By Alex Kapadia
Winter tyres were put through their paces by a couple of car enthusiasts who entered a PistonHeads competition.
Michelin tyres organised the test at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone where the tyre and the car companies laid on a number of exercises in a before-and-after format, with cars running regular tyres and the cold weather equivalents.
The tests included a standing start test on the ‘ice hill’, the wetted resin surface carrying off a passing impression of black ice. This was conducted in a Cayenne on summer tyres and a Boxster on winters to demonstrate how four-wheel drive isn’t necessarily any use if you can’t get the power down.
Cayennes also featured for the dry handling run around the twisty, technical test track before swapping to Panameras on both types of tyre on the kickplate, which flicks the back of the car out as you enter a low-grip surface to simulate a sudden loss of control.
According to PistonHeads: “Tyre companies like Michelin are obviously keen to drive sales of winter rubber and, especially after last winter’s conditions, are counting on a greater awareness to increase demand.
“We’re still way behind our European neighbours though, 45% of Germans going for winter rubber against just 0.4% of Brits. Continental is the market leader, Michelin not far behind with Goodyear and other big names like Nokian and Pirelli accounting for the bulk of the rest.
“With European sales of 60 million units you can see why they’re keen for us to get the winter tyre habit too.”
To read the full article and to check out the PistonHead competition winner’s reviews go to http://www.pistonheads.com/doc.asp?c=52&i=24782.