Even Range Rover Sports 4x4s are fallible in fresh snow.

Here is a salutary tale on winter driving. I recover cars for a Jaguar Land Rover repair contractor and was called to Gaydon to collect a JLR company Range Rover Sport diesel. A new car, it is allocated to an employee and sits on Continental 4x4 Contact tyres, size 275/40 R 20 (so huge, very low profile and fat as a banker). Standard issue from new, and about 1/2 worn.

The driver was making a right turn, perhaps at a roundabout, and at sufficient speed in fresh snow that the car slid heavily sideways into the LH kerbstones and damaged both LH wheels and the suspension, with car out of action for a week I'd say. Now, would that have happened to a 2WD car on winter tyres? I'd say almost certainly not. The driver had too much confidence in his vehicle, believing a RR Sport can defy the laws of physics. Even 4x4s need proper tyres for the conditions. Training and judgement are all-important in motoring, of course. Oh yes, we took it away in snow on a 2WD truck, of course.

Asked on 5 December 2012 by JP, Wallingford

Answered by Honest John
That's interesting. I was on a recent LR launch for the 2012 range of Defender, Disco. RR Sport and RR. The Disco, RR Sport and RR were all on 19-inch Pirelli Scorpion ATRs, despite the fact that 20-inch blingers are now specified as standard for the 2012 RR Sport. There's no doubt this is a "marketing" decision rather than an engineering one. To a manufacturer, the bigger the wheels and the lower the profile the tyres, the cheaper they are as OEM. Using simple reasoning, tyre manufacturers virtually give away big wide low profile tyres as OEM because they make it back many times over on frequent and expensive replacements. Blame vulgarity, greed, A. Kahn of Bradford and Premier League football.
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