With our own winter tires arriving today we thought it appropriate to talk about why you should consider winter tires if you live in the snow-belt. MINI UK’s program (similar to the one in other parts of Europe) offers owners convenient (retail price: £560) set of tires and steel wheels straight from the dealer. Convenient in that the same dealer will store your summer tires for you. We’ll talking more about our own set-up and choices in the US soon. However in the meantime, if you don’t know why you might need winter tires, check out the videos and read-on.[Official Release] With average British winter temperatures dipping below 7°C, this winter MINI is dedicated to helping drivers stay on the roads, regardless of weather, with its Winter Tyre Programme.
All MINIs are fitted with summer tyres as standard, providing excellent levels of grip, acceleration, braking, comfort and fuel economy in normal road conditions. Summer tyres operate best at temperatures above 7°C. However, once the Great British Winter sets in and air temperatures drop to near freezing the rubber in summer tyres hardens, detracting from the summer tyres’ performance. And in true wintry conditions of snow and ice summer tyre performance is even worse.
MINI’s winter tyres have been specially engineered to operate much better than summer tyres at temperatures below 7°C. MINI’s winter tyres contain more natural rubber in their compound and a different mix of silica as well as featuring special grooves. This allows them to retain flexibility at much lower temperatures.
Research has shown that the difference in breaking distances at 60mph in wet conditions under 7°C on summer and winter tyres is a whopping 4.8m*.
Being safe doesn’t mean having to compromise on style; MINI’s winter wheel and tyre packages come in steel or alloy rim designs. A set of winter wheels and tyres is available from £560 RRP per set**, and is by far the safer option in these colder months. To make life easier, MINI dealers will even store customers’ standard wheels and tyres for just £30 until it’s time to switch them back again in spring.