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  1. #1
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    Recommended tyres for snow and ice?

    seemed reasonably topical for all the UK members (most of us)

    any recommendations??

    I was thinking of getting some to go on my spare 16's, so it does give me a lot of scope for gettting some proper winter tyres (a lot aren't available in low profil 18" or 19" guise)...

    After several great sets of Toyo T1 tyres, I started by looking at Toyo Winter Tyres.... with the Toyo Snowprox S952's looking like the best candidates for an A4 Quattro.... and available in "215/55R16" which has a virtually identical static diameter to my Toyo Proxes T1-R's (235/40/18) on my summer wheels.

    But then I found the "TyreTest" website.... no mention of Toyo's at all ... but then I reckon that site is sponsored by Michelin anyway....

    Winter car tyres top 5 (according to somewhat suspect "TyreTest.com"):
    1 Michelin - Alpin A3
    2 Continental - WinterContact TS 830
    3 Goodyear - ULTRA GRIP 7
    4 BF Goodrich - g-FORCE WINTER
    5 Continental - WinterContact TS 780

    But their rating system seems to be based on lots of random punters, no PROPER reviews!

    I called up my local Merityre to see if they could get me a good price on Toyo Snowprox or what else they recommended... and they said they only ever fit Vredesteins, but failed to mention which model.... doh!

    Where's a Canadian / IL resident when you need them
    Last edited by BahnStormer77; 23rd December 2009 at 17:42.
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

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  3. #2
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    a Snowprox S952 review: 1010tires

    More general Winter tyre reviews/advice:
    1010tires - more general advice
    wheels.ca - "John Mahler's Winter Tire Test 2008" (incl SnowProx S952)
    tyre-online.co.uk have some low-detail summaries of other reviews, only sortable by Manufacturer, not type (i.e. winter)

    Seems like putting "Winter Tire test" into YouTube gets some results too... here's a good example from TireRack (on YouTube)
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  4. #3
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    I would imagine the only tyres of any use for ice would be studded and then you have to watch how much power you put through them on hard black ice otherwise you just start ripping the studs out (just look at a set of studded rally tyres after a short 10k section).

    I quite fancy the idea of a set of winter tyres on a cheap set of wheels so you can keep your posh 18/19's in good condition.
    2004 A4 1.8T S-line 218

  5. #4
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hightower View Post
    so you can keep your posh 18/19's in good condition.
    Yep.... exactly.... well, that and the fact the Winter Tyres will keep yer car on the road: are I've been looking at my poor crud-covered 18" S4 Avus III's and really regretting not stumping up for a new set of tyres for the stack of 16's in my garage! If there's any Poorboy's left on there, I reckon it's just freexing the mud onto the wheels!

    Bridgestone Blizzak WS-60's seem to get a lot of good reviews... and go and look at the traction and stopping distance differences in those review vids! Studless Winter tyres still make a huge difference! But I can't find a UK supplier...

    Pirelli 210 Sottozero seem to come highly rated too... (edit: hmmm... maybe not... very variable reviews) for winter ice, snow AND rain.... and you can get them in the UK... but even at 215/55/16 size, they're 115 a corner!

    Last edited by BahnStormer77; 23rd December 2009 at 19:13.
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  6. #5
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    can't imagine you will get a good price for any decent winter tyres though as they are not mass market items in this country, unlike some of our european friends over the chanel.
    2004 A4 1.8T S-line 218

  7. #6
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hightower View Post
    I would imagine the only tyres of any use for ice would be studded.
    Not sure if it's just the marketing, but it looks like some of the winter tyres are pretty good for ice too.... only prob is that apparently most of them start to shred up as soon as they're on warm roads...
    Last edited by BahnStormer77; 24th December 2009 at 08:42.
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  8. #7
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    Flavour of the minute: Continental WinterContact TS 830's....

    Downside: 117.40 per corner, includes delivery, but still needs fitting!

    As much as some of these are obviously niche products.... mytyres.co.uk seem to have all sorts from 50 a corner up.... now 250 for 5x basic winter tyres doesn't seem like a completely crazy option... but I just don't like the idea that my brand of Winter tyres is called "Sunny"... just too many images of nasty Japanese tin cans....

    Nokian WR G2 available at 86 a corner??
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  9. #8
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    if you were in scotland then go for it. But surrey? is it reallly that bad. Im in basingstoke/reading and i dont feel the need for winter tyres.

