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RE: snow tires

Colin West said:

>I've purchased a 98 A4 2.8 (and love it). After some
>research on the Internet it seems that Blizzaks come out on
>top in all the comparisons. Any comments appreciated.

I would qualify that and say that they come out on top as far as unstudded snow tires go if you are mostly concerned with ice and snow performance.  My understanding is that they lack in dry road performance compared to tires such as the Pirelli 210.

If you can run studs, don't mind them, and want the ultimate in snow/ice performance, then choose a studded tire, such as the Gislaved Nord Frost II or the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 1.  Jari Kielinen of Finland was kind enough to forward me the results of a snow tire test after a conversation in rec.autos.tech.  The test was a cooperation between the Finnish magazine "Tekniikan Maailma",  Auto, Motor & Sport (Sweden), Motor (Norway) and Auto Revue (Russia).  It measured 13 categories of performance of handling, braking, and traction on ice and snow (and noise on dry road).  On a scale of 4 to 10, the Blizzak got an 8.0, best of all the unstudded.  
The only studded tire that lost to the Blizzak was the Dunlop SP Arctic M3 with a 7.0.  The Continental Viking 4000 tied it with 8.0.  The Gislaved Nord Frost II came out on top with a 9.1, with the Hakka 1 in second at 8.9.  Among unstuddeds, the Michelin Maxi-Ice was second to the Blizzak with 7.6, the Hakka NRW came in at 6.8, and the Vredenstein Snowtrac was last at 5.6.

Bob Davis