Winter 2014 is here, and it's set to be another warm, wet winter. Naturally, this raises the question as to whether winter tyres are worth fitting, and while we're not likely to see the snowmageddon of 2011, the right tyre can still provide you with noticeable benefits, plus the added protection of mobility should the snow come.
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In previous years Auto Express have been slow to publish their tyre tests online, but not this year - Auto Express have done such a great job on their website, there's nothing left for us to add!
Winter tyres can be a problem in the UK. Mainland Europe are very good at putting smaller wheels and tyres on, but in the UK where even the most modest town hatchback is being fitted with 17 or 18 inch wheels as standard, and performance car now being fitted with 19 or even 20 inch wheels, finding a test covering larger winter wheel sizes can be difficult.
Fortunately Auto Bild Sportscars is there to offer us some guidance for the 2014 season, and have tested 235/35 R19 winter tyres on a BMW M135i. Sadly, they only managed to find six patterns to test, compared to fifty in their 205/55 R16 tests, but it gives us a good indication of what winter tyres are like in larger sizes.
In 2014 Auto Zeitung have tested eleven 205/55 R16 premium winter tyres.
The 2014 Auto Motor Und Sport tyre test was carried out in Sweden and Germany, and covered ten winter tyres in 205/55 R16.
The 2014 Auto Bild winter tyre test tested sixteen 225/50 R17 winter tyres across fifteen disciplines, covering snow grip, wet grip, dry grip, rolling resistance and comfort.
Starting with fifty different tyre models, Auto Bild put every tyre through a winter tyres toughest test - wet braking. Auto Bild then took the top twenty winter tyres from wet braking through to snow braking, and once it had combined the wet and snow braking distances for the top twenty, it chose the top sixteen tyres for this more thorough "full" test.
The UK weather has proven itself to be unpredictable, and with the 2014 winter approaching quickly we don't yet know whether we're in for another 2011 level of snow induced chaos, or a repeat of last years mild and wet winter.
With this in mind, here at TyreReviews we've come to the conclusion the best winter tyre for the UK climate, is actually an all season tyre.
Goodyear have launched the new Goodyear UltraGrip 9, in time for the 2014 winter season.
The UltraGrip line has a strong heritage, and with 94% of reviews saying they'd buy the UltraGrip 8 again the UltraGrip 8 was an extremely strong winter tyre. With the UltraGrip 9, Goodyear have managed to improve outgoing tyre in every way.
It's the test we look forward to all year, the Auto Bild winter tyre shootout.
2014 sees Auto Bild testing fifty different winter tyres in 225/50 R17. As usual, they test all fifty tyres in wet braking from 50 mph, then take the top twenty through to a snow braking test from 31mph. The top fifteen from this test then go on to the full winter tyre test, where Auto Bild crown the best winter tyre of 2014.
Here at TyreReviews we always get excited when EVO publish a tyre test. Normally tyre tests focus on raw numbers, dedicating pages to telling you which tyre has 0.1% more grip, but forgetting to mention how the tyres actually feel on the car.
Conversely EVO spend plenty of time, and dedicate 60% of the overall result, to subjective handling. With the difference in grip between the best tyres on the market ever shrinking, explaining how the tyres actually feel to use give people who enjoy driving a good reference point. This years test was carried out at the Bridgestone test track in Italy, on a VW Golf GTI wearing 225/45 R17 tyres.
The 2014 Auto Express Summer Tyre Test is here, and it is closer than ever! Testing 10 tyres in 205/55 R16, Auto Express put the tyres through the usual array of nine stringent tests in the dry and wet.
Unlike the average car driver, motorbike riders have an intimate relationship with their tyres, and fully understand the need to fit the right tyre for your riding style and intended use. Sometimes lasting less than 2,000 miles, the right tyre can literally mean the difference between a safe ride home in the wet, or a nasty highside resulting in a damaged bike, and potentially worse, a damaged body.
Read on for the full results
Firestone, the iconic American tyre brand, is being relaunched.
Founded in 1900, Firestone has a rich racing heritage, and a huge global brand recognition. Since being purchased by Bridgestone in May 1988 the brand has largely stood still in Europe... until now.
