With the local battle for bakkie and SUV supremacy continuing unabatedly, the fight for share of the lucrative All-Terrain replacement tyre market has escalated another notch with the release of the new, locally produced Dunlop Grandtrek AT5 by Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop).
Previewed to dealers recently at the Toyota test track facility close to Eston in KwaZulu-Natal, the Grandtrek AT5, according to Dunlop, has a new formula compound that increases tread block rigidity, give consumers “the best of both worlds; from improved performance and lifespan to affordability”.
Developed with versatility in mind, Dunlop claims the Grandtrek AT5 offers a 50% improvement in mileage, 25% more effective braking performance, and a quieter ride (an eight percent noise reduction against its AT3 predecessor), and can therefore transition from tar to rugged off-road terrain with ease.
Emphasising this versatility, the new Grandtrek AT5 is positioned right in the middle of the comprehensive range of SUV and 4×4 tyres from Dunlop – flanked by the highway terrain oriented Grandtrek AT25 (now OE fitment on most Toyota Hilux and some Toyota Fortuner models) on the one side, and the more serious off-road adventure oriented three-ply AT3G and aggressive, mud-terrain dedicated MT2 on the other.
At the launch Riaz Haffajee, CEO of Sumitomo Dunlop, said: “The tread pattern on the AT5 is more aggressive than that of the AT25 for better traction off road. We developed stone ejectors closer to the sidewall of the tyre to prevent stone entrapment and drilling, improving mileage and harmonics on the tyre.
“When it comes to wet handling, mileage, and noise reduction, the AT5 brings it all. This tyre literally takes the road, any road,” Haffajee added. “It is a premium tyre with an affordable price ticket – an all-round performer that we are confident will be a game changer for drivers.”
In a big AT tyre shootout carried out two years ago by SA4×4 and RoadTrip magazine the predecessor to the AT5, the Grandtrek AT3 (M), impressed with its performance compared to its price, while in the final results the AT3G was lauded as “a bargain for those wanting a three-ply tyre”. It was therefore expected that the three current tyre derivatives will perform well on the Eston 4×4-track.
Outfitted on Toyota Hilux bakkies, both the AT25 and AT3G, as well as the new AT5, did not disappoint and made short work of all the different obstacles, including a water splash, a steep incline, and a sharp downhill section. Altogether 47 sizes of the Grandtrek AT5 for local and export markets – 10 LT sizes and 37 SUV/4×4 sizes ranging from 15-inch (175/80R15) to 20-inch (285/50R20) – will be available at local dealers from April.
Two sizes will initially be manufactured locally at the Sumitomo plant in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal. Founded in 1973 the plant currently produces radial tyres for passenger cars, SUVs, bakkies, trucks, and busses that are sold locally and exported across Africa and other countries.
The AT5 range, with white and black lettering options, will be expanded further early next year and local manufacture will be increased to 14 sizes by 2021. No pricing is available yet, but Dunlop did indicate it will be “competitive and affordable”.
Lifetime mileage warranty
Following extensive research, development, and testing both internationally and locally, and utilising a new tyre compound that improves mileage expectancy, Dunlop has launched a new lifetime mileage warranty with the AT5.
Falling under the newly established Dunlop Sure brand, now including a Product Life warranty of eight years on the tyres of the brand, the Mileage Warranty of 100 000 km is free to consumers who register their purchase on the Dunlop MyTyres app.
According to Asaad Manjoo, Trade Marketing Manager 4×4 and TBR at Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, the consumer will be offered a discount on their next purchase by a qualified dealer in terms of the warranty, should the tyre tread reach its limit prior to the tyre lifespan being reached.
“Besides the 100 000 km Mileage Warranty on the AT5, the AT25 is offered with a 70 000 km warranty, and the AT3G can be registered for a 60 000 km warranty on the MyTyres app,” Manjoo added. This warranty terms are very much in line with the warranty deals offered by competitor brands.
The impressive new AT5, specifically developed for SUV and bakkie aftermarket fitment, is a fine addition to Dunlop’s already remarkable range of SUV and 4×4 tyres. For more information on the new AT5, visit https://www.dunloptyres.co.za/
Text: Ferdi de Vos | Images: Sumitomo Rubber