2012 EVO Winter Tyre Test

As with most years, the 2012 EVO winter tyre test (which was technically published in 2013) shared the testing with the Auto Express winter tyre test, meaning the tyres and the tests are identical.

The results however, do differ. EVO concentrated more on the subjective feel of each tyre, writing more about the feel of the vehicle than out right numbers. This allows you to fully understand the character of each tyre, which for a driving enthusiast is just as important as the raw data.

The Results

1st: Continental WinterContact TS 850

Continental WinterContact TS 850
  • 205/55 R16
  1. Total: 372.9
  2. Dry: 88.9
  3. Wet: 98.5
  4. Snow: 99.9
  5. Subjective: 85.6
Dry:Second quickest winter tyre laptime in the dry, but the tyre went off after 3 laps, and felt a little vague subjectively
Wet:Fastest winter tyre in the wet and second only to the Michelin subjectively thanks to a neutral balance and stability on the limit
Snow:Fastest in the snow, the Continental was confidence inspiring with its delivery. Good under power, and progressive at the limit

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2nd: Michelin Alpin A4

Michelin Alpin A4
  • 205/55 R16
  1. Total: 370
  2. Dry: 87
  3. Wet: 95.8
  4. Snow: 97.5
  5. Subjective: 89.7
Dry:Fourth fastest winter tyre in the dry, with good front end bite.
Wet:Also fourth fastest in the wet, the Michelin had the best subjective score with grainy grip and excellent stability right to the limit.
Snow:Less than a second behind the Conti, the Michelin offered a similar lap time, with just a little more understeer at the limit.

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3rd: Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D

Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D
  • 205/55 R16
  1. Total: 365.1
  2. Dry: 88.1
  3. Wet: 95.6
  4. Snow: 99.8
  5. Subjective: 81.6
Dry:Third fastest dry lap, stable under braking but couldn't match the Goodyear for subjective feel.
Wet:Third fastest winter tyre in the wet, and felt as balance and composed as the Conti, with just slightly lower limits.
Snow:Almost equalling the Conti in the snow, the Dunlop offered a similar level of speed and controllability.

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4th: Goodyear UltraGrip 8

Goodyear UltraGrip 8
  • 205/55 R16
  1. Total: 364.8
  2. Dry: 87.5
  3. Wet: 97.8
  4. Snow: 97.8
  5. Subjective: 81.7
Dry:Fastest dry laptime of the winters, with a good subjective score too. Quick, nose led turn in.
Wet:Fifth fastest in the wet, the Goodyear scored poor subjectively due to a loose feel, with lots of rear instability on turn in.
Snow:Joint fourth, the Goodyear provided a strong time, with a little rear end instability if the fronts hooked up hard.

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5th: Vredestein Snowtrac 3

Vredestein Snowtrac 3
  • 205/55 R16
  1. Total: 364.8
  2. Dry: 87.5
  3. Wet: 97.8
  4. Snow: 97.8
  5. Subjective: 81.7
Dry:Sixth fastest winter tyre in the dry, like the Michelin it had good front end turn in response, but couldn't quite match it on pace.
Wet:Second slowest tyre in the wet, the Vredestein also had stability issues in the fast slalom.
Snow:Two seconds behind the Conti, the Vredestein needed a little more steering lock to turn the car and struggled with traction out of the corners.

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6th: Nokian WR D3

Nokian WR D3
  • 205/55 R16
  1. Total: 361.6
  2. Dry: 88.5
  3. Wet: 94.7
  4. Snow: 95.3
  5. Subjective: 83.1
Dry:Second slowest tyre on test, but just 0.4 seconds down on the fastest winter, the Nokian offered the best balance and feel in the dry.
Wet:Sixth fastest in the wet, the Nokian had good grip mid corner on a steady throttle, but washed out when further loaded.
Snow:Like the Vredestein, the Nokian struggled to get out of the corners, but was slightly better balanced overall.

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7th: Pirelli Winter Snow Control Series 3

Pirelli Winter Snow Control Series 3
  • 205/55 R16
  1. Total: 361.6
  2. Dry: 87.5
  3. Wet: 94.4
  4. Snow: 96.1
  5. Subjective: 83.6
Dry:Slightly faster than the Vredestein in fifth, but a poor front end meant the rear wasn't adjustable.
Wet:Second fastest time in the wet and forth subjectively, the Pirelli offers stable high speed cornering.
Snow:Slowest of the winters, the Pirelli struggled with traction out of the corners.

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8th: Continental Premium Contact 2

Continental Premium Contact 2
  • 205/55 R16
  1. Total: 339.5
  2. Dry: 93.9
  3. Wet: 96.6
  4. Snow: 49.7
  5. Subjective: 99.3
Dry:Unsurprisingly the summer tyre tops the subjective dry handling tests, with a crisp turn in and an in corner precision unrivalled.
Wet:Again, the fastest tyre in the wet but due to quick break away at the limit, only the third subjectively.
Snow:The Continental summer tyre was over 50 seconds slower than the Continental winter tyre, and felt scary at even 10mph.

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9th: Linglong Winter Hero Radial 650

Linglong Winter Hero Radial 650
  • 205/55 R16
  1. Total: 331.9
  2. Dry: 93.4
  3. Wet: 79.8
  4. Snow: 97.2
  5. Subjective: 61.5
Dry:The slowest tyre on test, the Linglong was sloppy and hard to understand at the limit.
Wet:Dead last both subjectively and objectively, the Linglong was over 12 seconds a lap slower than the Conti, and provided terrible grip, traction, stability and predictability. A liability.
Snow:Equal fourth in the snow test, the Linglong had speed, but little balance making the laptime a challenge.

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