LASTWORD

with Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Say -

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.

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