RICHMOND, British Columbia — Toyo Tire Canada Inc. is expanding the range of its Observe GSi-6 winter tire line with a pair of iterations targeted at owners of performance cars and SUVs/CUVs/light trucks, respectively.
The new versions, the GSi-6 HP and GSi-6 LS, feature tread patterns distinct from the GSi-6 and employ Toyo's studless "Microbit" technology — silica-reinforced rubber with walnut shells and bamboo ash-based "carbonic" powder — for improved traction on wet roads and better handling in snow, the company said.
The GSi-6 range features a directional tread design with tapered evacuation grooves to direct water or slush away from the center of the tire to reduce the risk of hydroplaning or getting caught in slush-rutted roads, Toyo said, along with staggered tread blocks designed to enhance traction and handling and reduce road noise.
In addition, "Multi Wave" 3D siping enhances ice traction while ensuring the blocks remain firmer while braking, cornering or accelerating for improved overall performance and less risk of irregular wear. Snow claws within the tread grooves enhance traction in deep snow or slush.
Toyo Tires Canada has posted a series of videos on its website explaining the tire's various features.
The Observe GSi-6 is an H speed rated, studless winter tire designed for passenger cars and is available in 22 sizes to fit 14- to 16-inch rim diameter wheels.
The Observe GSi-6 LS, geared toward SUV and CUV applications, is available in H and V speed ratings. It is available in 66 H- and V-speed-rated sizes to fit 15- to 22-inch wheels.
They complement the GSi-6, which launched in 2018 and are offered in 33 sizes.
The new products will be priced similarly to the predecessor product, the GSI-5, Toyo Canada said. There is limited distribution of the GSi-6 range now in the U.S., and it's expected that will increase going forward.
The GSi-6 range is produced in Japan.