Text by Kevin C. Limjoco; Photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes
DUNLOP recently held its latest regional tire launch in Da Nang, Vietnam. Tyremart Incorporated, Dunlop’s exclusive Philippine Distributor since 1984 and headed by Chris Chilip and Cherie C. Sy, invited their 30 dealers and a handful of Philippine motoring media to test their all-new premium Grand Touring tire, the SP Sport LM705.
The “LM” is short for Le Mans, the world’s oldest active endurance race which has been held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France, on the legendary 13.6-kilometer Circuit de la Sarthe. Ironically the LM tires are not engineered for racing but they are supposed to be tough and resilient over unforgiving road surfaces. The Dunlop Le Mans model series tires have been popular in the Philippine market for many years, offering consumers a balanced and affordable solution for standard OEM sizes as well as for plus-sized wheel setups. The more sophisticated all-new Dunlop SP Sport LM705 replaces the current LM704 tire.
For this particular tire, Dunlop focused on improving real-world road punishment absorption, which is vital for our regionally sold vehicles that travel at lower speeds yet must endure environmental extremes of high heat, high humidity, and frequent wet conditions on top of inconsistent road surfaces that are mostly uneven and riddled with road debris.
To address these daily challenges, Dunlop developed its new “Shinobi Technology” to target noise and road harshness. The new technology concentrates on engineering the sidewall to be able to flex like a spring so that it can absorb more shock than before while the new contact patch design with more blocks can now handle even more vibration and harshness as well. The stated improvements from the outgoing LM704 to the LM705 are a 24% (1.2 DBA) improvement in road noise reduction and 26% (1.3 DBA) improvement with pattern noise while simultaneously improving both wet and dry dynamic performance.
To test the new “silent warrior” or “ninja” strategy, Dunlop mounted 205/60R16 tires on two sets of identical Mazda3’s and compared them to the at least 20% more expensive Michelin Primacy 4 tires also mounted on identical Mazda3’s for the road course. One part of the test route had us drive over equidistant small speed bumps at 40 km/h to determine nuances of surface absorption while the other was a 60 km/h aural challenge to compare road noise at cruising speed on an even surface.
On both exercises the more affordable Dunlop LM705 tire was at worst equal to the Michelin’s and at best was marginally better. So, the final result holds for Dunlop. They now have a long-warranty GT tire that performs very well at more affordable prices. The all-new Dunlop SP Sport LM705 tires will be available with popular sizes very soon across the archipelago. Dunlop fans will rejoice while new buyers will now have more compelling solutions for their automotive needs.