Hawk High Performance Street 5.0 Brake Pads: The Update to an Icon

Thursday, April 23, 2015 by Marshall Wisler

For many years, the Hawk HPS pad has been one of our best sellers. Known for its low dust levels, quiet operation and increased bite compared to most factory pads, the HPS deserves its praises.

Much like we commonly see in the tire industry, even great products like the HPS must be revised from time to time to make sure they're still competitive in a fast moving industry. Enter the Hawk High Performance Street 5.0, a tweak of the original HPS pad that has been so well liked for so long.

With its revised compounding, the HPS 5.0 looks to make improvements in the following areas:

  • Decrease stopping distances
  • Improved pedal feel
  • Resist brake fade
  • Low noise
  • Extended pad life

Hawk HPS 5.0 pads have been released for high volume performance applications, with full market coverage coming in short time.

Best Autocross Tires for 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 by Ben Rooney

We'll be running tests this summer as usual, but motorsport season is already getting underway. Here's a sneak peak at some of the best options available this year.

BFGoodrich is introducing the g-Force Rival S, an autocross optimized version of the Rival. Though this tire is not yet widely available, it looks like a promising addition to the Extreme Performance Summer category.

Bridgestone is pulling out all the stops with their Potenza RE-71R. In a preliminary test, it demonstrated dramatic improvement over the RE-11A, Bridgestone's previous top entry in the category.

Dunlop enjoyed much success with the Direzza ZII Star Spec last year, and this popular tire is back again for 2015. Very fast in dry conditions, and above average for the category in wet, the ZII Star Spec is also very competitively priced, making it a very attractive option.

Hankook's Ventus R-S3 (Version 2) was another top competitor from 2014 that marches on in 2015. The R-S3 lineup is almost completely switched over to the "Version 2" compound which warms up faster. The new compound also yields some improvement in wet traction.

The Toyo Proxes R1R is an old favorite that has been updated with a 200 UTQG treadwear number for legality in street tire classes. Toyo declines to specify if anything was actually changed or if the tire was just under-rated initially. Expect the same performance as before.

Shop by vehicle to view all available options for your application.

Introducing the Tire Rack Rolling Tire Storage Rack

Thursday, April 16, 2015 by Marshall Wisler

Our wall mounted Tire Storage Rack has been one of our best-selling accessory items for years. While it's still a popular item, we have decided to add to our arsenal of storage solutions and are pleased to offer the Tire Rack Rolling Tire Storage Rack.

The Tire Rack Rolling Tire Storage Rack is a well-engineered option that easily stores and moves up to eight passenger or light truck/SUV tires. Four high quality, 5” diameter caster wheels allow for smooth rolling, even when loaded. Side brakes on each side keep the Rolling Tire Storage Rack in place when set.

Organizing hardware and tools is made simple with two adjustable and removable baskets that keep lug hardware and wheel changing tools nearby. Two heavy-duty shelves, one removable and one fixed, are ideal for storing a jack and jack stand.

Like all accessory items above $50, the Rolling Tire Storage Rack ships for free and can be delivered in as little as one to two business days!

 

BFGoodrich Introduces g-Force COMP-2 A/S

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 by Ben Rooney

In addition to the new g-Force Rival S, BFGoodrich is introducing a new Ultra High Performance All-Season tire, the g-Force COMP-2 A/S. Its directional tread pattern combines form and function, effectively evacuating summer rain and winter slush from the tread area, all while looking sportier than the average all-season tread pattern. The tread blocks wrap over the shoulder of the tire for consistent behavior at the limits of cornering.

The tread pattern pictured above is the four-rib tread pattern. Wider sizes will have a six-rib pattern with additional circumferential grooves to retain consistent groove spacing across their broader tread area.

The COMP-2 A/S will cover a wide variety of applications, with an eventual 59 sizes covering 16" to 22" wheel diameters. If you need an all-season performance tire, chances are they'll have your size covered.

