The complex international situation, with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and rising inflation are putting a strain on the European tyre market. In fact, 2022 recorded a zero or negative balance in terms of sales. And according to figures published by Etrma, the European Rubber and Tyre Manufacturers' Association, the first quarter of 2023 shows pretty much the same trend. According to this study, summer and winter tyres sales were down 13% and 26% respectively. The overall figure for replacement tyres, therefore, is -12% compared to the first three months of last year, with over seven thousand fewer units sold. The only positive note, confirming a long-established trend, is the performance of "4-season" tyres, the only category to register a plus sign. In the first three months of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, sales remained stable at +1%. This is also confirmed by the fact that many manufacturers are making large investments in developing tyres capable of performing in different climatic conditions. These investments require the use of technologies that improve tread patterns to tackle dry, wet and snow, as well as innovative materials that enable the compounds to adapt to low and high temperatures at the same time, depending on the season.
For the all-season tyre range, the Japanese manufacturer presented the new Turanza All Season 6, equipped with Enliten technology package. The creation of Turanza All Season 6 followed an extensive market research that involved thousands of European drivers. The tyre features wet excellent braking performance and overall performance in both dry and snow conditions (M+S and 3PMSF marking). Next to the newcomer Bridgestone also offers the Weather Control A005 Evo. The premium tyre, which has been labelled Class A for wet grip, features optimized tread profile and compound to reduce braking distances and increase wet grip at any time of the year. Bridgestone engineers have developed the Weather Control A005 Evo with innovative materials to ensure adequate road handling in different climatic conditions. The newly designed casing creates an evenly distributed footprint ensuring performance and durability. Weather Control A005 Evo is certified with the 3-peak snowflake mountain symbol for its performance in temperate winter climates. The presence of a directional arrow tread design with large grooves aided by smaller grooves running across the tread, guarantee first-class performance on wet roads, while the high number of sipes give their best when tackling snowy conditions.
Continental's four-season offer for the European market is the AllSeasonContact, which from autumn 2023 will also be joined by a new version: the AllSeasonContact2. The new tyre offers top-class grip in dry conditions and short braking distance in the wet. Such results have been achieved through a series of innovations involving the tyre's casing, design and tread compound. In fact, the use of new materials allows for less energy dispersion and a consequent reduction in rolling resistance. When designing the tread of the new AllSeasonContact 2, Continental opted for a V-groove design that offers advantages in wet conditions, as it creates special channels that facilitate water expulsion towards the sidewalls and prevent acquaplaning. In addition, the numerous C-shaped blocks in the centre of the tread interact with each other, ensuring precise handling throughout the life of the tyre. Continental will gradually begin production of 99 sizes with diameters ranging from 15 to 21 inches. As for the AllSeasonContact, which was launched on the market in 2017, five new sizes were introduced in 2022 with a rolling resistance class A. In addition, four of the five tyre sizes are marked XL and can carry heavier loads, which is an ideal option for electric vehicles. In expanding the size range, Continental's engineers worked on a better distribution of materials in order to further optimise the rolling resistance of the compound. These features ensure, the company specifies, reduced tyre deformation around the area of the footprint which translates in a reduced loss of energy. Continental's all-season tyre is available in 142 versions, with widths ranging from 155 to 275 millimetres and wheel diameters from 14 to 20 inches.
For the 2022-23 season, CST Tires offers its All-Season Medallion Acp1. This tyre can equip both small and large cars with a speed rating ranging from T (max 190 km/h) to W (max 270 km/h). The Medallion All Season Acp1 features two longitudinal wavy grooves that can easily disperse water in wet conditions. The 3D sipes carved into the tread improve stiffness and handling by providing grip in snow, precision when cornering and stability while driving. The 3D interlocking sipes improve the tyre's behaviour by reducing deformation and improving performance, the company says. More generally, the 3D sipes ensure grip when cornering. Another aspect of the CST Medallion Acp1 is the silica-rich tread compound that can easily reach the right operating temperature, guarantee friction, and maintain grip even in cold or harsh weather. In addition to the standard M+S code, the tyre also bears the 'Three Peak Mountain Snowflake 3PMSF' pictogram.
Euroall Season AS210 is Falken's premium four-season tyre developed with Advanced 4D-Nano Design technology, which has increased durability compared to the previous model. This technology allowed Falken engineers to optimise the interaction of the compound elements at nano level, which also increased grip. The tyre features a V-shaped design with deep grooves that improve water run-off and aquaplaning resistance. Compared to its predecessor, the new Euroall Season AS210 has improved anti-aquaplaning properties and braking values. While driving, the tyre's sipes adapt to the direction of traction, ensuring traction and grip for driving in various weather conditions, including snow. The tyre, manufactured in Europe, is available in sizes 13 to 19 inches with the speed codes T, H and V.
