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Old 19th December 2013, 20:48   #1
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Default Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit

Apollo Tyres has introduced the Vredestein range of performance tyres in India. A drive event was organized at the Buddh International F1 circuit on December 6, 2013 for Apollo's dealers across the country, as well as the media. Team-BHP was there too.

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-p1400652-large.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 20th December 2013 at 16:03.
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Old 19th December 2013, 21:04   #2
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Default Re: Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from Buddh International F1 Circu

About Apollo Vredestein B.V.

Vredestein is a manufacturer of high performance tyres headquartered in Enschede, the Netherlands. Vredestein has been in business since 1909, and was acquired by Apollo in 2009 to form Apollo Vredestein B.V. The tyremaker had established a tie-up with Giugiaro Design in the late 1990s for designing its high performance tyre range, and has leveraged Giugiaro's name in design to promote the “premium” positioning of these products.

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Giorgetto Giugiaro has designed some stunning automobiles, and it comes as no surprise that some of Vredestein’s tyres are incredibly eye-catching. Pictured below is the Ultrac tread on an Audi TT.

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Apollo tyres has, in recent times, made a good name for itself in the Indian market. There’s a whole bunch of mass-segment hatchbacks and sedans running Apollo Aceleres as standard fitment, such as the Hyundai i20 and the Volkswagen Vento. Apollo have also begun supplying tyres as OEM fitment for the Volkswagen Passat globally. Having had success with its offerings in the volume segment, Apollo has brought in Vredestein with the hope of grabbing a slice of the performance tyre pie as well. It may be entering a rather brand conscious playing field, going up against other well-established players, but its product line-up has been planned to make an impact, and Apollo does also have some muscle in the Indian market to back its attack.


The four Vredestein offerings span the 15" to 20" size range. Indicative prices below:

Sportrac 5: Rs. 6,500 - 7,000
Ultrac Cento: Rs. 10,500 - 14,100
Ultrac Sessanta: Rs. 14,000 - 24,300
Ultrac SUV Sessanta: Rs. 20,700 - 31,400

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And here’s a list of cars that could run various offerings from the Vredestein range:

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-model-chart.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 20th December 2013 at 16:33.
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Old 19th December 2013, 21:25   #3
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Default Re: Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from Buddh International F1 Circu

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-p1400576-large.jpg

The drive event was held in collaboration with Vredestein’s business partner, Audi India.

A handful of Audi R8s


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The Audi RS5 sporting a phenomenal set of rims


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The V8 powered Audi S6


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A line-up of Audi TTs


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The S4 and RS5 make a sporty pair in white


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Each of the cars was rigged with a ton of cameras inside and out capturing every moment

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-p1400565-large.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 20th December 2013 at 17:06.
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Old 20th December 2013, 00:22   #4
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Default Re: Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from Buddh International F1 Circu

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-1.jpg

This was my first visit to the BIC. It's true, the scale of things around truly hits you when you have an empty, world-class Formula 1 circuit virtually to yourself on a cold Delhi morning. Empty straights, a slight nip in the air, the excitement of the first visit. The 5.14 kilometer, 16-corner circuit beckoned.

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-2.jpg

The drive event was divided into three parts. Invitees were given the opportunity to try out the off-road tyres on an obstacle course set up just outside the circuit area in Audi’s Q-line of SUVs, followed by a slalom course in street-spec Audi A4s and A6s set up in the main parking area, and finally a hot lap in the Audi R8 on the track, with the guidance of a professional race driver. The slalom and offroad courses were organized just outside the circuit within the BIC complex.

The tyres used for each of the courses:

Hot Laps (TT): Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta 245/45 ZR17 95Y
Off Road: Vredestein Ultrac SUV Sessanta 235/65 R17 108V XL
Wet Track/Slalom: Vredestein Ultrac Cento 225/55 ZR17 101Y XL

Time to finally experience the Formula 1 track. And for a first experience, the Audi R8 V10 was not a bad start at all.

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Mighty car, mighty tyres for the job.

