Spring is in the air, and perversely this is perfect time to announce a new winter tyre. Nokian Tyres has shared details of the Nokian WR Snowproof, a range that’ll arrive in the run-up to winter 2019/20.
The name suggests a tyre whose main strengths are snow-related. This isn’t the case – Nokian introduces the WR Snowproof as additionally offering “excellent winter grip” in slush and rain. A focus on wet conditions may help sales in markets such as the UK, where the majority of motorists question the need for tyres designed for heavy snowfalls that rarely, if ever, occur.
The manufacturer has blended the tyre’s tread rubber to tackle “demanding and cold winter conditions” while offering “excellent performance in milder weather across a wide temperature range.” A high silica content in the rubber lowers rolling resistance, thereby improving fuel efficiency.
Nokian developed the WR Snowproof’s tread pattern with both wet and dry surfaces in mind. It features a directional v-shape with four longitudinal grooves and a central rib. An abundance of zigzag sipes provide grip and drain water. Sipes separate each individual tread block into three sections, a configuration said to improve snow grip.
Something called ‘Silent Sidewall Technology’ aids driving comfort. Nokian explains that the rubber between the sidewall and tread “actively dampens the sound and vibration originating from the road and the tyre structure”.
55 sizes available – ‘B’ rating for wet grip
The WR Snowproof enters the Nokian portfolio as flagship of its European winter tyre line-up. Nokian will release a total of 55 WR Snowproof sizes; the range includes dimensions to fit 14- to 20-inch rims. Speed ratings begin at Q (99 mph or 160 km/h) and go up to W (168 mph or 270 km/h).
The entire Nokian WR Snowproof range carries the respectable if not class-leading tyre label rating of ‘B’ for wet grip. Some sizes are also rated ‘B’ for fuel efficiency – a good result for a winter tyre – while others have a ‘C’ rating.