COMP-2 A/S tires aim to deliver the excellent wet and dry traction that performance drivers demand, while providing reliable traction for winter conditions. As always, if you expect to encounter truly severe winter driving challenges, we recommend dedicated winter tires. But if what you need is a sporty tire that can handle some snow and cold weather, the COMP-2 A/S may be just the ticket.

BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 A/S vs. BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 by Gary Stanley

BFGoodrich was the first American tire manufacturer and is now owned by Michelin. Given Michelin's success in the ultra high performance market, it's no surprise to see that the top BFGoodrich performance street tire, the g-Force Sport COMP-2, has also received outstanding ratings in testing and customer feedback. You can learn more about the g-Force Sport COMP-2 by reading, "BFGoodrich g-Force Sport vs. g-Force Sport COMP-2."

Building on the success of the Sport COMP-2, BFGoodrich has designed an Ultra High Performance All-Season version of the tire to meet the needs of drivers who need some cold weather and light snow traction. This new design, called the g-Force COMP-2 A/S is replacing the aging BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S .

 BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S
BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S
 BFGoodrich g-Force Comp-2 A/S
BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S


BFGoodrich's main goal was to improve the snow and wet traction on the new g-Force COMP A/S compared to its predecessor. They certainly followed through with a 15% increase in snow traction, while also increasing wet traction and even improving dry grip a bit over the old g-Force Super Sport A/S. These improvements put BFGoodrich's new tire back into the game while maintaining its sporty directional tread pattern and stylish sidewall design.  

We expect this tire to be a strong contender in the Ultra High Performance All-Season category and an ideal choice for drivers of sporty coupes and sedans that need some all-weather capability.  

A New Look for Your MR2 Spyder

Friday, April 10, 2015 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Name a fun, affordable and reliable mid-engine car? Sounds like a trick question, but the 2000-2005 Toyota MR2 Spyder hits that rare trifecta.

WHEEL DIAMETER

As you look at Spyder wheel options, you'll see wheels ranging in diameter from 15"-18". Although the Spyder can run 15", 16", 17" and 18" wheels, staying with a 15" wheel allows for broader tire selection and less rotational weight. 

OFFSET AND WIDTH

The earlier (2000-2002) Spyders ran 15x6 45 mm offset (ET 45) front wheels and 15x6.5 ET 45 rear wheels. The lower the offset, the further "out" toward the fender the wheel moves. While some drivers might prefer the wider stance of lower offset wheels, our goal here is to maintain the car's original steering feel and tracking. So try and stay with wheels that are close (within 6 mm) of the Original Equipment wheel's 45 mm offset. This will minimize scrub radius change, while helping to preserve the car's go-kart handling and steering feel.

Although later (2003-2005) Spyders have 16" rears as Original Equipment, you can change to 15" rear wheels. Your wheel choice might not be available in a wider rear size, however it's okay to run the same wheel width front and back. The key to maintaining the car's overall handling balance is staying with the tire suggestions covered in detail at "Alternative Tire Sizes for Your MR2 Spyder."

TIRE & WHEEL PACKAGE

In addition to the above considerations, find a wheel that meets your style preferences and a wheel finish that works well with your Spyder's body color. Go with the style and finish that you like.

Personally, I am a fan of the 15x6.5 ET 42 Enkei Performance Series GT7 in either hyper silver or black on 185/55R15 front and 205/50R15 rear Yokohama S.drive tires.

15x6.5 ET42 Black Painted Enkei Performance GT7 $112**
Enkei Performance Series GT7 Black Painted
15x6.5 ET42 Hyper Silver Painted Enkei Performance GT7 $120**
Enkei Performance Series GT7 Hyper Silver
185/55-15 Front $70** & 205/50-15 $89**Rear Ultra High Performance Yokohama S Drive
Yokohama
S.drive


Create a Tire & Wheel Package for your vehicle today!

Differences in Tire Speed Ratings Explained

Thursday, April 9, 2015 by Marshall Wisler

A frequently asked question that myself and other Tire Rack sales representatives receive daily is one concerning the speed ratings of tires and what speed ratings mean. While you likely will never encounter speeds beyond that of your tires' capabilities, it's important to understand everything else a speed rating can tell you when making your purchase decision.

