Patience is a virtue long needed by those awaiting the WinterContact TS 870, but it has finally paid dividends: Continental has debuted this successor to the WinterContact TS 860 as a ‘double act’ together with the WinterContact TS 870 P. The tyre maker originally intended to release these two new winter products individually, one after the other. The WinterContact TS 870’s launch was scheduled for last autumn but postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From 1 May, the new EU rules on the energy labelling of on-road tyres apply at consumer level. Updating the label first introduced for car and van tyres in 2012, the new rules require that tyres for buses and lorries must now be labelled – and offer a new pictogram, where relevant, to highlight tyres suitable for use in snow or in extreme, icy conditions.
Dunlop has introduced the SP346+ steer tyre for “fleets and hauliers who demand a wide variety of performances in all on-road applications”. According to the company, the Dunlop SP346+ features a range of technologies designed to achieve high mileage, robust durability and improved fuel efficiency or low energy consumption for electric vehicles. It offers advanced winter grip, “making it a tyre for all seasons and all purposes” in Dunlop’s words.
Ahead of May’s introduction of the new-style European tyre label, Test World has begun ice grip testing for customers at its facility in Ivalo, Northern Finland. The existing 3PMSF ‘snowflake’ symbol indicates that a tyre is suitable for both Central Europe and Nordic countries, but Test World says that, in reality, the technical demands of these two markets are very different. Nordic winter conditions are typically far harsher than in Central Europe, with more snow and ice on the roads.
Retreading material supplier Galgo has confirmed that its DGR (Drive Galgo Regional) tread design is now part of the GALGOMR 3PMSF (Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake) accredited product line. As a result, Galgo offers a total of 21 certified 3PMSF treads to its customers as part of the GALGOMR range.
This year the well-known Finland-based tyre testing centre Test World turns 30. What better way to celebrate than to redouble its efforts to become a comprehensive test centre for summer, winter and all-season tyres? Following the acquisition of Test World’s parent company Millbrook by UTAC CERAM, which was completed at the start of February 2021, key developments towards this goal include: the purchase of the world’s first all-electric winter tyre traction testing light truck and the addition of a new soon-to-be opened proving ground in Morocco. Tyres & Accessories me up Jukka Antila, Technical Director at Test World as well as Millbrook business development manager Andrew Kern in order to find out more.
Urban planners anticipate a decline in individual car ownership and commensurate increase in use of infrastructure-type vehicles to move people and goods in years to come, and Yokohama Rubber is now planning for this in its newly-announced medium-term management plan, Yokohama Transformation 2023. The company intends this successor to the 2018-launched Grand Design 2020 (GD2020) three-year plan to “serve as the platform” for its growth over the next three years.
Common sense seems to dictate that when you tell the majority of the population to stay home, vehicle utilisation – and therefore tyre consumption – should be down across the board. And in a blunt sense the latest full-year panelmarket data from GfK, which tracks points of sale around the UK to indicate aftermarket tyre trends, does show that this happened. However, the latest infographic from the automotive market data analyst also reveals a few more subtle patterns to consumer behaviour in the difficult 12 months of 2020, compared with the previous period. This article is available in Tyres & Accessories’ February issue.
A ski holiday may be out of the question at the moment, but it’s business as usual for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. They’re taking place right now at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, with Pirelli as a Main Sponsor. Pirelli winter tyres are also abundantly present in Cortina, with the Italian brand’s winter range fitted to the vehicle fleet supplied by fellow Main Sponsor Audi.
Continental has completed its Scandinavia range of winter truck tyres with the addition of a 22.5-inch tyre line. The Conti Scandinavia HS3 steer axle tyre and Conti Scandinavia HD3 drive axle tyres are now available and will be joined by the Conti Scandinavia HT3 trailer tyre in June.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries has inaugurated a winter tyre test facility at its Nayoro Tire Proving Ground on the northern island of Hokkaido, one of its main development sites for winter tyres. The 3,000 square metre Nayoro Indoor ICE Field – NICE for short – is one of the largest indoor on-ice tyre testing facilities in Japan.
Finnish manufacturer Nokian Tyres says it wants to develop and present a concept tyre entirely produced from renewable and recycled tyres by 2025. It hasn’t yet shared specific project details, but it appears this 100 per cent eco-friendly concept may well be a winter tyre. Nokian’s announcement creates this impression, at any rate.
Its market launch was actually planned for last autumn, but Continental postponed the introduction of its new WinterContact TS 870 until 2021 for corona-related reasons. The wait is now almost over, as a company representative has confirmed that “preparations to bring the WinterContact TS 870 to market are on schedule” with a launch range that consists of almost 20 SKUs in 14- to 17- rim diameter sizes. And this winter tyre isn’t the only new product that Continental is bringing out – a number of online retailers have already made space for a successor to the SportContact 6.
Pirelli’s new rally tyre for snow and ice, which has studs longer than 8mm, will make its first appearance this weekend. Fitted to R5 cars on the Arctic Rally from 15-16 January, the Sottozero Ice WJ debuts at the opening round of the Finnish Rally Championship. Its long titanium-tipped studs are locked into place using Pirelli’s patented vulcanisation process for retention. A new tread pattern design helps the tyre to capitalise on the increased grip supplied by the studs. Pirelli says the new tyre will be available commercially for national championships run in extreme winter conditions, such as those run in the Scandinavian and Baltic regions. It is suitable for R5, R2 and historic rally vehicles.
Winter is the season when Nokian Tyres comes into its own, which is fitting for the world’s northernmost tyre manufacturer, and the company is renewing its comprehensive and versatile range of studded winter tyres. At the beginning of 2021, Nokian is introducing its new flagship products: the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 studded tyre for passenger cars and SUVs. A special new addition to this product family is a dedicated version for electric vehicles and hybrids. For the first time, Nokian Tyres is also introducing a model especially tailored for the Russian market: the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10p studded tyre.