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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Jan 16th, 2013, 06:50 PM
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MINI CountrymanS All4 disappointing in Canadian winter conditions

I bought a bright yellow MINI Countryman S All4 3 weeks ago. It has Pirelli 210 Sottozero Series II tires on. Conditions have been very cold and snowy with temperatures below -10 with almost 10 cm of snow daily. I am finding she has very poor traction on the road and I am slipping even when I go very slow on scraped and salted roads. I have been driving in these conditions for several years with other cars and have never had a problem.
Is anyone having similar experiences? Any advice?
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Old Jan 16th, 2013, 08:26 PM
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i have a 2012 cms all4 on 205/70R16 dunlop grandtrek sj studless snow and ice tires and it is the best handling vehicle i have ever had in snow and on icy roads

it is far better than my 4x4 pickup truck

tirerack.com gave the Pirelli 210 Sottozero Series II tires good marks for cold, dry performance but rated them rather poorly for snow and ice

also you don't state the tire size you are running

my car came with 225/45R18 tires and i purposely went with 205 width for better snow performance

summers on left, winters on right






scott

2012 CM S All4 (03/12) | Abs Black w/White Roof/Mirrors/18" White Wheels | Cold Pkg | Sport Pkg | Xenon w/ Black Housings| Manual | Sport Susp| Anth Headliner | Flat Load Floor | Bluetooth | 2 Part Center Rail | Milltek downpipe back exhaust
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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 05:39 AM
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2012 Countryman winter tires

Thank you Scott! Are your tires run flats?
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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 08:13 AM
bmwr606
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the oem 225/45R18s are pirelli p7 summer runflats

the 205/70R16 dunlop grandtrek sj6 are not runflats

you may want to try playing with tire pressure

my owners manual calls for 32 psi front and rear

on the summer tires, i used a tire pyrometer and chalk to arrive at 42 psi front and 36 psi rear resulting in much better ride and handling, amazing that more pressure resulted in less harshness of the runflats

so far, with about 7,500 miles on the summer tires, all 4 are wearing evenly

with the winter tires, i started at 32 psi all around and ended up at 40 psi front and 35 psi rear

this evening, i got to play on an empty airport ramp that is covered in ice

the all4 is spectacular on the ice, i could not believe how much power i could put down, how fast i could do a 90 degree turn and how well the car stopped

i tried both DSC and DTC modes as well as turning them both off ... i only spun out 1 time and that was a stomp on the brakes and clutch "panic stop" from about 50 mph (80 kph), the car rotated slowly 180 degrees but stayed in a straight line, i made no attempt to correct nor did i let up on the brakes

my buddy was watching and took his FWD 2004 buick le sabre out on the ramp after me... it was funny, he could hardly move, could not turn or stop without spinning out of control... i thought i was going to have to tow him off the ramp, but he managed to get off the ramp by staying at about 2-3 mph

again, i am amazed at how well the all4 works on the ice and snow

scott

2012 CM S All4 (03/12) | Abs Black w/White Roof/Mirrors/18" White Wheels | Cold Pkg | Sport Pkg | Xenon w/ Black Housings| Manual | Sport Susp| Anth Headliner | Flat Load Floor | Bluetooth | 2 Part Center Rail | Milltek downpipe back exhaust
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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 01:46 PM
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I thought the Pirelli Sottozero was a European-style winter tyre, rather than a Nordic/North American-style extreme winter tyre.

It could be that Pirelli re-use the same name in North America for a different model of tyre, though it looks the same as the European one.
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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 02:21 PM
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Basically its all down to your tyres, a 4 wheel drive with all the traction assistance devices in the world is no good if the tyres just arent right for the conditions, or they were suitable but are just worn out.
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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 06:28 PM
bmwr606
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Quote: Originally Posted by Angib (original)
I thought the Pirelli Sottozero was a European-style winter tyre, rather than a Nordic/North American-style extreme winter tyre.

It could be that Pirelli re-use the same name in North America for a different model of tyre, though it looks the same as the European one.

i believe you are correct, tirerack.com (a large usa online tire distributor) gives them high marks for cold, dry performance, not so much in snow and ice

scott

2012 CM S All4 (03/12) | Abs Black w/White Roof/Mirrors/18" White Wheels | Cold Pkg | Sport Pkg | Xenon w/ Black Housings| Manual | Sport Susp| Anth Headliner | Flat Load Floor | Bluetooth | 2 Part Center Rail | Milltek downpipe back exhaust
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