Keep in mind that tires receive their speed rating based upon the amount of deflection in the sidewall and surrounding shoulders of the tire. A tire that is more stable at high speed will build up less heat than one with higher levels of deflection, and therefore be labeled with a higher speed rating. It is for this reason that stiffly constructed Max Performance Summer tires have a higher speed rating than softer riding Grand Touring All-Season tires.

High speed ratings are generally associated with improved handling, are generally stiffer riding and are commonly found on tires that are performance oriented in nature. Tires with lower speed ratings will feel more relaxed and give up a measure of performance and responsiveness in exchange for better ride comfort.

If you're a driver that is focusing on ride comfort above all else, find the minimum speed rating required by your vehicle's manufacturer and adhere closely to it. In contrast, if you are an aggressive driver or one with a focus on track performance, obtaining a higher speed rating is not only important for the higher terminal top speed of the tire, but also other performance attributes, such as turn-in response and on-center feel.

Common speed ratings in use today can be seen by taking a look at, "How to Read Speed Ratings, Load Index & Service Descriptions."

Looking for a Quick Boost? Want to Install Bigger Tires? Eibach's All-Terrain Level Kit May Be What You Need!

Thursday, April 9, 2015 by Turk Turkleton

Are you looking to fit some bigger tires on your truck or Jeep? Do you want that aggressive look without having to spend a fortune rebuilding your suspension? Eibach introduces their All-Terrain Level Kit for just this purpose!

It comes with everything you need to eliminate that factory "rake" or the appearance that the front is lower than the rear in many vehicles. This also makes more room under the front of the vehicle so you can clear a bigger tire and/or more aggressive wheel with a lower offset without rubbing during turning. The kit comes with two front springs (where applicable), four Eibach heavy-duty shocks to increase performance both on- and off-road. It also includes extended sway bar end links where applicable.

The All-Terrain Level Kit is available for many of today's Jeep and truck applications. This kit only lifts the front end up about 2" on average. If you're looking for a full lift kit that gets you 2.5"-3.5" lift in front and 2"-3" lift in rear, check out the Eibach All-Terrain Lift Kit and an article about special installation notes for Jeeps!

Check to see if the Eiback All-Terrain Level Kit is right for your vehicle by visitng in our Upgrade Garage!

Sumitomo's Affordable Performance All-Season Tire Just Got Better

Thursday, April 9, 2015 by Gary Stanley

Sumitomo traces its roots back to its relationship with Dunlop that started in 1909 and has been engineering and producing world-class tires now for decades. In the late 1990s, Sumitomo and Goodyear formed a joint venture in which the two manufacturers would produce tires for each other. In a way, you can think of Sumitomo as the "Goodyear of Japan."  For more information on Sumitomo tires, take a look at "How Good Are Sumitomo Tires?

I've used a few different sets of Sumitomo summer performance tires on a number of my own vehicles over the years, including the Sumitomo HTR Z III with great results. Sumitomo also recently replaced their performance all-season tire, the HTR A/S P01, with the all-new HTR A/S P02.  

 Sumitomo HTR A/S P01
Sumitomo HTR A/S P01
 Sumitomo HTR A/S P02
Sumitomo HTR A/S P02


The original Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 was an entry-level, directional performance all-season tire. While it was never at the top of its class, it competed well against other similarly priced tires. The replacement HTR A/S P02 should prove to be a far superior replacement tire. It uses an all-new silica enhanced tread compound and modern asymmetric tread pattern for much improved wet and snow traction, longer treadwear and a much quieter ride.  

If you're looking for affordable tires that are also reliable and safe, consider the new Sumitomo HTR A/S P02. Shop by vehicle to see if this tire is available for your application.

Where Can I Find the Best Tire Prices? Take Advantage of Closeout Pricing on General AltiMAX RT.

