As the inventor of the winter tire, Nokian Tyres aims to be predictable by design, in terms of safety and reliability. This is what the Finnish tiremaker aimed to instill in its new Hakkapeliitta R5 non-studded winter tire range, which the tiremaker debuted in a global virtual launch Jan. 26.
“Our mission is to keep you safe and ensure that your journey is predictable on every day of winter,” said Olli Seppälä, Nokian Tyres’ head of R&D. “While the weather can be unpredictable and hazardous, your tires should not be. Continuous improvement from one generation to the next is deeply rooted in our development philosophy. With the new Hakkapeliitta R5, we have focused especially on superior winter grip and controlled handling, increasing driving comfort, and minimizing the environmental impact.”
During the virtual launch event, Nokian debuted its new Hakkapeliitta tire range, which consists of the Hakkapeliitta R5 for passenger cars, R5 SUV for SUVs and crossovers and R5 EV for electric vehicles. The Nokian team highlighted the range’s winter safety properties, which include ice grip, comfort and green driving features thanks to a new tread design and compound as well as years of research.
“It has become predictable that Nokian Tyres will develop tires that lead the market in safety, sustainability and innovation, and so it’s appropriate that this tire is all about predictability,” said Steve Bourassa, director of products and pricing for Nokian Tyres North America. “The Hakkapeliitta R5 uses new technology and rigorous testing to give drivers pure grip, pure comfort and pre-eco-friendliness.”
According to Nokian, the Hakkapeliitta R5 required more than four years of R&D, from computer modeling to on-road testing including in the Arctic Lapland at Nokian’s White Hell testing center in Ivalo, Finland near the Arctic Circle.
“Roads and weather conditions can vary widely in North America,” Bourassa said. “The Hakkapeliitta R5 has the right features to tackle these weather conditions. Snow squalls and slippery weather conditions are no match for this tire.”
Compared to its predecessor the Hakkapeliitta R3, the R5 has an updated tread pattern and 40% more tread blocks on the shoulder and surrounding area. This means that the tire has an increased contact patch with more rubber touching the surface to maintain better grip on slippery roads, the tiremaker said. The tire also features a Double Block Grip design that starts from the center and is split in two moving toward the shoulder area to offer improved grip and handling. The main grooves on the tread help to effectively remove water and slush from between the tire and the road, with the grooves opening from the center of the tire toward the shoulder area to clear a path and maintain reliable grip on slushy and wet roads.
According to Nokian, the tire also comes with a 10% increase in siping. The dense, computer-optimized sipes work on ice, snow and bare roads to ensure that grip remains safe even when the tire wears down. The self-locking 3D sipes press the tread blocks together on road contact, which improves handling during turns.
In its new Green Trace compound, the R5 has Arctic Grip Crystals, microscopic crystals mixed in the tread compound that work like built-in studs. These create sharp, tough grip edges inside the rubber. As the tire wears down, the crystals emerge and activate the tire’s grip properties, Nokian says. The tire’s Green Trace compound promotes excellent winter grip under all temperatures, better mileage and low rolling resistance. The large amount of natural rubber keeps the compound flexible under all conditions, and more than one-third of the materials in the compoumd are renewable and recycled.
The R5 also comes with improved comfort features thanks to the use of Nokian’s Silent Touch technology, which gives the tire a more balanced tread block design. This helps to eliminate disturbing noise peaks the human ear can distinguish from inside the vehicle, which leads to less interior noise and added driving comfort, the tiremaker said.
In addition, the tire features 4.4% lower rolling resistance than its predecessor thanks to its new Green Trace compound, according to Nokian.
“When designing new tires, the entire production process and the life cycle of the product must take the environmental factors into account,” said Katriina Markkula, Nokian Tyres’ development manager. “Starting from the material selection, the new Hakkapeliitta R5 has been designed to leave a smaller carbon footprint. The new, eco-friendly Green Trace compound offers safe and green driving due to ingredients like natural rubber, recycled steel, plant-derived oils and pine resin. We’re proud to say that one-third of the new compound consists of renewable and recycled materials.”
Hakkapeliitta R5 SUV
The Hakkapeliitta R5 SUV is equipped with the same safety and technology features as the passenger car model, yet offers optimized stability, durability and wear resistance while managing high wheel loads, Nokian said.
The R5 SUV’s tread compound is tailored for SUV use and offers improved stability and durability. The stiff compound works across a wide temperature range to offer excellent wear resistance and ensure safe grip and stable handling, Nokian said.
As with all its SUV products, Nokian Tyres has incorporated its Aramid Strong Sidewalls into the Hakkapeliitta R5 SUV, which features aramid fibers in the compound to make the tire more resistant to impacts and cuts. The R5 SUV also features a strong body structure which further improves driving stability and durability.
Hakkapeliitta R5 EV
Developed with environmentally friendly technology, the Hakkapeliitta R5 EV offers driver comfort to match the vehicles they drive, Nokian says.
“Electric cars are quieter than traditional car models, which makes low rolling noise a question of comfort. When designing the new Hakkapeliitta R5, we have taken gigantic steps forward with silent driving features,” said Hannu Onnela, senior engineer for Nokian Tyres. “This is important, as we want drivers to experience serenity inside the car and minimize noise pollution into the environment.” and increased range for electric vehicles and hybrids.
Nokian said the noises EVs usually generate are caused by wind resistance or tires. When designing the Hakkapeliitta R5 EV, Nokian used its SilentDrive Technology, which consists of a layer of acoustic foam on the inner liner of the tire. The acoustic foam absorbs resonance from the tire’s air cavity, resulting in lower noise levels and increased driving comfort pushing driving comfort to the max.
EVs also typically have high power outputs and weigh more than cars with internal combustion engines. To match this demand, the Hakkapeliitta R5 EV comes with a stronger structure and reinforced tread profile with an additional amount of rubber to withstand high torque and high wheel loads, Nokian said.
Now available for North American dealers to order for next winter tire season, the Hakkapeliitta R5 comes in 160 sizes that fit today’s high-volume cars and SUVs. The tire comes in 60 sizes for passenger cars and light trucks, 80 sizes for SUVs and 25 EV sizes. The three products range from 14- to 22-in. rim diameters, with speed ratings Q, R and T.