There are a lot of manufacturers who produce a range of wet-weather tyres that offer excellent performance in harsh conditions, but none actually specialise in rain tyres like Uniroyal.
Owned by Continental since 1979, Uniroyal tyres have been making waves on the road and out on the track because of the extensive research and development that goes into each and every set of Uniroyal tyres to ensure that drivers have all the grip and performance they need when the rain starts to fall.
The history of Uniroyal
The brand started out under the name of Englebert tyres back in 1868 under the ownership of a former Belgian soldier by the name of Oscar Englebert. He realised the potential of rubber goods sooner than anyone else and opened his first shop in the town of Liege before handing over the reins to his son, Oscar Jnr.
The family business began experimenting and investigating the potential of rubber, including its water resistant properties, and began developing a range of bicycle tyres that could perform as well in the wet as they could in the dry – paving the way for the Uniroyal brand that we know today and their exceptional rain tyres.
These first steps were taken just before the outbreak of the First World War when the company adopted a new tread pattern for their range of tyres, an approach that – they found – helped to prevent skidding and gave drivers more control over their cars in wet conditions as a result. Such was the success of this particular range that, by the end of the war, production had increased by four times the level that it was at prior the war.
Uniroyal and Engelbert Tyres joined forces in the late 1950s to combine their knowledge and expertise in the sector, and by the end of the next decade had rebranded as Uniroyal and released their very first rain tyre in 1969.
Why choose Uniroyal tyres?
Knowing which set of tyres are best suited to your needs or driving style is never easy, especially when they all look the same and you don’t know where to start. For everyday drivers who just want a set of tyres they can afford, to replace a set of worn or punctured tyres for example, the decision is relatively straightforward, but for those who want the very best performance it’s much more complicated.
Uniroyal tyres have developed an exceptional reputation around the world because of their range of tyres that have been developed for superior wet-weather performance. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first rain tyre this year, Uniroyal continue to develop their range to keep drivers safe out on the roads and now out on the track, too.
There are many people, who take their car out on track that will invest in a set of Uniroyal tyres to cater specifically for wet-weather. The reputation, quality and performance of Uniroyal tyres combined with their affordability makes them an outstanding option in terms of the levels of grip they provide and the price you pay.
The use of technology
Of course, technology plays a huge role in the ongoing development of Uniroyal tyres. The company’s team of researchers have been able to replicate the natural water dispersal properties of shark skins, allowing them to create a range of wet weather tyres that provide grip and stability when you need it most in what they call SST (Shark Skin Technology).
Aquaplaning, the process of sliding over the top of a puddle with little to no control over the vehicle, is one of the most common causes of accidents in wet conditions and the use of SST in Uniroyal tyres allows them to take back control where other tyres can’t. Shark Skin Technology can be found in two of the brand’s leading tyre ranges – the RainSport 3 and RainExpert 3.
The tread of a tyre is vitally important, not only in helping to provide grip in the wet, but also to provide grip in the dry. With Uniroyal tyres there are four different types of tread, each having its own benefit for the car and driver.
- Directional. Ideal for high performance cars on wet roads, the chevron tread pattern aids water displacement and stability. Also well-suited to snow-covered roads and the style of tread most commonly found on all season tyres.
- Symmetrical. With two identical halves to the tyre they can be fitted either way around and offer high levels of grip, reduced fuel consumption and increased lifespan. Symmetrical tyres are often found on commercial vehicles and represent good value for money.
- Asymmetrical. Great for all kinds of weather because of the different tread patterns on each edge, asymmetric tyres are widely used by sports cars and hot hatches. The inner side dispels water and prevents aquaplaning while the outer edge provides the high levels of grip required when cornering at speed.
- Flow-optimised asymmetrical. A new style of tyre tread developed by Uniroyal as part of their ongoing wet-weather tyre focus, flow-optimised asymmetrical tyres combine the advantages of directional and asymmetrical tyres for a tyre that can combat aquaplaning. Merged with the Shark Skin Technology to help remove water from their path, flow-optimised asymmetrical tyres give you grip in the dry, wet and corners.
Another technology that Uniroyal have spent a long time developing is the use of run-flat tyres which, even though they’ve been around for a few years now, continue to improve year-after-year. Self-supporting run flats (SSRs as Uniroyal refer to them) make it possible for a driver to maintain control of the vehicle at speeds of up to 50mph and over distances of up to 50 miles to allow for the journey to continue and a replacement installed; even after a puncture allowing you to free up space in the boot, and save weight, by doing away with the spare. The current range of Uniroyal RainSport3 SSR tyres are the brand’s leading SSRs.
The current range of Uniroyal tyres
In terms of the current range of Uniroyal tyres you have a number of options to choose from depending on your budget and requirements.
The Uniroyal RainSport 3 tyre offers excellent grip levels when cornering and high levels of control in the wet thanks to the Shark Skin Technology. Ideal for use on the track and with fast road cars down to small family hatchbacks, the RainSport 3 is a summer tyre that gives drivers confidence at high and low speeds as well as in wet and dry conditions.
For a real rain specialist, the clue is in the name really! The Uniroyal RainExpert 3 tyre is developed for mid-range vehicles and SUVs giving them the ability to counter the effects of aquaplaning and reduced grip in the wet with ease. The innovative tread structure minimises water turbulence and instead pushes it away from the tyre to ensure that as much of the Shark Skin rubber as possible remains in contact with the road at all times.
For a year-round investment whereby you can have the best performance in the winter as well as the height of summer, the Uniroyal AllseasonExpert 2 tyre will help to keep the costs down and performance levels up. Proven to offer outstanding safety in all conditions, from blistering sun to snow-covered A-roads, the AllseasonExpert 2 utilises the brand’s Shark Skin Technology to reduce the risk of aquaplaning and provide excellent braking and handling.