Nokian: They Know Snow

Gary S. Vasilash

Although we’re hoping that the MegaWinter of 2013-14 is behind us now (we’ve thought this before, and were smacked back into reality with 0-degree temps and a half-a-foot of snow), it has come to our attention that Nokian Tyres, a tire manufacturer that hails from Finland, so the designers and engineers there undoubtedly know a little more than most about snow and ice, have launched a new tire for SUVs, the WR G3 SUV, which is designed with. . . “Snow Claws.”

The Snow Claws are highlighted in green in this picture:

Nokian snow claws

According to Nokian, these shapes on the longitudinal and diagonal grooves of the tread blocks provide additional grip.

Other features of the tire that’s specifically designed for high-performance SUVs include a longitudinal center rib to stabilize the tire on all surfaces; “Groove Lifts” on the tread blocks adjacent to the center rib for improved handling on dry roads; and 3D Lock Sipes that run from shoulder to shoulder to improve handling and to help contribute to the durability and wear resistance of the tire.

But given the MegaWinter, it is that Snow Claw feature that seems to be most intriguing. Nokian Tyres tested them on snow and ice at its Ivalo Testing Center White Hell in Lapland.

We can only guess that the conditions there are somewhat more intense than in Plymouth. White Hell?