Kumho Tires

Kumho is a leading tire manufacturer founded and currently based in South Korea. The company is one of the world's biggest commercial and industrial tire manufacturers, with a product line offering everything from truck and tractor tires to tires and replacement parts for common family vehicles. A true leader in its class, Kumho tires are used by hundreds of major and minor car manufacturers.

Like most other vehicle-based supplier companies, Kumho's major markets are all located outside of Korea. The company maintains partnerships and long-term agreements with US manufacturers such as Chevrolet and Chrysler, along with dynamic partnerships with European companies, with Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz both using Kumho tires by default on many of their vehicles.

Alongside this large manufacturer and dealer network is a large share of the third-party replacement tire market, which Kumho is highly involved in. Alongside competitors such as Dunlop and Pirelli, Kumho is a leader in tires for road vehicles and family cars. The company's US subsidiary – Kumho USA – offers a variety of tires for vehicles in the United States, Europe, and Australasia.

These include the Solus line – a series of all-purpose touring tires. Designed for a variety of wheel dimensions and vehicle types, these tires are built to provide grip and comfort in almost all driving circumstances. The tires are relatively slow to wear, scoring a nine on Kumho's ten-point wear and value scale, and offer standard performance for vehicles during wet, snowy, or gritty conditions.

The Solus line is primarily designed for sedans, large coupe vehicles, and family cars. While it lacks the performance value of a Pirelli or Dunlop sports tire, it offers the all-round performance that city cars require. The tires are also relatively safe, with limited blowouts and punctures occurring, and a great option for improving the fuel economy of a vehicle due to their simplistic tread face design.

Kumho also offers an environmentally friendly version of its Solus tires, dubbed the Eco Solus and built for long distance touring vehicles. These tires are considered some of the most durable on the market, and come with a 100,000 mile tread and traction warranty. It's worth noting that this line of tires may not fit all vehicles, as they are not one of Kumho's most popular tire designs or types.

Finally, the Solus line is available for SUV and luxury car drivers in the form of the Solus KR21 tire line. These tires are designed to minimize noise and maximize comfort during long road journeys. A standard of the luxury car industry (yet also surprisingly popular and appropriate as a tire for carrier vans and other large vehicles), the KR21 Solus line is inexpensive and suited for frequent drivers.

While the Solus line is built for comfort, driving suitability, and longevity, Kumho's Ecsta tire line couldn't be more different. Build for performance and designed to handle incredibly high speeds, a Ecsta tire is generally tested on a powerful vehicle before being approved by Kumho. This tire line was once the standard issue for Dodge's popular Viper sports and performance car collection.

These tires feature a relatively slick grip pattern, allowing them to perform more effectively while on a track or raceway surface. This performance-based design isn't taken to its extreme, however, as the tires are also appropriate for public roadways and gravel access roads. While they lack the poor weather grip of the Solus series, all Ecsta series tires are suitable for driving on wet surfaces.

They are not, however, suitable for the snow. When exposed to icy roads or snow-covered access roadways, the Ecsta series is likely to maintain little grip and offer limited protection. Drivers are advised to reconsider before taking an Ecsta-fitted vehicle on icy or otherwise low-grip roads, as a single low-grip corner or dangerous pathway could end up causing a vehicle to lose control.

For performance vehicle owners, this could potentially be a problem. With a number of sports cars on the market possessing enviable off-road performance (including Mitsubishi's Evolution series) a tire needs to offer a mix of all-round grip and track performance to be suitable. Thankfully, Kumho has produced an all-season Ecsta performance tire, which offers combined grip and speed usability.

Dubbed the All-Season Ecsta and built for large cars and performance vehicles, it's a suitable mid-point for drivers accustomed to their performance vehicle. While not appropriate for all sports cars, the All-Season Ecsta series (which includes the LX Platinum line) are available for most powerful sports cars, touring cars, and mid-performance luxury vehicles.

Finally, the Ecsta series is available for truck and SUV drivers, in the form of the Ecsta STX KL tire line. Designed for large vehicles and available in sizes of up to 24 inches, the STX KL series is used by manufacturers such as BMW (for their leading X5) and Toyota, as a replacement tire for Tacoma vehicles. These tires offer a mix of comfort, grip, performance, and limited use in snow and rain.

Kumho's final consumer tire line is the Ecsta V series – an innovative collection of tires designed to offer the ultimate in specialist performance. These tires are designed for competition racing vehicles and drift cars, and are typically unsuitable for the road. The DOT series is built for performance cars only, and is suitable for track days, competitive racing, and judge-based drift and gymkhana events.

Of this competition line, the SPT series is undoubtedly the most interesting tire. Built for the serious drift racer, these tires are designed to omit a colored smoke when exposed to sideways motion. Drift cars are designed to move through corners side-on, producing a unique style and letting this colored smoke, which is available in several shades, to shoot upwards and towards the event's audience.

As you can see, Kumho Tires offers a range of tires for almost every practical application. While the company is most well known for its consumer tire range, its tires and wheel parts are used by larger industrial vehicles, tractors and farm equipment, and specialty cars. If you're searching for a tire set that's reliable, affordable, and steeped in performance power, be sure to look at Kumho Tires.

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