2009 Sport Auto Performance Winter Tyre Test

It might still be August, but after an unusually snowy start to 2010 talk has already turned to winter tyres in the UK.

While we're waiting for the magazines to put together their 2010 winter tyre tests, here's one of the more interesting articles from 2009. This test is particularly good as it uses a powerful RWD car (Mercedes SLK350) which wears relatively wide 225/45 r17 performance tyres.

Each of the 8 tyres were tested in the snow, on wet roads and in the dry with the scoring emphasis bias towards wet weather and snow performance (these are winter tyres after all!)

While there's little difference between the tyres in the dry, the differences become more obvious in the wet and on snow. Sport Auto give four of the tyres the their ??highly recommended?? award - Continental Winter Contact TS 830, P Pirelli Sottozero Series 2, Dunlop SP Wintersport 3D and the Goodyear Ultra Grip Performance 2.

Here are the full results:

1st: Continental WinterContact TS 830 P

Continental WinterContact TS 830 P
  1. Total: 248
  2. Dry: 66
  3. Wet: 87
  4. Snow: 95
Positive: Very good braking performance in snow, rain and the dry. Consistently high level of grip in wet and snow.
Negative: Average aquaplaning performance

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2nd: Pirelli Sottozero Serie II

Pirelli Sottozero Serie II
  1. Total: 242
  2. Dry: 65
  3. Wet: 89
  4. Snow: 88
Positive: Very balanced and good grip levels. High traction and braking performance in snow and rain
Negative: Light compromising steering precision on dry roads

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3rd: Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
  1. Total: 240
  2. Dry: 62
  3. Wet: 96
  4. Snow: 82
Positive: Excellent level of grip and very good handling in wet conditions. Good aquaplaning properties
Negative: Not very balanced handling in snow

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4th: Goodyear Ultra Grip Performance 2

Goodyear Ultra Grip Performance 2
  1. Total: 235
  2. Dry: 57
  3. Wet: 81
  4. Snow: 97
Positive: Excellent winter performance, aquaplaning best performance in the test. Good level of grip when wet
Negative: Average braking performance on dry roads

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5th: Nokian WRG2

Nokian WRG2
  1. Total: 206
  2. Dry: 64
  3. Wet: 68
  4. Snow: 74
Positive: Balanced handling and acceptable delay on snow. Good handling characteristics in drought
Negative: Poor aquaplaning properties. Gentle traction on snow

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6th: Firestone Winterhawk 2

Firestone Winterhawk 2
  1. Total: 197
  2. Dry: 65
  3. Wet: 52
  4. Snow: 80
Positive: Precise handling and good braking performance in dry conditions. Good traction on snow
Negative: Lower grip levels and poor brake performance in wet conditions

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7th: Kumho IZen KW27

Kumho IZen KW27
  1. Total: 191
  2. Dry: 53
  3. Wet: 71
  4. Snow: 67
Positive: Good aquaplaning performance. Safe, understeer bias in the wet and snow
Negative: Poor wet and snow grip levels

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8th: Michelin Pilot Alpin

Michelin Pilot Alpin
  1. Total: 189
  2. Dry: 61
  3. Wet: 71
  4. Snow: 57
Positive: Very precise handling and grip in the dry
Negative: Average grip, traction and braking performance in snow and rain

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