Recommended’ rating in Auto Zeitung’s summer tyre test as well as nailing a grabbing a spot in UK’s Tyre Reviews ’11 of the best summer tyres of 2018′. According to Falken, they have extracted from their extravagant motorsport career, especially in the Nurburgring 24hrs, and transferred that very DNA into their UHP tyre.
Now that we’ve established the grounding, lets dive into the technical details. Falken market the FK510 as a UHP tyre with an added focus on comfort and wet weather performance. First impressions when looking at the FK510 is how soft the sidewall seems but do not be misguided by that, the FK510 actually provides a comfortable ride yet reassuring control at high speeds. This is thanks to the tension control technology that is essentially a mold shape casing and allows the middle sidewall area more flexibility to absorb shock while the stiffer outer thread of the sidewall takes care of the handling. Manufactured using NEO-T01 technology, these tyres give the driver heightened levels of stability at high speeds without sacrificing the comfort and tyre roar.
Comfort aside, all out street performance is what buyers demand and that is exactly what these tyres deliver. The NEO-T01 technology mentioned earlier plays a key role in the FK510’s characteristics. This technology is applied in the manufacturing of Falken’s UHP tyres and uses a Metal Core on which the tyre compound is molded on. The process improves the tyre’s degree of circularity which in turn reduced high speed vibrations, lowers the weight of the final product and signifies that the tyres are less prone to deformation when pushed to its limits.
As we all know, some to our misfortune, tyres that have high wet weather performance are a godsend. Even if a driver has lightning sharp reactions, other drivers on the road may not and it comes down to the tyres to save the day. Thankfully the tyre engineers at Falken have spent plenty of time and energy into developing technologies that make the FK510 a wet weather hero. Hydroplaning occurs when a layer of water forms between the tyre contact patch and the road, causing loss of traction. The FK510 addresses that by having four circumferential grooves in the thread design to disperse standing water thus enhancing hydroplane resistance. Catering for drivers who push the limits of grip in wet conditions, the thread design has switchback siping that maximises contact surface by penetrating the water surface when cornering to provide more grip.
Wide shoulder blocks and variable sipe depth are seen on the thread pattern to enhance high speed cornering, lateral grip and controlled flexibility while maintaining the overall overall block rigidity. A hybrid undertread cap ply is also applied in the FK510 tyres via aramid and nylon materials. In simple term, this reduces the rolling effect that reduced grip and increases tyre wear that tyres have during high speed cornering. As for the compound itself, a 4D nano design thread compound is used which is said to reduce polymer heat generation while providing high amounts of adhesion and flexibility. Those of you who know your tyres would notive from the pictures that the FK510 has an adaptive constant pressure(ACP) pattern. ACP pattern ensures maximum tyre to road pressure distribution and improves both directional stability and vehicle stopping distance at the same time.
Stamford Tyres (M) Sdn Bhd CEO Cham Soon Kian was happy to announce that a total of 88 sizes between 17 to 22 inch of the FK510 starting from RM400 is available at authorised dealers and distributors nationwide. The price range sits nicely in the already competitive tyre market. Mr.Cham also said that run-flats and SUV specific variants will be coming next year. Present during the official launch of the FK510 was Sumitomo Rubber Asia Tyre managing director, Saturo Ushida who is confident that the FK510 will please the local market given its redeeming features and attractive price. Falken Tyres have certainly stepped up their game and are showing us that they are indeed a major player in the ongoing tyre war.