Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.’s newest tire – the Weather-Master WSC – targets the growing CUV and SUV markets, providing superior winter performance and a premium design, according to the tiremaker.
In February, Cooper introduced the new winter tire to a select group of dealers and media in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Participants tested the WSC’s performance in several snow exercises, including a slalom, autocross, uphill climb and braking maneuvers.
The WSC, which will fill the gap between existing sizes of Cooper’s Weather-Master S/T2 and Discoverer M+S, is the latest in a series of innovative new tires, according to Chuck Yurkovich, vice president of global technology.
“We are now in a period of the most dynamic product development in the history of our company,” he said. “You will see a very exciting string of new products coming to the market over the next two years.”
The studdable Weather-Master WSC features a directional tread with micro-gauge sipes designed to improve ice and wet traction capability through increased biting edges. The tire’s high silica compound provides superior wet, slush and ice grip and allows tread to remain flexible in extreme cold, the tiremaker said. Cooper’s patented circumferential snow-groove technology enhances snow-on-snow grip capabilities, and a solid center rib improves handling when changing lanes and cornering, according to the company.
The WSC provides 12 rows of stud holes, allowing 132 studs to be applied for enhanced ice grip. The tire also features a snowflake wear indicator to show when the tread is half worn, Cooper said.
The WSC will begin shipping in August for the 2010-11 winter season, in 10 T-speed rated sizes covering 17- and 18-inch wheel diameters. Cooper said it is already looking at adding more sizes in 2011.