With help from parent brand Continental, General Tire has produced its first Winter tire.
General Tire was purchased by Continental Tire in 1987, but unlike its parent company-Europe's top producer of winter tires-General has never had a product to offer to the colder parts of the world. But as we found out this past week on the outer edge of Yellowstone National Park, that will change in the third quarter of 2007 when the new Altimax Arctic goes on sale.
Unlike Continental-branded winter tires, the General Altimax Arctic has no dry pavement high-performance intentions, meaning that it doesn't compromise performance and safety in an effort to be quieter and smoother when roads are dry and warm. After all, they're called winter tires, not snow tires; pavement and rubber change with temperature and normal summer or all-season tires loose some ability around forty-five degrees.
General had on hand for comparison a set of Pirelli Winter Carving tires, and in equal BMW 325i sedans the Generals provided more cornering grip, as proved by a g-meter in each car as we rounded a snow-covered skidpad. But obviously, a test with General in control of the conditions and equipment cannot be accepted as the full truth. But it does mean we're excited to test a set next winter. Pricing hasn't been announced, but expect the Altimax Arctic to be priced similarly to other broad market winter tires from Pirelli, Goodyear, and Michelin. Check out generaltire.com for more information.