What’s wrong with this picture?
If you’re thinking, “It’s a new Saab, but Saab went the way of coelacanth when GM went through its extreme makeover a couple years ago,” you’d only partially be right. While GM did shed the Saab brand, Dutch company Spyker Cars NV picked up the reins (for a cool $74M), and the brand lives on.
No, the problem with this picture (and ALL of the pictures of Saab’s new 9-5 Sportwagon) is with the tires. The directional tires. The directional tires that are mounted in the wrong direction.
The tread-pattern on a directional tire is designed such that, as the tire rolls forward, the channels in the tread evacuate the water from the center towards the outside, allowing the tire to more safely move over wet surfaces. But to do so, the tires must be installed correctly. When mounted in reverse, the tread acts in the opposite direction, pumping water directly under the center of the tire – and significantly reducing wet traction in the process.
I’m constantly surprised at the number of cars I see with directional tires that are mounted incorrectly. I figure, either the owner (or their service department) doesn’t really understand how tires work, or the driver really enjoys hydroplaning. It’s a pet-peeve of mine. …But for a car company to release photos of a new model shod with the rubber reversed?
…Am I the only one bothered by this?