If you're looking for maximum performance on a minimal budget, take a look at the Kumho Ecsta LE Sport. The LE Sport is Kumho's Max Performance Summer tire and has recently come down in price in many sizes.
For example, in the popular 225/40R18 size, they are currently only $112 as of 7/20/12, undercutting their rival, the Sumitomo HTR Z III ($131 for the same size) by almost $20. The HTR Z III has often been my recommendation of choice for drivers seeking high performance on a budget, but the Kumho is making a good case for itself with the excellent value it delivers.
This aggressive pricing strategy seems to be catching the attention of customers.
The Ecsta LE Sport isn't just about low price, as it bested the always popular Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110 in our track testing. In the same test, it gave the HTR Z III a good challenge, though the HTR Z III ultimately came out slightly ahead. For complete results of our test, read "Testing Value-Priced Max Performance Summer Tires."