Friday, March 23, 2007

New Products from Kumho - A trip to tire bizarro world

As a performance car aficionado, I like to do my homework on parts that I use for my car. After some research last summer, I bought a set Kumho ECSTA tires. They've been great thus far, and they're inexpensive to boot. I am very satisfied.

A catalog from Tire Rack, a mail-order Kumho retailer, came in the mail earlier this week. I bought my tires from them and I like reading about these things, so I flipped through the catalog to uncover new products and information. I was surprised at what I saw from Kumho.

It seems that Kumho has developed the ultimate ricer tire -- the ECSTA SPT Colored Smoke. According to the Tire Rack website, the colored smoke tires were developed solely for use during burn-out and drifting competitions to produce red, yellow or blue tinted smoke instead of the "traditional" white smoke. Bizarre. Really bizarre. Not so much that they exist, but that there is an actual market demand for this product. I'm absolutely stunned. So, if you own a Mitsubishi Eclipse with metallic orange paint and a fart cannon , a Dodge Neon with more than eight pounds of stickers on it or a Nissan Z-car that's got black-out window tinting and more than one subwoofer installed, these are the tires for you.

However, the oddities from Kumho do not stop there.

They have also introduced a tire that's designed to smell. That is, smell like something other than rubber and carbon black. It's a tire that smells like -- wait for it -- lavender. That's right, a tire that smells like flowers.

Quoting from the Tire Rack website:

The ECSTA DX Aroma is KUMHO's Grand Touring All-Season tire designed for trend-setting, fashion-conscious drivers who enjoy products that will set their luxury coupes and sedans apart from everyone else's. In addition to delivering an alluring aroma that replaces a tire's normal "rubber" smell with the subtle scent of fresh lavender, the ECSTA DX Aroma is designed to deliver a comfortable ride and low noise, while blending good wear with dry, wet and year-round traction, even in light snow.

My question is this: who wakes up in the morning and says, "Hmmmm, you know, if I make my car smell, that would really make me happy. That's it; I'm waiting no longer. I'm getting those crazy good smelling tires from Kumho. "? Who are these people? Homosexuals driving Volvo convertibles? Nature lovers in their VW Beetles? Old ladies that drive 10-year-old Buicks? I'm completely baffled by this one.

To recap: a major tire manufacturer is making tires that smell like lavender, and tires that make colored smoke. On purpose.

The end is truly near. I suggest that you pray with vigor.


Blogger Andy Rupert said...

What have you found to be the best in wet weather? I don't know how much snow you get, but the old style Kelly Chargers took me through a blizzard quite well a few years ago.

11:59 AM  
Blogger EggsnGrits said...

Andy: Our winter weather driving is restricted to 40 degree rain. We got a snowfall of about two inches this year, and it melted completely later that day. I can't help you with the snow performance. Actually, the Saab never sees much snow and rain since it is our third car right now anyway. Finally, the Kumhos that I bought are classified strictly as a 'summer' tire, so I wouldn't expect great things in the snow.

However, they have been great on the car to date. And, they were only $45 or so from Tire Rack plus $8 each to mount and balance at a local shop. Can't beat that, even with a stick!!

8:04 PM  

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