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Author Topic:   Toyo GP-4 Snow & Ice Tires (Walnuts?)
posted November 16, 1999 05:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Searcher_one   Click Here to Email Searcher_one     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
I have a 1999 Suzuki Grand vitara and even though it is a 4x4, the winters for me are snowy, icy, and slushy since I drive many miles into the snowbelt. Black ice for me is a weekly occurence since I drive a lot a dawn and dusk.

Yes, I know Hakka's and Alpin's, and Blizzak's are great, but I want to hear from someone who know's about the GP-4 and this Microbit/walnut stuff since Consumer Reports never tested it.

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posted November 19, 1999 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nils   Click Here to Email Nils     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Here's some information I got direct from Toyo on their Observe friction tire:

Thank you for your interest in our Observe snow tire line. The Observe line has been tested and meets the new performance defintition provided by the Rubber Manufactures Association as a tire suitable for severe snow conditions. Our engineers and an independent company also tested the Observe G0-2 (different patterns depending on size) against the Bridgestone Blizzak WS-15, here are the test results;

Toyo Test | Toyo | BS
Snow Braking | 4 | 4
Snow Accel | 4 | 4
Snow Slalom | 4 | 4
Ice Braking | 4 | 5
Ice Accel | 5 | 4
Size: 195/65R15

Independent Test
Traction-Medium | 4 | 5
Pack Snow
Braking-Hard | 4 | 4
Pack Snow
Braking-Ice | 4 | 4
Size: 205/65R15

4=Very Good

We hope this helps.

Hideki Ueha
Staff Engineer
Technical Service Department
Toyo Tire Corporation http://www.toyo.com

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posted November 21, 1999 07:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Searcher_one   Click Here to Email Searcher_one     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Thanks Nils,

Here is a reply that I got from Toyo Canada AFTER I decided on purchasing the GP-4's for my SUV. He makes some good points about the tire and the SUV. I have Blizzaks on my Lumina and they stick like glue, but decided to try the cheaper alternative.

The Observe GP-4 is a new tire to a new segment of the tire market. It is specifically designed for the Light Truck and SUV vehicles for winter driving. The Alpin and Blizzak are intended for passenger vehicles. At this point I believe only Dunlop and Yokohama have this type of tire. I am unaware of any objective testing done at this time, perhaps because it is too new a segment of themarket.

The GP-4 has the same "microbit" tread compounding ( it has the crushed walnuts in the tread compound) as our "Observe" passenger winter tires, but offers better stability for high centre of gravity vehicles. The tread pattern reduces
abnormal wear pattern characteristics of four-wheel drive vehicles such as shoulder cupping on thefront steering tires.

Our initial testing in Canada has proved the tire to be superior for this type of application.

Mike Cain
Toyo Advertising
Revolutionary Thinking, Tires to Change Your Mind

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posted November 21, 1999 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nils   Click Here to Email Nils     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Your Suzuki weighs less than my Volvo but is 9 inches higher! With that kind of center-of-gravity you need all the help you can get.

The GP-4 is one of 4 types of Observe tire designs tuned to particular applications. That's a good idea although I'll bet it confuses the heck out of tire shops. Bridgestone has 4 different kinds of Blizzak tires for similar reasons. Other manufacturers alter the tire casing and tread design depending on the size.

Most tire tests are run on FWD sedans. It would be interesting to see the difference with a tall SUV and with a full-size pickup, similar to the 12/97 test at < http://www.usroads.com/journals/aruj/9712/ru971202.htm> but with current tires. Friction tires have evolved significantly in the past couple of years.

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