For the first time in North America, you can order a car from the factory with winter tires, and the new Ford Focus RS is the first car to get the package. It’s as if it’s designed for snow hoonage out of the box!
I recently decided that I would answer the beckoning call of the wild by taking my Aston Martin on an 800-mile road trip to Vermont and back.
Intellectually, you probably understand that winter tires are better in crappy weather. But understanding and feeling are quite different. It’s difficult to process out everything between you and the tire to get a good sense of what’s going on. Unless you take away the car part of the equation.
Máté and I had a great time at the northernmost winter tire testing center in the world, in February in Finland. The following set of 50 photos serves as a pictorial diary of a nearly one-week trip beyond the arctic circle, where Finland's snow tire makers test the hell out of all kinds of rubber.
Nokian Tyres introduced winter tires in 1934 in Finland, and eighty years later – when they aren't chasing ice speed records on frozen lakes – they are still busy testing tires flat out while looking for reindeer on the biggest and coldest playground you've ever seen. Welcome to White Hell.
Winter tires were invented by the Finnish in 1934 for commercial vehicles, but after being around for 80 years, some still refuse to use them despite the huge advantage they provide.
Anybody that has ever tried to put those damned tire chains on can smile and know that the age old midwest winter traditional may soon be extinct thanks to Q Celsius, a new tire that has retractable studs. The Q Celsius takes its name from James Bond's gadget man, Q, and operates with a switch inside the vehicle.