Sailun tyres: testing and discovery on the Val d’Isere track
The Chinese tyre market offers a plethora of products and sometimes it is difficult to know where to start. In this highly competitive market segment, some brands try to establish themselves through the quality of their products. As is the case with Sailun, who suggested we try some of their winter tyres.
On the same topic
Confessions from the entity importing Sailun products into Europe: these tyres do not fall into the same category as the majority of its competitors. Logically, even if the price positioning is very aggressive compared with major market players, Sailun is also counting on manufacturing quality.
With an annual production of 13 million tyres, Sailun is the 20th largest tyre manufacturer in the world. A production accompanied by a R&D centre employing over 300 engineers who work in close collaboration with the Qingdao University.
A structure that is able to produce a large range of products covering a wide range of sizes. In concrete terms, the Sailun range comprises summer UHP tyres (Ultra Haute Performance), SUV tyres and van tyres. Not forgetting the winter range, which we are looking at today.
First contact with the winter range
Sailun invited us to the Val d'Isere ski resort to conduct a series of tests aimed at demonstrating the competitiveness of its products.
The objective was not to prove that Sailun tyres are in a position to compete with Alpine tyre specialists, but rather show that tyres with satisfactory winter characteristics can be found on the market, at a reasonable price.
The Sailun winter range includes the Iceblazer WST1, WST2 LT and the WSL2. We were given the opportunity to test the latter on different categories of vehicles: Front wheel drive, rear wheel drive and four-wheel drive (Xdrive) vehicles.
Sailun’s slant was that we test its products exclusively on snow and ice covered sections of the Val d'Isere track through workshops reproducing standard driving conditions: Braking, braking in corners, accelerating, etc.
The driving sessions allowed us to appreciate a globally sound tyre that offers a reassuring performance. The traction of the WSK2 is perfectly acceptable, and the vehicle keeps its trajectory in corners, even during hard braking phases.
On the different vehicles tested, we found a good front/rear balance. This means that understeering (the front slides) and oversteering (the rear slides) effects are contained.
Ideally, we would have liked to compare this Sailun tyre with a competitor, or even a tyre from a superior range to fully assess its level of performance. We would also have liked to be able to test the tyre in other conditions, particularly on dry and wet asphalt to estimate its overall performance level.
To conclude, the Sailun WSL2 tyre shows satisfactory performance on snow covered surfaces, and offers good overall safety. The work achieved by Sailun engineers appears to be satisfactory in the areas we were able to assess. However, we are unable to comment on this tyre’s performance in other conditions, such as driving on asphalt.
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