South Korean-based Hankook Tire may be well known in motorsports, but they are far from a household name in the conventional car world. Well, that’s about to change…as the company recently invited us to burn some rubber-as well as check out their latest lineup.

Hankook’s big news includes a new partnership with BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The company will join both automakers as an original equipment tire supplier.

Their newest line of Ventus tires will be the default tires in certain European and world markets on signature models like the Mercedes’ E and S-Class sedans, along with BMW’s 5 Series and X5.

And through two days of wet and dry track testing, we had the opportunity to put several of these cars-- and more importantly their tires--through some fairly rough conditions and high speeds. We were pleased to find they were very adept at handling the roads.

The event also included some passenger-seat time in a race-spec Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG DTM car.

It was all in the name of raising awareness for the brand. Despite their long history in the business and motorsports success, Hankook has only recently been making strides in the light duty retail market. Their hope is to become a global supplier for passenger cars, trucks and SUVs. 

A Korean company that’s not willing to “tread lightly” on building up their brand-one tire at a time. And that’ll do it for this week’s MotorNews.