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-8.jpg

Buddying with a professional race driver is a great way to familiarize oneself with the circuit. So I sat shotgun while Aditya Patel did a quick lap of the BIC in the R8 V10. Since the morning was just warming up and so were the cars and tyres, my "scare me" brief was politely ignored still, had a great time chatting with the young chap who has spent so much time around this circuit in these cars that he can probably do this in his sleep.

For a first experience, it was interesting to see how hard braking is into the corners, following the braking points and the cones marking the apex of the corner, and the acceleration out of the corners. Definitely useful on some tricky ones like the famed double apex corner on this circuit which has already seen a few cars losing control in other events. All of these observations would definitely prove useful later when we were ourselves to pilot the Audi TTs around the track for a couple of quick laps. One fast lap and we would move on to the next leg of the event - the slalom course.

Last edited by Rehaan : 20th December 2013 at 16:39.
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Old 20th December 2013, 00:50   #5
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Default Re: Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from Buddh International F1 Circu

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-1.jpg

Slalom course

The slalom course was set up outside the circuit, in the parking area. Apart from the regular slalom, there was also a wet patch to test grip and braking. For this course, regular street-spec Audi A4s and an A6 were used. The tyres screeched and fought every little bit of grip on being pushed hard, performed well and handled the course with aplomb. I did manage to throw off a couple of cones here and there, though. Three quick laps around the course and we were ready to hit the last leg of the event - the offroad course.

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-2.jpg

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Old 20th December 2013, 01:17   #6
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Default Re: Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from Buddh International F1 Circu

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-1.jpg

Offroad Course

The offroad course was set up for invitees to try out the capabilities of the SUV range of tyres. A course was set up with various challenges, and surprisingly, it was this course that I personally found to be the most interesting and exciting of all. A couple of Q3s and Q5s were pressed into duty for this course. We had a car each to ourselves, with an instructor giving out car-specific instructions over walkie-talkies to any car that was going too slow, or too fast, or doing everything wrong entirely. Also, each individual challenge had a couple of instructors guiding the driver through the particular patch, making things a bit easier. This course proved that the Ultracs aren't all show, no go. After an entire day of bashing around the course, the tyres still looked good to go for another round, and we promptly did go for another one. With the premium positioning of these tyres, it's reassuring to know they're durable enough to handle the rough stuff. Especially given that a lot of imported tyres have a hard time surviving our road conditions.

The Audi SUVs lined up at the start point

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-2.jpg

The Q5 3.0 TDI Quattro that I drove around the course

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-3.jpg

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Some snapshots from the course, which included a 50-degree incline and drop, and a straight-line acceleration and ABS test. There were honestly very few moments where all four wheels were actually on the ground!

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Last edited by Rehaan : 20th December 2013 at 16:47.
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Old 20th December 2013, 01:54   #7
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Default Re: Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from Buddh International F1 Circu

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Driving the Audi TT 2.0T on the BIC

After a long day of sliding and mucking around, it was finally time for the most anticipated leg of the event - one that I hadn't mentioned earlier. We were to drive a couple of laps around the circuit in the Audi TTs.

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-2.jpg

The cars lined up before the drive

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Leading the pack would be the mighty quick S6 V8.

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-5.jpg

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-6.jpg

I chose to sit in with a partner to get another couple of laps just eyeing the track. It was a good decision as I got a feel of the track and driving between two cars on these couple of laps. The S6 was brisk on the first lap, with its four passengers (all track instructors) belting out instructions over the walkie-talkies. The idea was to familiarize the drivers with the track on the first lap, while the second lap saw the S6 get seriously quick. The TTs were stretched trying to keep up. Soon we pulled into the pit lane and it was my turn to take the wheel.

