In what initially sounds like a Monty Python skit waiting to happen, Nokian Tyres announced plans to introduce the world's first non-studded winter tire with studs in connection with the 80th anniversary of their original winter tire ("It's studded, yet it's not studded, I say!"). The driver can bring out the studs to improve the grip of the tire. Then, when the studs are not needed, they can be retracted back into the tire. This all reportedly happens with a press of a button from the driver's compartment.
The idea of the retractable studded tire is certainly an intriguing one and could add a ton of versatility to extreme winter driving if the conditions suddenly changed. Studs that would not be used on dry roads and stable winter conditions could be activated in icy weather for added safety without the driver exiting the vehicle.
This concept tire utilizes the tread pattern and structural solutions of the newly introduced Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 SUV studded winter tire. The studs on all tires raise and lower at the same time. The body of the stud remains in place, and the moving part is the hard metal pin in the middle.
"This new concept tire is an amazing technological feat. The unique stud concept may indeed become a reality one day. As the pioneers of the winter tire world, we show that it is possible to combine a studded and non-studded winter tire", says Matti Morri, technical customer service manager for Nokian Tyres.
Nokian Tyres developed and manufactured the world's first winter tire, Kelirengas Weather Tyre, to match the Northern frost in 1934. Two years later, engineers at the factory came up with an improved solution for passenger car drivers struggling with the slippery winter roads, and they called it the Snow-Hakkapeliitta. Today, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta is one of the world's best-known winter tire brands.