Thursday, April 2, 2015 by Cy Chowattukunnel

When it comes to taking care of your vehicle, tires are a big part of your maintenance budget. You can't afford to overpay, but good tires are essential for safe driving. Even with the high quality brands we offer, we'll see major differences in overall performance, especially in wet traction. We've done head-to-head comparison tests where we've seen over a 40-foot difference in 50-0 mph wet braking. That's the difference between rear-ending that inattentive driver abruptly stopping in front of you or avoiding an accident.

You don't have to choose between safety and saving money. We'll give you the information and choices you need so you can get the right tire. A great example of this safety and value nexus is the General brand. General leans on its German parent company's substantial Original Equipment tire experience and advanced European engineering to produce tires with outstanding performance and value. General recently introduced the AltiMAX RT43 to replace the AltiMAX RT. As part of this transition, General has given us some amazing closeout pricing on the General AltiMAX RT:

Size Serv. Desc. Original Price Closeout Price RT43 Price
185/65R14 86T $76 $46 $61
185/70R14 88T $65 $44 $59
195/70R14 91T $68 $46 $62
185/60R15 84T $73 $46 $67
205/65R15 94T $79 $64 $72
205/70R15 96T $75 $63 $68
215/60R16 95T $87 $68 $85
215/65R16 98T $97 $59 $87


With the AltiMAX RT closeout, you're saving money on a tire with stellar test results and solid review feedback. A great tire at a great price, your first step towards keeping your vehicle in top shape. 

In addition to these great closeout prices, General is now offering a $50  mail-in rebate on the Altimax RT. This rebate runs from April 3rd through May 1st, see complete details here.

New Method Roost Wheel is a Great Fit for Jeep Wrangler

Thursday, April 2, 2015 by Turk Turkleton

In a previous post, "Jeep Wrangler Wheels and Tires", we discussed using 17x9" aftermarket wheels with -12mm offset, which is about 4.5" backspacing on a Jeep Wrangler. That sizing, for many people, is the magic combination to fit 33" or 35" tires on the Jeep JK. I was in that same mindset, but when I saw the new Method Roost wheels we're getting in, I knew I had to have them!

The Method Roost for the Jeep JK is available in a black or bronze finish. The bronze option only comes in one fitment, 17x8.5" ET 0. That works out to about a 4.75" backspacing, which is about a quarter-inch less inside clearance, and it's a half-inch narrower wheel, too. This means the tire will pull in toward the shocks about another 1/4". That's 1/2" total less clearance to the sway bar, control arms, shocks and inner fender wells. Initially, I was concerned about the clearance for my 315/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires with 3" of lift and only 4.75" backspacing on the wheels. But I was pleasantly surprised when I got them installed and they fit very well, and they look great! They even had room to articulate the suspension, which was my main concern.

My factory fenders are cut back like flat fenders to provide more clearance, but if you have rubbing issues and don't want to cut or replace the fenders, you can always put a bigger bump stop on the suspension to prevent the tires from flexing up into the fenders. This would likely be necessary to articulate in this way with factory fenders. Limiting straps are another option to limit suspension travel.

How to Tell if a Recommended Installer Does Road Force Balancing

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 by Ben Rooney

For some vehicles, anything less than perfect balancing of wheels and tires can result in unpleasant vibration at certain speeds. One of the best tools for getting rid of this vibration is Road Force balancing. This advanced balancing spins the tire against a roller to account for any variation in stiffness of the tire's sidewall. It's common for there to be a stiff spot in the sidewall, which can cause a ride disturbance even if a wheel and tire are perfectly balanced for weight.

How do you find which of our Recommended Installers offer this service? It's easy. Go to the "Installation" section on our website, which is accessible at the top of our homepage or from this link. You will need to enter your ZIP code to see a list of nearby installers. Next, you'll see a map with installer locations and a list of installers. To the left of the map, there is a series of check boxes under "Product Services". Second to last on the list is "Road Force Balance". Check that box, then hit the "Update Results" button. Now the map and list will be showing only installers that offer Road Force balancing.

To see the cost of Road Force balancing, click on the "Select/More" button for the installer of your choice. Under "Optional Premium Services", you will see a list near the bottom of the page that shows the install cost.

