2011 Sport Auto Max Performance Summer Tire Test

Sport Auto have tested seven 245/40 R18 Max Performance Summer Tires on an Audi TT RS, but which will dominate in this dry bias test?

To ensure conditions were suitable for a summer tire test, Sport Auto visited a Bridgestone test track in Italy. Taking part in the test are some of the newest tires to market, including the new Michelin Pilot Super Sport, Pirelli P Zero, Bridgestone Potenza S001 and Toyo T1 Sport, along with the existing Nokian Z G2, Dunlop Sport Maxx GT and Sava Intensa.

The Sportiest Tire

In the dry one tire shines, the new Michelin Pilot Super Sport. After a single warm up lap the Pilot Super Sport rewards with a razor sharp turn in, the highest level of grip and the fastest lap time, resulting in a highly enjoyable drive. The Pirelli P Zero finishes a close second due to a stronger wet performance, but lacks the ultimate steering precision of the Pilot Super Sport.

The Nokian Z G2 finishes a strong 3rd with an excellent all round performance. While Sport Auto call this tire an "underdog", this further reenforces Nokians excellent run of form with both summer and winter tires, confirming the Finish manufacturer is a force to be reckoned with. Closely following the Nokian is the Bridgestone Potenza S001, let down slightly by its wet performance and steering feedback but once again an excellent all round tire.

The Final Three

The Toyo Proxes T1 Sport nudges out the dry weather specialist Dunlop Sport Maxx GT to 5th, thanks to a strong wet performance while the Sava finishes in a last place as a result of the worst wet and dry handling and the longest braking distances.

1st: Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Michelin Pilot Super Sport
  • 245/40 R18
  1. Total: 233
  2. Dry: 124
  3. Wet: 64
  4. Subjective: 45
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport left the most sporty impression, characterised by extremely precise steering and agile handling. Over 10 dry handling laps the Pilot Super Sport shows no degradation of lap time unlike the competitors. On a wet track the quick load change required an experience driver.

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2nd: Pirelli P Zero

Pirelli P Zero
  • 245/40 R18
  1. Total: 231
  2. Dry: 120
  3. Wet: 71
  4. Subjective: 40
The Pirelli P Zero is an excellent all round tire with very balanced scoring and handling.

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3rd: Nokian Z G2

Nokian Z G2
  • 245/40 R18
  1. Total: 226
  2. Dry: 109
  3. Wet: 79
  4. Subjective: 38
The Nokian Z G2 shines in the wet with the best braking, the second fastest lap time and beautifully balanced handling. Slight understeer in the dry.

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4th: Bridgestone Potenza S001

Bridgestone Potenza S001
  • 245/40 R18
  1. Total: 218
  2. Dry: 113
  3. Wet: 66
  4. Subjective: 39
The S001 is a good all round tire without shining in any particular area.

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5th: Toyo Proxes T1 Sport

Toyo Proxes T1 Sport
  • 245/40 R18
  1. Total: 215
  2. Dry: 104
  3. Wet: 73
  4. Subjective: 38
The Toyo T1 Sport is a wet weather specalist, placing second in the wet tests. Unfortunately in the dry the steering provides little feedback and understeer inhibits agility. The tire seems to overheat on quick laps.

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6th: Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT

Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT
  • 245/40 R18
  1. Total: 209
  2. Dry: 117
  3. Wet: 52
  4. Subjective: 40
The Sport Maxx GT was developed with the Audi TT and offers excellent dry performance and a quick precise steering. When wet, the Dunlop suffers with a relative lack of grip leading to 6th place.

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7th: Sava intensa uhp

Sava intensa uhp
  • 245/40 R18
  1. Total: 188
  2. Dry: 94
  3. Wet: 62
  4. Subjective: 32
Misc:While the Sava is the cheapest tire in the test, it cannot keep up with the premium competition. The Sava has very good aquaplaning properties, but a lack of grip in the wet and dry leading to heavy understeer. Worst tire for braking.

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