Nokian Tyres plc is bringing a new Hakkapeliitta tire to the winter tire market in 2017. Actually, it’s offering two: the Hakkapeliitta 9 for passenger cars, and the Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV.
Nokian says the tire features new stud technology, a new tread pattern, new tire structure, and a new rubber compound. The tire wil be available in fall 2017.
Tthe Hakkapeliitta 9 showcases the new adaptive Nokian functional stud concept, which features two designs of studs on the tire for use during specific driving conditions, such as braking or accelerating and cornering, which Nokian says ensures optimal traction in all winter conditions.
The tire provides longitudinal and lateral grip on icy and snowy driving surfaces, and behaves in a controlled and logical manner, the company says. The new tread pattern offers stable bare-road handling, a comfortably silent ride and rolls lighter than previous Hakkapeliitta generations resulting in improved fuel economy.
“As we’ve seen during the past few months, the snow and ice of winter results in dangerous driving conditions on the roads,” says Tommi Heinonen, president of Nokian Tyres North America. “Leveraging 80 years and millions of miles driven on Hakkapeliittas, our team developed the safest, most comfortable winter tire that we can’t wait to bring to drivers throughout North America.”
All about the studs
Nokian spent four years and countless miles of testing developing its newest flagship product, and it was fine-tuned to master extreme conditions at the tire maker’s White Hell testing center located north of the Arctic Circle in Ivalo, Finland.
“One of our starting points was to develop a completely new studded tire that combines balanced longitudinal and lateral grip with eco-friendliness,” says Juha Pirhonen, vice president of research and development for Nokian. “Unique to the Hakkapeliitta 9, the new stud technology features a dedicated, tailored stud for the center of the tread and a separate stud for the shoulder areas.”
The studs in the center area maximize longitudinal grip during acceleration and braking; and the tire is supported by the shape of the studs’ body, lower flange and hard metal center. The longitudinally wide hard metal pin on the center studs offers a maximum grip surface for the best possible longitudinal grip.
“The upper part of the stud body is bevelled, which allows the stud to penetrate even deeper into the ice than before; this further improves braking grip and lateral grip,” says Pirhonen.
The shoulder studs have been designed to provide lateral grip, which is especially important when cornering on slippery surfaces. The stud body and flange are different from the center studs, and the triaxial hard metal pin has been designed to withstand lateral forces. When cornering, the studs will encounter maximal surface-area, which improves lateral grip. This technical innovation offers improved, precise handling under slippery conditions, the company says.
In an effort to produce safer, more eco-friendly tires, Nokian developed the Eco Stud 9 concept for use in the Hakkapeliitta 9. The Eco Stud 9 concept is incorporated into both the center rib and shoulder studs to reduce road wear and ensure a quiet ride. The technology consists of an Eco Stud cushion to dampen road contact, an air space in the middle of the lower flange for reduced stud impact and bevelled hard metal tips to distribute the stud’s impact force across a wider area.
Designed for all road conditions
In addition to its ice grip, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 performs on snowy and dry roads. The tread pattern is heavily grooved with self-locking 3D sipes allowing the tire to respond quickly and sensitively to steering for improved handling. The self-locking sipes lock the tread blocks firmly together on road contact, which results in fluent driving during cornering and evasions.
Dense siping combined with snow grip boosters on both sides of the middle blocks in the center of the tread provides more sharp edges for improved snow grip in both the longitudinal and lateral directions. The aggressive deep snow boosters on the shoulder areas provide additional grip when driving in deep snow.
The Hakkapeliitta 9 features a new type of eco-friendly winter tread compound, which contains silica and canola oil for improved tear resistance, natural rubber and the new Green Elasto Proof biomaterial that keeps the compound elastic at low temperatures. Nokian says the compound’s chemical bonds provide a sturdy grip year after year, even as the miles add up.
Because a large amount of winter driving takes place on bare roads, Nokian fitted the Hakkapeliitta 9 with its stability support network tread pattern, where the tread support network is rigid and unified at the bottom of the pattern getting more grooves and sipes where the rubber meets the road.
The strong ultra high tensile steel belt structure makes the structure light but hard, providing precise handling even at higher speeds. The sturdy structure also helps prevent punctures and the new special clinch rubber compound in the bead area improves driving comfort and durability.
The Hakkapeliitta 9 also features Nokian’s driving safety indicator to indicate remaining tread, and the snowflake symbol or winter safety indicator to indicate when it is recommended to replace tires.
Sizing and specifications
The Hakkapeliitta 9 is designed for passenger vehicles, and covers 52 sizes from 14 to 20 inches. Most are marked XL for the highest possible load capacity in that particular size.
The Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV comes in 51 sizes from 16 to 21 inches and features the aramid sidewall technology, which uses aramid fibre, to optimize durability. The selection also offers several products that employ Flat Run technology or that are marked XL for the highest possible load capacity.
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