Thu January 27 10:25 am 2011 in category Product news

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 75 years

The thriving Hakkapeliitta success story continues

Nokian Tyres developed the world’s first winter tyre for raw, sub-zero conditions back in 1934. Two years later, it introduced the Hakkapeliitta, designed for northern winters and today one of the world’s best-known winter tyre brands. Characteristics of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta have remained the same over the decades: the mastery of northern conditions can be seen and felt in every Hakkapeliitta tyre.

Worldwide introduction in Monte Carlo

The history of Nokian Hakkapeliitta winter tyres is colourful and prestigious. Manufactured since 1936, Hakkapeliitta tyres achieved worldwide fame in the legendary Monte Carlo rallies in the 1950s and 1960s. Cars equipped with studded Kometa Hakkapeliitta tyres were superior on snowy and icy mountain roads. Finnish drivers continued to do well in rallies, giving rise to the notion of “Flying Finns”. Hakkapeliitta tyres proved their unique features and were soon coveted by competitors from many different countries.

The number of cars has increased exponentially since the 1950s, and technological development has been tremendous. The safe Hakkapeliitta tyres have likewise improved year after year, complementing the advanced technology of cars, such as the driving stability management system and ABS brakes. Moreover, road conditions have become an important consideration in tyre development. Modern asphalted highways set completely different demands on tyres than the gravel roads of the 1950s.

Ice driving world record

Today’s Hakkapeliitta tyres also perform excellently in fast-paced challenges such as the Monte Carlo rallies. In March 2007, a world record event in ice driving was arranged in the Gulf of Bothnia, outside of Oulu.

On a track ploughed on natural ice, Juha Kankkunen, the four-time rally world champion, reached a top speed of 321 km/h, driving a Bentley Continental GT, which was equipped with Nokian Hakkapeliitta Sport Utility 5 studded tyres approved for normal road traffic. The record was entered in the Guinness Book of World Records and is still in force.

The latest additions to the Nokian Hakkapeliitta family are the studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 SUV and the studless Nokian Hakkapeliitta R. All tyres have achieved several wins in tests conducted by both Finnish and international magazines. The tyres include many innovations that improve the grip in demanding weather conditions, reduce the rolling resistance and consequently fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

Hakkapeliitta tyres are designed especially for northern conditions, and their development carries on the renowned traditions of the progressive Hakkapeliitta brand. They combine extreme ice, snow and wet grip with pleasant driving comfort and absolute pleasure. A low rolling resistance makes the studless Nokian Hakkapeliitta R an extremely fuel-saving tyre that can reduce fuel consumption by as much as half a litre over a distance of 100 kilometres.

Spearheading development year after year

Nokian Hakkapeliitta is a frontrunner in safety, a tyre developed for the world’s most demanding winter conditions. Since 1936, Nokian Tyres has launched 33 different Hakkapeliitta products: studded and studless winter tyres for both passenger cars and heavy machinery. The world’s northernmost tyre manufacturer tests and develops new members for the Hakkapeliitta family at its own test facilities in Ivalo, 300 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. The company is the only tyre manufacturer in the world focusing on tyres and customer needs specific to northern conditions.

Hakkapeliitta tyres have been at the forefront of winter tyre development for 75 years. This year, Nokian Tyres will celebrate Hakkapeliitta in many different ways. For more details about the fascinating story of the Hakkapeliitta tyres.

The Nokian Hakkapeliitta tyre will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2011.

Further information:

Nokian Tyres plc
Teppo Huovila, Vice President, R&D, tel. +358 10 401 7701