Almost all premium automakers use the same few tire companies as tire suppliers; Michelin, Continental, Pirelli, Goodyear and Bridgestone are the big ones. However, it’s always interesting when a premium brand uses a different tire brand as a supplier. Such is the case with the new Audi Q8, which was just given Hankook as its official tire supplier.
The Audi Q8 is the brand’s latest SUV “Coupe” and is one of the flagships in the Audi model portfolio. So it’s a big deal that Hankook is getting the OE supplier contract for it, as it’s going to be the tire for a lot of premium customers. It’s also a good chance to prove that it makes tires as good as the best brands in the business.
This isn’t the first time Audi and Hancook have worked together, as the South Korean tire maker has been a supplier for Audi before. However, it’s a new deal for the Audi Q8 and it’s great for both brands.
“We are very pleased that our products have again been selected for a new Audi model,” said Hyunjun Cho, Head of Hankook’s OE Division. “Even as a long-standing supplier to Audi, it is an honor to have been named original equipment supplier for the top-model of the Q-Series. In addition, we are proud that we will supply the full range of our treads for the Q8 to various markets.”
There will be a few different tires available for the Audi Q8. For the U.S Dynapro HP2 will be the standard all-season tire. For Q8 customers that upgrade to sportier packages, the Hankook Ventus S1 Evo 3 tire will be the stock choice. There will also be the Hankook Winter I*cept Evo 2 for winter climates and cold temperatures.
“The Hankook tires provide particular support for agile handling when driving dynamically,” said Moonhwa Hong, Vice President of Hankook’s OE Development Department. “The central requirement in the course of the development was the tire design. Because of the generally higher vehicle loads with large SUVs and the resulting load index to be fulfilled in combination with the possible high speeds, the durability of the tire design was of course particularly important. In addition, we paid special attention to the required vehicle attributes in both wet and dry conditions.”
We’ve already driven an Audi Q8 with Hankook tires and had an excellent experience with them. We had the Dynapros on our car and drove through a bunch of different temperatures, as we started our journey in South New Jersey and drove to Upstate New York in the middle of April. Never once did the Hankooks struggle for grip or traction, even as we hustled the massively heavy SUV. So we’re excited to see what becomes of the relationship in the future.