Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 vs. General Altimax Arctic 12

Both the Blizzak WS80 and the General Altimax Arctic 12 are top-notch winter tires that offer impeccable performance on snow and icy terrains. Even though both of them are winter tires, the WS80 is built to perform better on ice due to its lower void ratio which provides extra grip on icy roads.

Comparatively, the Arctic 12 provides better performance on soft snow due to its higher void ratio which is essential for grabbing and biting the snow. Keep reading to find out more about both of these tires in detail.

Comparing WS80 with General Altimax Arctic 12

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80


General Altimax Arctic 12

The WS80 features a snow-friendly tread design that favors extreme cold climatic conditions. The tire has two longitudinal groove sections that are spread over the central ribs and Consists of narrower grooves as compared to its competitor, allowing a higher contact patch. As a result, the tire’s performance on dry and icy roads becomes superior. Additionally, these tires are also equipped with more sipes that are deep as well. This is what makes their grip and handling effective on wet roads.

Coming to the Arctic 12, the tire has a spectacular tread design along with sufficient groove spacing. This is what favors these tires in snowy conditions. In addition to this, the drivers also get a balanced contact patch that they need for grip on dry roads. The hydroplaning resistance of these tires is also excellent due to their higher void ratio. The wider grooves of the Arctic 12 offer quick evacuation of mud, slush, and water from its grooves. The lower rolling resistance of the tire is also incredibly effective due to the relatively wider grooves. As a result, the tire’s fuel efficiency increases. Not only this, but it will also wear out slower than its competitor.

Grip Comparison

The surface area of the tire in contact with the road determines its grip. In comparison to the Arctic 12, the WS80 consists of narrower grooves around its central ribs and shoulders. The densely packed tread pattern offers a maximum contact patch to the tire. This is what makes it capable of delivering splendid traction on dry roads. In addition to this, the lower void ratio also helps in providing excellent grip while going at a high speed. As a result, the stability of the vehicle is maintained. Its performance on wet roads is also increased due to the numerous sipes found all over the tread pattern. These sipes work marvelously to provide sufficient grip on wet roads. The multi tread cell compound also lets the drivers drive in harsh weather conditions without losing control. However, if we take the tire on the snow, its grip is reduced as it does not have wider grooves. But, the WS80 performs quite well on ice as it features more contact patch and numerous sipes as compared to the Arctic 12.

If we talk about the grip of the Arctic 12 on dry roads, its wide grooves reduce its contact patch. This subsequently reduces the efficiency of the tire on dry roads. Since the traction is reduced, the braking distance also increases. As a result, the stability of the vehicle is compromised. Even though the wet traction of these tires is quite adequate, it is less than its competitor. Also, there are sipes all over the tread pattern but they are not as efficient as compared to the WS80. However, the grip on the soft snow increases due to its wider grooves with deep biting edges that maximize the grip and as a result, the tire gets smooth mobility. On the other hand, the traction on icy roads is not as reliable due to lower contact patches and lesser sipes.

Handling Comparison

Overall, the handling of both the tires is almost the same but the WS80 delivers better handling on dry roads to some extent. That’s because the shoulders of this tire are wider and cover quite a lot of tread. This, as a result, provides additional lateral stability to them while turning over sharp edges. The sipes pattern on the tire along with deep cuts also enables it to perform better on wet roads. However, its handling is a bit reduced in snowy conditions due to the narrower groves and lower void ratio as compared to the Arctic 12.

On the other hand, the Arctic 12 consists of wider grooves spreading over the entire tread. As a result, these tires feature a relatively less contact patch as compared to its competitor. The high void ratio results in compromising the handling of the tire to some extent while the vehicle makes a turn over sharp edges on dry roads. The handling on wet and icy surfaces is also reduced due to wider grooves and a lesser number of sipes. However, these tires display maximum handling on soft snow by evacuating the snow that gets stuck in the grooves. That’s because of the wider grooves and wide spaces between shoulder blocks.

Comparison of Hydroplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning occurs on roads where a small layer of water forms between the surface of the road and the tire. As a result, the tire loses its grip and becomes vulnerable to slipping. The hydroplaning resistance of both tires is satisfactory. However, the WS80 loses to its competitor due to the narrower grooves which result in a lower void ratio. The narrower grooves are incapable of evacuating the water efficiently which makes these tires vulnerable to hydroplaning.

Comparatively, the Arctic 12 provides satisfactory hydroplaning resistance due to its wide grooves, deep sipes, and excellent design. The impressive sipes on each section of the tread block efficiently wipe away the water and provide resistance to hydroplaning.

Comparison of Rolling Resistance

The force that the tire requires to roll on the surface of the road is known as rolling resistance. A tire that has more contact patches will need more energy to move smoothly on the road. The broad tread design of the WS80 along with more contact patches increases the tire’s surface area that comes in contact with the road. As a result, the rolling resistance of the tire is increased and due to this, its fuel efficiency is also compromised. So, this tire will provide relatively less mileage.

In comparison, the Arctic 12 has wider grooves which reduce its contact patch. This will reduce the drag force and thus, the driver will require less effort to maintain the tire’s mobility. Due to the reduced rolling resistance, the fuel efficiency of the tire is also improved and also provides better mileage.

Durability and Treadwear

Talking about the durability and the treadwear of the WS80, it features a multi-cell compound tread pattern which makes it a favorable tire for extremely cold conditions. Its micro-texture pattern and the longitudinal tread blocks provide a neat finish to the tire without compromising the grip on the surface. However, the tire has a relatively higher contact patch which will increase the chances of faster tread wear. But, on the brighter side, the customers get a 5-year warranty on these tires extending from the date the tire was manufactured.

The Arctic 12 features a winter-focused design molded into an incredibly high directional tread pattern. The rigid and arrow-shaped central rib offers a solid steering response and an on-central feel. In addition to this, the optimized tread contour further aids in the distribution of the pressure across the footprint. As a result, the wear of the tire improves as compared to the older generation tires. Moreover, since the rolling resistance of these tires is lower, they will wear out slower than their competitor. The users also get a material warranty of 6 years along with the free replacement in the first year.


If we talk about the price of both the tires in size 205/55R16, it’s almost the same only with slight variations. The Bridgestone tire costs a bit more than the General Altimax. However, the selection of the tire completely depends upon the user application and requirements. So, you can pick the one that suits your needs.


  • Both the WS80 and the Arctic 12 are winter tires.
  • The dry and wet grip of the WS80 is better.
  • The soft snow traction of the Arctic 12 is superior.
  • WS80 performs better on icy roads.
  • The dry and wet handling of the WS80 is more efficient.
  • The hydroplaning resistance of the Arctic 12 is better.
  • The rolling resistance of the WS80 is higher making it less fuel-efficient.
  • The tread of the Arctic 12 will wear out slower than the WS80 due to its lower rolling resistance.
  • The Bridgestone Blizzak costs slightly more than the General Altimax.