Recognising the attractiveness of all-season tyres to the majority of the UK market, leading weekly magazine Auto Express has conducted its second comparative test of six products in the segment. Testing on the bestselling 17” size, 225/45R17, the magazine used the independent Test World facility, with support from Hankook, to test in snow, and Continental’s Contidrom to test in cold and wet conditions to represent winter, and dry conditions to represent summer. The full test also included two leading seasonal tyres, the Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen-1 winter tyre and the Continental ContiSportContact 5 summer tyre, which showed that all-season products continue to represent a compromise; however the performance gaps in the tests most relevant to UK drivers may surprise critics of year-round tyres.
When it comes to testing a vehicle or tyre’s winter aptitude, few places in the world better are suited to the job than the Finnish village of Ivalo, some 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The average daily temperature struggles to rise above -10⁰C in the dark months of January and February, and for half the year the white stuff beloved by skiers is abundantly present. No surprise then that Test World, the internationally-renown vehicle and tyre tester and type approval centre, chose to set up shop just outside Ivalo. But what does Test World do in summer, when its ice and snow circle turns into a massive birdbath? It moves winter indoors.
Hankook has launched a new all-season tyre, the Kinergy 4S (4S stands for “Four Seasons”). The manufacturer says the new tyre is distinguished by harmonious performance features across all seasons, making it an attractive alternative when it comes to ensuring legally compliant year-round mobility. The tyre can be used all year round even in countries with seasonal winter tyre requirements, as it bears the M+S and snowflake symbols (which will be required for winter tyres in Europe, as elsewhere, starting in 2018). All-season tyres have generated plenty of interest from tyre manufacturers recently, with rising sales in the segment indicating great potential for these products in markets with less extreme temperatures.