If you are looking for the maximum in grip levels from your tires on ice and snow, a set of studded tires will be in your future. Many will get close to pulling the trigger, but inevitably back off because of the inherent downsides that a studded tire carries with it. Noise, dry weather grip, and sometimes legality all factor into the decision of buying a studded tire to cope with snow and ice, and Nokian Tyres understands. That’s why they designed and developed a tire called the R in 2008, a studless extreme weather tire that attempted to achieve as much of the performance of a studded Hakkapeliitta as possible.
The tire was a great success, and using what they learned with the R, the R2 studless extreme weather tire rolled out in 2013. The R2 broke boundaries in studless technology, utilizing a very special proprietary compound filled with jagged silica crystals, as well as a number of brand new features that helped the R2 win numerous head to head comparisons. With the success of the R2, and the competition strengthening by the big manufacturers, it’s time for a new one…
The Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 [shop now]
The R2 set the benchmark for how a studless extreme weather tire should be able to handle in the wet, on snow, slush, and glaze ice. 5 years later in 2018, Nokian is here to once again raise it a few more notches, as the rest of the industry continues to try and catch the Finnish tire manufacturer. The Nokian R3 is a closer evolution to the R2 than the R2 was to the original R. Borrowing and acting upon the best features that made the R2 so successful, Nokian Tyres went about ways to improve on their already excellent design.
The largest improvements on the outgoing R2 have to do with the tread pattern and the embedded rough crystals, both of which received a revamp. The new architecture has donned the name Nokian Arctic Sense Grip Concept, and is computer designed to fully integrate all portions of the tire tread for maximum efficiency and performance across all winter weather situations. Multiple concepts were refined using Nokian’s permanent “White Hell” winter testing center in Ivalo Finland, north of the arctic circle. Here’s the basic features of the new tire.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 features
Cryo Crystal 3 – Molded into the 3rd generation tire rubber are millions of extremely small, diamond tough crystals. These patented jagged crystals improve performance on glaze ice without the use of studs. CC3 is the culmination of over 4 years of real world R&D and over 100,000km of variable condition testing.
Snow Claws – Jagged elements between the wider tread blocks help eject packed snow and slush, allowing better grip on snow during braking and acceleration.
Aggressive tread pattern – A denser siping pattern than the R2 is accentuated by v-shaped cuts flanking the central rib, increasing the amount of edges without sacrificing evacuation efficiency.
Cap and Base structure – The R3 features a very soft tread compound that will maintain flexibility even in the coldest temperatures, aiding in sipe action as well as dry weather grip in very cold temperatures. The base, or foundation, is composed of a stiffer compound to reinforce the sidewall movement and maintain good cornering stability.
Sipe activators – Building on previous evolutions of this proprietary technology, Nokian’s sipe 3D activators located in the shoulder of the tread adapt to changing conditions by stacking various types of sipes down into the tread. Sipe activators help to maintain grip over slush, snow, water, and ice.
Pump Sipes – Along the central rip are lines of pump sipes, which house small reservoirs deep into the tread. These reservoirs suck the water off the road that can’t be evacuated by the tread pattern itself, further lessening the likelihood of aquaplaning on wet and slushy roads.
Low Rolling Resistance – The new R3 has an extremely low rolling resistance, even below that of many summer tires, and bests the rolling resistance of the R2 by 5%. This saves fuel over the life of the tire and makes the R3 a good choice for drivers looking to gain maximum mpg’s.
Aramid Sidewall – The extremely strong aramid fiber reinforced sidewall provides durability and protection against impacts and cuts.
Here’s a great video that offers some visualizations for the features listed above. The R3 is available in both car and SUV sizes. Follow the link [here] and get yours on the way today!