For more information about using our Recommend Installer program, take a look at "Shipping to a Recommended Installer" and "How to Calculate Your Installation Cost at a Recommended Installer."

Lower Your Car and Keep a Great Ride with Eibach Lowering Springs

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 by Gary Stanley

Now that fair weather is just around the corner, many drivers are starting to focus on the performance and handling capability of their sporty cars. After upgrading tires, a vehicle's suspension is the next area of improvement that yields great results for the money. For most, a set of lowering springs from Eibach may be the answer. 



Benefits of lowering springs:

  • Lower center of gravity
  • Reduced body roll
  • Reduced pitch and dive when braking and accelerating
  • Better handling and steering feel

Vehicle performance and handing aren't the only reasons to lower your car. The visual difference in closing some of the factory wheel gap can be very appealing. 

   

Some people are hesitant to lower their vehicle due to concerns about ride quality, alignment problems and even compatibility with their shocks. The truth is that ride quality and proper alignment can be maintained with a set of high quality springs such as Eibach's Pro-Kit Spring Set. They're designed to be compatible with a vehicle's Original Equipment shocks. For more information about some of the misconceptions involved with lowering your car, read "Five Common Myths About Using Lowering Springs to Lower Your Car."

Lowering springs can make your car more fun to drive! Shop by vehicle to see which suspension options work best for your application.

Only One Tire Available for My Mazda CX-7?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 by Turk Turkleton

Many drivers of some Mazda CX-7 models will find that their Original Equipment 215/70R17 tires only have one replacement option when the time comes for a new set -- the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400. When you search by size, you'll also see there's a winter tire option available with Bridgestone's Blizzak DM-V1. While these two choices will cover any season for most drivers, some customers will find themselves wanting more options. 

An alternate size for the Mazda CX-7 is 225/65R17. This size is a little wider and just a little shorter, but it's less than 1/2" change on both width and height. Therefore, it will fit on the Original Equipment 17x7" wheel.

The 225/65R17 gives you many more options than 215/70R17, and the following all-season options are worth considering.


Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia

Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology

Firestone Destination
LE 2


Shop by size to view all options available in the 225/65R17 size.

How to Prepare for Your First Track Session in Four Simple Steps

Monday, March 23, 2015 by Marshall Wisler

Today is a great day to be an automotive enthusiast. Perhaps more than ever before, road courses across the country are opening their gates to any and all drivers looking to experience the thrill of driving on a track. Combine this level of access with the increased performance of today's vehicles and it's possible to have more fun than ever before for less money than you might think. 

Before embarking on your first track quest with your local SCCA chapter or car club, it is a good idea to keep a few things in mind and run through a checklist to make sure you and your car are properly prepared. Having tested products for the Tire Rack for several years, graduated from several schools and also participated in many open track events on my own time, I suggest the following:

#1 Brakes! Brakes! Brakes!

There is no higher failure rate for any vehicle system on a road course than the braking system. Factory brakes pads and fluid are not up to the task of providing stops from triple digit speeds repeatedly during a common 20-30 minute session. This is especially true for heavy, high horsepower vehicles such as many modern muscle car offerings. In short, a 4,200 lbs. Chevy Camaro SS trying to stop from 120mph will require much more braking force than a 2,500 lbs. Mazda Miata stopping from 100mph on the same straightaway. Keep in mind the braking needs of your specific vehicle when selecting aftermarket replacement products. Take a look at the offerings from Hawk, as they have a very broad market coverage. 

#2 Tires

For your first track session, I do not recommend using full-on competition tires. While competition tires are key to going fast and being competitive in class structured series racing, they aren't something I like to see used by first-time or novice track drivers. Not only are R-compound tires expensive and short on life, they also tend to have less progressive breakaway points than street tires. At the limit, these tires are more difficult to manage and can be less predictable if you find yourself in trouble. Furthermore, the high grip level of R-compound tires can easily mask weak driving fundamentals. For an introductory track driver, choose a tire from the Extreme Performance Summer category. These tires are more competitive than most Original Equipment tires and also feature compounds and patterns that hold up far better to the high heat levels generated on the track. 

