NOKIA, Finland — Nokian Tyres P.L.C. has upgraded its Hakkapeliitta winter tire range for North America with new non-studded versions for passenger cars and sport-utility vehicles that are designed to deliver "uncompromised" safety and "smart" driving features for every day of winter.
The Hakkapeliitta R5 and R5 SUV are designed to offer "unprecedented" ice grip, comfort and green driving features for Northern winter conditions. The new products' enhanced winter safety properties derive from a new tread design, the use of grip particles, rigorous testing and relentless research, Nokian said.
The new Hakkapeliitta R5 product range, to be available in time for the 2022-23 winter season, will launch with over 160 SKUs, covering 14- to 22-inch rim diameters in Q (160km/h), R (170 km/h) and T (190 km/h) speed ratings. Pricing information was not disclosed.
The launch includes a version, the R5 EV, developed for use on electric vehicles and hybrids that has up to 4.4% lower rolling resistance than its predecessor and up to 15.5% better rolling resistance compared to the premium industry average of the main competitors.
Most of the products are marked XL for additional load-carrying capacity in that size. Besides North America, Nokian is targeting the R5 range at markets in the Nordic countries and Russia.
One of the safety advances was achieved by renewing the tread pattern with a "double block grip" design that Nokian claims offers "superior" grip and handling. The new design can be seen especially on the tire's shoulder areas, where a stiff row of tread blocks starts from the center and is split in two moving towards the shoulder area.
Compared to its predecessor, the Hakkapeliitta R3, the R5 has 40% more tread blocks on the shoulder and intermediate area, a change that results in 4% greater contact area for better grip on slippery surfaces.
Nokian also is using microscopic "Arctic Grip" crystals in the tread compound that act like studs, creating sharp, tough grip edges inside the rubber. As the tire wears down, the crystals emerge and activate reserve grip.
These changes yield "dramatically" increased winter safety and comfort, which Nokian called the most valued features of a non-studded winter tire. For the driver this means balanced and predictable driving feel and less energy costs, according to Samu Lepistö, Nokian's development manager, who noted the R5's rolling resistance also is lower than the R3.
Compared with the R3, the R5's braking distance on ice is up to 18 feet (5.6 meters) shorter compared to the predecessor when braking to a stop from from 50 mph (80 km/h). It also has a 10% increase in siping, which help ensure that grip remains safe even when the tire wears down.
The self-locking 3D sipes press the tread blocks together on road contact, which improves handling during turns and evasions, Nokian said.
Nokian also took driving in slushy conditions into consideration when designing the R5's tread. The main grooves on the tread — which open from the center of the tire towards the shoulder area — help remove water and slush more effectively.
Nokian also considered tire noise in the R5's design portfolio. The tread design incorporates "Silent Touch" elements, Nokian said, which eliminate the most disturbing noise peaks detected within the vehicle.
Nokian said the R5 range also offers reduced rolling resistance that can yield lower fuel use of up to 2.8% versus the R3. This also helps reduce CO2 emissions by roughly 140 kg over a four-year lifecycle.