Dunlop Tires for Supercharged European Cars

Luxury vehicle builders are increasingly specifying Dunlop to outfit supercharged versions of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz sports cars. Dunlop today said it's making gains on high- profile "tuner" vehicles. Take Carlsson Autotechnik GmbH, a Mercedes-Benz premium-class tuner in Germany. Carlsson calls Dunlop its "technology consultant" for its race and sports cars; Dunlop ultra-performance and race tires are selected on a broad range of models. Andy Traicoff, director of Dunlop in North America, said the brand's presence on European performance cars is legendary, but its "focus on the tuner segment establishes the brand as a trendsetter. It takes the Dunlop brand to a new level of awareness. "Tuners and the people who own these specialized vehicles are passionate about tires. They know that the correct tires can enhance the look and performance of their vehicles," Traicoff said.

Dunlop's fitments on Audis, BMWs, Mercedes and Porsches are renown, but the venerable tire brand's selection on supercharged versions "often flies under the radar. We've often been there, but now our tires are more prevalent on vehicles modified by Volkswagen/Audi tuner ABT, BMW tuner Hamann Motorsport and Porsche tuner Cargraphic," Traicoff said. In North America, Dunlop SP Sport Maxx 275/35R20 tires are standard equipment on the 4.6-liter, 325-horsepower Saleen Mustang S281 coupe, convertible and speedster models. To cater to the sport compact-car tuner segment, Saleen's nitrous- compatible Focus N2O features European rally car styling and agile, nimble performance. The sport compact rides on Dunlop SP Sport FM901 tires, 215/40R17 on the front and 215/45R17 on the rear. For 20 years, Steve Saleen has transformed the southern California tradition of car performance building into a science. His manufacturing business has developed a system of mass customization. And many of his cars find their way into the movies, such as his Saleen Mustangs in 2 Fast 2 Furious and Hollywood Homicide. Then there's HPA Motorsports Inc., of Surrey, British Columbia, which specifies Dunlop tires on its high-powered Volkswagens and Audis. Founder Marcel Horn featured 18-inch SP Sport Maxx ultra-performance tires on his 550- horsepower Volkswagen R32.

While Horn, Saleen, Carlsson and Cargraphic turn to Dunlop for broad performance reasons, Germany's Eibach vehicle suspension company recently included 21-inch Dunlop SP Sport 9000 ultra-performance tires on its unique Eibach Porsche Cayenne 3.2 Biturbo project car. "The massive tires help deliver 470 horsepower to the pavement," Traicoff said. On another front, TC Kline Racing, of Columbus, Ohio, selected 19-inch Dunlop Direzza DZ101 ultra-performance tires for its TC Kline BMW 530i. The project car has no engine modifications, but TC Kline focused on chassis dynamics. New shocks, springs and tires ensure ideal balance and direct feel, Traicoff added. "In each case," Traicoff said, "these tuners are seeking ways to boost performance. It's no surprise that they turn to Dunlop." Dunlop has an excellent reputation among performance car enthusiasts. Well known for its prestigious original-equipment fitments, Dunlop is also a key supplier to sport compact enthusiasts featuring "tuner" tire sizes and race series sponsorships.