Auto Express Test: Winter Tyres Offer 3x More Grip
As UK tyre suppliers, distributors and fleets show increasing interest in stocking and promoting winter tyres, consumer magazine Auto Express has published a winter tyre test showing that the season-specific products offer three times more grip than standard “summer” products. The winter tyre test, full details of which are published in the latest issue of the magazine (available today – 27 October 2010), saw Auto Express test six current winter tyres (205/55 R16) against all-season and summer tyre control products.
Goodyear’s Ultra-Grip 7+ topped the test, with Continental’s ContiWinterContact TS830 less than 1 per cent behind the lead with a score of 99.7. According to the tyre testers there was very little between the top two. Better performance in the snow is said to have allowed the Ultra-Grip 7+ to claim victory. Despite coming second overall, the ContiWinterContact TS830 is said to have narrowly outperformed the test winner in the cold and wet test category.
Dunlop’s Winter SP 3D claimed third place, followed by Vredestein’s Snowtrac 3. At the bottom of the table Pirelli’s SottoZero 210 Serie II was just ahead of the Nokian WRG2 in last place with 96.7. The Vredestein Quatrac 3 all-season tyre result (95.1) suggested there may be some benefit in a product that straddles both the winter and summer category definitions. None of the tyres reached as much as 5 per cent overall difference from the leader. None, that is, except for the summer tyre comparison product (winner of and earlier magazine tyre test – Continental’s Premium Contact 3) which scored just 76.4. When you consider the earlier tyre tests purporting to show up budget tyres found them just 5 points off the mark, the 23.6 point difference is enormous.
“It’s a no-brainer,” lead tyre tester Kim Adams told Tyres & Accessories commenting on the performance improvements winter tyres offer in cold conditions. His assessment is that the tyres specifically designed for winter offer three times more grip and twice the cornering ability of the summer tyres British motorists tend to drive on whatever the whether.