Apparently, Kumho's skid 'n' sniff tires are going out to the "trend-setting, fashion-conscious drivers" who want their cars to rock something that no one else has: the sweet smell of lavender. Now then, while I wholeheartedly applaud Kumho's decision to bring something so unique to wheelwear, I question the choice of fragrance. Surely "Eau de Roadkill" or "Rocker's Crotch" would have been more marketable than the scent most associated with a slightly incontinent old queen who thrilled millions during her lifetime—no, not Liberace, I'm talking about Britain's late, lamented Queen Mother. Full blurb from Tire Rack's product page is below.
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.
Using a special mixing technology to blend the synthetic oils that provide the fragrant scent into the rubber compound, these heat-resistant oils are said to enhance the bonding of rubber chains and maximize the viscoelasticity of the rubber compound, which helps reduce braking distances on wet or dry roads. The Ecsta DX Aroma compound also features silica to improve all-weather performance and wet traction.
This unique compound is molded into a sophisticated directional tread design that features a continuous center rib for constant road contact to enhance highway stability, along with tread blocks designed to provide uniform stiffness to maintain ride comfort throughout the life of the tire. The tread blocks also feature an optimized pitch sequence resulting in variable pitch lengths to help minimize noise, while four wide circumferential and numerous sweeping intermediate grooves help evacuate water reducing the risk of hydroplaning. The tire's structure includes high-tensile steel belts and a jointless nylon cap ply to help improve ride comfort and durability, while an undertread reduces unwanted heat buildup for consistent performance.
NOTE: The lavender scent lasts approximately 1 year and while always present, is most noticeable immediately after normal driving when the tires are warm.
The Ecsta DX tires cost US$81 each, all the self-esteem you ever had and a lilac-coloured paintjob on your muscle car. [Tire Rack via Tips—thanks, Wikkit]