  10. #9
    Kostas's Avatar
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    can't see the point of winter tyres unless you live in sweden or alps or eastern europe they worn out as soon as snow is gone which is in about two days besides they are noisy and got no grip on a dry roads even if you fit winter tyres and get snowed in other half a million drivers won't have them block all the roads and you still have to go home on foot
    thats mine opinion anyway

  11. #10
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kostas View Post
    even if you fit winter tyres and get snowed in other half a million drivers won't have them block all the roads and you still have to go home on foot
    that's pretty much what I figured... but still no harm in having them available so quick trips around the local side roads are still reasonably safe.... I've got a cheap-"as" council who despite my contribution of >200pcm still only bother gritting the main roads...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kostas View Post
    worn out as soon as snow is gone which is in about two days besides they are noisy and got no grip on a dry road
    Hence the reason for the thread: I think there are some that use alternatives to studs and super-soft rubber, so they will last a bit better and not be TOO noisy.... plus definitely some of them are fairing pretty well in wet weather: some of those tests have the cars on everything from polished ice rinks through to fast laps on a dry race tracks and wet race tracks....

    Agreed - we don;t have the climate to warrant a full tyre swap (Swiss-style), but I was just wanting something to put on the spare 16" Audi Sport alloys that are sat in the garage doing nothing... and I'm only going to put them on for a week or two at a time, so I'm guessing they'll last for several years at least.
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  12. #11
    Kostas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostbok View Post
    Agreed - we don;t have the climate to warrant a full tyre swap (Swiss-style), but I was just wanting something to put on the spare 16" Audi Sport alloys that are sat in the garage doing nothing... and I'm only going to put them on for a week or two at a time, so I'm guessing they'll last for several years at least.
    it is reasonable if you got the will to swap them over and space where to store it not like me tho

  13. #12
    Kostas's Avatar
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    I think studded tyres not allowed in most western europe countrys even poland just scandinavians can use them or am i wrong

  14. #13
    PetrolDave's Avatar
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    What about the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme? http://www.vredestein.co.uk/Onlinead...sionID=1142085

    They use a high silica compound to give extra grip in cold conditions and have a pattern designed to give grip in snow.

    Plus they're available in sizes and ratings suitable for most (all) of the A4/S4/RS4 OE wheels.
    2006 RS4 Avant (Phantom Black), RNS-E (2010 version inc SDS, HW 070, SW 0220) with AMI (250GB hard disk), Bluetooth + iPhone 5

  15. #14
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kostas View Post
    I think studded tyres not allowed in most western europe countrys even poland just scandinavians can use them or am i wrong
    I think you might be right: but none of the tyres I've mentioned are studded: all rely on special compounds, "micro particles" and tread design to cope better in ice and snow...

    Quote Originally Posted by PetrolDave View Post
    What about the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme?
    thanks, Dave, I'll have a look at the prices and reviews for those too... have heard them mentioned a few times - I think they're a good middle-ground option, so probably a good bet for the UK....

    Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme 109.90 inc delivery.

    Tyretest.com seems to have a lot of very satisfied Italian and German users.
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  16. #15
    quattrojames's Avatar
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    I have heard good things about Avon Ice Touring.
    Ingolstance Read about my A6 HERE.

  17. #16
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quattrojames View Post
    I have heard good things about Avon Ice Touring.
    Thanks mate - any reviews from the UK?

    Also: 205/55 R16?

    Shouldn't we be getting 215/55/16's? 100 a corner versus 75 for the 205mm wide ones though....


    Reason I ask is that's getting close to the 105 for the Bridgestone Blizzak LM30, yet to find a price for the "benchmark" Blizzak WS60's....


    I think I've found a pretty well infomed review from Tirerack: their Sep 2009 pre-Winter tests for all those North Americans who were about to buy their tyres....
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  18. #17
    quattrojames's Avatar
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    I know a guy with a B5 who fitted them and was impressed, hence I passed on his recommendation.

    Yes sizewise, 215/55's are what you should be looking for - are the Avons not available in that size? (I just linked to the first size that came up )
    Ingolstance Read about my A6 HERE.

  19. #18
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quattrojames View Post
    I know a guy with a B5 who fitted them and was impressed, hence I passed on his recommendation.
    Brilliant - any personal reviews form UK drivers are always appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by quattrojames View Post
    Yes sizewise, 215/55's are what you should be looking for - are the Avons not available in that size? (I just linked to the first size that came up )
    Thanks for confirming - I thought I was losing the plot (or you were trying to make your recommendation look better value)
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  20. #19
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    James - does your mate run those all year around / throughout winter or ONLY when there's ice?

