with Paul Gover
TYRES DO THE WORK
WHETHER a vehicle has electronic stability control, anti-lock braking, traction control or all-wheel drive, it’s the tyres that provide the real traction. These electronic systems don’t provide more traction, they just make the most of what is available. Only an improvement to the tyre will provide more traction. ABS and ESC simply limit the braking and accelerating to the amount of traction provided by the tyres so the only thing a driver can do to increase traction on icy roads is to install winter tyres. To achieve the results in the ‘‘split mew’’ test at the Southern Hemisphere Proving Centre in New Zealand the original ‘‘summer tyres’’ on the BMW X1 were replaced with winter tyres. This significant change to the vehicle was not referred to in the carsGuide article by Neil Dowling. Many new vehicles, including all-wheel drives, are now equipped with W & Y speed-rated, high-performance summer tyres that were never designed by the tyre maker for driving in low ambient temperatures or on snow and ice-covered roads. Optimising the safety systems capabilities on snow and icy roads requires installing winter tyres. The BMW owner’s manual recommends using winter tyres for operation on winter roads or at temperatures below 7C.
Richard Townley, email All true and correct, but very few people in Australia live anywhere that they need true winter tyres.
Winter run: a BMW X1 is put through Alpine testing.