Multiseason Gen 02 is Firestone's four-season tyre dedicated to 4x4s, and SUVs designed to adapt to different weather conditions. The tread pattern of the Multiseason Gen 02 has been designed to improve the footprint with the aim of achieving better and faster water drainage when tackling wet surfaces. The development of this tyre was made possible through a digital prototyping process followed by extensive road testing. The Firestone Multiseason Gen 02 earned a European 'B' class label for wet grip, in addition to the 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) and M+S certificate, in compliance with European winter regulations. The tyre is available in 52 sizes, starting from 155/65 R13 up to 255/55 R18.
The GT Radial 4Seasons is the tyre that marks Giti Tire's entry into this specific segment. Developed and designed at the European Research and Development Centre in Hanover, Germany, the GT Radial 4Seasons is available in sizes 14-17" with T-V speed ratings. Featuring an innovative silica-based tread compound, the GT Radial 4Seasons bears the three mountains symbolising performance in different weather conditions. The tyre is designed to guarantee top-class grip in the winter and a comfortable ride in the summer as well as wear reduction. In addition, it features a wide centre rib and relatively stiff shoulders for improved steering response and cornering stability. Two wide grooves ensure water dispersion, thus reducing aquaplaning and braking distance in wet conditions, while smaller grooves of different depth guarantee adequate traction on snow and icy roads.
Goodyear Vector4Seasons, now available as a third-generation development, features improved performance in all conditions and EV ready, therefore suitable for all electric cars. Goodyear has been present in the All-weather/All-season tyre sector for several years now with its Goodyear Vector4Seasons. The latest product in the range, Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3, features three technological novelties that provide performance in snow, wet and dry conditions: Dry Handling, which uses sturdy tread and shoulder blocks to reduce tyre deformation during demanding manoeuvres, providing improved braking in dry conditions and increased mileage; Aqua Control, deep, wide grooves to maintain a constant water evacuation capacity thus reducing the danger of aquaplaning; and Snow Grip, which offers improved grip on snow thanks to the extended sipes design in the centre of the tread.
For the all-season market, Hankook relies on Kinergy 4S 2. This tyre has been completely redesigned compared to the previous model. The product is able to offer stable performance in various weather conditions and temperatures. The Kinergy 4S 2 combines the characteristics of a summer tyre with those of a winter tyre. One of the strengths of the Hankook Kinergy 4S 2 lies in the compound, which was developed by the Korean manufacturer using several hi-tech novelties. The combination of silicon and polymers, with a high proportion of renewable raw materials, provides grip on wet roads, while in dry conditions the Kinergy 4S 2 provides cornering stability and steering precision courtesy of a stiffer structure. The polymers form a high-density bond with the silicon oxide structures. The compound’s elasticity is thus maintained to prevent the rubber from hardening at low temperatures, slowing down the ageing process and reducing rolling resistance. As a result, the Kinergy 4S 2 has greater fuel efficiency and reduced wear, which translates into longer mileage. Furthermore, the Kinergy 4S 2 boasts a specially designed tread. The interlocking V-shaped blocks provide greater stability, while the wide, two-level grooves, drain water laterally in the event of heavy rain to counteract aquaplaning and are equally effective in winter to with snow slush. The central section of the tread features a rich 3D sipes pattern to optimize grip in snowy conditions. The wavy-shaped sipes contribute to increased stability and shorter distances when braking in both winter and summer. The Kinergy 4S 2 range includes 66 tyre sizes with diameters from 14 to 20 inches. Some sizes feature the Y speed rating, reserved for sports cars with performances up to 300 km/h. A dedicated version for SUVs, called Kinergy 4S 2 X, is also available.
Michelin has been paying particular attention to the practical and technical convenience of All-season solutions, as evidenced by the development and expansion of the CrossClimate family. For crossovers and small SUVs, Michelin designed and launched the CrossClimate 2 in September 2021. Starting with the overall design and features of the first-generation CrossClimate, Michelin engineers worked on the compound and tread pattern to improve braking on dry and wet roads, increase traction on snow and reduce rolling resistance. A second version was also developed for medium and large SUVs: the CrossClimate 2 SUV. The Michelin CrossClimate family comes with M+S and 3PMSF (3 Peak Mountain Snowflake) markings, which means it can be used all year round, meeting winter regulations in several countries and road conditions. In addition, like all Michelin's newest tyres, the CrossClimate range is subject to testing both when new and when worn, so that drivers have the information they need to use their tyres safely throughout their lifetime.
