With the advent of the hybrid mud-terrain tires from almost every manufacturer, the Cobalt from Interco is a genuine throwback to a single purpose tire with some modern tweaks.
Cobalt Design Elements
If the tread pattern on the Cobalt looks familiar that’s because it is. Previously known as the Ground Hawg Interco had to change the name of the new tire as the original trademark belongs to another company. The same design elements remain.
Directional tread pattern with the lugs heavy in the center of the tire and massive wide tractor tire styled outer lugs. There is still a center circumferential groove but it has been improved with deep sipes that expel water and mud from the center tread into those outer sweeping lugs.
The siping is now close to full lug depth to aid in wet and winter traction and the extra spaces help keep the tire quieter.
Looking at the tire you would think it’s a noisy original Super Swamper volume tire. You and I would be wrong. The new rubber compound, the deep lateral siping, and open to the edge voids contribute to a very quiet ride. They are almost silent on our TJ test bed.
Cobalt Snow and Wet Traction
The Cobalt does well enough in the wet and snow to make them an everyday tire. The major drawback is the lack of rubber in contact with the road in both the wet and snow.
Optimum snow traction is found when a tire can grip snow in the tread and use that to gain traction. Those massive lug voids just don’t have the ability to keep the snow packed in there to maximize traction. We tested these in MN this winter and they got the Jeep everywhere we needed it to, but it wasn’t always the most controlled drive and the back end definitely wanted to step out often and violently when it lost traction. The TJ owner would not let his wife and daughter drive the Jeep in the snow. If you live in a milder climate or somewhere that gets minimal snow these tires will be fine.
The same can be said for wet traction. It moves a ton of water but the lack of rubber on the road means they do hydroplane a bit more than we would like.
Cobalt Dry Traction
There are almost no tires left for sale that don’t perform well in the dry. I used to sell some under $20 tires when I worked at a Montgomery Ward’s auto center. They were so hard that I always felt they were sketchy on anything but a 90-degree day.
The Cobalt works well in everyday driving, no weird handling feel, they are predictable and provide far more traction than the wide tread pattern looks like it would.
This is what these tires were made for. The short video below shows how they push through the slop and muck. Those wide sipes and massive void lugs are the perfect match when playing in the mud. They clean themselves at low wheel speed and just dig to give you forward traction.
At $452 for a 35×12.5×17 these are not budget tires. If you are looking for a full on mud tire that can double duty on a daily driven truck or Jeep in everything but the worst snowstorms you have to pay to play. Check them out at Interco Tire or buy yours here SimpleTire.com.(We are not an affiliate and make no money from any sale with Simple Tire.)