It is pretty difficult to quantify the abilities of a tyre to the public. The more scientifically-minded might be interested in details of composition and construction, and how these affect grip, handling and longevity. Others are swayed by tests: relative braking distances, times around a track, ultimate grip levels at speed.
But, for most, they are round, black things that hold the car to the road − what’s important is how long they last, and how much they cost to replace. So, it is refreshing to get to grips with an off-road tyre where it matters most: in the real world, in exactly the sorts of conditions in which they will be asked to perform.
Which is why the General Tire company, a subsidiary of the giant Continental group, has us lining up in a handful of mustard-yellow Jeep Wrangler Rubicons and aiming those seven-slot grilles at the coastal road north of East London.
Destination: Kei Mouth and beyond. The Jeeps are shod with General Grabber AT tyres, a 50/50 on/off road design that’s now been around a year or so, has done well in local comparative tests, but has still to fire up everybody’s imagination.
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