Cooper introduces the Weather-Master WSC
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has designed a premium studdable winter tire for crossover vehicles and SUVs. The new Weather-Master WSC complements the Weather-Master S/T2 line, which targets the passenger car segment.
Compared to the S/T2, the WSC has superior snow handling; ice acceleration and braking; wet braking and handling; dry braking; and “subjective” soft handling, according to the company’s testing. The S/T2 has better dry handling capabilities.
Features for the WSC (which stands for “Winter, Snow Confidence and Control”) include the following:
* a "premium appearance" via ventless technology in the tread and enhanced sidewall aesthetics.
* multi-angled siping. “We have a high number of sipes in this tire... thinner sipes than we've had in the past,” says Jeff Schroeder, passenger, winter and UHP tire segment manager for Cooper’s North American Tire Division. "Micro-gauge" sipe technology results in both stable tread elements (for handling performance) and a lot of biting edges for traction.
* a snow flake indicator in the outer grooves that gives the vehicle owner a "quick and easy view of tire wear.
* patented, circumferential snow-groove technology that integrates snow-grooves into the tread elements.
* a fortified, high-modulus base. “By utilizing a high-modulus compound, the stability of the tread is improved, leading to improved handling response,” says the company.
* "high silica" compounding. “Integration of silica technology into (the) tread compound contributes to having superior wet, slush and ice grip.
* a low modulus tread that remains more flexible and retains grip capabilities even in extreme cold.
* a directional tread design. Cooper says the directional aspect "improves forward bite, snow grip and the evacuation of water from the tread.”
* 12 rows of stud holes -- 132 in all.
The new winter tire initially will be available in 10 T-rated metric sizes beginning in August. Four are XL sizes: 265/65R17, 205/50R17, 235/55R17 and 235/60R18. The other six are 18-inch sizes: 235/55R18, 245/60R18, 265/60R18, 215/55R18, 235/65R18 and 235/50R18.
Only one size, 235/55R17, is common to both the WSC and S/T2. “We’re trying to address missing holes,” says Schroeder.