At an event for key trade and consumer journalists earlier this week, Nitto Tire USA introduced its new studless winter tire, the NT90W, which the company said is “engineered for severe winter driving conditions.”
Held at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, the event was part new product launch and part drive and learn, as Nitto pitted the new tire against its all-season Motivo – launched in 2012 – and the all-season Goodyear Eagle RS-A to demonstrate the new tire’s handling ability, as well as the difference in performance between winter and all-season tires. The Goodyear tire was included because it is OE on the Infiniti GSX vehicles used for several snow-covered track demonstrations: skid pad, acceleration/braking, emergency lane change maneuver, hill climb and handling course.
According to William Hong, Nitto marketing analyst and project coordinator, the NT90W features advanced 3D interlocking, multi-wave siping and a silica-infused compound. The combination of circumferential grooves and wide lateral grooves evacuate slush from the tread pattern for increased grip, while the tire’s siping provides extra biting edges for traction in wet and icy conditions without sacrificing tire life. The interlocking design increases block rigidity when braking, accelerating and cornering to create a more even contact area, Hong explained.
The NT90W also features crushed walnut shells infused throughout the tread compound to scratch and bite into ice and snow for improved traction, while bamboo charcoal acts as a sponge to absorb water on the road surface, he added.
The new tire, designed for crossover vehicles, SUVs and passenger cars, will be available in late 2013 in 13 sizes ranging from 17- to 20-inch wheel diameters.
Source: Tire Review