Here we will be discussing two top-notch Winter tires with impeccable performance on snow and icy roads while providing confident traction on dry roads. Although both the tires have a common build but the tread blocks arrangement, groove sizing, and sipes patterns differ the tire from other in terms of performance. Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 comes with a prominent tread design with wider grooves on the center to provide better soft snow traction.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 has a peculiar tread design with a relatively less void ratio to provide better traction on dry and icy conditions. Stick with us as we will be discussing in detail about more interesting features and capabilities of each tire on different surfaces.
Comparing WS80 with Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3
WS80 has a snow-friendly tread design to favor cold climate conditions. It has two major longitudinal groove sections which spread over the central ribs, in this way the tire gets a balanced void ratio to give maximum traction on soft snow while performing adequately on dry surfaces. The wider grooves separating the tread blocks makes the tire reliable on soft snow by delivering excellent grip and handling. Furthermore, the tread blocks come with prominent biting edges that crush the soft snow efficiently and maintain traction with the surface. The wet traction of this tire is also very impressive as the zig-zag sipes pattern over the wider blocks enhances the grip on wet roads by throwing the water out of tread and maintaining traction with the surface. However, this tire has to struggle a little bit on dry roads where more speed is required.
R3 has a spectacular tread design with sufficient groove spacing to favor snowy and wet conditions as well as a balanced contact patch to deliver the required grip on dry roads. The central rib is shaped in a leaf-like structure spread all around the tread. The edge cutting pattern gives this tire relatively more contact patch which enables it to show splendid performance on dry roads and highways. The relatively lower void ratio makes the tire more stable while going at high speeds. The bold sidewall lugs provide lateral stability and enhance sidewall protection to increase handling of the tire while cornering on dry roads. Due to its relatively lower void ratio and less number of grooves the performance of the tire is reduced to some extent in soft snow as compared to its competitor. However, the dry road and ice traction are reliable.
The surface area of the tire in contact with the road determines its grip. WS80 has wide grooves to favor snowy conditions. This reduces the efficiency of the tire to some extent when we talk about grip on dry roads. The tire has a limited contact patch which reduces the traction when going at high speeds on paved roads. As the traction is reduced, the braking distance increases which compromises the stability of the vehicle. However, the performance in wet conditions increases as numerous sipes spread all over the tread pattern works splendidly to prevent hydroplaning and maintain sufficient grip with the wet road. If we take the tire on snow, the grip further increases due to wide grooves with deep biting edges that compact the snow to maximize the grip and provide smooth mobility to the tire.
If we talk about the grip of R3 on dry asphalt roads, then the results will not disappoint you at all as the densely packed tread pattern provides maximum contact patch to the tire to deliver splendid traction on paved roads. The relatively lower void ratio assists in providing better grip while going at high and also reduces the braking distance, thus maintaining the stability of the vehicle. The wet traction of the tire is quite adequate but less than its competitor. The tire also comes with sipes all over the tread pattern but is not as efficient as compared to WS80. The grip in deep snow is further reduced as it does not have wider grooves. R3 performs quite well on ice as it has more contact patch compared to WS80 with numerous sipes to wipe the water away.
WS80 has wider groove spacing over the entire tread with relatively less contact patch. The high void ratio compromises the handling of the tire to some extent while turning over sharp edges on dry roads. However, the handling on wet surfaces is increased due to prominent sipes and deep edges. This tire shows its maximum handling on soft snow by evacuating any snow that gets stuck between bold shoulders as it has wide spaces between shoulder blocks.
Overall, we can say that the handling of both the tires is almost the same but R3 delivers better handling on dry roads to some extent as compared to WS80. The shoulders of R3 are wider and cover almost one-third of the tread which helps in providing additional lateral stability while cornering over sharp edges. The bold shoulders enhance sidewall protection to enhance the stability of the vehicle. The zig-zag sipes pattern along with deep cuts over the shoulders enables the tire to perform better on wet roads and prevent hydroplaning. The handling is reduced a little bit in snowy conditions due to the fewer number of grooves and lower void ratio as compared to its competitor.
Hydroplaning Resistance Comparison
Hydroplaning occurs on wet and slippery roads where the tire is lifted from the road as a small layer of water is formed between the tire and surface of the road. This causes loss of grip and makes the tire vulnerable to slipping. Both the tires give satisfactory hydroplaning resistance WS80 has impressive zig-zag sipes on each section of the longitudinal tread blocks to wipe water efficiently and provide hydroplaning resistance.
R3 does not process efficient capabilities to avoid hydroplaning. It does not have any grooves to evacuate water which makes it vulnerable to hydroplaning. But as it has plenty of sipes so they wipe away water really well and enable to it perform well while harsh watery conditions, still it isn’t recommended to use this tire on flooded roads.
Rolling Resistance Comparison
Rolling resistance is the force that resists the motion of the tire while rolling on the road surface. A tire with more contact patch will require more energy to move smoothly over the surface. WS80 has relatively wider grooves with less contact zone. This reduces the drag force thus, requiring less effort to maintain the mobility of the tire. The reduced rolling resistance of WS80 greatly improves fuel efficiency and provides better mileage.
The broad tread design of R3 with more contact patch increases the surface area of the tire in contact with the road. So this tire has more rolling resistance and due to this, its fuel efficiency is compromised and provides relatively less mileage.
The groove spacing and void ratio determine the comfort of the tire. WS80 has prominent groove linings stretching over the tread sections. Due to its higher void ratio, the comfort of the tire is compromised a little bit as it allows more air to enter the broad groove spacing and strike the wall of tread blocks to produce vibrations that leads to noise production. This reduces the comfort of the tire as it becomes a bit louder while going at high speeds.
The impressive tread design of R3 provides relatively higher contact patch with less void ratio. The densely packed tread design does not allow much air to enter the open spaces thus, making the tire quieter to deliver more comfort while driving. The relatively lower void ratio and narrow tread blocks make the tire smooth and provide a stable and comfortable drive by making the tire virtually inaudible.
Durability and Treadwear
WS80 has a multi-Cell compound tread pattern to favor extreme cold conditions without compromising traction with the road. The micro-texture pattern along the longitudinal tread blocks gives a neat finish to the tire while providing satisfactory grip on the surface. The efficient zig-zag sipes pattern on the tread blocks works efficiently in wet conditions by evacuating water between the tread and surface to avoid aquaplaning. The bold shoulders come with saw-toothed edges which increase the handling of the tire and provide extra grip over tricky turns. The contact patch comes with a balanced void ratio for sufficient traction on dry roads and a confident grip on snowy surfaces. The tire has relatively less contact patch which reduces the treadwear, thus increasing the durability and mileage of the tire.
If we talk about the 235/60R16 size of both the tires, then they have the almost same price with slight variations. The selection of tires is dependent on user application and requirements. So, you can go for the one that suits you more according to your needs.
- Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 and Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3, both are Winter tires.
- R3 provides better grip and handling on dry roads.
- WS80 dominates in roads covered with soft snow.
- WS80 has a higher void ratio which significantly decreases rolling resistance and increases fuel efficiency.
- R3 is quieter and provides a more comfortable ride on paved roads.
- Both the tires come within the same price range with varying features.