The new X-Ice Snow is a Nordic compound studless winter tire, designed for the more extreme winter conditions of Northern Europe and parts of North America. Thanks to the improvements in technology in studless winter tires, the market share is quickly growing, with the Finnish studded market dropping from 50% of all winter tires sold in 2013, to 37% in 2019.
As with all Michelin tires, the French manufacturer has worked hard on the total life performance of the new X-Ice Snow range, not just the new performance for tire testing. The new tire brakes 0.1 meters shorter on ice than its predecessor when new, and 0.9 meters shorter then worn to 4mm. The new X-Ice Snow also lasts 12,000 km longer than the average wear levels of the Continental Viking Contact 7, Goodyear Ultragrip Ice 2 and Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3. The X-Ice Snow also improves snow grip by 4% and ice grip by 8% when compared to its predecessor.
How does the new tire combine best in class braking with best in class wear? There's four key technologies in the new tire. Firstly, the flex-ice 2.0 tread compound is a unique rubber mix which enables the tire to perform in a wider range of temperatures, the innovative tread compound generates micro roughness on the tires surface for additional snow scraping edges, with the next generation V-spaced tread design providing 100% use of the contact patch for optimal grip. Finally, the new tire has two types of full depth 3D sipes, which allows the tire to work more effectively right down to the legal limit.
To demonstrate the new tires performance, Michelin invited Tire Reviews to Northern Sweden to test the new tire in a variety of winter conditions.
During the snow handling testing the X-Ice Snow performed as well as you would hope from a latest generation premium winter tire, however there was no comparison to really dig into the performance of the tire.
The traction and braking testing was more interesting, as we were comparing rival manufacturers at 4mm tread depth. Averaging hundreds of runs across the day, the new Michelin I-Ice Snow SUV stopped the the vehicle in 2.3 meters less than the average of a Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 and Continental VikingContact 7, and 0.3 meters shorter than the Nokian on ice.
The Michelin X-Ice Snow will be available fall 2020 in 82 sizes with speed ratings T and H for passenger vehicles, CUVs and SUVs with 14 to 22-inch rim diameters. Another 41 sizes will be available fall 2021.