Yokohama has just launched two new products on the market. One is a winter tyre, the W.drive V905, and the other, the iceGuard iG55, a studded Nordic tyre designed for harsh winters. Yokohama gave us the opportunity to test them on its development track in the north of Sweden, just a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle. Introduction with the V905.
W.drive V905: A high technology focus winter tyre
The W.drive V905 is the new spearhead product for Yokohama'swinter range of tyres. Designed for medium sized, family saloons and SUV’s, it is available in different sizes for 15 to 18 inch wheel rims.
Points which Yokohama has placed special emphasis on in the development of its tyre include the followingperformances:
Handling on snow
Braking distance on snow and wet surfaces
Key factors that are logically part of the V905’s overall performanceimprovements compared to the tyre it replaces (W.drive V902B).
Naturally, all aspects of the tyre have been worked on. Special attention has been paid to the tread compound which has a significant impact in all conditions. Yokohama engineers have developed a compound that incorporates orange oil and results show that the flexibility required for winter tyres is maintained, without compromising rolling resistance.
The directional tread features 2D and 3D sipes and many other technical solutions that enhance the tyre’s rigidity on the road. “Zig-zag” sipes and variable angle grooves increase the tyre’s performance on snow and improve water drainage.
In terms of overall performance, Yokohama announces excellent results for its latest addition, particularly on snowy surfaces. It was only natural that the Japanese brand suggested we test it on a fresh carpet of snow.
We were free to drive two types of vehicles (front and rear wheel drive), with the possibility of comparing the W.drive V905 with its predecessor.
An Audi A4 Break TDi (front wheel drive) was provided to test how the tyre handles. The track made available allowed us to test the tyre on twisty and reasonably fast sections and other more technical sections. If the tyre’sfeeling is excellent, it reveals its full potential when compared with its predecessor (W.Drive V902B). Significant progress has been made, especially in terms of lateral grip. On the snowy track, the V905 shows majestic stability and can be driven at a fast pace in complete safety. The comparison with the previous generation’s tyre makes the latter seem a caricature, with more pronounced understeering (the front slides) and oversteering (the rear slides). In fast corners, the V905 allows the saloon car to cut through the powder snow like a flagship. The car is neither playful nor amusing, but this vehicle offers total active safety.
After a successful five year career full of accolades, the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 is standing down. It will be replaced by the third Asymmetric to carry the name, designed more than ever for drivers looking for a versatile tyre.