    Any mention of what the wet-weather handling is like....
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  21. #20
    quattrojames's Avatar
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    He has only fairly recently bought them, but will only keep them on over the winter I believe. He said they were good last week in the snow, and is currently in the Alps with them!
    Ingolstance Read about my A6 HERE.

  22. #21
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    ask him to keep an eye out for what the wet-weather performance is like... I'm pretty sure I'll change the tyres on my 16's over, even if it's just to leave them them in the garage until I actually need to go out in the snow / ice... with lots of elderly relatives, I'm finding myself having to make "urgent" trips when I normally would have just curled at home in front of the fire like a labrador... and that's usually off into the country-side, so tend to be pretty rotten conditions...

    Current short-list is:
    Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme's (currently in the lead as they seem to be good winter + wet tyres and mostly 'cos that's what my preferred garage stock and recommend)
    Avon Ice Touring ST's (also readily available and seem to do okay in most reviews - incl. James' mate )
    Bridgestone Blizzak LM30's (WS60's have the pedigree and LM30's are the more wet-weather oriented alternative).
    Toyo Snowprox S952's (a distant 4th, but still just about on the list, but really only 'cos I like my T1-R's and T1-S's so much)


    Here's some context: 40mins from my house (my parents) over Christmas:



    And the only difference between that road going in on Thurs and back out on Friday was that it was hard-packed ice in the tracks.... who says Herts and Surrey don't get proper snow!
    Last edited by BahnStormer77; 29th December 2009 at 09:06.
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  23. #22
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    ermmm... my local Merityre does 215/55/16 Vredestein Wintrac Xtremes for 99.50 a corner including VAT and proper fitting (incl. multi-axis balancing unlike some of the other local monkeys!)... sounds great, but they aren't able to get any more in stock until "end of January"..... not that surprising, but "bugger".....
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  24. #23
    slepy's Avatar
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    I've been always happy with Good Year Ultra Grip tyres in Poland with proper amount of snow.

  25. #24
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    What are those like in the wet / ice?

    I think I'm going to go with the Vredesteins, but I'll just have to accept I'that ll probably have to wait until April to get some now

    At least i'll be prepared for next year!!
    Last edited by BahnStormer77; 30th December 2009 at 16:47.
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  26. #25
    slepy's Avatar
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    To be honest it is hard to say because winters in Poland are pretty hardcore and there is not much water. I never had problems when it got warmer though. You should not use winter tyres with temperature over 5-7 degrees.

  27. #26
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    I have owned quattros for 10 years now and have never needed anything but summer tyres even in the snow, I have yet to get stuck and I have seriously offroaded mine.
    I have even driven in the muddiest fields I can find lol I must say though, my old B5 2.6 quattro was better in the snow then my 1.8T B6.

    We had alot of snow last year and i got stuck in a sort of dip with one side of the car much lower than the other, all i did was turn off ESP and floored it and it sort of slid out
    I even lost my floor pan last year as I was offroading in seriously deep snow and it just ripped clean off
    And how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?

  28. #27
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    This is his review for the Avon Ice Tourings after a week in the Alps:

    The winter tyres I had fitted just before we left were fabulous and worth every penny. No noticeable difference in smoothness of ride or road noise - and absolutely superb in the snow. Seriously, they were fab on a FWD car, so get a set of these on a quattro and it will show everything the way!
    Ingolstance Read about my A6 HERE.

  29. #28
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    in reply to Ronnie's previous: I think most Quattro owners will agree that getting stuck isn't really an issue... and drifting around empty roads, car parks and fields is fine (and fun).... but it's the stopping and steering around the glass-like sideroads and avoiding silly fender-benders is the issue.

    James - thanks for getting back to me on that... but sorry, too late: my 16" wheels are at the tyre-shop now and the Vredestein Wintrac Xtremes will be on sometime tomorrow, hopefully in time to venture out to yours (and we can do some side-by-side testing as per the Tirerack videos )... so the doubly-bad news is that my car might me on 16" "Sport" alloys and not the 18" AvusIII's.... that said, they probably won't deliver before 10am (when I'm leaving Surrey) so I'll just come slip-sliding out to yours on the Avus 18's and hope for the best!
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  30. #29
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    Dont you just love the Quattro system in this weather.My street is like a sheet of Ice (been neglected by the gritters AGAIN) and I always wait till a few are stuck then I just reverse out my drive, floor it so they can see all 4 wheels spinning and let the traction do its thing.ha

    ...but on that note, I was caught out this morning in my Van, I was just spinning diggin a hole for myself thumping the steering wheel cursing the hell out of it.Could have had something to do with the 28bags of 25kg Screed I had just loaded up though!!

