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Goodyear tests its new winter tire -- in Florida

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Goodyear tests its new winter tire -- in Florida

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. showcased its new Ultra Grip Ice WRT in Florida recently. Fortunately, the Eglin Air Force Base had a test facility that was up to the challenge of demonstrating its benefits.

Thanks to 990 tons of refrigeration, the base's McKinley Climatic Laboratory can test tires on snow and ice. Tire dealers from the United States and Canada were on hand to learn about the tire, which will become Goodyear's winter power line next year.

(It eventually will replace the exisiting Ultra Grip Ice and Ultra Grip lines.)

The Ultra Grip Ice WRT is designed for SUV and light trucks. It is available in 16 sizes.

P-metric sizes (S-rated)

16-inch: 245/75R16, 225/70R16, 235/70R16, 245/70R16, 255/70R16 and 265/70R16.

17-inch: 265/70R17, 235/65R17, 245/65R17 and 265/65R17.

LT sizes (Q-rated, Load Range E)

16-inch: LT245/75R16 and LT265/75R16.

17-inch: LT245/70R17, LT265/70R17 and LT245/75R17.

18-inch: LT275/70R18.

The tire features a "winter grip" tread compound designed for ice and snow covered roads, and a directional tread pattern that helps channel water and slush away from the tire.

In the center zone of the tread, two-dimensional blades "offer enhanced starting and stopping power on snow and ice," according to the company. In the shoulder zone, 3D Tredlock Technology blades help give the tire its wet and winter traction; the blades lock together for grip in turns.

A rim protector helps protect the wheels against curb damage.

The WRT (for Winter Reactive Technology) is studdable. Goodyear says it competes against the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1, Blizzak DM-Z3 and Blizzak W965; and Toyo Observe Open Country G-02 Plus.

To see more photos from the event, visit Modern Tire Dealer's Facebook page.

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