Yokohama ADVAN dB Test Drive

BY Joel Tam

In anticipation of Yokohama's latest offering - the Advan dB - YHI, local distributor of the Japanese tyre maker, invited media to test drive this premium comfort tyre.

Photos: Low Fai Ming

The "Power of Silence" is the concept of Yokohama's new ADVAN dB. Developed as a quiet and smooth riding tyre for premium car models, the ADVAN dB promises to deliver very low noise, yet offer high stability and performance-level grip that is synonymous with the ADVAN branding.

Having tested the tyre on the dry and wet on a Toyota Camry and Mercedes Benz C-Class respectively, I can readily attest to these claims. Testers were asked to drive cars wrapped with the outgoing Aspec dB tyre before assessing the new ADVAN dBs. To ensure a fair comparison, the cars were fitted with the exact same size rims and tyres with identical tyre pressures.

Switching from cars strapped with the old tyres to the new, the difference could be felt immediately! I could easily feel how the asymmetrical pattern on the ADVAN dBs worked well to improve the already quiet 'dB pattern', making it distinctively quieter while absorbing road undulations more comfortably. Steering response and turn-in feel was much improved as well, with the new tyres supplying more feedback to the driver. In the wet, the grip levels were also reassuringly higher than the outgoing ones.

Overall, the tyres gave an impressive showing and I was left marvelling at how Yokohama had managed to create a tyre so quiet, yet inspires driving confidence with its high level of performance. So keep a lookout for the Yokohama ADVAN dB. When made available, the tyres will come in 15" to 20" sizes.

The day began with an introduction on the new tyres. Yokohama representatives took time to explain the ADVAN dB's features and characteristics.

To authenticate claims of the ADVAN dB's reduced rolling resistance from the outgoing tyre, two Mercedes C-Class cars were installed with the comparing tyres and free-rolled from a flat-bed tow truck to compare distances.

ADVAN dB covers more distance.

Former F1 driver Ukyo Katayama giving a demonstration run in an electric kart, which selected media got to drive later.

The man himself.

Toyota Camrys were used for the dry section. No matter how hard the cars were driven, Yokohama tyres kept everyone safe.

Lunch break was filled with good food and games - Japanese version of scissor-paper-stone saw the winner walk away with what seemed like an iPod.

Testing resumes and drivers were asked to try out the older tyres first.

ADVAN dBs hold the line tenaciously.

Helmets ready for media to test drive the electric kart.

Electric kart gives instantaneous torque, head-snapping motion is inevitable if you step on the throttle aggressively.