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Tyres /  Tyre News4x4 & SUV / Yokohama BluEarth*Winter V906 SUV

Yokohama puts the 'sports' back in SUV with latest sustainable snow tyre

Bmw X3 sliding on snow

We got to grips with two of the sharpest SUVs on sale — BMW’s X3 and Volvo’s XC60 — in the bitter Swedish arctic, to find out how Yokohama’s BluEarth*Winter V906 SUV tyre handles the most treacherous of snowy terrains.

Who says sporty handling and safe, reliable traction need to be mutually exclusive? Not Yokohama, anyway. Much like our versatile SUV test machines, the Japanese marque’s BluEarth*Winter V906 SUV snow tyre proved itself as a truly consummate all-rounder over the course of a rigorous day’s Nordic testing. 

For as long as time itself, Volvo has been a byword for safety and security above all else. So, it’s only logical we used the Swedish brand’s midsized XC60 to explore how the V906 SUV tyre negotiates dangerously steep and slippery gradients.

Volvo XC60 uphill
Yokohama’s Super-Rich-Silica Compound gave the XC60 a surefooted and stable feel — even on turns with deceptively tight radii.
Image credit: Blackcircles.com

Starting with the gentlest, 7% slope, we quickly discovered the Volvo barely broke a sweat reaching the summit, and the descent posed little more of a challenge. Incredibly, even as the angle of attack increased to an impressive 14%, the XC60 continued to race up the hill with such zeal it felt as though you could have made the climb whilst towing a caravan.  

Thanks to Yokohama’s adaptive 3D sipes which create thousands of biting edges to claw into the snow, the Volvo’s traction control and anti-lock braking systems were seldom forced to intervene in any of the tests. As a driver, the V906 SUV tyre fosters confidence and does the hard work for you — even when grip is in seriously short supply.

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When paired with the V906 SUV’s 3D sipes, the Volvo makes light work of the most challenging 14% gradient.
Image credit: Blackcircles.com

Just as Volvo’s hallmark has long been safety, BMW is equally synonymous with “Sheer Driving Pleasure”. Interestingly, we discovered the V906 SUV tyre is just as well suited to the X3’s sporty handling balance, as the Swedish SUV’s security-first approach.  

According to Yokohama, the V906 tyre’s traction inspires confidence thanks to an advanced polymer compound which “enhances snow performance on winter roads without sacrificing dry traction or tread life.” In practice, we used that confidence to explore the limits of BMW’s characteristic rear-biased chassis with impunity. As we carved around Yokohama’s tight and technical snow handling track at speed, the V906 SUV revealed a subtle and eminently controllable oversteer balance at the limit.  

Of course, we don’t recommend you slide your X3 in such fashion on public roads, but, even at modest velocities, you’ll still appreciate how Yokohama has retained the driving feel and agility that BMW’s engineers strived to achieve, despite the wintry conditions at play.

BMW X3 Snow
BMW’s X3 is one of the finest handling 4x4’s on the market; that doesn’t need to change when snow starts to fall.
Image credit: Yokohama

Combining safety and sportiness in equal measure is impressive in its own right. The BluEarth*Winter V906 SUV achieves this whilst also keeping a close eye on the environment. As the BluEarth element of its name suggests, the V906 SUV aims to maximise mileage and reduce C02 emissions during usage and production. All of which should help Yokohama realise its goal of achieving carbon net zero emissions by 2050.  

Ultimately, we found Yokohama’s new eco-conscious snow tyre offers the best of both worlds: safety when you need it, and fun when you want it. What more can you ask for?

Hero image: Blackcircles.com

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