Rotiiva HT – Nokian’s new tyre for SUVs and light trucks
This spring, Nokian Tyres is rolling out an all-season tyre for SUVs and light trucks. Called the Rotiiva HT, the new range will be offered in 22 sizes for 16 to 22-inch rim diameters, and Nokian says that while the tyre is especially designed for demanding use on heavy SUV-type 4WD vehicles and pickups, the Rotiiva HT portfolio will also include light truck sizes designed for hard use.
Tyrepress.com hasn’t yet seen the Rotiiva HT, however its manufacturer says the tyre “provides exceptionally comfortable handling, and it firmly grips asphalt and gravel roads alike.” Innovations used in the tyre include a ‘High Modulus Tread Compound’ that is said to use the expanding molecular structure of the silica and rubber compound to strengthen tread pattern stiffness and boost the tyre’s handling properties, an “aggressive” tread pattern with staggered lateral grooves on the shoulders and centre for effective removal of water and slush, heavily siped tread blocks for wet grip, and longitudinal ribs and ‘groove lifts’ between the outer shoulder area tread blocks that are intended to improve precision and feel, especially when cornering. Both shoulders also have narrow circumferential grooves whose aim is to improve lateral grip and reduce rolling resistance.
Nokian states that a quieter ride for heavy 4WD vehicles is provided by its ‘Silent Groove Design’. The hemispherical indentations on the walls of the tyre’s longitudinal ribs, reminiscent of a golf ball’s surface, help to eliminate the annoying whistling noise created as air passes through the grooves of the tyre. The design also reduces air resistance and cools the tyre’s surface, further improving wear resistance. On the sidewall of the Rotiiva HT you’ll find Silent Sidewall Technology. Nokian says this rubber compound between the sidewall and tread actively filters the sound and vibration originating from the road, preventing the passage of unwanted sound waves through the sidewall into the rim and then into the car.
As for durability, the Finnish manufacturer says the rubber compound used in the Nokian Rotiiva HT was “tailored for heavy use” and can therefore withstand massive wheel loads and close contact with sharp stones, even on poorly maintained asphalt and gravel roads. A new cable structure and steel belt package in the bead area also aims to improve the tyre’s resistance to wear. Stone ejectors in the tread pattern’s main grooves minimise the penetration of sharp rocks into the tyre.
Nokian claims the tyre’s tread pattern and ‘Off-road Claws’ enable the Rotiiva HT to “effortlessly cross even soft terrain such as mud, slush or loose sand roads.” Diagonal and rectangular protrusions on the inner shoulder are said to grab the road surface in a controlled manner, improving the tyre’s traction and braking grip.