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Yokohama W. drive V905: Rezulteo’s test

New tyres Published the 20/03/2014 by Tadhg

Yokohama has just launched a new product on the market: the winter tyres V905. Yokohama gave us the opportunity to test it on its development track in the north of Sweden, close to the Arctic circle.

Yokohama Winter test with Audi Rezulteo has tested the new Yokohama V905 in polar conditions! - Copyright © : rezulteo

W. drive V905: A high technology focus winter tyre 

The W. drive V905 is the new spearhead product for Yokohama's winter range of tyres. Designed for medium sized, family saloons and SUV’s, it is available in different sizes for 15 to 18 inch wheel rims.

Points which Yokohama has placed special emphasis on in the development of its tyre include the following performances

- Handling on snow
- Braking distance on snow and wet surfaces
- Energy efficiency

These are key factors that are logically part of the V905’s overall performance improvements compared to the tyre it replaces (W. drive V902B).

Naturally, all aspects of the tyre have been worked on. Special attention has been paid to the tread compound which has a significant impact in all conditions. Yokohama engineers have developed a compound that incorporates orange oil and results show that the flexibility required for winter tyres is maintained, without compromising rolling resistance.  

The directional tread features 2D and 3D sipes and many other technical solutions that enhance the tyre’s rigidity on the road. “Zig-zag” sipes and variably-angled grooves increase the tyre’s performance on snow and improve water drainage.

Yokohama V905 GroovesCopyright © : Yokohama

Test session

Behind the wheel of an Audi

Yokohama 2014 Winter test with Audi Copyright © : rezulteo

In terms of overall performance, Yokohama announces excellent results for its latest addition, particularly on snowy surfaces. It was only natural that the Japanese brand suggested we test it on a fresh carpet of snow.

 We were free to drive two types of vehicles (front and rear wheel drive), with the possibility of comparing the W. drive V905 with its predecessor.

An Audi A4 Break TDi (front wheel drive) was provided to test how the tyre handles. The track made available allowed us to test the tyre on twisty and reasonably fast sections and other more technical sections. If the tyre’s feeling is excellent, it reveals its full potential when compared with its predecessor (W. Drive V902B). Significant progress has been made, especially in terms of lateral grip. On the snowy track, the V905 shows majestic stability and can be driven at a fast pace in complete safety. The comparison with the previous generation’s tyre makes the latter seem a caricature, with more pronounced understeering (the front slides) and oversteering (the rear slides). In fast corners, the V905 allows the saloon car to cut through the powder snow like a flagship. The car is neither playful nor amusing, but this vehicle offers total active safety.

Behind the wheel of the BMW

Yokohama Winter test with BMWCopyright © : rezulteo

Now it’s time to test the tyre on a rear wheel drive vehicle. Again, the comparison logically turns in favour of the newcomer, but this time it is even more striking.

On the fast track provided for the tests, the BMW 1 Series just glides when driving aids are disconnected.  Everything is smooth and perfectly controlled, and above all, traction is all wheel drive.

The comparison with the V902B becomes a caricature for the latter. Even it the lap time is just as fast, it requires constant steering correction to keep the rear from sliding out and swinging round.  

In this configuration, the W. drive V905 is fun, rewarding and feels secure when driving fast.  

Yokohama 2014 Winter test with BMWCopyright © : rezulteo

We look forward to seeing its position in future tests to find out whether our positive feeling is confirmed when it comes up against leading players in the category.