Studded snow tires are a rarity in the US today. Many drivers opt for all-season tires for the entire winter, and those that don't generally buy studless snow tires. In many states, studded tires are only permitted during a specific period of the year or even only when the road is snow-covered because they cause added wear to bare roads. But Finnish tiremaker Nokian thinks it has created the perfect solution.

Nokian has created a concept tire with electrically extendable studs that are controlled inside the vehicle. It's based on the tread pattern and structure of Nokian's Hakkapeliitta 8 SUV studded winter tire. At the press of a button, the studs on all four tires raise or lower. This gives drivers the extra traction of studded snow tires when needed but, retracts back into the tire to save the added wear on the road.

The company thinks that it may be able to have these tires on the road one day, and it would give more drivers the option to have the extra snow-plowing traction of studs when necessary. Scroll down to see them in action on a Porsche Cayenne and read the press release.
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Nokian Tyres: The world's first non-studded winter tyre with studs

Unique stud technology brings the studs out when they are needed

Nokian Tyres presents the world's first non-studded winter tyre with studs in connection with the 80th anniversary of the winter tyre. With this revolutionary concept tyre and its unique stud technology the inventor of the winter tyre gives a hint of the things to come in the future. With a press of a button, the driver can bring out the studs to improve the grip of the tyre. When the studs are not needed, they can be retracted back into the tyre.

The idea of the combined non-studded and studded tyre is that the driver can make the switch when the conditions clearly change. Studs are not used on dry roads and stable winter conditions, but they can be activated in icy weather for extreme safety.

The concept tyre of the world's leading winter tyre specialist utilises the tread pattern and structural solutions of the newly introduced Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 SUV studded winter tyre. The studs on all four tyres 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 of the stud.

- This new concept tyre is an amazing technological feat. The unique stud concept may indeed become a reality one day. As the pioneers of the winter tyre world, we show that it is possible to combine a studded and non-studded winter tyre, says Matti Morri, Technical Customer Service Manager for Nokian Tyres.

Nokian Tyres developed and manufactured the world's first winter tyre to match the Northern frost in 1934. Two years later, the engineers at the tyre factory came up with an improved solution for passenger car drivers struggling with the slippery winter roads, and they called it the Snow-Hakkapeliitta. Nowadays, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta is one of the world's best-known winter tyre brands.


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  • 29 Comments
      MechE
      • 10 Months Ago
      Seems elaborate and costly. Still cool though.
      hn376rar
      • 10 Months Ago
      Probably showing my age... Didn't Speed Racers (original series) Mach 5 has something like this? Pretty cool stuff! : )
        Ryth
        • 10 Months Ago
        @hn376rar
        Speed had grip tires that wrapped around the whole tire http://nozama.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54ed05fc2883301676013af76970b-popup
      rsholland
      • 10 Months Ago
      Good idea, but the problem is you're relying on the driver to retract them when not needed. Good luck with that...
      The Wasp
      • 10 Months Ago
      How much will these cost? $500/tire? I wonder if hard-frozen ice sitting on the tire would prevent the studs from poking out. I'm also curious what mechanism they're using to make the studs protrude. There are so many people using non-studded and even non-winter tires without issue...I would not consider this a justifiable expense for my own driving. That said, if they had these on sale in Atlanta over the last few weeks, they would sell quite a few [and destroy road surfaces in the Atlanta area].
      GEO
      • 10 Months Ago
      MACH 5. will there be a button on the steering wheel too?
      Shiftright
      • 10 Months Ago
      Meh, I've had this techology on my nipples all my life. When it gets cold they automatically deploy for traction...err, in cases I slip and fall on my chest...onto an icy surface
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 10 Months Ago
      Does anyone remember the motorized car toy called "The Animal"? I'm worried about how the tires is going to wear around those studs.
      Bryant Keith
      • 10 Months Ago
      I had a set of Nokian snow tires and they were, hands down, the best snow tires I have ever had. ran circles around blizzaks.
        NightFlight
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Bryant Keith
        x2. I've had two sets of Nokians and they've been incredible as winter tires. I, too, preferred them over the Blizzaks I had.
      SloopJohnB
      • 10 Months Ago
      Nice idea…but I wonder how you tell the cop it doesn't have studs when he can see the studs? It's going to require specific legislation allowing retractable studs. And there's the wub, anyway. In states with no studs allowed, it won't be allowed anyway. The others, so what?
      Carlove215
      • 10 Months Ago
      That's got to be $650 a tire.
      Bob
      • 10 Months Ago
      SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
      PM
      • 10 Months Ago
      Knight Rider had this concept years ago. "Traction Spikes" http://static3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090301071438/knightrider/en/images/a/a3/Traction_Spikes.jpg http://static2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090301071509/knightrider/en/images/c/c5/Traction_Spikes_in_action.jpg
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