Pirelli publicising winter tyres’ benefits on back of new tyres
With two new winter tyres for 2012, Pirelli is enthusiastically promoting the benefits of fitting specialist cold weather tyres in the UK. Joining the Italian manufacturer’s Sottozero Serie II high performance winter tyre are the recently introduced Winter SnowcontrolSerie 3, designed for smaller cars, and the Scorpion Winter SUV tyre, which was displayed at Reifen 2012, and replaces the Scorpion Ice.
The Scorpion Winter SUV is designed to be “much more balanced” for cold and wet weather conditions, Pirelli representatives told Tyres & Accessories at Reifen 2012, while retaining its ice performance qualities. The directional tread pattern was noted as a strong move away from the asymmetric Scorpion Ice design, and Pirelli has subsequently revealed that the Scorpion Winter also has a new tread compound. Combined with its circumferential grooves, the tread provides enhanced grip on snow and in the wet. Pirelli also says dry handling has become more responsive due to the rounder profile. The company says that a new internal structure and innovative materials have been deployed in order to reduce noise and improve rolling resistance.
Pirelli says the Scorpion Winter was a response to the ever changing needs of its customers, and it used technologically advanced techniques to develop the altered focus of the new tyre. The company says the target end-users are SUV and crossover owners who use the vehicle daily and aim to have full and safe control of the vehicle in all weather conditions during the winter season.
Earlier this year, Pirelli introduced the Winter SnowcontrolSerie 3, its latest winter tyre designed for small and mid-sized cars. The tyre offers greater traction on snow and ice while also improving grip in dry conditions, thanks to its wide lateral channels and directional tread pattern. With SnowcontrolSerie 3, Pirelli has extended the company’s range of seasonal tyres in order to meet the needs of a market that increasingly prefers products that ensure a low environmental impact and lower fuel consumption, but without sacrificing safety and comfort, the company explains.
The two newer tyres join the Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II, a cold weather tyre for sports cars and medium to high-powered saloons. It offers improved driving safety and performance in a variety of road conditions, including dry, wet and snowy. In temperatures below 7°C, it counters aquaplaning more effectively when compared to a summer tyre, the company says.
The tyre’s asymmetric tread pattern is divided into two distinct elements; the inner area expels water more effectively, whilst the external area, with its more rigid and spaced blocks, works to achieve high levels of grip on snow. The tread pattern, with its patented interactive brickwork siping (IBS) technology, provides improved traction and stability for improved handling. The new temperature dynamic compound (TDC) is designed to provide safer driving in autumnal, as well as wintery, weather conditions.
Pirelli UK managing director Dominic Sandivasci says: “Even with a milder winter like we had last year, there are still several benefits from swapping to cold weather tyres. Many people have a preconception that cold weather tyres are only suitable for driving in snow but this is largely untrue: they are beneficial in a vast array of wintery conditions including ice, heavy rain, and cold temperatures.
“Furthermore, winters in the UK are largely unpredictable and even though it may be milder during the day, temperatures first thing in the morning or late at night often drop to below 7°C. Cold weather tyres offer drivers improved grip thanks to their unique tread pattern design and the ability of the compound to remain flexible at lower temperatures.
“Several tyre dealerships will now remove your summer tyres and keep them in storage during the winter”, continues Sandivasci. “Providing they are stored correctly, and the tread depth remains legal, the same tyre will be refitted to the car once spring arrives. The cold weather tyres can then be stored for safe winter motoring the following year.”
Pirelli also warns against complacency in 4×4 drivers, saying the additional traction on icy or snowy roads will not be fully effective without a set of specifically designed winter tyres. Pirelli claims that a two-wheel-drive vehicle with a set of tyres from the Pirelli Scorpion Winter range could actually offer higher grip levels than an SUV on standard summer tyres.