Driving Your Corvette This Winter? Dedicated Snow Tires Are a Must

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Okay, so driving a Corvette in the winter is not all that common, but when outfitted with a dedicated set of snow tires, ANY car can cut through the white stuff with relative ease. Am I comparing the capabilities of a Z06 to a Jeep on 35s? Not at all, but when it comes to driving through three inches or less, snow tires make every bit of difference.

Enter the rear-drive car on snow tires vs AWD car on all-season tires debate. It’s a bunch of baloney, mainly because there is no debate to be had. The tread compound differences between the two types of tires is astonishing. A snow tire is made to be pliable at temperatures that prompt frostbite warnings. Not so with an all-season tire. They harden up to the point where even on dry pavement, you’ll have very little grip.

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The shape of the treads has an equal part to do with it as well. The big spaces between chunky blocks help extract snow from the tread. Plus, deep sides help the blocks move around and stay pliable. All of that means that the snow is thrown off the tire, and you’ve got fresh tread to drive on. All-season tires have a difficult time doing this. And AWD alone can’t save you.

For the past two years, I’ve piloted my V8-powered rear-wheel-drive car through Chicago winters without any complaints. Plus, it’s given me an appreciation of how responsible your right foot needs to be, depending on conditions. For those questioning the use of a Corvette in the snow, I say “why not?” Some low-speed thrills are ready to be had.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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