Time for a tire change

As winter approaches, replacing summer tires or carrying approved snow-chains on-board becomes mandatory in several countries. Choosing to fit tires suitable for dealing with harsh winter conditions provides a better guarantee of grip, braking and comfort when the road freezes or is covered in snow. Here is what tire manufacturers are proposing for 2022.



For the 2022 winter season, BFGoodrich offers its g-Force Winter 2, which, thanks to a redesigned sipe pattern, improves traction and control. In addition, the new tread compound reduces stiffness at colder temperatures allowing for shorter braking distance on snow compared to previous model. The directional V-shaped tread design contributes to expel water thus reducing the risk of aquaplaning in wet conditions. In addition, BFGoodrich also offers the Advantage All Season model.



In an effort to cope with all typical winter conditions, ice, snow and wet roads, the Japanese manufacturer continues to focus on its proven Blizzak LM005, the result of a combination between an improved compound, made with Bridgestone's Nano Pro-tech technology, and a new tread pattern. The compound boasts a high silica content that allows greater performance on snow or wet surfaces. In fact, silica guarantees elasticity even at very low temperatures, providing grip and traction. Bridgestone's use of nano-selective technology, combined with Nano Pro-tech, improves silica dispersion within the tire, allowing Blizzak LM005 to have consistent performance in all winter conditions. As for the tread, the number of grooves in the shoulder improves the tire's grip on snow and ice and optimizes the contact pressure of the shoulder blocks when braking. While the void ratio in the centre of the tread proves its worth in expelling water and trapping snow. In addition, the use of the zig-zag groove allows to create a bond between the snow trapped in the tire and the snow on the road. Basically, Bridgestone engineers combined a 2D sipes design in the centre of the tread with the 3D design in the shoulder grooves to provide better grip on ice.



Continental, on the other hand, offers its WinterContact TS 870 and WinterContact TS 870 P winter tires. The WinterContact TS 870's snow grip comes courtesy of interlocking 3D sipes. As the tread blocks dig deep into snow, this becomes compacted and provides the tire the needed grip. The depth of the sipes arranged parallel to the diagonal grooves allow for greater safety, as the company points out. The TS 870 has a large number of “biting edges” to ensure stability in snow both on a straight road and when cornering. This tire is designed with SnowCurve+ technology, which uses a special tread profile to compact snow.  To further reduce braking distance on slippery winter roads, Continental has increased the number of tread blocks in the contact area of its WinterContact TS 870. The edges and sipes, in fact, act like windshield wipers, dispersing melting snow and providing better grip on icy surfaces. The initial range includes 19 dimensions for 14- to 17-inch wheels with ratios from 45 to 65 and widths from 175 to 225 millimetres, some with rim protection edges and the abbreviation XL indicating increased load capacity.



CST Tires

For the winter season CTS Tires confirms its Medallion Winter WCP1 designed for small as well as large cars with a speed code ranging from T up to W. The 3D tread blocks feature an internal notch that interlocks with the adjacent sipe. This longitudinal interlocking jigsaw pattern improves handling performance in winter conditions. More generally, the 3D sipes provide superior grip when cornering and guarantee quicker acceleration even on snow-covered or icy roads. In addition, the new CST Medallion Winter WCP1 boasts a silica-rich tread compound that can immediately reach working temperature and maintain it, providing grip even in particularly cold weather. The CST Medallion Winter WCP1 tire carries both the standard M+S code and the "Three Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) pictogram. As an additional option, CST Tires offers the All-Season Medallion ACP1 tire. Thanks to its wavy grooves, the Medallion All Season ACP1 can effectively expel water in wet conditions. 3D sipes carved into the tread improve stiffness and handling while providing grip in snow. Here too, in addition to the standard M+S code, the sidewall bears the 3PMSF pictogram.



The Winter Sport 5 is Dunlop's winter option. The centre of the tread, designed to feature a siping pattern to facilitate grip on slippery surfaces and provide lateral grip in cold temperatures. A greater number of tread blocks in contact with the road enable traction and performance on snow. Deep grooves in the tread, on the other hand, help Winter Sport 5 expel mud and water, reducing the risk of aquaplaning and maintaining control even on wet roads. Finally, the design allows for better weight distribution, thus reducing rolling resistance and improving fuel efficiency.



