quattro digest, Vol 1 #4286 - Re: Tires, ice and quattro (long)

Larry C Leung l.leung at juno.com
Wed Dec 4 11:57:35 EST 2002

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My experience coincides with Doyt's and James' with an additional comment

Compound makes the difference on ice, but tread pattern and siping
makes the diff on snow.

With the Artic Alpins on my Dad's now my beater Subie I have found
that they are actually rather entertaining in the dry and quite competent
in the wet and on icy surfaces. Where they are somewhat weak is on
fresh or wet snow. There, they accelerate and brake okay, but they are
less than stable laterally and their turn in is less than ideal compared
to other snow tires.

By comparison, the Kelly Pacemarks (most definitely NOT high perf snows)
I've used on both my previous 4KQ and my 200Q aren't as good in the dry
(understeer) or wet, but as good or better on icy surfaces. The
difference is
that they are totally stable on fresh and wet-heavy snow, in fact, on the
200Q they can be downright boring in snow, it's very difficult to power
and drift the car, it just digs in (not the same in the lighter 4KQ,
which would
do both). In all cases, the tires are appropriately down one width size.

As all of the tires are dedicated non hi-perf snows, I am assuming the
all react similarly to the lower temps (i.e. they stay rubbery rather
than reaching
the glassing temp (actual technical term according to the tire dealer))
so they only
difference that I can attribute to the difference in new/wet snow
performance of the
tires, the tread pattern.

The Pacemarks have many open blocks with moderate siping. The blocks are
which is why their dry performance isn't as good as the Alpins. The
Alpins have
larger, shorter blocks with more siping. The siping works great on ice,
where the
surface of the ice turns to water which the siping sucks up, but in full
snow, the
larger shallower blocks don't seem to provide the bite that the Pacemarks

I have used a large number of different snows over the years and this
pattern seems
to hold true, I've used then cutting edge Vredestein Snow +, SnowStars,
TS 730 Ice, Semperit Traction-Grip etc. I do have to admit, I've never
sprung for Hakkas.
In all, the most aggressive tread pattern was the Snow +, which had the
weakest dry
performance, but the best snow performance. The best dry performing of my
was the SnowStars, but they had the weakest snow perfomance. All
performed adequately
on ice.

So, it seems to get good snow performance, you must give up some dry
performance. If
all you tend to get is icy stuff, then if the compound is a true ice
compound, I don't think
it matters.

Any surprises?


> Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2002 14:00:28 -0800 (PST)
> From: james accordino <ssgacc at yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: Tires, ice and quattro (long)
> To: "Doyt W. Echelberger" <Doyt at buckeye-express.com>,
>         quattro at audifans.com
> Got it here in NE Pa. last night (2 Dec.).  I'm
> running Micheln MXV4's right now with high tread
> levels.  These tires have been really good in the
> limited snow/slush we've had so far.  Last night it
> was so cold the small amount of snow was freezing
> almost immediately.  Every stop brought the ABS to
> full song.  The COMPOUND of the rubber is the key as
> you said.  I checked the tires when I got home and
> they were like glass.  I ran them this morning is some
> slush residue and colder temps. (8* F) but at higher
> highway speeds.  I think the high speeds brought the
> rubber up to temp., because the tires were much more
> pliable this morning.  Btw, last year I ran Artic
> Alpins on both the Quat. and the OL's minivan.  Loved
> them for exactly the type of conditions you described.

---------stratigic clip--------------------------------
> Jim Accordino
> --- "Doyt W. Echelberger" <Doyt at buckeye-express.com>
> wrote:
------------stratigic clip---------------------------------
> > on 3 year old Arctic
> > Alpins, and the combination of all-wheel drive and
> > high tech tread really
> > made a difference.  I didn't have to slow down when
> > everything else was
> > having trouble staying out of the ditches. It was
> > amazing. I played with
> > the wheel a few times and tried to fish tail, but
> > couldn't. The Alpins bit
> > in and it came right back into line.  I pumped the
> > brakes and the car slid
> > but it was slowing down and grabbing like we were on
> > gravel rather than
> > ice. I had control.
> >
> > I was able to run on the highways at any legal speed
> > I wanted, and on the
> > side streets where it was sheet ice I could turn and
> > stop the car well
> > enough to feel comfortable being there.
> > Doyt W. Echelberger

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