New Dunlop Winter Maxx Tires Installed on My Car

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 by Gary Stanley

After three years of faithful service, my Michelin X-Ice Xi2 winter / snow tires have finally worn to the point where they needed to be replaced. While they were not bald, the tread depth had worn to about 4/32nds of an inch, which is more shallow than recommended for effective snow traction. Tires at low tread depths can only "nibble" into snow instead of biting through it to find grip. And with this brutal winter season still in full swing, I decided that it was time to be safe rather than sorry. Check out more information about how tread depth can affect snow traction by reading, "Do My Winter / Snow Tires Have Another Year in Them?

Dunlop has been producing studless winter tires for well over a decade beginning with the original Graspic DS-1. Subsequent generations of DS-2 and DS-3 models were well received and popular value-priced Studless Ice & Snow tires. These tires were known for their great deep snow and slush traction, but in general, fell a bit short in packed snow and ice traction compared to the competition from Bridgestone and Michelin. This gap in packed snow and ice traction seemed to be all but closed until Dunlop's introduction of the Winter Maxx.  

The roads were still covered with snow on the day I installed the tires on my 2009 Infiniti G37x Coupe. With a good mix of packed snow and ice, as well as loose snow and fresh powder on some roads, I was able to put the Winter Maxx tires through their paces. I can say with confidence that the tires are at least as good as my old Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tires. If you're considering buying a great set of dedicated winter / snow tires for your vehicle at a great value, be sure to take a look at the Dunlop Winter Maxx

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D

Thursday, February 20, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.82
 
 

2004 Infiniti FX35
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Miles driven on tires: 7,000
Location: Palos Heights, IL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 7,000 Miles on Tires
February 15, 2014

I bought these tires last year, and naturally, here in the Chicago area, it didn't snow at all!

But this year Chicago and north central rural Illinois has been a real testing ground for this tire. Having an all wheel drive vehicle certainly helps quite a bit, but these tires add a level of confidence that I've never experienced in any vehicle before. Extremely good traction on wet surfaces, in bitter sub-zero temperatures, both light and medium snow, as well as the large mounds that leave many vehicles plowed in the parking space on Chicago's side streets. I was amazed at just how well this tread compound handles icy conditions too.

Very good performance at highway speeds... smooth and quiet ride. I don't know how long the tread will last, but I use these tires only during the ice and snow seasons, so I expect to get a few more years out of them. Very highly recommended!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Direzza DZ101

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop Direzza DZ101 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.25
 
 

2003 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T
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Miles driven on tires: 30,000
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 30,000 Miles on Tires
February 14, 2014

I read the reviews of this tire and have to laugh when people say they are weak in the dry traction area. I drive VERY spirited through tight mountain roads and they are fantastic. They out preform the Michelin, Kumho, and Continental sport tires hands down. These things stick like glue and lose traction very predictably. If you have trouble with traction or ultimate grip with these tires it is NOT the tires lol. My son runs the DZ 1, I know it is a softer compound then the 101, on and his M3 suspension binds before his tires lose grip. He has run both and had the same experience I had. I bought them on this site and am thinking about getting them again for another car. They do not last as long as the others I mentioned but that is the trade off for the grip you get. My "5" means average my "10" means exceeds expectations.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.45
 
 

2013 Honda Fit
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
February 15, 2014

Replaced the crappy OEM Dunlop's(horrible in wet- did not want to find out how bad they would be in snow)with X3's. A noticeable improvement in wet with no loss of grip in dry or handling. A little noisier but expected with winter compound. First snowfall they proved to be excellent. With the lower than average temps this winter they remain grippy in slush, snow and ice (well, maybe not terrific on ice- nothing outside of studs are good on the sheet stuff). They don't handle deep snow as well as Blizzaks but the tradeoff for good handling on dry pavement is worth it. A great all around winter tire.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.82
 
 

2011 BMW 335i xDrive Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 4,500
Location: Pelham, NH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 4,500 Miles on Tires
February 13, 2014