The TT 2.0T that I drove around the track

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-4.jpg

We were asked to hop into our cars, buckle up, slot into the S-mode on the transmission and follow the S6. A slow exit from the pit lane out onto the track, and I was finally living the moment most petrolheads in India aspire to experience at least once in their lives. As the S6 pulled away, the instructions began. I was car no. 2 behind the lead car, with a TT in front and one trailing me. I paid keen attention to the line taken by the lead car, and by the first 3-4 corners was starting to get the hang of things. It is really something to stand on the throttle on the first time out on track, and equally crazy to stomp the brakes into the floor while approaching corners. Braking spots were indicated, and the apex of each corner was marked with a cone to make things easier. Gradually, I got the hang of the slow in, fast out routine for each corner and pushed harder through each corner, while all the time anticipating that tricky double apex corner. It came, and went equally quick, and I was forewarned by a fellow moderator that it gets tighter along the exit. Thankfully my exit was quite clean.

Hitting the back-straight (which happens to be the longest straight in F1 at about 1.4 kilometers, we were told) was an unreal experience, relentlessly standing on the throttle and pushing hard, first downhill and then uphill, before hitting the braking point for the next corner. As was expected, the lead car picked up the pace on the next lap, and this time I was easily more confident, faster and cleaner through the corners. I did manage to twitch the car nervously on a corner, but a quick correction and we were tearing off to the next corner.

Two laps done and we pulled into the pits. Given that the TT was running normal road tyres and not track spec tyres, it can safely be expected that grip and performance levels of the Vredestein tyres will suffice the expectations of their prospective buyers on our roads. Unfortunately, given the lack of an opportunity to compare them back-to-back with other tyres under the same conditions, I can't conclusively comment on exactly how well they stack up against the competition. The experience itself was great and all in good learning.

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-8.jpg

A parting shot.

Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit-7.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 20th December 2013 at 16:58.
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Old 20th December 2013, 16:56   #8
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Default Re: Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from Buddh International F1 Circu

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th December 2013, 17:11   #9
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Default Re: Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circui

Neat report Flyingspur!

Those tread patterns sure do look eye-catching, with that Italian design-house flair.

From the first SUV / mud picture, it seems that these are being made in the Netherlands and imported to India (?).

Starting at the 195 R15 size is also an advantage, (works for the Fiesta, Linea/Punto, upsized Swift etc) as a lot of times its hard to find performance tyres in the "smaller" sizes.

Like you said, its very hard to compare tyres objectively without a back-to-back test, but i guess the fact that Apollo organized this event on the F1 circuit with some serious cars shows that they are confident of the performance levels. Did you get a chance to ask Aditya Patel his thoughts on how they fared (since I'm guessing he's driven the Audis several times on the BIC on different rubber)?

cya
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Old 20th December 2013, 18:27   #10
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Default Re: Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circui

Nice report! Loved the tire designs!

Just one correction though: the correct size for Swift upgrade is 195/60 R15 instead of 195/55 R15.
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Old 21st December 2013, 07:04   #11
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Default Re: Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circui

Nice report FlyingSpur! The tread pattern on the Sessanta is very unique. Wonder how that pattern gives straigthline stability though!

Whats the connection between Apollo and Audi? Even Apollo' TVC features Audi in it. Is AWD the reason?

Last edited by deetjohn : 21st December 2013 at 07:06. Reason: Adding text.
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Old 21st December 2013, 08:06   #12
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Default Re: Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circui

Would love to see some comparisons with other tyres soon These certainly look great and do seem to be priced extremely well for performance tyres. Are they in the range of Yokohama S Drives, or Yokohama Advans?
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Old 21st December 2013, 11:27   #13
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Default Re: Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circui

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue_pulsar View Post
Just one correction though: the correct size for Swift upgrade is 195/60 R15 instead of 195/55 R15.
Yep, 60 is the ideal sidewall height for the Swift on 195 / 15"ers.

However, the Vredestein size (55 profile) is just ~4% off from the original size. 3-4% is generally considered within acceptable limits.

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 21st December 2013 at 11:28.
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Old 21st August 2016, 23:50   #14
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Default Re: Apollo's Vredestein performance tyres launched: A report from the Buddh F1 Circuit

Anybody try Sportrac 5? I would love to have any feedback on these.

I'm looking for new tyres in 195/60 R15 profile for my VW Vento 1.6 TDI.
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