The 2015-launched Hankook Winter i*cept RS² is still delivering strong performances in comparative tyre tests, such as its ‘good’ rating in Auto Bild’s winter 2021 evaluation, but a successor tyre is already available – in Korea, at least. Hankook Tire & Technology is launching the Winter i*cept RS³ in its domestic market today.
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.
The latest Pirelli winter tyre for mid-sizes cars and CUVs has arrived, and the tyre maker reports that the Cinturato Winter 2 debuts a number of “important new technologies” that it has pioneered, such as sipes on the tread pattern that become longer throughout the tyre’s life, thereby capturing more snow to provide more grip. Pirelli is launching the Cinturato Winter 2 in 36 sizes for 16- to 20-inch rim diameters and promotes the tyre as a product that “offers extra control in snowy and wet conditions” and “market-leading performance in all sorts of winter weather.”
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’.
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 2015, Michelin disrupted the all-season tyre market with the launch of the CrossClimate – a tyre that approached year-round performance from a different direction. Now, following the launch its successor (the CrossClimate 2) in the US at the end of 2020, the world’s largest tyremaker has released a new European market-orientated version which builds on the already impressive performance of the first generation and tunes the concept demonstrated by the US edition for the European market. For example, according to Michelin, the Cross Climate 2 “delivers a 10% reduction in rolling resistance when compared to its best-selling predecessor thanks to a Cool Running Sidewall designed to improve fuel efficiency or electric vehicle battery range…” amongst other enhancements.
Giti Tire has launched its new winter tyre on the European aftermarket. The GitiWinterW2 delivers improved dry dynamics, wet braking and aquaplaning resistance, the manufacturer states, while snow and ice grip and traction are maintained from the first edition. The tyre is available initially in 13 car and SUV sizes, including the 10 most popular in the European market, for rims between 15 and 19-inches. Giti adds that extra sizes will be introduced in 2022. The tyre targets a wide range of vehicles, from small and medium cars such as the VW Polo or VW Golf up to premium limousines such as the Mercedes C Class. CUV and SUV sizes are designed to be fitted on popular models like the Nissan Qashqai and VW Tiguan.
Nankang has launched a new winter tyre developed exclusively for the European cold season. The Winter Activa SV-4 will be available on the European market from the third quarter. The tyre will initially be available in 20 sizes from 13 to 21 inches. A second phase with additional sizes will follow during 2022.
Pirelli appears to be well-positioned for the upcoming winter. In addition to its existing P Zero Winter UHP tyre, Scorpion Winter SUV and crossover range and its Carrier Winter line for vans and light commercial vehicles, the tyre maker is now introducing a new winter product for medium-sized cars and crossovers – the Pirelli Cinturato Winter 2.
Michelin has begun the rollout of a new winter truck tyre range in Europe. It says the 3PMSF-marked Michelin X Multi Grip delivers an improvement in performance over predecessor tyres the Michelin XFN2 and XDW IceGrip. The tyre maker designed X Multi Grip to “ensure maximum safety and mobility in extreme winter conditions” thanks to outstanding grip on wet, snow- and slush-covered roads.
Contractors who operate tractors in regions where winters are harsh rely on tyres that provide grip in varying conditions, such as the Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI. Nokian Heavy Tyres has expanded this range with the addition of two 65-series sizes, 540/65R28 and 650/65R38. A total of 29 dimensions are now available.