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Thread: Impressed with Winter mode in XKR 5.0 Driving in Snow & Iced roads (UK)

  1. #11
    Senior Member simpo3's Avatar
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    Most people in the UK unless serious petrolheads have the same tyres all year round. I have some 'snow socks' in the boot which might have helped but by the time I was stuck it would have been too hazardous to try to move the car to get them on - it even slipped a back a bit in P which was a bit alarming with a curved hill and parked cars behind me. Suddenly your car is no more than an unpowered and uncontrollable sledge...

  2. #12
    Senior Member Neilr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simpo3 View Post
    Most people in the UK unless serious petrolheads have the same tyres all year round.
    Is it only petrolheads or actually people who have experienced how useless summer tyres can be in snow and ice and have experienced how much better winter tyres are? My parents (Cheshire) and my wife's mum (Aberdeenshire) are really not petrolheads but both have one car with winter tyres because they want to be as mobile as possible and as safe with it.

    In Britain, snow generally falls so infrequently and if it does it is very little, the investment maybe difficult to justify. However, recent winters seem to have been snowier. It is amusing to people who live in areas where they know how to deal with snow how a little bit of snow paralyses the UK and people claim to have turned into driving gods because they managed to get home while it was snowing. Something every granny does in most north western countries without a high-tech SUV
    S-Type 3.0 Manual MY2001 in Pacific Blue with Cashmere Leather Sport Seats, Sunroof, Melbourne Alloys, Premium Sound plus some other stuff ... 55k miles.
    XKR 5.0 Speed Pack MY2011 in Polaris White with Ivory/Charcoal Leather, Nevis Alloys and R-Performance Interior plus some other stuff ... 16k miles.
    Hyundai Tucson 1.6T AWD MY2016 in White Sand. Basic, comfortable and surprisingly fast and competent ... 10k miles.
    FIAT Coupe MY1997 in Steel Grey with Tan Leather ... 55k miles.

  3. #13
    Senior Member simpo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neilr View Post
    Is it only petrolheads or actually people who have experienced how useless summer tyres can be in snow and ice and have experienced how much better winter tyres are? My parents (Cheshire) and my wife's mum (Aberdeenshire) are really not petrolheads but both have one car with winter tyres because they want to be as mobile as possible and as safe with it.
    I'm sure that's very much the exception than the rule. Youd be surprised how many people - dare I say more female than male - don't know if their car is front or rear wheel drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neilr View Post
    In Britain, snow generally falls so infrequently and if it does it is very little, the investment maybe difficult to justify. However, recent winters seem to have been snowier. It is amusing to people who live in areas where they know how to deal with snow how a little bit of snow paralyses the UK and people claim to have turned into driving gods because they managed to get home while it was snowing. Something every granny does in most north western countries without a high-tech SUV
    The UK isn't geared up for snow, like Canada or Finland, because it's not economically feasible to do so. We have perhaps one day of snow a year, and not much at that. If people can't get to work for a day or two, it's not a big deal in the main scheme of things. Motorists in the UK are indoctrinated to believe that all they have to do to be 'good' or 'safe' is to drive at 30mph.

    Take a survey - go down a British high street asking people if they have winter tyres for their car. Most will say either say 'No' or 'What's a winter tyre?'. A lot would be unable to change a wheel.

    I'm not going to buy a spare set of wheels and tyres for my car - perhaps £1,000 for one day a year, plus the ballache of changing them in my drive by which time the snow's probably melted. If it's a bit snowy for a day or two, I'll just stay here and walk to the shops.

  4. #14
    Senior Member 8bit's Avatar
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    I put a set of Vredestein Quatrac 5 all-season tyres on our Merc M class last December. We've been very glad of them in the snow and ice we've had this winter and so far they seem to do very well in good old Scottish rain and the little bit of dry sunshine we've had. I'm not sure I'd use them on my XKR, probably rather retain the second set of wheels with winter tyres fitted that I do now but since we're talking about the merits of winter tyres vs. summer I thought I'd put that out there as another option.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Neilr's Avatar
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    I expect many here would also not know which axle is driven on their cars but would be completely unwilling to step into a car on summer tyres in snow!

    Apparently a snowy day costs the UK economy 1bn Pounds, so when it happens being unprepared is quite expensive.

    True that winter tyres were an almost unknown animal in the UK but as UK winters have got worse (apparently an effect of global warming), more people seem to know of them and even have them. All tyre places stock them or can get them quickly now. I am back in the UK most Christmases and recently have had to shovel snow quite often! I'm not sure that all of the UK is that snow-free that often.

    If you can avoid driving on the bad-weather days that is fine and wise, but for those who can't, they need to get through the snow which isn't helped by the majority sliding about unsafely at 5 mph.