Good in light snow up to 3 or 4 inches but obviously not as good as non-performance oriented tires in deeper snow. Dry handling and stability are great for snow tires.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2005 Pontiac GTO
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
February 12, 2014

best up grade i made, by far. already changed to stiff anti-sway bars, shock tower support, battery in trunk, poly bushings............i would buy the dunlops again, and again.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.12
 
 

2003 Ferrari
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
February 07, 2014

Very good out perform goodyear, Dunlop etc for this price range

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.73
 
 

2001 Mercury Cougar V6
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Reading, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
February 16, 2014

This is my first set of Goodyear tires in a very long time. I have been running winter tire/summer tire combo for 14 years now. I've had Dunlop Graspics, Hankook Icebears for the past 5 years, Firestones witerfire, and so far these have been the best so far. My Abs hardly comes on compared to running on an all season tire. I would pass 4x4 and all wheel drive cars. I've gone by people stuck up hills and I just keep on trucking. I travel the PA turnpike and local roads to work and these tires haven't let me down. Pennsylvania has been hit hard with snow and these tires have been very good to me. Especially for the cost.

 

Dunlop Direzza ZII Coming Into Stock for the 2014 Season

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

It seems hard to believe, but sooner or later the cold that has gripped most of the country this winter will soon lift and the snow will clear. When this occurs, competition events will be in full swing.

One of last year's hottest and best-selling performers, the Dunlop Direzza ZII, is filtering back into stock, and in many sizes is ready for shipment. This Extreme Performance Summer tire was one of our favorites in an internal test and has achieved much popularity within the ranks of our consumer surveys.

Take a look at what some of our customers are saying about their experience with the Dunlop Direzza ZII.

"The tires have well exceeded what I expected. I am more confident with these tires than I was with the Original Equipment. The wet traction is something Dunlop should be proud of. I will purchase them again!" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX 4-Door STI Limited

"I am a hardcore amateur racer and I've used the ZIIs on my Cayman and they are incredible. In my opinion, this is the best street tire there is." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2008 Porsche Cayman

The Direzza ZII features a treadwear rating of 200, making it legal for most classes of SCCA and NASA competition. With 26 sizes offered, the ZII offers good market coverage of many popular sizes.

How Good Are Sumitomo Tires?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Often times, people associate Sumitomo as a generic tire. In reality, quite the opposite is true! Did you know that Sumitomo is the Japanese subsidiary of Dunlop and traces its beginnings back to 1909? In 1997, Sumitomo and Goodyear formed a joint venture in which they agreed to manufacture tires for each other as well. Sumitomo produces many different types of world-class, affordable tires.  

I've personally had very good experience with the Sumitomo line on my own vehicles. I used the Max Performance Summer Sumitomo HTR Z III tire on my BMW M3. The reason I chose the tire was because of how it performed against other value-priced Max Performance Summer tires.   
 

 Sumitomo HTRZ III
Sumitomo HTR Z III
 Sumitomo Touring LS T
Sumitomo Touring LS T


If you don't have a sports car or need high performance tires, keep in mind that Sumitomo also makes all-season options with long treadwear ratings. If this is more the type of tire you're looking for, take a look at their Touring LS T and HTR A/S P01.  

If you're looking for a great tire at a great price, be sure to take a look at the options available from Sumitomo.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.75
 
 

2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3
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Miles driven on tires: 22,000
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 22,000 Miles on Tires
February 06, 2014

Best value high performance tire out there! 22K trouble free miles driving I-95 in South FL. Both wet and dry handling has been great, even in rainstorms. Road noise is no different than the Dunlop OEM's. Treadwear is what I expected for a high performance tire.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Winter Maxx

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop Winter Maxx Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.18
 
 

2012 Honda Accord Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Worcester, MA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
February 07, 2014

I was a little skeptical about the Dunlops, as I used Graspics before with mediocre results. Unfortunately, most of the other winter tires in the size I needed were sold out. But these tires were a pleasant surprise. The snow traction is what you would expect with such an aggressive tread pattern (excellent), and ice traction is very good also, in contrast with the older Dunlops; what I didn't expect was decent handling, acceptable noise levels and little change in fuel mileage from all-season tires! Given the lower price, you can't go wrong with these.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.3
 
