Yokohama W.drive ready to tackle even label’s conditions
Yokohama’s range of winter tyres is branded W.drive and consists of a full range of sizesfor varying driving conditions – from daily run-arounds to high performance super-saloons and light commercials. Offering superior performance to summer tyres at temperatures lower than 7°C, the W.drive features an asymmetric tread design, a micro-silica compound construction, 3D sipes and high-drainage grooves to achieve high levels of grip and safety in cold weather conditions. It is available in 35-60 series between 16 and 20 inches, including four run-flat sizes, with speed ratings of H and V.
While many manufacturers have decried the use of the new EU tyre label on winter products, Yokohama has claimed that the W.drive range will score “excellent wet braking performance ratings”, though at the time of printing the labels were unavailable. As the only safety-oriented “essential parameter” contained on the label, it would seem to make sense that winter tyre manufacturers would want to score highly in this category, though most concede that the label is not the ideal tool for assessing a tyre’s suitability for specialist seasonal conditions. However, Yokohama says that alongside its positive performance in the tyre label’s wet grip category, its W.drive range “will also prove superior in the event of snow and ice”.
The manufacturer says the design of the W.drive has been developed to generate improved grip by creating the maximum surface area possible, combined with a large number of edges that provide traction on ice. The W.drive range has been approved by car manufacturers such as Mercedes AMG, Audi and Bentley for winter use and the highly-respected German motoring organisation ADAC has recommended it to consumers.
The same principles that drove the development of the W.drive range have been incorporated into the Geolandar I/T+, aimed at SUVs for both on and off-road use. The tyre has been designed to provide improved traction on snow and ice, while a strengthened construction allows it to be used at higher speeds, hence the T-rating in most sizes.
In the commercial segment the company’s WY01 is intended for light commercial vehicles. In addition to the winter pattern WY01, Yokohama also produces the Y354, an all-season fitment. The company says that while the Y354 will cope with the demands in winter, it is also strong and robust enough to provide comparable levels of safety in the warmer months, resulting in one tyre for all conditions.