#3 Understand Your Vehicle and the Way it Behaves

Most vehicles produced today are set up to understeer. This is done so that when the casual driver finds themselves in trouble, they can simply let off the gas and bring the vehicle back into a neutral state rather than fight tailout antics common with oversteer. While your tires should be making some noise if you're driving properly and quickly on a road course, it is important to listen to what they are telling you. A brief chirp or bark is to be expected under cornering or heavy braking, but if the tires are howling and begging for mercy you are wasting money and time. If you find that the car is understeering into a corner, simply have patience, relax off the gas a bit and unwind your hands gradually. If the car is not wanting to turn, turning the wheel more will not help, but rather chew away at the outside edge of your tires. Having the ability to listen to your vehicle and understand what consequences your inputs have will make your experience more enjoyable and keep your cost of consumables lower.

#4 Go Out and Enjoy Yourself

Other than the tire and brake upgrades suggested above, there is not much that needs to be done to enjoy your street car on track provided that it is in good mechanical condition. Try not to over think suspension and a whole host of other aftermarket upgrades. These items may prove useful in time, but aren't necessary for your immediate enjoyment. Learning how your car behaves in stock form also helps you plan for modifications ahead and understand the difference they will make. Try to remember that you aren't racing for a trophy or podium spot and simply enjoy the atmosphere and thrill of being on track with other cars at speed. Be competitive if possible, but safe! 

Check out our competition events and driving schools and sign up for one today!

Preview: BFGoodrich g-Force Rival S

Monday, March 23, 2015 by Ben Rooney

This spring, BFGoodrich is introducing the new g-Force Rival S. Building on the successful design of the original g-Force Rival, BFGoodrich is expanding the line to include the S version. The primary difference is a softer compound that will come up to operating temperature faster and yield higher maximum grip. This is ideal for autocross competitors, time attack participants or anyone who needs maximum grip for short periods of time.

The g-Force Rival S does not replace the original g-Force Rival, which remains a better choice for cars that run longer track sessions like driving schools, lapping days and budget endurance races like 24 Hours of LeMons and Chump Car. The Rival S claims enhanced wet traction, but the biggest emphasis is on dry traction, and neither tire is recommended if serious wet traction is required. The Rival tread pattern is not ideally suited for wet weather performance, though they can certainly be driven in the rain if the driver exercises due caution.

g-Force Rival S tires retain a 200 treadwear number, which will keep it legal for most street-tire racing classes. It will be legal for SCCA Solo national events once the required six sizes covering four wheel diameters are available.

We look forward to putting the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival S through its paces once the weather warms up here in South Bend!

Best Time to Switch from Winter Tires Back to Summer Tires

Monday, March 23, 2015 by Gary Stanley

It has been a long, cold winter for much of the United States this year. With the recent warm-up in some places, it's understandable that many drivers using winter tires are tempted to swap them off for their summer or all-season tires.  

Why the rush to remove winter set-ups? Many drivers are concerned that their winter tires will wear out quicker during the warmer temperatures. This can be true in prolonged hot conditions, and is the primary reason why winter tires should not be used year-round. However, a few days or even a week of normal driving in warmer temperatures will not damage your snow tires nor cause rapid treadwear with casual driving.  

Keep in mind that temporary warm-ups do not guarantee the end of winter driving. In much of the snowbelt and northern Midwest, it's not unheard of to experience snowfalls in April. We always advise those looking to prematurely change back to their summer tires to remember why they purchased winter tires in the first place -- safe and confident driving. If you haven't used winter tires in the past, be sure to take a look at "My Story on Winter Tires."

When should you switch back? 

If you own a set of all-season tires, you can consider making the change when daily low temperatures are consistently above freezing each night and the longterm forecast shows no threat of heavy snow. If summer performance tires are your fair weather tires of choice, hold off until all threat of snow and freezing temperatures are gone. Summer tires perform poorly in near-freezing temperatures and offer almost no snow traction. They perform best in warmer temperatures that are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It is not worth taking the chance of getting caught in snow simply to have your "fun" tires on a week or two sooner. 

