Double is better: two times “very good” for Falken in the AMS tyre test
In the spring of 2023, two models of summer tyre from Falken were once again able to convince in the press, achieving excellent test results. In the latest product comparison by trade magazine “auto motor und sport”, both the Falken AZENIS FK520 and the brand new Falken e. ZIEX were awarded the top rating of “very good”.
E-cars, hybrid cars, cars with alternative drive types and SUVs are in vogue - and big tyres are also part of the latest developments. Large-scale tyre formats can handle the high vehicle weights, but that’s not all: they also roll with less resistance, which is, of course, relevant to any vehicle powered by an alternative drive system. As a result, the 255/45 R 20 size, which seemed unrealistic just a few years ago, is now very widespread, and is fitted ex-works to a whole range of different cars, including SUVs with internal combustion engines and electrically-powered models. The magazine “auto motor und sport” reviewed two possible tyre variants from Falken.
In addition to the above format, Falken offers the AZENIS FK520, which has been available since 2022, in more than 80 sizes. As an alternative, the new e. ZIEX is also available, which is mainly used in high-performance electric vehicles.
As e-vehicles are heavy and their range is an important purchase criterion, the development priorities for tyres used for them differ somewhat from those for lighter-weight combustion engine vehicles. With their high load-bearing capacity, battery-powered cars require the lowest possible rolling resistance. In this respect, it is important for the development to take into account the fact that high speeds affect the tyres as well as the importance of maintaining other tyre attributes, such as the wet grip and rolling comfort, at the appropriate level.
In terms of the e. ZIEX, the engineers at Falken have managed this very successfully, and have now received an excellent write-up: with a rolling resistance coefficient of 5.7 kg/t, the e. ZIEX took first place in the category of efficiency against two premium competitors. In the practical test, it therefore came first in terms of fuel consumption and range. The fact that the e. ZIEX achieves shorter braking distances on dry roads when used on e-cars than the two competitors is worthy of further praise. In the full field of the ten tyres that were tested, the rolling noise was also convincing: no tyre is quieter.
And no compromises have been made on safety either. When it came to the wet braking distances of the e. ZIEX, the testers were also surprised: “Short braking distances and high efficiency don’t necessarily appear to be a contradiction”. In this category, the test car with the e. ZIEX tyres came in at second place, and even beat the Falken AZENIS FK520, which came in third. In other tests in wet conditions, such as the handling in the rain and aquaplaning tests, the Falken AZENIS FK520 was found to have slight advantages in comparison with the rolling-resistance-optimised e. ZIEX. In the test, this effect applied to both Falken and competitor products in comparison with the less specifically designed tyres.
The positive rating for the Falken AZENIS FK520 is underscored by the fact that it was one of the lowest-price tyres in the test: “With its exceptionally balanced performance,” says ams, “the Falken is certainly able to match the performance of higher-priced brands.” Awarding it an overall rating of “very good”, the testers considered it to be a “comparatively inexpensive all-rounder”. Accordingly, its strengths were found to include its safety-relevant, good grip in wet conditions, its practical and safe dry handling, and its quiet, comfortable rolling.
The new Falken e. ZIEX was also rated as slightly superior for being an easy-running and safe newcomer product with a good price-performance balance. Its overall rating in this area was, once again, “very good”: due to its exceptionally short braking distances on both wet and dry surfaces, its very low rolling resistance and its quiet rolling noise. As the second best in the separate ranking for electric vehicles, it was only narrowly beaten by a significantly more expensive competitor. In addition to this, the Falken e. ZIEX wins on the weighing scales, demonstrating the technical expertise of the developers: it was the lightest-weight tyre in the test.