Powerful SUVs need tyres with special properties how drivers can create the best on-road and off-road driving experience
Compared to regular passenger cars, the tyres for powerful SUVs and 4WD models have to master more challenges and so demand a higher level of performance.
Continental Tyres Development Engineer, Andreas Schlenke, shares his advice on what drivers need to be looking for in high-quality off-road tyres that have the agility to master both urban and country roads.
When purchasing tyres for high-performance SUV models, the gross weight of the vehicle needs to be considered. Schlenke advises, “In terms of weight alone, an SUV tips the scales at one third heavier than a normal car, so the tyres need an advanced load capacity.
“Adding to the requirement of an increased load capacity, SUVs tend to have a higher centre of gravity, longer suspension travel and a greater track width than in smaller cars – this affects braking and handling. Look for tyres that have been developed with safe braking and precision handling in mind, after all, in the more-powerful SUVs the top speeds are not far below those of high-end sports cars.”
The general public appeal of a powerful and comfortable SUV means that only a small proportion of SUVs and 4WD models are driven off-road and, as such, may only come fitted with standard tyres. Before buying new tyres, owners of SUVs and 4WD vehicles should think carefully about where they are going to be driving and choose their tyres accordingly.
According to Schlenke, “Off-road driving calls for a chunkier tread pattern with good self-cleaning properties, plus cut-and-chip protection and strongly reinforced sidewalls. This type of construction is less than ideal for fast highway driving because, out on the road, the chunky lugs that interlock with gravel and stones on rough terrain cannot put down enough grip to handle fast cornering and braking from speed.”
When we compare the vehicle data, we see that the big, fast models ask more of their tyres, including a bespoke approach to their usage. To learn more about the best on- and off-road tyres, visit Continental Tyres.