Tire Rack Compares Blizzak WS80 and WinterContact SI

Dec. 7, 2015

Tire Rack Inc. evaluated the Blizzak WS80 and Continental WinterContact SI in its latest tests of top tire models. The company says both tires “both ably handle severe snow service.”

In previous tests, the Bridgestone Blizzak model has led the ice and snow category. It has also led the pack in consumer survey ratings and reviews. This time, Tire Rack compared the current leader with the newly designed WinterContact SI – and after the first round of testing, the Continentals measured up impressively.

To evaluate each model’s traction on slick surfaces, Tire Rack experts headed to a local ice hockey rink, where the smooth ice replicates the packed snow and polished ice often encountered by drivers during winter months. The tires were mounted on a 2014 BMW F30 328i sedan, for which both tire models are suitable replacement tires.

With the tires mounted and the vehicle’s traction control system engaged, Tire Rack measured the time needed to accelerate 60 feet on the ice, after a rolling start. Then, with the vehicle’s anti-lock braking system engaged, Tire Rack measured the distance needed to stop from a speed of 12 miles per hour.

Here are the results:

* The Blizzak demonstrated a slight advantage over the WinterContact in terms of acceleration, but both models performed almost identically.

* Whereas the WinterContact tires allowed the vehicle to accelerate 60 feet in 4.276 seconds, the Blizzak tires had a slight edge with 4.255 seconds – roughly two-hundredths of a second faster.

* Both models required 28.4 feet to stop the car from a speed of 12 miles per hour.

As winter road conditions arrive at Tire Rack’s headquarters in South Bend, Ind., the testing team will again evaluate ice and snow models on a road loop and on the company's own test track. The Tire Rack team also evaluates tires at a dedicated winter test facility in northern Sweden.

For complete results and more detailed information on this and other tire tests, visit www.TireRack.com, where you’ll find information on this evaluation, dozens of other comparisons, and thousands of relevant consumer surveys.