Be sure to do a thorough inspection of your fair weather tires before putting them back into service. Take a look at "Tire Replacement" to see if your tires can last another season.

March Madness Means Autocross Season is Coming!

Friday, March 20, 2015 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Our hometown Notre Dame Fighting Irish are known for their football team, but that may be changing after Notre Dame's amazing comeback victory over North Carolina in the ACC Tournament. What a game! Many of us at Tire Rack can't wait to see how the Irish do this week in the Big Dance.

And with March Madness here, you know what that means...autocross season is just around the corner. If you would rather zip around pylons instead of dribbling through a full court press, it's time to start prepping your car.

With the recent class and rule changes, SCCA Street and Street Touring competitors must run tires with at least a 200 UTQG. With these new rules, consider the following 200 UTQG Extreme Performance Summer for the upcoming season: the new Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R, the new BFGoodrich g-Force Rival S, Dunlop's Direzza ZII Star Spec and the Hankook R-S3 (Version 2).

Extreme Performance Summer Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R
Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R
Extreme Performance Summer BF Goodrich G-Force Rival S
BFGoodrich g-Force Rival S
Extreme Performance Summer Dunlop Direzza Z2 Star Spec
Dunlop Direzza ZII Star Spec
Extreme Performance Summer Hankook R-S3 (Version 2)
Hankook R-S3 (Version 2)


We'll test the newer tires against their peers in May, so stay tuned for results. And, while we may not be able to help with your bracket, we've got the tire information you need!

Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S: A Solid Ultra High Performance All-Season at a Good Price

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 by Marshall Wisler

Last year, Yokohama introduced an addition to their Ultra High Performance All-Season line-up with the ADVAN Sport A/S. Unlike previous Yokohama models, this tire features an asymmetric tread pattern that allows it to be rotated side-to-side, as well as front-to-back on non-staggered applications.

During our internal testing, the ADVAN Sport A/S held its own against some of the higher-rated tires in the field in the dry and wet. Also, we took the tire to Sweden last year to see how it handles wintry conditions. The tire offered responsive handling, but wasn't as strong as tires like the Continental ExtremeContact DWS. For a complete recap of our testing, take a look at "Testing Ultra High Performance All-Season Tires: Single-Focus Specialists or Well-Rounded Athletes?"

With a 50,000-mile treadlife warranty and a very low price-point, this tire is quickly becoming one of the categories hottest sellers. Offering broad market coverage and a long list of sizes, the Yokohama Advan Sport A/S is a good choice for consumers looking for a tire with a high-speed rating, responsive feel and more treadlife than a performance summer tire.

New Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R vs Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 by Gary Stanley

Bridgestone is a leader in the area of research and development in the tire industry. It's no wonder that their Potenza RE-11, and its successor, the Potenza RE-11A have been top-rated Extreme Performance Summer tires since their initial releases. If you aren't familiar with this category of tires, take a look at "What are Extreme Performance Summer Tires?

Now with the introduction of the Potenza RE-71R, Bridgestone has raised the bar once again. Some older enthusiasts may remember the original Potenza RE-71 tire from the 1980s when it was first used on a Porsche 959 Supercar.

The "R" in the RE-71R name stands for "Revival" and the new RE-71R is a tire worthy of the name's heritage. In Bridgestone's internal testing, they found that the RE-71R was 1%-1.5% faster during track lapping sessions on road race courses, and even quicker in autocross testing. 

 Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A
Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A
 Bridgestone Potenza RE- 71R
Bridgestone Potenza RE- 71R


The new Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R carries the same 200 UTQG wear rating, but is expected to have a bit shorter treadwear than the older Potenza RE-11A. Also, expect a slightly stiffer ride and an increase in tread noise on the street.  As a reward for these tradeoffs, the new RE-71R has quicker steering response, better on-center feel and most importantly, it has higher levels of dry grip and wet traction. This makes the new RE-71R up to the task of competing with the current crop of performance tires that are frequently used in SCCA racing, like the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival and Dunlop Direzza ZII Star Spec.  

Get an edge over the competition on the track with the new Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R!