This is for our friends in the wintery Northern Hemisphere, it's tyre-test time! Can an AWD vehicle with summer tyres keep up with a two-wheel-drive on winter tyres in the snow? Let's find out.
A lot of people out there believe that owning an all- or four-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicle for driving in the snow is your safest bet... but are they right? Most of the time they honestly don't factor tyres into this equation and, for the most part, it's because they don't know better.
The guys from the YouTube channel, Tyre Reviews, decided to do a little test. They took two BMW X1's, one a front-wheel drive (FWD) with winter tyres, the other AWD with summer tyres. The tyres themselves were from Goodyear in the same size and load rating (225/50 R17) and have the same tyre pressures. The summer car sported Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3's, while the winter car wore a set of Goodyear Ultragrip Performance Gen-1.
The experiment itself was made up of six parts, 1) acceleration and braking, 2) obstacle avoidance, 3) a snowy hill start, and 4) snow handling.
To breat them down further, test one was pretty simple, accelerate from 0-50km/h and back to 0 in the shortest distance and test two, braking from 50km/h, also in the shortest distance.
Test three, park at the base of a 10% incline and accelerate up, and then, test four, roll down the same 10% decline and try to stop. Test five was an emergency lane change, travel to 45km/h and then swerve to avoiding an elk standing in your lane.
Last but not least, test six; snow handling. Another simple one, what time does each vehicle clock around a short track in the snow.
Although this test was done for countries that receive lots of snow, the principals work for other environments too, such as overlanding through the Okavango Delta. Basically, the lesson here is that the correct equipment is vital and it saves lives.
We won't go into detail, but winter tyres win over AWD on the snow in all six tests. Check out the video below to see how it all turns out.