Falken is launching two brand new tires for the upcoming winter season: the Eurowinter HS02 and the Eurowinter HS02 Pro, intended for cars and SUVs. Falken's Eurowinter HS02 thus features a symmetrical directional V-shaped tread pattern. This design allows water to be expelled from the contact area. Development engineers have optimised the inner side of the tread for safe driving in snow and slush, while the outer side is optimised for dry and wet performance. The intelligent interaction between the two tread areas allows for a sporty and precise driving experience with large safety margins. The presence of specially shaped Miura-Ori 3D ribs, which guarantee reliable traction as well as safe braking performance with short stopping distances. These recesses arranged centrally and multidirectionally in the tread on the HS02, in particular provide increased grip on snow. Somewhat different is the way the HS02 Pro works. Thanks to the zig-zag shape, two circumferential tread grooves generate additional tread edges which ensure reliable traction in snow and slush, improve braking performance and facilitate the best handling properties. Offset tread grooves arranged in a step-down configuration can be found on the inner side of the tread. This design reinforces the good grip on snow and assists with reliable self-cleaning. Another feature of the new generation of winter tires from Falken is a tire weight which is up to nine percent (HS02) and up to 14 percent (HS02 Pro) lower than the corresponding dimensions for previous models.



The Fulda Kristall Control HP2 is a high-performance tire for extreme winter driving. Thanks to Snow Catcher Technology, the central grooves form an interconnected network that exerts a grip on the snow while the car is in motion, allowing it to move forward in snowy conditions. Straight siping on the tread surface and three-dimensional Bubble Blade sipes, on the other hand, allow for increased tread block size and strength optimizing handling on dry roads. Finally, the wide, flat grooves ensure mileage, while the winter polymer compound and AquaFlow multiple grooves ensure that water is efficiently expelled so as to guarantee safety in cold and wet conditions.


Giti Tire

For the winter season, Giti Tire offers the new GT Radial WinterPro2Sport. Design features include a directional profile with edges and sipes designed to improve grip on snowy and wet roads, wider shoulder blocks for stability. Extra-wide grooves disperse water faster improving braking distance, while deep sipes and grooves ensure grip on snow. A well-balanced compound-profile-casing combination reduce rolling resistance and improve fuel efficiency, without compromising driving safety in the least. The tire bears the 3PMSF symbol on the sidewall.



For the winter season, the American giant is offering its range of UltraGrip tires and in particular the UltraGrip Performance+. The dry, wet and snow behaviour are linked to important technologies: Traction Protect Technology, which introduces a resin-containing compound that improves the tire's deformation and shape restoration capabilities; Winter Grip Technology, which consists of a new mix of compounds that provide greater elasticity at low temperatures and therefore greater grip on snow and ice; and Mileage Plus, which protects the tire from cracking or chunks of rubber coming off caused by adverse road conditions.



Winter I Cept RS3 and Winter I Cept iON (EV only) are Hankook's two winter options for 2022. The Winter I Cept RS3 features an innovative silica compound that enables traction on snow and wet roads but decreases rolling resistance at the same time. The natural ingredients used, ensure the tire's flexibility over a wide range of temperatures. A full-coverage steel layer increased the stiffness of the tread, so as to guarantee straight-line stability. The new W-shaped profile and sloping link bar enable control in rainy conditions as well as effectively distributing water to the sides preventing the ever-present danger of aquaplaning. Hankook engineers designed larger tread blocks so as to increase stiffness and provide safer handling on icy roads, while the 3D sipes were made so as to minimize tread block movement and improve performance on snow. The Winter I*Cept iON, on the other hand, has been designed exclusively for use on electric vehicles. In this case, engineers used a compound made of new environmentally friendly materials and high-concentration silica so as to provide satisfactory mileage and further reduced rolling resistance without missing snow performance. The tire's structure was designed to withstand the load of electric vehicles while reducing rolling resistance. On the other hand, the tread features 3D sipes that provide grip in snow, slush, ice and wet roads.



For the 2022 winter season, Michelin is reintroducing the Michelin Alpin6 and Pilot Alpin 5. The former is designed for drivers who travel in all weather and road conditions and frequently face heavy snowfall. Michelin EverWinterGrip technology features a multi-layer tread compound and a tread pattern with grooves that emerge and widen as the tyre wears, ensure continued excellent braking and traction on snow from the first to the last mile in severe winter driving conditions. The Pilot Alpin 5, on the other hand, features a state-of-the-art tread compound complemented by a new functional polymer for grip on wet roads and snow. Among the latest innovations on the market, Michelin recently unveiled the new generation of the CrossClimate range, now available also for SUVs. The all-season tire is 3PMSF certified an element that confirms its prominence in winter conditions and, therefore, allows it to cope with drops in temperature and occasional snowfall. This certification is in addition to the M+S marking, which makes it suitable for use on roads where winter equipment is mandatory during that period.



The Winguard Snow tire is now in its third generation. Compared to the previous model, the Winguard Snow'G3 is a winter HP tire designed for driving in all kinds of winter conditions. The silica-based compound and the generous number of sipes maximize water and snow expulsion. In addition to this product, Nexen is also reissuing the Winguard Sport 2 SUV, a winter UHP tire designed for SUVs which features a compound that improves performance on snow and wet roads. The news for 2022 is N'blue 4Season 2: in fact, Nexen recently unveiled this new all-season tire that features a V-shaped groove for perfect drainage and grip on slush on snow.


