Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D

17 Oct, 2012 10:20am

Verdict

Great in snowy conditions, but less surefooted elsewhere.

We tested a 17-inch pre-production version of the SP Winter Sport 4D in last year’s winter tyre test. It wasn’t ranked at the time, but it would’ve finished third. We were assured it was the same as the production version, so it’s no surprise that the 16-inch tyre is third here.

Once again, the Dunlop struggled most in the wet, where it was some way behind stablemate Goodyear and could only manage fifth in braking. Still, it was on the podium in the wet handling test; it didn’t feel special from behind the wheel, but we kept the lap time down with careful use of the throttle to avoid pushing wide.

This lack of sharpness could also be felt on the dry handling track, although the tyre was stable and hung on well through the sweeping high-speed corners.

The 4D felt happiest on the snow and ice in Sweden. It was the best performer here, achieving four podium positions, although the Continental was only a fraction behind. Around the handling track the tyre proved well balanced, with some rear movement to help through corners. That’s good for lap times, although the Dunlop lacked the secure feel of the Continental.

It was in a tight mid-table pack in the noise and rolling resistance tests, leaving a clear gap to our top two.

Rating Position
Snow braking 100% 1st
Snow traction 99.3% 3rd
Snow slalom 100% 1st
Snow handling 99.9% 2nd
Straight aqua 88.5% 6th
Curved aqua 86.3% 5th
Wet braking 96.0% 5th
Wet handling 99.3% 3rd
Dry braking 98.7% 3rd
Dry handling 99.7% =2nd
Cabin noise 98.8% 5th
Rolling resistance 90.0% 6th
Price £80.92 6th
Overall   98.5% 3rd
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