Sports car winter tyre test

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Feature 26 October 2012

You can now get winter tyres in 20- and 21-inch sizes, but is it worth fitting them to the sports cars that predominantly use this size of tyre? Steve Sutcliffe finds out how effective winter tyres can be, even on a Porsche 911 in the snow.

Video: Winter tyres vs 4x4

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Michelin trickery?

2 years 4 weeks ago

I do not doubt that the Michelins were better under such conditions but I believe that the Pirelli comparisson was misleading. Even though both are winter tyre (See what I just did here? I said winter, not snow tyres!) they are hardly identical. I reckon that the Pirellis are better in the wet and lower tepleratures and the Michelins in snow and ice. After all, it always is a trade off! It would be nice if you investigated more into this. 

Winter Tyres

2 years 3 weeks ago

I am now entering my 5th Winter in Russia - the snow has just started and will last for the next 5 months. As you would expect winter tyres are the norm here. Many drivers go for the studded tyre (which are legal on Russian roads but not in the UK) but they are noisy when the snow is thin or has been cleared. As a result, I now go for standard bob-studded winter tyres which, as Steve has commented, transform the car from temperatues below +7 deg C, whether in icy, snowy or wet conditions

Having tried several different brands on Audi/Mercedes/BMW cars in temperatures as low as -35 degC, I can concur with Steve's view that Michelin are at the top of the tree (though pricey) though in my experience are matched by Bridgestones, which seem to emit less road noise on cleaner surfaces. On summer tyres these cars are all undriveable!


2 years 3 weeks ago

I don't know what Pirelli tyre was used for the comparison. I've had Pirelli SottoZero (the only tyre available for me in the 20"size at the time) on my XFR for the last three winters. They've been incredible in their grip when everybody around me has been slipping and sliding. I've had nothing to compare them with, but if the Michelins are so much better then the SottoZeros, then my mind is well and truly boggled!

Winter tyres

2 years 3 weeks ago

I live in the Canadian Arctic and my daily driver is a 2009 C63 AMG.i have Bridgestone Blizzak LM60's and they are fantastic,have just done a 3000km road trip south for service at the worst season here when the temp is between 0 and -10 and the snow is icy [Celsius of course] At our usual below -25 C ,down to -45C the grip is better as the snow is drier.Agree totally with all said re the grip and the braking is amazing.Sadly many here are still using "All Season" which is the biggest scam tyre wise we have been sold,up there with other scams such as Hybrids,bottled water,and Keurig coffee makers!





On every wheel though?

2 years 2 weeks ago

Some interesting posts around the internet re putting winter tyres just on the driven wheels (assuming you're just 2 wheel drive).  It appears that 2 winter tyres are better than none at all, if you can't afford to fit all, but you need to be careful.  Also, the real question raised by this article is the width of the tyre, rather than the power of the vehicle. To see that proved, you just need to see the speed that coaches carrying loads of kids (to meet Santa!), along roads covered in ice & snow in Lapland travel at. The drivers have absolutely no fear at all, as even with tyres as wide as those on his coach, he's completely confident. Some of the Dad's got out to have a look, expecting metal spikes on the tyres - but no, just winter rubber tyres. Amazing. If that thing can stay on the road, being thrown around corners (as they do in lapland), at the risk of children's lives, then cars with wide tyres will have no problem at all.


2 years 2 weeks ago

But at -10 degrees C, even the old SR or HR rated summer tyres could feel grippy - the ice doesn't melt so readily and become slippery.  A typical UK 0 degrees is much more testing.

Nice plug

2 years 2 weeks ago

Quite questionable video this. I know you guys feel obliged to bring out a winter tyre video every year, to remind us it is that time of year and that is a good thing.

The verdict was kind of odd, I thought. You let a manufacturer choose the competitive item for your test and than make up your mind anyway. That was kind of half-arsed journalism if you ask me. I think you should have let it be with the point that winter tyres really do make a difference and that is it.

"Some interesting posts

2 years 2 weeks ago

"Some interesting posts around the internet re putting winter tyres just on the driven wheels"

Wouldn't recommend it!  Potential for massive under or oversteer depending on which end we're talking about and braking stability will be a nightmare.


Yes that is a real worth test

2 years 2 weeks ago

Yes that is a real worth test to check the good quality of tyres, Winter tyres should possess special quality to overcome snow and other hard season problems. 

wintry tyres, not just winter tyres.

1 year 50 weeks ago

  i keep my winter tyres on all year. though admittedly i now do low mileage, between 2,000 and 8,000 per year usually, i did likewise when i used to do over 40,000, many of them at night. the main benefit is felt as i drive to work at four in the morning when even in summer the temperature can be down close to 7 degrees. plus i find i get better grip in the wet at most temperatures since whatever the air temperature it often doesn't take much rain to cool the road surface to something considerably lower. and let's be honest, how much real summer do we get? there's little difference in durability but if anything i get slightly more miles from a set than i used to with standard tyres.

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