Cold Weather Handling
Yokohama is already looking ahead to the next cold season – March, a month in which people began to pack away their winter coats and winter tyres, saw the launch of their new W.drive, a high performance tyre designed to provide confident roadholding in all winter conditions. With speed ratings up to V, the new Yokohama tyre is clearly not intended only for jaunts to the supermarket on a frosty morning – indeed its target market is very broad, encompassing everything from compact cars right through to performance vehicles.
The W.drive features a compound made from the latest generation of silica, micro silica, which is used in conjunction Zeruma, a Yokohama patented dispersal agent that ensures silicates are distributed evenly throughout the rubber, allowing for flexible polymers that provide suppleness and flexibility at low temperatures.
Yokohama claim the W.drive’s asymmetrical tread pattern provides a good balance of performance in both wet and dry conditions, and the tyre’s outer edge contains rigid blocks to accommodate dry cornering. The tread’s ‘inside zone’ is softer for greater snow traction. Furthermore, polyhedral (zigzag pattern) 3-D sipes provide additional grip on snow and ice.
The W.drive will eventually be available in 67 sizes between 14 and 19-inches and in H, T, and V ratings. Yokohama forecast sales of one million W.drive tyres per year.