In 2014 Bridgestone are relaunching the Firestone brand. The brand is reasserting its core philosophy which is to allow everyone the freedom to drive and discover, and aiming itself at the younger age group in the replacement market, looking for a second or third replacement tyre.
It’s always difficult to admit you’re not Valentino Rossi when riding a sports bike, which is probably why many bikes which never see the track are often fitted with inappropriate track bias tyres.
Even as a writer for a tyre website, I’m not immune, and my Triumph Daytona 675 has been wearing Dunlop GP Racer D209s for the past few years. This is a fantastic tyre for the track, awesome once warm, lovely on the shoulder and most importantly, look great. Sadly, the bike has been precisely zero track days, and on reflection they might not quite be the perfect tyre for tours into Europe during the colder months.
With tyres playing a huge part in a bikes looks, and looks being important to a supersport rider (if they weren’t, I’d be on a Street Triple), I didn’t want to fit a touring tyre with a blocky track pattern, but equally didn’t want to make the same mistake again and fit an inappropriate-but-cool-looking track bias tyre.
Luckily, Dunlop have the answer with the new Dunlop SportSmart 2.
Following on from the 255/40 R19 tyre test, the Russian magazine Auto Review have tested 16 tyres in the far more common 205/55 R16. The twist this year is the inclusion of what Auto Review call "second line tyres", which are mid range brands which are manufactured by the premium brands.
A 444bhp Mustang Boss 302 might not be the last word in car dynamics, but it's what the Russian magazine Auto Review have chosen to use for their 2014 Max Performance tyre test. Wearing massive 255/40 R19 front tyres, and 285/35 R19 rears, this was never going to be an "ordinary" tyre test, and the inclusion of a drifting test only highlighted the testers were out to have fun driving while getting their data.
Ever striving for quieter, more comfortable tyres, tyre manufacturers are looking at increasingly novel ways of achieving sound reduction. Goodyear is one of a number of manufacuters attempting to solve the problem with foam, or as the press release puts it, an "open-cell polyurethane foam element attached to the inner surface of the tyre."
Apparently this is good enough for a 4db noise reduction in the cabin, and is light enough to avoid any impact on fuel consumption. Already being fitted to the new Audi A8, RS6 and RS7, it will be interesting to see if this is the next step in lower label scores and increased driving comfort.
For pictures and the full press release, read on.
11 set of tyres in the popular 205/55 R16, the standard VW Golf 7 and the usual array of thorough wet and dry tests summarises the 2014 Auto Motor Und Sport Summer Tyre Test.
The new Michelin Pilot Road 4 is here, and it’s good.
David updates us after his Dunlop Winter Response 2s come off.
There’s no ignoring Hankook these days as the chances are if you are in the market for a new Mercedes or BMW it will come on the Korean maker’s tyres. Motorsport followers will also know it from its supply of the control tyre for the high-profile German DTM touring car race series.
This growing confidence and profile also saw it stage its first media tyre launch at the Castelloli race circuit just outside Barcelona, Spain. Apart from passenger rides in the mighty impressive Mercedes DTM car we also got to see four tyres from the Ventus line-up including, importantly, two new patterns – S1 evo2 SUV and V12 evo2.
205/55 R16, a Ford Focus and the usual wide array of wet and dry tests summarises the 2014 Test World summer tyre test.
The Ferrari Enzo, Lexus LFA, Porsche 997 Turbo, Ferrari 599 GTO. These are seriously fast cars, which place extreme demands on their tyres, and just some of the range of premium hypercars which have chosen to be fitted with the Bridgestone S001.
Following on from yesterdays 50 tyre shootout, Auto Bild have tested the top 15 tyres more thoroughly, putting them through the usual mix of wet, dry, wear and NVH tests.
Fifty sets of tyres, wet and dry braking from 100kph (62mph), and the best 15 tyres go through to a full tyre test. It's a simple concept, but it always gives us an excellent overview of the current state of the tyre market.
It’s the winter tyre every sports car driver has been waiting for, the new Continental Winter Contact TS850P is here!
This year they've replaced the Wintrac Xtreme with the Wintrac Xtreme S. Available in all common sizes between 16 and 20 inches, this is certainly a tyre worth checking out if you want to keep your high performance vehicle mobile in ALL conditions.