Nokian Tyres

Speaking of harsh winter conditions, the Scandinavian tire specialist Nokian Tires offers the Nokian Snowproof P. The Alpine Performance concept, which consists of an optimized tread design combined with dense siping, offers a balanced combination of grip and comfort. The tread design with tailor-made lateral and longitudinal grooves allows the tire to maximize the footprint on the road improving grip and steering precision. The optimized contact area ensures even wear, while the Tread Block Support Matrix provides consistent handling. Nokian Snowproof P is suitable for different winter weather conditions, offering performance on wet, slushy and snowy roads. Designed to prevent dangerous slushplaning, the tread features dense siping and longitudinal grooves (Connected grooves), which remove water and slush between the tire and the road. Polished grooves (Polished Grooves) also speed up water expulsion. Grip Snow Claws between tread blocks on the tire shoulder improve grip on snow and ice.



For the winter, Pirelli offers a wide range of tires: the Scorpion Winter 2, the Cinturato Winter 2, the P Zero Winter and the Sottozero 3. For the Scorpion Winter 2, Pirelli's new tire for SUVs, Pirelli engineers have identified several technical solutions as well as a new compound and tread pattern to adapt the tire to typical winter conditions. The continuous shoulder-to-shoulder Staggered V pattern and the edges on the main grooves ensure grip on snow while the optimized variable groove section ensure performance in wet conditions. New straight-design 3D sipes, on the other hand, ensure braking performance on snow, wet, dry and higher mileage. Developed for the needs of European consumers, the new Cinturato Winter 2 has joined Pirelli’s portfolio of Cinturato products, intended primarily for modern cars and CUVs. Thanks to Pirelli's latest technologies, the Cinturato Winter 2 ensures superb performance on snow and provides safety and control in different winter conditions. The P Zero Winter, on the other hand, features an asymmetric tread pattern with an outer shoulder designed to withstand lateral force when cornering and an inner shoulder rich in sipes and transverse and cross grooves to maximize traction and braking on snow. The central section is designed with stiffer blocks to aid steering and three longitudinal grooves to facilitate water expulsion. Finally, the Winter Sottozero 3 ensures high performance in all winter weather conditions and provides maximum sense of safety and control to the end user. 3D sipe technology increases tread stability, improves road handling in dry conditions and reduces braking distance. The higher density of the sipes, on the other hand, guarantees grip on snow.



To cope with low winter temperatures, Sava offers the Eskimo HP2 tire. Thanks to longitudinal grooves, water and mud are quickly captured and expelled from the tread. Solid outer blocks enhance handling and braking performance on dry roads, while the Multi Radius profile optimizes the contact area with the road on icy surfaces while specially designed hook-shaped ribs provide grip on snow.


Triangle Tire

Triangle Tire relies on its WinterX TW401 and Snowlink PL02 winter “shoes”. The WinterX TW401 features two wide longitudinal grooves to help get rid of excess water while offering safe braking performance and high aquaplaning resistance. The extra-wide tread pattern allows the tire to have good road handling capabilities. WinterX was developed with a state-of-the-art compound using functionalized polystyrene-butadiene rubber and high dispersion white carbon black that helps reduce rolling resistance, thereby increasing braking performance in snow. WinterX is available in a range of 36 sizes for both cars and SUVs. The Snowlink PL02, instead, is an asymmetrical Uhp winter model. From a technical standpoint the design, with three circumferential zig-zag grooves and new high-density 3D sipes, allow for aquaplaning resistance and effective water expulsion. The tread has a wide footprint that allows for a larger contact area. Snowlink PL02 is available in 41 sizes from 17" to 20" with speed codes from H to W. The WinterX TW401 range is currently available in 31 sizes from 16" to 21" inches with tread widths from 235 to 315 mm and ratios from 35 to 70 in speed codes from T to W. In addition to these two tires, Triangle also offers the Snowlion TR777.



Bluearth Winter V906 is Yokohama’s proposal for the winter season. A tire designed for upper-medium segment vehicles that features innovative technological solutions, such as smooth V-groove to help drain water and snow, as well as reduce the risk of aquaplaning. Innovative 3-D sipes are spread out widely from block to block, enhancing the edge effect on snow and ice. Each block is positioned in a uniform manner. The pressure from the ground is spread evenly. Improves performance on snow, wet and extends mileage. The silica-rich compound optimizes performance on snow and wet roads. Featuring the BluEarth label, which identifies Yokohama's eco range, the V905 uses low-impact green technologies.