Nexen recently expanded its all-season range with the launch, in 2022, of the N'Blue 4 Season2. This is an all-season tyre for passenger cars. The N'Blue 4 Season2 focuses on wet and snow performance to ensure performance in all weather conditions, with sipes that provide traction on snow, and round, V-shaped grooves, designed to guarantee adequate handling and cornering precision as well as wet grip.
For the All-season segment, Pirelli relies on two specially designed tyres: Cinturato All Season SF2 and Scorpion All Season SF2. The Cinturato four season is brimming with hi-tech solutions and introduces Pirelli’s "adaptive tread", to maximise driving safety and versatility.
In addition, it is also available with Pirelli Seal Inside and Runflat technologies, which allow the tyre to operate even in the event of a puncture, and with Elect specifications for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Cinturato All Season SF2 is available in 65 sizes - between 15 and 20 inches - dedicated to modern urban cars, the latest crossover utility vehicles, and medium-sized sedans, and feature both the M+S symbols the 3PMSF (Three-Peak-Mountain with Snowflake) marking. The newcomer in the Cinturato family is designed for people who use their cars mainly in the city, live in non-Alpine regions and with temperatures typical of temperate climates, and are able to cover 25,000 km per year. In fact, in a four-season tyre, the tread pattern and compound are the result of a precise balance that can work at both high and low temperatures, on wet and dry roads. On the other hand, the Scorpion All Season SF2 features a tread compound and tread pattern inspired largely by the Cinturato, but with some SUV-specific features. The directional tread pattern of the Scorpion All Season SF2 is, in fact, characterised by many V-shaped grooves designed to grip the snow helping to improve handling on snow-clad roads, while in rainy situations they help to drain water away from the footprint, helping to prevent the risk of sudden aquaplaning. When driving in low temperature conditions, the sipes remain open to guarantee adequate braking on snow, while they stay closed in dry or wet roads at higher temperatures increasing the stiffness of the blocks to generate more grip. This adaptive behaviour is due to the 3D technology used for the sipes. In addition, the progressive cross-section lateral grooves combined with the continuous central groove, promotes water expulsion in heavy rains. To support the driving dynamics and weight of SUVs, reinforced tread blocks have been introduced in the tread, which are larger than those found on the Cinturato All Season SF2. The Scorpion All Season SF2 features M+S and 3PMSF (Three-Peak-Mountain with Snowflake) markings and is available in 33 sizes between 17 and 21 inches.
Triangle, for its part, goes all-in with SeasonX TA01. Developed in Europe, SeasonX is a product designed to fit both cars and modern SUVs and is able to offer handling and braking performance thanks to the solid geometry of the central tread section. The V-shaped design and asymmetry of the grooves offers safe, year-round driving. The in-depth study of the sipes pattern and numerous tests conducted in Europe have optimised performance on snow and ice, while the compound with a high silane polymer content ensures performance in both summer and winter conditions. The 3PMSF logo on the sidewall confirms that the tyre can be used in winter in countries where winter tyres are required by law. SeasonX is available in 75 sizes with 58 dedicated to passenger cars and 17 to SUVs from 14 to 20 inches.
Toyo Tire has recently launched the new Celsius AS2 all-season tyre, which features the latest and most modern production technologies used in both the compound and the tread, developed by Toyo Tires' research and development centres in Japan and Germany. In technical terms, the Celsius AS2 features a directional tread with numerous adaptive cone-shaped grooves that facilitate water expulsion. Looking at the compound, the new all-season offers a high-grip polymer that enhances handling on both dry and wet roads. Celsius AS2 features a new profile compared to the previous model and a structure enriched with high-stiffness belts that provide greater stiffness and resistance to the stresses typical of sporty driving. The complete Celsius AS2 range now includes 65 sizes dedicated to compact cars, sedans, SUVs and crossovers. Sections range from 175 mm to 275 mm, with speed codes from T to Y and tread sizes from 15 to 20". The range will be further expanded in the course of 2024.
BluEarth-4S AW21 is Yokohama’s reply to the competition. The tyre incorporates Yokohama's latest winter technologies, including a special polymer compound to guarantee performance on icy and snowy winter roads, as well as dry and wet performance in more normal driving conditions. The tyre features a tread pattern that offers a balance between shoulder area and footprint. The use of several advanced technologies, such as the Divergent V and Crossing Narrow grooves find their ideal ground of application on icy, snowy, and wet roads. In addition to the wide tread width, the large shoulder blocks and all-weather sipes are perfectly at home also on dry roads, while the wide, flat profile contributes to greater wear resistance. The tyre is marked 3PMSF making it suitable for colder climates.