How can you have a studded winter tire without studs? Nokian Tyres P.L.C. says it has found a way. The company has developed a concept tire that allows drivers to extend and retract studs with the press of a button.
Nokian says the concept tire and its unique stud technology gives a hint of the future. With a press of a button, the driver can bring out the studs to improve the grip of the tire. When the studs are not needed, they can be retracted back into the tire.
The driver makes the switch when the conditions clearly change. Studs are not used on dry roads and stable winter conditions but can be activated in icy weather for extreme safety.
The concept tire uses the tread pattern and structural solutions of the newly introduced Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 SUV studded winter tire. The studs on all four tires raise and lower at the same time. The body of the stud remains in place, and the moving part is the hard metal pin in the middle of the stud.
“This new concept tire is an amazing technological feat. The unique stud concept may indeed become a reality one day,” says Matti Morri, technical customer service manager for Nokian.
Nokian says it developed and manufactured the world's first winter tire to match the Northern frost in 1934. Two years later, the company’s engineers came up with an improved solution for passenger car drivers struggling with the slippery winter roads, and they called it the Nokian Snow-Hakkapeliitta. Today, the winter tire brand is known as the Nokian Hakkapeliitta.
For more information, visit www.nokiantyres.com.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.