The point is to work well on snow and ice, not water.
Just a quick google reveals that an average new winter tire here in Norway aquaplanes at 31 mph in 7 mm of water. New summer tires (Continental 225/45R17 were the reference) aquaplane at 46 mph in 7 mm of water.
Hydroplaning should have more to do with tread pattern than rubber composition. Also, the siping is one thing that improves snow and ice traction, but should not affect hydroplaning. My suspicion - and all of this is unscientific - is that snow tires simply do not have the most advanced tread pattern for avoiding hydroplaning. I'm sure that a more expensive snow tire could improve performance on standing water without sacrificing snow and ice traction, although perhaps the ultimate water performance involves less rubber on the road whereas ultimate snow and ice traction requires more sliced up rubber on the road.
I agree with djp's description of "squirmy" - that's exactly what the brand-new snow tires felt like. After 6 months with the standard tires, the snow tires just seemed to wiggle side to side.
All the same, the folks in Oakland were still blown away by the Tesla. I just didn't tell them that it performed even better with the standard tires.
The next day, again, enormous difference. The Roadster was a great car all winter, and people who rode in it were always extremely impressed, but as djp said, it was nice to have my old Roadster back. Yesterday I gave someone a long ride, but it was raining. It handled beautifully for the conditions, but not as nice as dry roads. I told him we'd do it again on a nice hot sunny day with the mesh top on.
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