The practice of pairing wide rear tyres with a narrower size on the front axle is a common one for modern performance cars as this configuration provides good traction and cornering on dry roads, more even levels of wear – and it looks good. But is a mixed fitment advantageous in the colder months? Do the wider rear tyres really deliver more traction on icy and snowy roads and reduce the risk of oversteer? German publication Sportauto has sought to answer such questions by comparing mixed fitment winter tyres with a non-mixed setup.
According to Auto Bild Allrad, winter tyres continue to improve in regards to their performance – but are also becoming pricier. The specialist SUV and 4×4 publication thus asks whether these products are worth buying. In order to provide an answer, it tested ten premium, value and budget tyres in size 235/55 R18. What Auto Bild Allrad found is that it is still possible to get “good performance at a fair price” when buying winter tyres. It rated the two best-scoring performers as ‘exemplary’ products and named them this year’s joint winners.
After selecting the 20 best-performing tyres in wet and snow braking tests from a starting field of 50 candidates, Auto Bild has subjected the finalists to further evaluations of their capabilities in a range of situations. As well as looking at how each tyre influences handling and braking in dry, wet and snowy conditions, the publication’s test team examined rolling resistance, mileage, tyre-road noise and cost factors. Here’s what they found.
Giti Tire has heralded the ‘good’ rating awarded to its new GT Radial Winterpro2 in the 2021 Auto Motor und Sport (AM&S) winter tyre test. The test pitted ten tyre brands from the premium and mid-range against each other in an all-round tyre of winter tyre performances. The WinterPro2 scored well in all tests, with especially good results in braking on dry, wet and snowy surfaces. The magazine also praised the tyre for ‘its comfortable ride properties [and] a firm and good grip on both wet and dry roads’.
All-season tyres have found favour with tyre testers in recent years, but Auto Bild points out that most tests focus on tyres for small and compact cars. To address a dearth of testing for sporty mid-sized saloons, the German motoring publication has evaluated 32 tyre models in size 225/50 R17. In Auto Bild tradition, the testers performed wet and dry braking tests to pare down the field of candidates to a shortlist of the 16 top performers. They then subjected the finalists to various tests in dry, wet and snowy conditions and also evaluated characteristics such as rolling resistance, mileage potential and price-performance ratio.
Dunlop is a winner twice over in the latest winter tyres tests conducted by German motoring association ADAC, taking first place in both the 195/65 R15 T and 225/50 R17 V categories. The Dunlop tyres were two of five products that ADAC rated as ‘good’, as were two tyres from sister brand Goodyear.
No big surprises in the 20 tyres that made it into the final of this year’s Auto Bild winter test. The shortlist reads like a who’s who of the tyre industry, starting with the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 as the tyre delivering the shortest combined stopping distance (from 80 km/h in wet conditions and 50 km/h on snow) during the first round of testing. Following closely on the Bridgestone tyre’s heels were the Dunlop Winter Sport 5, Hankook Winter I*Cept RS² and Continental WinterContact TS 870.
In the preamble to its latest tyre test, Auto Bild Allrad comments that the “future belongs to all-season tyres” and notes the evolution of these products into a true alternative to dedicated summer or winter tyres. This year, the German magazine for 4×4 and SUV enthusiasts tested ten brands of all-season tyre in size 215/65 R17. Victory was claimed by the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 X, a tyre that Auto Bild’s testers declared an “exemplary compromise” for safe driving in all weather conditions.
After a Covid-enforced delay, Auto Express has published its 2021 Summer Tyre Test, with Hankook leading a list of nine top tyre brands. Each of the nine tyres displayed strengths in at least one of the test segments. The UK magazine used Continental’s Contidrom proving ground near Hanover in Germany to conduct its objective performance tests, enlisting the help of a local independent tyre tester to get around travel restrictions in the country before verifying the results. The problems of testing tyres in Europe with rules around travel in flux also affected the way Auto Express was able to get tyres to the proving ground; rather than acquire tyres on the open market, it asked manufacturers to send sets, verifying the test-topping tyres against regular production models after the fact. The magazine used the size 225/45 R17, as it had previously in 2018 – a very popular UK size for compact to medium-sized family cars, and in this case one fitted to the tyre test mainstay Volkswagen Golf.
Vredestein is chuffed that its Quatrac is joint winner of the latest Autozeitung all-season tyre test. The Vredestein tyre tied for first place in the test of nine 205/55 R16 all-season tyres, and was also named Autozeitung’s price-performance recommendation.
Parky mornings and evenings are one sign that summer is on the wane. The appearance of all-season and winter tyre tests is another. The first to arrive this year is from German motoring magazine Autozeitung, which has looked at the commonly-fitted small car size 205/55 R16.
Not all motorhomes are ponderous wheeled boxes that slow traffic. Van-based campers, such as VW’s freshly-facelifted Transporter 6.1, deliver driving dynamics approaching those of saloons and SUVs – and require tyres that are up to the job. German specialist publication Promobil put the new VW T6.1 through its paces fitted with eight brands of size 235/55 R17 tyre – all reinforced ‘C’ (for commercial) models – and found a clear winner.
The chief executive officer of Michelin’s Europe North Region has spoken out against “cheap products from Asia and their dumping prices.” In an interview with German newspaper Bild, Anish K. Taneja, who also serves as the president of the German Rubber Manufacturers Association (wdk), emphasised that tyres such as these are not environmentally sustainable, nor are they sustainable for consumers or for local jobs.
More than a year after its counterpart for conventional saloons came to market, Goodyear is introducing the UltraGrip Performance+ SUV. This new tyre range covers the growing SUV and crossover market by offering consumers a “technology-packed winter tyre that increases the versatility and contributes to the safety of their vehicles.”
Two motorcycle tyre tests from PS. The German sports bike magazine took a look at slick pairs for professional riders in its 6/2021 issue, and followed this up by looking at four brands of track day tyres in its 7/2021 edition. The PS testers declared Dunlop and Continental the respective winners.