As this is the worlds first full video tire test, I encourage you to watch rather than read, and if you have any comments or suggestions please leave them on the YouTube page. If you'd rather read, all the glorious tire test detail can be found below the video!
|Best Dry Braking:||Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S|
|Best Dry Handling:||Continental Sport Contact 6|
|Best Subj. Dry Handling:||Continental Sport Contact 6|
|Best Wet Braking:||Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S|
|Best Wet Handling:||Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport|
|Best Subj. Wet Handling:||Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport|
|Best Straight Aqua:||Toyo Proxes Sport|
|Best Subj. Comfort:||Falken Azenis FK510|
|Best Noise:||Continental Sport Contact 6|
|Best Tire Weight:||Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport|
|Best Rolling Resistance:||Continental Sport Contact 6|
This test was conducted at Continentals test facility in Uvalde texas, and has the added advantage of all the tires (other than Goodyear) being available to both the European and American markets!
The test car is a BMW M2 wearing 245/35 R19 fronts and 265/35 R19 rears. This is a full tire test, so all the usual categories are on test including dry and wet handling, dry and wet braking, aquaplaning, rolling resistance, noise and comfort. Where this test is slightly different from other tests is we've put a greater emphasis on subjective handling scoring in the dry and wet, as we believe on a car like the BMW M2, how the car feels and how it's balanced is as important as saving a few tenths of a second.
Sadly Pirelli, Hankook, Yokohama and Nokian only made one of the two tire sizes we needed for this test in aftermarket fitment, testing mixed fitment like on the M2 is always difficult.
The gap in dry handling was extremely close between the Continental, Michelin and Goodyear, with all three tires being separated by just 0.3 seconds. Subjectively, the Continental felt the most exciting tire on test, with the quickest steering and most feedback through the front axle. The Goodyear and Michelin offered a very similar balance, which gave the M2 a little more understeer than on the Continental.
The midrange battle was won by the Vredestein, which subjectively felt as good as the Continental but was on average, 0.6 seconds behind across the lap. Falken have managed to produce a tire with good grip, but the more comfort bias of the tire made it subjectively too soft. Kumho was very fast on its first lap, but the grip fell away quickly as the tire overheated, as did the Toyo, but to a lesser degree.
Dry braking was dominated by the three premium manufacturers.
By using a BMW M2, wet handling became as much about rear grip as about front. This is where the new Goodyear excelled, offering a really neutral balance between the front and the rear of the car, while providing excellent grip across the lap. While the Vredestein couldn't match the best during wet braking, the extra rear grip it had over its rivals meant it finished the second fastest time, and it was a similar story for Toyo. Continental and Michelin were fourth and fifth, and while they both had excellent grip, both struggling more at the rear than the Goodyear to get the power down. The Falken was another tenth of a second slower, and the Kumho and the budget struggle in the wet with a lack of grip.
There was no issue with rear grip during wet braking, which highlighted the Contnental and Michelins raw grip in shallow water.
During aquaplaning testing, the Michelin showed the best balance betwen braking and aquaplaning results.
The Continental offered an excellent low rolling resistance result in the 265 fitment.
The subjective comfort of all tires on test was incredibly close, however there were a couple of patterns at the extremities of the results. The Falken proved to be the most comfortable tire on test, appearing to transmit the least amount of tire noise into the cabin, and round off the bumps and road imperfections in a way other tires couldn't match. The Michelin, Continental and Toyo all had good levels of comfort, while the Goodyear and Vredestein transmitted slightly more noise, and higher levels of discomfort when hitting obstacles such as potholes.
The Continental proved to be quietest during drive by noise testing in the rear 265 fitment.
There was an interesting correlation between tire weight, and the overall results.
Score weighting - dry 55%, wet 40%, comfort and env 5%
Excellent in the key dry and wet handling testing, with great steering feel and balance whatever the conditions. No lap time drop during dry handling testing.
Slightly weak wet braking, lower than average comfort and noise levels.
The new Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport brings the competition to the Michelin and Goodyear rivals, finding itself close to them in all key areas, and excelling during wet handling.
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Shortest braking distances in both the dry and wet, excellent dry handling and good levels of comfort.
Oversteer balance in wet handling meant only 5th fastest time. Not quite as sharp as the Continental on the front axle.
The Pilot Sport 4S continues to offer a near unrivaled mix of performance, comfort and low rolling resistance.
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Excellent wet and dry braking, fastest tire in the dry with the best steering speed, feel and balance. Retained good levels of comfort and a low rolling resistance. No drop in lap time.
Oversteer balance in the wet made it difficult to extract a good lap time, in spite of the best front end grip.
An excellent all round tire which excels in steering feel and dry grip. The sportiest feeling tire on test.
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4th: Falken Azenis FK510
Good wet braking result, high levels of comfort.
Poor subjective steering feel due to a high amount of sidewall roll.
The Falken FK510 is a great tire for a driver / car combination which values comfort over outright steering feel.
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Excellent dry grip and handling, with one of the best steering feel on test. The balance remained in the wet, making for good wet handling times. Very small time drop off during dry handling.
Weak wet braking, high rolling resistance, low levels of comfort. Heaviest tire on test.
The Ultrac Vorti again proved itself as an excellent handling tire, offering great steering feel and balance in all conditions. Weak braking results cost the tire a higher result.
6th: Toyo Proxes Sport
Good wet handling with highest aquaplaning resistance on test. Good levels of comfort and nice steering feel.
Average wet braking, poor dry braking, significant dry handling lap time drop.
The Toyo had good steering feel and balance in the dry and wet, but lower levels of grip than the best tires on test.
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7th: Kumho Ecsta PS91
Very quick on first dry handling lap, with good steering feel and car balance.
Tire overheated very quickly in both dry and wet handling, which changed the balance to high levels of oversteer. Very poor wet braking. Average levels of comfort.
The Kumho PS91 initially felt like a strong tire with good steering and balance, but this soon changed as the tire heated up, resulting in instability and low levels of grip.
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8th: Accelera PHI
Low rolling resistance. Low noise.
Very poor wet grip, extremely long wet braking distances, poor dry grip.
The Accelera PHI was extremely low grip in all scenarios. Do not fit this tire.
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