Tyre homologation is a process of developing as well as supplying tyres as Original Equipment (OE) for a specific car or SUV model sold by a vehicle manufacturer. Tyre homologation is a lengthy, cumbersome process and usually takes up to two years between the tyre and vehicle manufacturer.
One of the world’s leading tyre brands Pirelli has placed tyre homologation as a priority and had spoken about its success at a leading Motor Show in Switzerland. The Italian tyre giant had already launched its P Zero Ultra-high performance tyre. These P Zero tyres have an impressive 56 highly coveted OE homologations that include some of the world’s best-known cars namely, Pagani Huayra BC, McLaren 570S GT and Lamborghini Centenario.
The main reason for this to be commercially important is that most of the vehicle manufacturers recommend replacement tyres of the same specifications as chosen to be OE by the vehicle makers which will automatically generate the market for tyre makers. According to Pirelli, the reason why homologation makes sense is that the advanced performance and technical characteristics of today’s premium cars can no longer be sustained by identical tyres for every model.
Pirelli is putting a lot of effort by collaborating with the top car makers around the world to develop tyres for their specific car models. And, their effort of homologating tyres would ultimately benefit the drivers/vehicle owners who are the key focus of every car manufacturer.
On homologation, Pirelli has earlier stated that only a small number of motorists know anything about tyre homologation, however, this trend is on the rise and soon many people will have knowledge about it.
Now the question comes: Are homologated tyres safer than generic tyres?
Generic non-homologated premium tyres manufactured by many other popular brands are no doubt engineered to provide better, precision handling along with commendable braking and grip performance. But when compared to the homologated versions of the same pattern for a specific vehicle, there is no competition. Homologated tyres are by far a better choice and are specifically built to meet the vehicle’s requirement.
There are times when different technologies are requisite for making a tyre so as to fulfil the vehicle makers’ needs such as modifying tread patterns or changing rubber ingredients to make sure that the tyre works exactly the way manufacturer intends it to be.
Once the tyre is approved then the vehicle will be set up to the tyre’s specification ensuring that the suspension works in tandem with the tyre thereby enhancing the handling, acceleration and ride. So, if anyone wants has car to perform what it is capable of then investing in the correct homologated tyres is a wise choice.
How to find a perfect tyre for your vehicle?
Let’s take BMW as an example and Pirelli as a tyre brand that offers its homologated tyres. For BMW cars, while buying tyres, the simple star mark (✰) is something that one should look for. But such a marking (✰) is easy to miss as it is smaller as compared to rest of the markings embedded on a Pirelli tyre.
Also, the small star (✰) marking is placed away from rest of the tyre size markings. The tyre with this star (✰) marking has been made specifically for BMW cars in collaboration with the car manufacturer itself, which delivers better performance as compared to the other non-homologated tyres available for BMW cars. These homologated tyres in BMW cars are optimized for features such as additional grip on slippery roads. Another example to understand this better is that for a BMW 3 Series, a Pirelli Cinturato P7 (✰) is the rightmost option as compared to the standard Pirelli Cinturato P7, as the former bears that star marking (✰) and is more apt in supporting and improving the car’s performance than the latter.