2012 Sport Auto Summer Tire Test

While some tire tests end up testing a seemingly random selection of both new and old tires, Sport Auto seem to have hit the sweet spot with their latest summer ultra high performance tire test.

Using a VW Golf GTI, and testing 235/35 R19 tires Sport Auto took a no-nonsense approach and tested 9 of the newest, and greatest tires on the market, only omitting the brand new Dunlop Sport Maxx RT in favour of its higher performance brother, the Dunlop Sport Maxx GT.

The Top Four

Despite being one of the oldest tires on test, the Pirelli P Zero finished in first place thanks to a strong dry performance, a very consistent 15 lap track run and the ability to still mix it with the best wet weather tires. It’s a strong all round performance from the P Zero, showing the updates Pirelli have been putting into the P Zero are keeping it current.

In second place we have the ever high scoring Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2. The Asymmetric 2 has yet to be out of the top 3 in any tire test it has featured in, and again its near flawless wet performance leaves it just shy of first place.

Another surprising performance is provided from the traditionally “mid range” Hankook S1 Evo 2 ending up in third. It’s dry performance is bested only by the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, and it performs extremely well in the 15 consecutive lap track punishment, maintaining a strong lap time. In the wet the tire suffers from understeer which hurt the laptimes.

Fourth place is awarded to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. The Pilot Super Sport is one of the new breed “cross over” extreme performance tires, bridging the gap between a fast road tire and a trackday tire. By nature of its design, the wet performance offered wasn’t pack leading, but it comfortably sets the benchmark in the dry.

Personal requirements

With the top four tires final score being so close, personal requirements becomes ever more important. If you’re looking for an excellent all round performance, this test would indicate the P Zero is a good bet. If you’re looking for the safest tire on test, the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 with its excellent wet scoring would be the tire to look at, and if you’re after the ultimate handling and dry weather performance, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is the one for you.


View Results as a single table and adjust the score weighting

1st: Pirelli P Zero

Pirelli P Zero
  • 235/35 R19
  1. Total: 230
  2. Dry: 139
  3. Wet: 91
Sensitive steering, but also very agile and very neutral on the limit - this is the Pirelli P Zero on both wet and dry surfaces. Couple that with extremely strong braking, the P Zero wins the test.

The only negative of the P Zero is a slightly wear aquaplaning and wear result.

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2nd: Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2
  • 235/35 R19
  1. Total: 223
  2. Dry: 126
  3. Wet: 97
In wet conditions, the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 a force to be reckoned with, scoring full points in almost all of the tests. In the dry, it's not quite the quickest tire, however it has an excellent neutral balance on the limit.

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3rd: Hankook Ventus S1 evo2

Hankook Ventus S1 evo2
  • 235/35 R19
  1. Total: 222
  2. Dry: 137
  3. Wet: 85
Even after 15 consecutive fast laps the S1 Evo2 maintains a good turn in and doesn't overheat making the Hankook one of the best in dry conditions.

In the wet, the performance drops a bit due to a strong tendency to understeer, which ultimately becomes apparent in the lap time.

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4th: Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Michelin Pilot Super Sport
  • 235/35 R19
  1. Total: 220
  2. Dry: 143
  3. Wet: 77
In the dry, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is the benchmark, characterised by a quick, very precise turn in and excellent lateral grip.

Unsurprisingly for a dry optimised tire, the Super Sport only manages an average wet performance with a particular weakness in the aquaplaning tests.

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5th: Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT

Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT
  • 235/35 R19
  1. Total: 218
  2. Dry: 133
  3. Wet: 85
As far as the safety-relevant test such as braking or aquaplaning so, the Dunlop Sport Maxx GT the best in the field.

Not the fastest tire in the dry but the Dunlop has a good balance, in the wet there is understeer.

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6th: Toyo Proxes T1 Sport

Toyo Proxes T1 Sport
  • 235/35 R19
  1. Total: 218
  2. Dry: 126
  3. Wet: 92
The Toyo T1 Sport scores extremely highly in the wet, with a good level of grip and traction and a strong resistance to aquaplaning.

In the dry the Toyo lacks some of the bite to make it to the front of the group, especially in the braking test.

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7th: Continental ContiSportContact 5 P

Continental ContiSportContact 5 P
  • 235/35 R19
  1. Total: 216
  2. Dry: 128
  3. Wet: 88
The Continental Sport Contact 5P follows the usual Continental methodology - braking comes first. This leaves the Sport Contact 5P excellent in both the wet and the dry braking tests and has an extremely strong aquaplaning result.

On the track there is a slight delay to the Continentals steering, and moderate understeer as you push on.

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8th: Bridgestone Potenza S001

Bridgestone Potenza S001
  • 235/35 R19
  1. Total: 209
  2. Dry: 126
  3. Wet: 83
The Bridgestone Potenza S 001 does not show any glaring weaknesses, but no outstanding strengths. Only in the aquaplaning tests does the Bridgestone put on a strong performance, otherwise it sits in the midfield.

Its steering is precise enough, with a tendency to understeer. When wet, the Potenza gives little feedback, and the traction is poor.

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9th: Nokian Z G2

Nokian Z G2
  • 235/35 R19
  1. Total: 204
  2. Dry: 113
  3. Wet: 91
Good aquaplaning characteristics, a neutral handling and a high level of grip in wet conditions characterise the Nokian Z G2.

In the dry there's a slight lack of steering precision and grip which shows in the lap time, but over 15 consecutive fast laps the times remain fairly constant.

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