Rubber rises in price, but no one canceled the winter. As well as the desire of tire manufacturers to please us with fresh developments of various degrees of «frost resistance».
The most democratic novelty of this season from the Nizhnekamsk tire plant received a name that is translated from Tatar as the call «Forward!» In addition, prices should stimulate buyers.
Their design is different, but the set of technologies is similar: a large number of multidirectional grooves and sipes, at least 12 stud lines and a special tread relief in the stud landing area: the manufacturer claims that they create a «brush effect» by removing ice chips from the contact patch. Kama Alga should replace the well-deserved Euro 519 model, which, to be honest, did not shine in comparative tests.
By the way, another studded novelty has already managed to take part in tests at the Scandinavian Test World. The Kumho tire with the traditionally long name for the Korean brand and the same traditional herringbone pattern is replacing a similar model with a digital index of 31. The developers promise improvements on all fronts, especially in terms of longitudinal grip on ice (+ 40%), braking efficiency on wet surfaces (+ 8%) and traction on snow (+ 6%). In addition, the increased tread stiffness should reduce rolling resistance — but it still turned out to be quite high, Finnish experts say, and the result of the stiffness was noise.
On snow and ice, the tire is really good, thanks in large part to the new studs supplied to Koreans by the Finnish company Scason, but during sharp maneuvers, the grip is poor. However, the prices for these days are quite divine, although the range of dimensions is still small: 14-inch tires can be found
Significantly more expensive is another masterpiece from Nokian, one of the recognized leaders in tire technology: from
In the 10p lineup there are as many as 137 standard sizes up to 22 inches, some of them are reinforced, for crossovers and SUVs (10p SUV), tires will be produced mainly at the Russian factory Nokian, with the exception of some specific dimensions.
The last studded novelty in our review is addressed to commercial vehicles, but it is also quite suitable for crossovers. The RW15 model, still available in a small number of 16-inch sizes with an R speed index (up to 170 km / h) and solid prices from
The tires have a reinforced steel-cord carcass, 3D sipes and an increased number of studs compared to the predecessor model RW09. The studs are fixed in a special way, with buffer cavities under each that allow them to «walk» without falling out of the tire. The picture is completed by the Ice-Philic rubber compound, which retains elasticity at low temperatures — the Koreans do not declassify its composition.
The most affordable friction novelty, also known as Velcro, is prepared by the brand of the second line of Continental. Apparently, therefore, with its laconic directional tread pattern, which replaced the asymmetrical one in the MP 92 Sibir Snow, Nordicca resembles many winter «Conti», although it does not copy them directly. The manufacturer speaks of better resistance to slushplaning (floating on snow and mud), an increased level of ride comfort and a reduced rolling resistance.
The rejection of the asymmetric design in favor of the good old V-shaped pattern has become a stable trend in recent years in the segment of winter tires, it is not without reason that all the persons involved in our review, without exception, have just such a protector. As for prices, in one of the most popular dimensions 185/65 R15 (for «Solaris», «West» and «Logans») «Nordic» can be found by
The parent company supported the trend by replacing the asymmetric WinterContact TS 850 P model with the directional 870. But here the prices are already somewhat different, as is the positioning: from
Promised, again, better slushplaning resistance (+ 8%), shorter braking distance on ice (-5%), reduced rolling resistance (-2%) and, most importantly, a 16 percent increased resource. First of all, the modernized compound with the «sharp» name Cool Chili is responsible for it.
Approximately in the middle
Also mentioned are the Winter Grip Technology and Traction Protect Technology concepts to provide better grip in winter conditions, although this model, like all the other Velcro in our review, is positioned as a European-style tire for mild winters.
Italian tire manufacturers worked in approximately the same direction, creating a successor for the Cinturato Winter model. The second generation received a slightly more complex tread pattern, developed using virtual modeling methods, and an upgraded rubber compound. The grooves have a variable width, and the cunning 3D sipes change their shape from straight to sinusoidal as they wear, which ensures the stability of the adhesion properties.
The reputable German organization TUV SUD awarded the new tire with its «Quality Mark», and here you can find it at prices from
Another novelty of this year from Pirelli belongs to the category of all-season tires, that is, it can be used as a winter tire in Sochi or in the Crimea, despite the 3PMSF marking with a snowflake. Quite exotic and prices starting
How effective this is was shown by comparative tests by German journalists, in which SF2 yielded to such well-known counterparts as Hankook Kinergy H750, Goodyear Vector 4Seasons gen-3 and Continental AllSeasonContact.
Ahead of Pirelli in the mentioned tests was a fresh Michelin tire, despite the fact that it is generally positioned as a summer tire. The second generation CrossClimate retains the original herringbone pattern, but has a redesigned compound, additional groove lugs and a new sipe system for a 31 percent improvement in traction on snow. And there is no contradiction in this: the manufacturer calls CrossClimate the first summer tire approved for use in winter — and now, therefore, the second is presented.
However, you will have to pay for unique characteristics: the most affordable variant 205/55 R16 can hardly be found cheaper.
Photos are taken from open sources.
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