Studded snow tires can be a godsend when the going is on glare ice. When roads have been cleared, though, they chew up pavement and can produce some exciting though unanticipated handling characteristics. Japan's ban on studded tires led directly to a new generation of snow tire technology like Bridgestone's Blizzak line. Q Tires, taking its name from James Bond's high-tech quartermaster, has developed a new set of tires called Celsius with studs that can be deployed or retracted with a dashboard switch. Two air chambers in the tires allow the studs to extend or retract without leaking off much inflation. Q Tires is preparing to send its product out into testing soon, and part of that process involves making sure that it doesn't run afoul of any state regulations that prohibit studded tires of any sort for all or part of the year. If the tests prove successful, the tires will likely command a 30-percent premium over other black, round and rolly-things. The increased cost is mitigated by the fact that a separate set of winter tires, and the attendant seasonal mounting chores, are eliminated. Of course, none of this will matter to that knucklehead trying to climb hills in the middle of a blizzard with low-profile summer tires.
[Source: Detroit News]