As winter is rapidly approaching, this is a good time to recap why we need winter tires and how they are different from summer rubber. BMW has decided to do a proper guide this year, showcasing how the two are different and how to properly use them properly in which circumstances. The video below should shed some light on the topic.
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The way BMW set up this video showcases three different types of tires: winter tires, summer tires and semi-slicks. To test the performance of all of them, three identical cars line-up for a series of challenges, focused on traction, performance and grip. First up: a sprint (you can also call it a drag race).
As expected, the car fitted with winter tires came in last, while the one wearing semi-slicks crossed the line first. That’s all due to the different sizes and thread.
The second challenge was a slalom aimed at testing lateral grip performance. Predictably, the same result was recorded, with the winter tires being less efficient at putting the power down due to the lower stiffness of the sidewalls. The same outcome was recorded in the braking department. However, this all happened on a clear, warm summer day, with perfect conditions for the other two types of rubber.
Changing the scenario yielded completely different results, as anyone would expect. The exact same tests were performed on a surface covered in snow. The three test cars were wearing summer, winter and studded tires.
Care to guess the results?
Well, as expected, the studded tires performed best but these are only allowed on certain roads around the world, in certain countries being illegal. The best way to go about it in winter time is to just get yourself a set of good winter tires and be careful when driving.