Cooper and Avon Boast Expansive Winter Range
Cooper Tyre and its subsidiary, the UK-based Avon Tyres, are both gearing up for the winter rounds with a wide range of options for seasonal drivers. Both brands are represented particularly strongly in the 4×4 sector with the Avon Ranger Ice and the Cooper Discoverer M+S and M+S Sport, while Avon alone caters for the winter needs of performance cars with the Ice Touring ST, both companies have small-to-medium passenger car options (the Ice Touring and the Weather-Master Snow H & V), while Avon leaves its parental brand to cater to the Van market (Van-Master M+S).
There has been an increasing demand for dedicated light truck and 4×4 winter tyres in recent years and Cooper Tire has responded to this requirement with the development of dedicated winter 4×4 tyre ranges alongside Avon’s own offering, the Ranger Ice.
The Avon Ranger Ice is a dedicated winter 4×4 tyre designed to cope with the needs of drivers of high performance 4×4 and SUV vehicles during European winter conditions. Boasting an aggressive tread pattern, the Ranger Ice offers improved traction in deep snow, ice, slush, mud and on wet surfaces thanks to its combination of a high-silica compound and siped tread pattern. It features ‘Snow Groove’ technology – a serrated cut that provides extra traction on icy, snowy roads. The high-silica rubber compound helps maintain the tread’s flexibility and provides optimal road holding. This also helps to keep the tread flexible at low temperatures as well as assisting in clearing snow from between the grooves. To match the performance characteristics of modern 4x4s, the tyre has keen handling and good roadholding in both dry and wet conditions.
The Ranger Ice’s innermost two tread blocks feature straight grooves, which aid traction even further in adverse weather conditions. The tyre is available in a range of sizes in T, H and V speed ratings.
The new Cooper Discoverer M+S Sport range is a group of winter tyres competing to meet the needs of today’s high performance 4x4s and SUVs. The tyre was developed specifically to target the European Alpine market and was extensively tested in the Austrian Alps prior to its launch. Designed to provide excellent traction during snow and icy conditions, the Discoverer M+S Sport’s tread design incorporates biting edges to offer improved grip in treacherous conditions. Cooper’s patented ‘Snow Groove’ technology capitalises on the higher traction characteristics of ‘snow on snow’ grip – rather than ‘rubber on snow’ – while simultaneously ridding itself of unwanted snow build up in the tyre’s grooves.
Extensive siping and a high silica compound help to keep the tread blocks flexible at very low winter temperatures, which in turn aid grip in the wet and traction in the snow. The Discoverer M+S Sport is available in T, H and V speed ratings to cover 15- to 19-inch rim fitments. Fitments include vehicles such as the Chrysler Jeep Wrangler and BMW X5 Sport.
Meanwhile, the slightly less sporty Discoverer M+S is available in Q and S speed ratings and allows owners of 4×4 vehicles to benefit from extra grip on snow and ice.
The overall tread design and Tri-Polymer blend tread compound of the Discoverer M+S significantly improves its winter capabilities without, Cooper believes, sacrificing wet and dry performance. The tyre profile shape of the Discoverer M+S is optimised to evenly distribute contact pressure for balanced tread wear. The tyre also features Cooper’s “snow groove” technology that provides biting edges for excellent snow and ice traction without reducing tread element stiffness. The snow groove also enhances the retention of snow in the outer circumferential grooves to capitalise on the higher traction characteristics of “snow on snow” versus “snow on rubber”.
The Discoverer M+S “D squared” (density x depth) sipe technology incorporates a dense zigzag sipe pattern for excellent traction on ice, snow and wet surfaces. The sipes are deep to provide this exceptional traction throughout the life of the tyre. Additionally a sawtooth circumferential centre rib and blocky tread elements provide stability and even treadwear in all types of weather conditions. The multitude of strategically placed stud pinholes is profiled for enhanced stud retention while delivering optimum traction on ice.
Avon’s high-performance tyres
With performance cars becoming more and more popular throughout Britain and Europe, the Avon Winter tyre range features a broad spread of wide and low-profile fitments. The Avon Ice Touring ST has been developed in a range of ‘H’ and ‘V’ speed ratings so that drivers can still enjoy themselves and cruise at motorway speeds, yet it is also rated with ‘Severe Snow Conditions’ and ‘M+S’ (Mud and Snow) symbols, demonstrating that it represents the company’s attempt at a true winter all-rounder.
Its high-silica content, together with extensive siping, helps keep the tread blocks flexible at very low winter temperatures and wide spacing of the tread blocks also helps prevent the tread clogging up with snow. The Ice Touring ST has an asymmetrical tread pattern and is available in a range of popular 15- to 18-inch rim sizes.
The passenger version of Avon’s Ice Touring is a T speed-rated tyre, which features a tread pattern that gives both improved traction and braking in snow and resistance to aquaplaning in the wet. Its rubber compound has a high silica content to give excellent traction on snow and in the wet and is formulated to perform brilliantly at low temperatures. It is available in a broad range of sizes to fit many popular cars. Designed and developed to meet the requirements of European drivers, both the Ice Touring ST and Ice Touring have been rigorously tested in Austrian alpine conditions.
Back with Cooper, the Weather-Master Snow H & V benefits from a new asymmetrical silica-rich tread design which offers excellent performance in severe weather conditions. The Weather-Master Snow H & V tread pattern is designed to deliver better roadholding on slippery surfaces. A broad range of sizes covering 15- to 18-inch rims is available to fit many of today’s popular vehicles. The T-rated Weather-Master Snow comes in a variety of sizes to fit most small to medium vehicles, from the Peugeot 107 to the Volkswagen Golf.
The Weather-Master Snow’s specially designed tread pattern offers enhanced braking in snowy conditions, as well as providing high resistance to aquaplaning in the wet. The tyre’s high silica compound helps to maximise traction by keeping tread blocks flexible in extremely cold conditions and the high-density sipes offer improved traction and braking in slippery conditions.
The optionally-studded Weather-Master ST2 is designed to perform in the most severe weather conditions. The intricate tread pattern combined with state-of-the-art tyre compounds balances winter traction with a smooth quiet ride. The tyre has a stud pinhole design that improves stud retention, while it also features the stud size moulded conveniently into the sidewall using USA and European numbers for easy reference. Available in a broad range of sizes from 55 to 80 series, the 70 and 80 series are S-rated, while the 55 and 60 series are T-rated.
Finally, Cooper’s Van-Master M+S is available in three popular van sizes. Suitable for medium-sized vans, it has a unique tread compound to cope with harsh winter conditions. Aggressively-profiled tread blocks and a patented tread groove design provide better wet traction. Heavy siping of the tread blocks also aids with traction and braking, while a central cirumferential rib enhances steering response. For even more traction, the Van-Master M+S will accept ice studs.