The modern development process of winter tires not only requires intense subjective and objective evaluation of the tire properties on the vehicle, but also requires knowledge about the influence of relevant tire characteristics on vehicle driving behavior. It is important to understand the influences of ambient conditions, such as temperature, track surface (asphalt vs corundum) and tire inflation pressure on tire behavior. Tire characteristic results of a parametric study, using a fully climate-controlled interior drum test stand will be presented. The effect on tire characteristics and the resulting vehicle behavior will be discussed using vehicle dynamics simulation. Furthermore the consequences for an optimal design of modern high performance winter tires will be presented.