High Mileage Not a “Supreme Importance” for Winter Tyres, says Conti
Rating winter tyres according to just one criterion fails to take account of the many demands placed upon them, claim experts working with Continental Tyres. They report, for example, that mileage performance on its own cannot be considered to be of “supreme importance” for a winter tyre. Rather, a high level of grip on both wet and dry roads and in typical winter weather conditions – features that require a softer and therefore faster wearing compound – should be given higher priority.
“What makes a really good winter tyre is having a well-balanced design incorporating a wide range of driving characteristics,” explained Alexander Lührs, press officer at Continental. “And here what counts is not achieving outstanding performance in one or the other discipline, but rather offering a design that is as balanced as possible, so that overall its characteristics meet the highest demands.” Above all, a tyre needs to provide good driving characteristics in typical winter weather conditions, including effective aquaplaning prevention and short braking distances in the wet.
In the context of ratings for these criteria, Lührs pointed to the current crop winter tyre tests performed in Europe. The tyres that came out on top did not feature especially high mileage – instead, they all displayed particularly good driving characteristics, including in wet conditions. Tyres from the ContiWinterContact product family were among those tested for their characteristics in the wet and, and Lührs added that they were expressly praised by the specialist editorial teams (from the German magazines ‘ADAC motorwelt’, ‘AutoBild’, ‘auto motor und sport’ and the consumer institute ‘Stiftung Warentest’).
“Anyone who refers solely to one characteristic confuses the consumer,” Lührs concluded. “That is why the tyre tests carried out by the editorial teams are so complex and cover virtually all performance characteristics.”