Well it finally happened we got a decent snow fall. I didn’t get a chance to fully test the Toyo AT3’s on the 4Runner, but I did manage to get the Celica out on some ice and snow to get a feel for what the Celsius tires can do.
The Celica is just old enough that traction control wasn’t a thought on a car like this, and an Anti Lock Braking systems was even an option at this point. In other words it is perfect for me. It’s also perfect for tire testing. If I want to pin the go pedal to the floor and feel the car shift side to side as the open differential freaks out trying to decide which side might actually grip I can and did do that! It means if I want to bring the car up to 30 and then stand on the brakes to see how far the car skids on ice I can and did do that too!
What I learned from all of this “crazy driving” is that these tires are not magical. They don’t make the ice disappear from the road or anything mythical like that. They do allow you to take off from a stop on snow and ice much easier than your average tire. Yes you can still spin them if you get too aggressive just like pretty much any tire. Same with stopping. You are still better off reducing your speed a bit, and having an “escape plan” if the person in front of you slams on their brakes. Yes, they will stop you quicker than average, but again they aren’t magical. Probably the biggest place I have learned to love these is not on the snowiest days but the day after the snow fall. On a snow day it’s pretty easy to drive slow, and make all the right moves to be safe, or ignore them all and have some fun, which is what I did! The day after is when the snow plows have cleared most of the snow but you may encounter a patch of ice here and there, or you might hit a ridge of snow between lanes on the freeway, etc. This is where you get those “pucker moments” on other tires. You’re driving along like normal at speed when the conditions change in the blink of an eye. Usually its just enough to wiggle the car a little and cause that moment of panic. Sometimes its worse though. The Celica on the Celsius however tracked straight right through that stuff, and that is probably the biggest reason to buy these. They are good tires on dry pavement, but still handle those “oh shit” moments way better than your all seasons ever will.