26 October 2011 ~ 1 Comment

Volkswagen launches UK and European winter tyre programmes

With darkness hours about to get longer with the end of British Summer Time this weekend, Volkswagen UK is supporting TyreSafe’s winter tyre campaign with the launch of its own winter tyre programme. A cost-effective way for drivers to get the right winter tyres on their Volkswagen, a set of four tyres can be fitted to existing wheels, starting from £250 fully fitted. In addition, complete winter tyre and wheel sets are also available. The 15 to 19-inch alloy wheels specified in the programme have been designed to offer maximum anti-corrosion resistance to snow and salt, and start from £725 including fitting.

Volkswagen Accessories is also offering a similar programme on mainland Europe. For the Polo, the five-spoke ‘Sima’ alloy wheel is offered in both 14 and 15-inch sizes, with Semperit Master-Grip 185/60 R14 82T (€149.00) or Michelin Alpin A4 185/60 R15 88T EL (€179.00) tyres. The smaller rims and tyre set fit Series 4 (9N and 9N3) Polos built from 2002-2009, while the larger pairing fit all current 6R Polos, including standard, GTI, and Cross Polo models. As well as tyres and wheels, Volkswagen also offers durable high-quality nylon tyre/wheel storage bag – cost is £25 inclusive for a set of four.

As most people drive to and from work in the early morning and late afternoon, when temperatures are even lower than the daily average, Volkswagen states that winter tyres are recommended over summer tyres for up to six months of the year. Winter tyres use a rubber compound optimised for temperatures of less than seven degrees celsius. Conventional tyres become stiffer at low temperatures, but the winter compounds remain softer and therefore better able to maintain grip. They also benefit from a special tread pattern that optimises water displacement and additional grooves, called sipes, which help to maximise traction.

Winter tyres therefore help to provide better grip whether under cornering, braking, or acceleration, and whether the roads are wet, icy, snowy or simply cold. According to safety organisation tyresafe.org, they can reduce braking distances by up to 11 metres in icy conditions, and around eight metres (or two car lengths) on snowy roads. For more precise information on UK specifications, visit your Volkswagen Retailer or www.volkswagen.co.uk and for further details on the benefits of cold weather/winter tyres visit www.tyresafe.org/wintertyres.

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