We're in the middle of our ice rink test of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70. We actually take our BMW test cars to a local ice hockey arena and perform a variety of tests ranging from acceleration, braking, and cornering on ice. I just came back from testing the WS70 alongside the other three tires chosen for this comparison -- the Continental ExtremeWinterContact, the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 and the Dunlop Graspic DS-3 -- needless to say, I was surprised with some of the results.
The Blizzak WS70 performance was as expected. In past ice tests, the Blizzaks have shown outstanding ice grip and braking, and were the only tire to actually squeal going around the corners, always looking for that extra grip to glue the car to the ice. This year, however, Continental has upped the ante with the ExtremeWinterContact. While I still think the Blizzaks have shown better grip and traction, the Contis are a very close second and they too gripped to the point of squealing going around the corners. Unfortunately for Michelin, the Xi2 did not perform as well as in past tests, specifically in cornering and acceleration, but were the ones with the shortest stopping distance during braking. The Dunlops simply couldn't compete with the other three tires, but are definitely much better on ice and snow than any all-season tire.