 

2011 BMW 550i Sedan M Sport Package
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Shrewsbury, MA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
January 31, 2014

These tires ride better than the summer OEM Dunlops. ear whell drive in the snow is fine. In the drive very smooth and quiet.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.89
 
 

2010 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Greenwich, CT
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
February 03, 2014

I took delivery of the Sportwagen in October 2010. The OEM tires were new when they faced their first snowy season in Connecticut. I was constantly checking tire pressures because the handling in the lite snow and dry was terrible. I resigned my self thinking, "Be glad with the TDI but the Sportwagen is no handler.

This winter is above average for snowfall in Connecticut and the driving on uncleared roads is mission critical for me; getting my four year-old daughter safely back and forth to school. I decided to get dedicated snows for the winter. I've had Blizzaks, Dunlops even Firestone studded tires on other family cars. I liked what I read about the Michelin X-Ice3's and decided to try them. The Michelin X-Ice3's replaced the OEM all-season Hankooks. What a difference! I keep anticipating a slide or skid, but the X-Ice3's have raised the bar when driving in the snow.

OK, you would expect them to be way better than OEM All-Seasons in snow. But, the real surprise was that the X-Ice3's have better grip than the OEM tires did in both dry and rainy conditions. No more loss of traction when accelerating.
I've changed my mind, the Jetta TDI is a pretty good handling car. I expect the Michelins to wear longer than the Blizzaks I had. Come the spring I intend to treat the Sportwagen to a set of summer-performance tires; probably Michelin's.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.27
 
 

2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
February 03, 2014

This is my second winter on these tires, I have used winter tires on my cars for years now, even though we haven't been getting as much snow around here as we used to growing up. I love that with these tires I can actually drive my Carrera in the snow, rather than keep it parked like a garage queen. Since most folks in my area don't switch to snow tires, they are utterly baffled when they see me driving with ease in several inches of snow. Braking performance in snowy conditions is fantastic.

General cold weather driving, sans snow, is very good. The tires maintain their grip on dry roads, slide progressively and aren't as squirmy in the tread as some winters are. The downside is a bit of tire noise, especially under braking, but it's not too bad. Hydroplane resistance is very good, even in heavy rain.

Keep your performance car on the road even ion winter weather! Highly recommend.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Winter Maxx

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop Winter Maxx Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.8
 
 

2009 Honda Fit Sport
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Washington, DC
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
February 03, 2014

Living in Washington, DC, I have to consider the purchase of winter tires to be a luxury item primarily for mountain weekends. I didn't want the all-seasons on my Honda Fit to keep me from safely getting to various ski destinations anymore. They haven't seen too many snow storms in the 3000 miles I've driven, but when the roads were covered, I was very impressed (relative to the all-seasons). I had no trouble climbing steep snow-covered grades, and felt very confident in my ability to stop, steer, and start moving on multiple snow surfaces. Being on a Honda Fit, I haven't tried them in anything more than about 6 inches unpacked, but I'm very happy with how they've performed. These Dunlops are slightly noisier on dry roads, but the Fit isn't a quiet car to begin with...so it isn't anything overly annoying. I can't really comment on treadwear at this point, but their dry and wet performance (non-frozen) hasn't ever caused me any concern with my driving style (I do occasionally take turns and exit ramps a bit fast).
Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase - I went with a lower-priced winter tire from TireRack since I had never purchased winter tires before and didn't think I'd benefit from any added performance of more expensive models (I walk to work, and don't really drive that much anyway - maybe 8000 miles per year). After a few snow/ice events in town and two very snowy mountain trips, I'm very glad I purchased them. I'd probably need to do a back-to-back test of various winter tire models to convince myself that I should upgrade to a pricier model...at least for my expected usage.

 

Which Type of Winter / Snow Tire Is Right for Me?