    The investment has an upside though that is often overlooked. You ideally need a second set of wheels but the rubber cost is actually similar to not changing because you are not wearing the summer tyres. So you are safer for a very small extra cost. It is just the initial expenditure that is a bit painful.
    S-Type 3.0 Manual MY2001 in Pacific Blue with Cashmere Leather Sport Seats, Sunroof, Melbourne Alloys, Premium Sound plus some other stuff ... 55k miles.
    XKR 5.0 Speed Pack MY2011 in Polaris White with Ivory/Charcoal Leather, Nevis Alloys and R-Performance Interior plus some other stuff ... 16k miles.
    Hyundai Tucson 1.6T AWD MY2016 in White Sand. Basic, comfortable and surprisingly fast and competent ... 10k miles.
    FIAT Coupe MY1997 in Steel Grey with Tan Leather ... 55k miles.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Stagnite's Avatar
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    I too was most impressed with how the XKR performs in the snow in winter mode. It seems to reduce power from the engine making it drive very sedately.

    If I ever have to let anyone else drive the car, I am definitely going to ensure that it is in snow mode!
    Currently enjoying:
    2006 S Type R. Slate Grey with Dove Grey Interior. Full Burr Walnut upgrade, Rear DVD screens. 64,000 miles.
    1999 XKR Convertible. Meteorite Silver with Ivory leather. 79k. LOUD pipes.
    Previously enjoyed: 1970 XL6 4.2 1974; 1982 XJS HE V12 5.3 1987 - 1990; 2000 S Type 3.0 manual 2001-2015; 1998 XK8 Convertible Mar/Apr 2016. 2009 Red XK convertible Nov 2016 to March 2017: 2010 All black XKR May to Oct 2017: 2009 Green XKR convertible. 28k miles.Mar to July 2018

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  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stagnite View Post
    I too was most impressed with how the XKR performs in the snow in winter mode. It seems to reduce power from the engine making it drive very sedately.

    If I ever have to let anyone else drive the car, I am definitely going to ensure that it is in snow mode!
    +1

    We were caught in the snow and I was very impressed and winter mode is often engaged now

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  10. #18
    Senior Member simpo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neilr View Post
    I expect many here would also not know which axle is driven on their cars but would be completely unwilling to step into a car on summer tyres in snow!
    The concept of 'summer tyres' is unknown in the UK even more than 'winter tyres'. It's England, not an F1 track

    Quote Originally Posted by Neilr View Post
    True that winter tyres were an almost unknown animal in the UK but as UK winters have got worse (apparently an effect of global warming), more people seem to know of them and even have them. All tyre places stock them or can get them quickly now. I am back in the UK most Christmases and recently have had to shovel snow quite often! I'm not sure that all of the UK is that snow-free that often.
    I'm no climatologist but would say that if anything UK winters are getting milder and damper. Of course when there's a bit of snow or it gets older than -1C everyone screams 'climate change OMG let's recycle a plastic bag in our hybrid 4x4', but that's the on-trend media soundbyte society for you.

  11. #19
    Senior Member Neilr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simpo3 View Post
    The concept of 'summer tyres' is unknown in the UK even more than 'winter tyres'. It's England, not an F1 track



    I'm no climatologist but would say that if anything UK winters are getting milder and damper. Of course when there's a bit of snow or it gets older than -1C everyone screams 'climate change OMG let's recycle a plastic bag in our hybrid 4x4', but that's the on-trend media soundbyte society for you.
    Ignorance is bliss, isn't it
    S-Type 3.0 Manual MY2001 in Pacific Blue with Cashmere Leather Sport Seats, Sunroof, Melbourne Alloys, Premium Sound plus some other stuff ... 55k miles.
    XKR 5.0 Speed Pack MY2011 in Polaris White with Ivory/Charcoal Leather, Nevis Alloys and R-Performance Interior plus some other stuff ... 16k miles.
    Hyundai Tucson 1.6T AWD MY2016 in White Sand. Basic, comfortable and surprisingly fast and competent ... 10k miles.
    FIAT Coupe MY1997 in Steel Grey with Tan Leather ... 55k miles.

  12. #20
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    On my 'sensible' car (A 4WD Skoda Octavia diesel estate [not the Scout] - quite deliberately, the extreme opposite of my other cars, an XK convertible and a Mazda MX-5) I have a set of Continental Winter Contact TS860 full-winter tyres. These are superb tyres (not cheap!) and always perform well in any comparative test of winter tyres. They are so good that I keep them on all year round, and I have found no disadvantage in doing that; they are not noisy, grip fine even on warm, dry roads and are wearing very well.

    It is often stated that a 2-wheel-drive car with proper winter / snow tyres will be able to cope with conditions and get to places where a 4-wheel-drive car on summer tyres could not. An estate car with 4WD and winter tyres should be able to cope with anything short of a wild off-road cross-country expedition, and with its 4/5 seats, excellent towing capability and huge luggage capacity, provides the perfect counterpart to a sports car set up for enjoying fair-weather / summer driving.

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