testing Dunlop winter tires KXan 36 Daily News

When creating the “spike” Dunlop SP Winter Ice 03, engineers focused on adapting to Russian operating conditions. “RG” checked the Japanese model in action.

With the advent of the classic Russian winter with snowfalls and ice on the roads, the issue of choosing efficient and comfortable spikes has become doubly relevant. Model Dunlop SP Winter Ice 03, developed in the design and technical center of the Japanese city of Kobe, may be a good choice.

It is important to understand that this rubber was not created from scratch, but is the result of an optimization of its predecessor, the 2015 Dunlop SP Winter Ice 02 model. In order to move forward on all counts, computer modeling was also used, and operating conditions in key sales markets, the most important of which is Russia, were taken into account.


Photo: Boris Zakharov / RG

The predecessor, the Dunlop SP Winter Ice 02 spike, is known to have been criticized for increased noise on the pavement, not ideal ride and provoking slow steering responses, mainly when driving on snow. To eliminate these flaws, chemists first of all optimized the ratio of silica (silicon dioxide), high molecular weight polymer and softening additives. As a result, a new generation of rubber retains the necessary rigidity on soft surfaces and elasticity on hard.

The carcass of the tire has been reinforced. Dunlop SP Winter Ice 03 better absorbs vibrations and shocks due to the use of Equilibrium technology (the radial shape of the carcass is maintained under any load). The tread, meanwhile, remained directional, its blocks received a V-shaped pattern, while the sipes are made in the shape of the letter A – for better grip on snow.

But, perhaps, the main constructive innovation was the diagonal grooves River Grooves, which Japanese developers compare with a winding mountain river – winding slits quickly drain water and snow slush from the contact patch, like a fast river. At the same time, such wavy elements dampen road noise.

At the same time, the lamellas in Dunlop SP Winter Ice 02 are not accidentally “cut” at different angles. This configuration prevents the blocks from deforming under load – the tread elements literally support each other. This geometry also improves braking properties on ice and directional stability on asphalt.

Photo: Boris Zakharov / RG

Another key innovation is aluminum studs with the aptly named Anti-Tilt. Such “claws”, developed by a research center based in Germany, are, firstly, more compact and lighter than the previous ones: 0.8 g versus 1.1 g. Secondly, after the support platform was finalized, the latter began to resemble a human foot in shape. Accordingly, the spike is less displaced in the seat. Thirdly, the V-shaped carbide core received beveled edges. As a result, it bites deeper into the ice and is quieter on the pavement.

And, finally, the spikes on the working surface immediately became 60% more. At the same time, they are distributed in such a way that they reduce road noise by a noticeable 2 dB. To a non-specialist, by the way, the location of the “teeth” may seem chaotic, but in fact the landing sites are clearly calibrated, or rather, modeled using computer technology for the sake of acoustic comfort and smoothness.

Roadside check

Photo: Boris Zakharov / RG

The first step is to test the test car, shod with Dunlop SP Winter Ice 03 tires, on the highway. Over the “board of the order – 15 ° C. Against such a background, the low noise of the” spike “is immediately evident. If the tires of the second generation literally clicked on the asphalt, now such an accompaniment has practically disappeared. And this despite a radical increase in the number of spikes!

In a word, it has become more pleasant to drive a car shod with third-generation tires. You keep cruising 100 km / h on an icy highway, and you do not need to raise your voice to be heard by a crewmate.

In terms of manageability, there is also progress. Since the working part of the tungsten core of the stud is now beveled, the loads on the stud during braking have become lower, and due to the fact that the aluminum “claws” are now less displaced in the seat, the car, on the one hand, starts more confidently, and on the other hand, with a sharp When braking, the studs are better held in the landing slots.

By the way, the fact that Dunlop spikes last to the last is noted by real owners on Internet forums. Well, since high-tech “nails” will be lost less often, this, whatever one may say, is also a contribution to tire mileage.

Photo: Boris Zakharov / RG

But here we are moving out onto densely packed snow, and we observe how the V-shaped tread, cut up by multidirectional lamellas, works. Whatever one may say, these improvements allow the new generation of rubber to cling more confidently to the snow. In areas with a melted coating, watery porridge is ejected from the contact patch, as if from a catapult – River Grooves technology works. At the same time, in deep snow, the developed tread acts like propeller blades – the wheels row, contributing to the cross-country ability.

Of course, we try the new Dunlop weapon on the ice and pay attention, first of all, to the sporty clear reactions to control actions. In a bunch of slippery corners, the new tire retains grip longer, and when provoking a skid, the car behaves predictably and does not allow extreme deviations from the trajectory even with the stabilization system turned off.

As a result, the machine is easy to control on the arc, acting on the steering wheel and gas. Everything is in order with the braking dynamics. Indirect evidence of this is the operation of the ABS system. Electronics does not intervene immediately, you slow down “to the floor”, while driving around an obstacle, and the car does not resist this.

In general, the behavior of a car with Dunlop SP Winter Ice 03 tires can be assessed as predictable and reckless, and all thanks to a set of know-how already mentioned – from a directional tread with a large number of three-dimensional sipes to a modified compound formula and optimization of fastening and stud placement.

There is a choice

Photo: Boris Zakharov / RG

Dunlop SP Winter Ice 03 has a wide range of sizes. There are 26 of them, the landing diameter is from 14 to 20 inches, the profile is 40-65%. Plus, there is also a crossover variation of this rubber on the market – the Dunlop Grandtrek Ice 03 tire, which has a diameter of 16 to 22 inches and a profile of 40-65%.

This tire is designed for heavier and taller SUVs. We emphasize that both modifications have a speed index T (up to 190 km / h) and are generally similar both in design and tread pattern.

All versions are produced at the factory in Ankara, where they are also studded. Prices start at about 4500 rubles for tires of the 14th diameter. Compared to the Dunlop SP Winter Ice 02, which is still on sale, the price of this season’s novelty is on average 10% higher.

Main competitors of SP Winter Ice 03- Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 (from 5 thousand rubles) and Bridgestone Blizzak Spike 02 (from 4 thousand rubles). You can also check out our tests of these tires.

Photo: Boris Zakharov / RG

Photo: Boris Zakharov / RG

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