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Doc Horvath

Like anything else that relates to your car, tires are available in a variety of models that can be fine tuned to best match what you need. Selecting the best tire starts with narrowing your search to one of our Performance Categories, which Tire Rack has developed by using our own test results, customer survey results and manufacturer recommendations. These Performance Categories help focus your search by comparing tires with similar characteristics, allowing you to choose the best tire for how and where you drive. For dedicated winter / snow tires, there are three categories to choose from.

Studless Ice and Snow

In this category, tires use aggressive tread patterns and the latest high-tech rubber compounds to provide ice and snow traction similar to traditional studded snow tires. Customers that focus on this category are looking to get the best snow and ice traction possible, with the understanding that when the roads are clear, your high speed handling will be a little less responsive than a traditional all-season tire. A few options to consider in the category, include the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, Michelin X-Ice Xi3, Dunlop Winter Maxx and Continental ExtremeWinterContact.

Performance Winter / Snow

Options from the Performance Winter / Snow category feature tires with tread patterns and rubber compounds that are tuned to improve dry and wet traction, along with high speed handling. Drivers that aren't expecting to see heavy or persistent accumulations of snow and want a tire that will handle and perform more like the performance tires the vehicle most likely came with when new will benefit from a Performance Winter / Snow tire. If this sounds like your style of driving, then take a look at the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32, Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 and Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D.

Studdable Winter / Snow

Studdable Winter / Snow tires are designed to allow the installation of optional metal studs to enhance ice and snow traction. Customers that focus on this category are looking for a low cost winter tire option and are willing to allow for more road noise and less comfort than Original Equipment tires. Studded tires are often subject to state laws that dictate when (or if) they can be used, so always check local laws before selecting a tire from this category. Tires in this category include the Firestone WinterForce UV, General AltiMAX Arctic and Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter.

Take a look at our Winter Tire Decision Guide to help you choose the best tire for handling winter conditions. 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.18
 
 

2013 Mazda CX-9
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
January 31, 2014

I bought these for my wife as I wanted her to be absolutely safe driving my kids around in the winter/snow and WOW do these tires ever live up to that expectation. I've had a few different sets of snow tires in my lifetime and these are by far THE BEST I've ever had. As men often do, I have tried several times to break traction in some pretty hairy wintery/snowy conditions and you have to seriously work hard to do that.

I'm actually jealous because I have Dunlop Winter Sport 3Ds on my vehicle and that don't even come close to performing as well as these Blizzaks do in the snow and ice. I can't emphasize enough how well these tires do with both acceleration and deceleration/braking. These tires defy physics in my opinion. I can't say enough good things about them. Would DEFINITELY buy these again. In fact, these will probably be the only winter tires I will buy going forward.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Winter Maxx

Friday, January 31, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop Winter Maxx Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.82
 
 

2011 Saab 9-3 Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Griswold, CT
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
January 27, 2014

Have three Saabs, all with different winter tires, I have found these to be the best of the three, in New England's sleet, freezing rain, slush and snow. One of the best snow tires I've had in years. Quiet for winter tires and traction in deep snow is superb, compared to my other 9-3s equipped with ice-x's and winterforces. Wear looks good, but only have 3000mi on them. Would recommend them to anyone driving in unpredictable weather.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Thursday, January 30, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.27
 
 

1995 Saturn SC2
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
January 27, 2014

I purchased these used from an acquaintance. Very open tread design looked like it would also be a decent tire for rallycross. It is a nice size for stock 15x6" rims. These are primarily being used as everyday tires for commuting to work. They also did work well at a cool, soft soil rallycross this fall, and pulled one of the top times at an ice trial on an icy frozen lake this past weekend. The best winter tires I've had on a Saturn compared to Dunlop DS-2s and Michelin X-Ices. Forward traction was always a problem with the later, and these are significantly better. No real complaints, but the dry and wet braking traction is poor--I've slid the entire car stopping quickly a few times (no ABS) in warmer weather. Braking in generally seems like a weak area for them, but about what I expect from a winter tire. Hydroplaning resistance is excellent--I drove through a huge storm that flooded the highway and was able to keep a very good pace. Overall very good tires.