We usually don't get very much snow here in central Jersey. Maybe it's global warming, but the last several years, anyway, I've probably only had to actually drive in snow maybe 3-4 times per winter at the most.
Maybe I don't really need a dedicated snow tire, but I do run high performance summer tires the rest of the year (Toyo T1Rs on 7-lb Volk Racing CE28N wheels!). The best "all-season" tire I've had so far has been the Bridgestone RE950s, but they are not very good at all in snow, considerably worse than cheapo all-seasons like Goodyear Aquatreads, which are crappy all year round.
So I'm looking for a decent, acceptable snow tire that excels in dry and wet traction and aquaplaning resistance.
Looks like two of the strongest contenders for my application are the Nokian WR and Dunlop Winter Sport M3s.
Neither Dunlop nor Nokian are able to refer me to any comparative data between the two tires, but I have found some objective comparative data on the German ADAC website.
Note that in the 205/65/15 size, the Dunlops M3s were better in snow and had better tread life (lower score is better):
205/65 R16HT Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3
205/65 R16HT Nokian WR
In some sizes there is also a Dunlop Winter Sport 3D
, which seems to test considerably better than the Nokian WRs in the wet (traction and aquaplaning) and slightly better in the dry, while the WRs seem to last longer and test slightly better in snow and ice.
195/65 R15T Dunlop Winter Sport 3D
195/65 R15T Nokian WR
By the way, here's a "translation"
of one of the links into Google English for anyone who speaks Google English.
Dunlop does not yet list the D3s on their US website but, according to this thread
, the D3s are a newer model that has been manufactured since April 2005.
they are on the German Dunlop website.
They are available from TireRack here
with the following blurb
"The SP Winter Sport 3D utilizes Dunlop's new reactive silica mixing process to enable its tread compound to provide high elasticity at low temperatures resulting in dependable grip in winter driving conditions. This compound is molded into a directional tread design that reduces the chances of hydroplaning and helps maintain good traction on wet and slush-covered roads. Three different types of high-density sipes define three distinct traction zones in one tire. The central tread blocks features "pulling" sipes to provide traction while accelerating and braking, especially on ice and snow. The intermediate blocks use high-amplitude sipes to enhanced lateral stability and control in wet and slushy conditions. And finally, the 3D sipes in the shoulder blocks interlock to increase dry road stability and handling while continuing to offer the flexibility necessary to grip snow and ice. The SP Winter Sport 3D tire's structure includes twin steel belts reinforced by Dunlop's JointLess Band (JLB) of nylon to optimize the contact patch and minimize tire growth at high speed."
If anyone else has some other recommendations for high performance occasional snow tires, I would appreciate it. All advice welcome, but objective data preferred! Great webstie, BTW!