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Goodyear Winter Press Pack 2021 - The importance of winter tires

Optimized for colder weather conditions and temperatures of 7°C and under, winter tires are designed with tread patterns that prioritize traction. But why should you switch to winter tires once the temperatures drop? Goodyear outlines five key benefits of winter tires to ensure your car can put its best footprint forward this cold weather season. 

More flexibility means more grip

Made from softer compounds than summer tires, the formulations of winter tires are more flexible. Colder and harsher winter temperatures cause summer tire treads to harden, reducing their grip on the road surface. Because winter tires are designed to provide flexibility when temperatures plummet, more of the tire is in contact with the road. Goodyear’s Winter Grip Technology features a new compound mixture which gives an improved rubber elasticity at low temperatures to boost grip on snow and ice.

Special sipes for improved traction

Deeper, more prominent and different tread sipes (the thin slits which are cut across into the tire treads) help to catch snow. The snow freezes in the sipe, forming a kind of claw or crampon, helping to give you grip on snow. A very soft tread compound works alongside this to improve traction on ice. This helps even a 2-wheel drive car to grip the road better and even give a safer drive than a 4-wheel drive car on standard summer tires.

Increased resistance to aquaplaning

The special hydrodynamic grooves of Goodyear’s UltraGrip 9+ and UltraGrip Performance+ winter tires quickly channel the water away from the tire surface. This lessens the risk of dangerous aquaplaning – when tires lose their grip on the road due to a build-up of water between the tire and the road surface – and improves traction on hazardous roads, such as those that are covered by a layer of melting snow.

Shorter braking distance technology

Special compounds such as Goodyear’s Snow Protect Technology are designed to reduce braking distances on snow-covered roads. Other breakthroughs such as the Traction Protect Technology found on the new UltraGrip Performance+ tire include an advanced resin that improves deformation and reformation capabilities. This allows braking forces to be better and more easily converted into grip, cutting wet and dry braking distances by up to 1.5 metres compared to its closest competitor in an Auto Bild magazine test1.

Better durability and cost-effectiveness

In addition to being safer, winter tires can last longer than standard tires. A high tread elasticity can give better wear resistance, which also improves durability and mileage. As the tires are only fitted in the colder months – typically from November to March – they will also make your regular summer tires last longer. Do not forget to switch back to summer tires once the temperatures begin to rise again. 

Laurent Colantonio, Goodyear’s Regional Technology Director for Consumer Tires in EMEA, says: “The key benefits and unique characteristics of Goodyear’s UltraGrip family of winter tires offer consistent, enhanced performance, allowing improved driving confidence in colder conditions.”

Click here to read the rest of the Goodyear Winter Press Pack 2021, and for a range of images and infographics to download.

(1) Auto Bild Sportscars (GER) – Issue 11, November 2019 – Tire size: 255/35 R 19 – Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+, Vredestein Wintrac Pro, Uniroyal MS plus 77, Continental WinterContact TS 860 S, Hankook Winter i*cept evo2, Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4, Kumho WinterCraft WP71, Toyo Snowprox S954, Nexen Winguard Sport 2, Nokian WR A4, Nankang SV-2 Winter Activa NK Snow. On a wet surface, the test vehicle fitted with the Goodyear tires only needed 45.7 meters to stop at 100 km/h, 1.5 meters less than its closest competitor. On snow, the UltraGrip Performance+ had a braking distance of 27.6 meters, 0.4 meters shorter than the next competitor.