    I have the crappest tyres on my Audi though - I just havnt reached that stage to spend a shed load on some real decent ones yet.

  31. #30
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J7USS View Post
    I have the crappest tyres on my Audi though
    My tyres on my 18" AvusIII's are Toyo Proxes T1-R's.... in terms of tread they're still VERY good, and the siping "V" pattern gets plenty of grip going forwards, but it's limited on the steering and nearly non-existent on braking: so I can pull away flawlessy every time - certainly never felt like I was gonna get stuck, even up/across some pretty steep slopes, it's just when you hit that proper glass-like ice and the whole car goes into "hovercraft mode": steering changes the angle the car is facing, but not the direction your're going and then a nudge on the throttle gets you moving more in that direction than your previous.

    I'm getting a lot of pleasure cruisng past the Bimmers
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

  32. #31
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    I have Avon ZZ3's at the rear and *BCT's* at the front.
    Did have avons all round but got a nail in one of the front tyres an hour before the "lads weekend away in Newcastle" and thats all ETC could get me at such short notice So I had 2 just so they matched upfront.Cost me 135 for both fitted - get what you pay for eh.The road noise is lesser than when it was avons up front though. Avons are crap IMO.they're only still on because thats what was all round when I bought the car!!!.The Plan was sell the wheels and buy fresh alloys with some real decent tyres......still aint happened. I had federals all round on the red one and they were excellent.quite surprised by how much grip they gave...
    Last edited by J7USS; 7th January 2010 at 16:54.

  33. #32
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    An alternative to winter tyres or snow chains is to treat your tyres to a pair of socks.

    www.autosock.co.uk/

    There are cheaper ones around.

    www.rockshore.uk.com/snow-socks-by-multi-grip-269-p.asp

    But I suppose these are more for emergencies as you're not supposed to drive on clear tarmac/roads for long periods because it would wear out the fabric very quickly.

    Set of 2 for less than the cost of 1 tyre - and they're re-usable.

    I missed work the last 2 days as I couldn't get out of our estate. It's always a problem when it snows as we're on a bit of a hill. Been looking for a B6 TDi Avant Sport Quattro thinking that it would solve the problem, but on Tuesday night I saw an Evo 7 struggling for over an hour and he eventually gave up!

    So will definitely get a set of these for my next car.
    Last edited by SamDaMan; 7th January 2010 at 22:09.

  34. #33
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    I've been using on my previous car (mondeo) 18" GY F1 and Bridgestone Potenza. I've been paying about 140- 160 a piece.
    I do quite a lot of mileage (35-45k a year) and went almost bankrupt because had to change them very often. My max that I got was 10k miles from GoodYear. Not mentioning punctures etc.
    So in one year I have used 5 sets! After that I found camskill website and bought Nankang NS2. 50 quid each and am very happy with them. Really good grip from budget tyre.
    J7USS if I were you I would get Pirelli PZero tyres for your car. They're absolutely amazing in dry and wet. It is really worth it if you don't do many miles.

  35. #34
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    Have you tired www.etyres.co.uk they helped me with winter tyres.

  36. #35
    BahnStormer77's Avatar
    BahnStormer

    Status
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    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,591
    thanks Speedy - I've sorted mine out now.... 100 a corner for Vredestein Wintrac Xtremes.

    I had some fun and took the T1-R's out for one last blast down some open country lanes just before getting them switched over.... there's no more drifting now.... just rock solid grip.... if there's a nice layer of powder on top of ice and you take the traction control off, you can defintely still get the back out, but only at a bit more speed.... nothing like that low speed (20mph) slides I was doing before!!

    There is a little but more road "hum" and the turn-in response is a bit slower (as you'd expect going from a 40 profile to 55 profile), but I've been driving through bumper-deep snow with hard-packed ice underneath without a problem.... up and down roads that a Range Rover was really struggling on and I didn't even see a blip from the traction control! My brother and mother-in-law haven't been able to get their car out their drive since Thursday and I just drove straight up to the house without a glitch
    LostBok/BahnStormer77
    A6 (C7) Avant 3.0TFSI, DSG, rain and light sensor pack, LED headlight pack, MMI touch, SDS high, AMI, 360deg sensors + auto-park, Dunlop SP Winter Sports / Pirelli P Zero's.

 

 

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