We have been eagerly awaiting the Dunlop Direzza ZII, which will replace the Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec. The Z1 Star Spec is a longtime favorite, and I even owned a set myself. However, the Extreme Performance Summer category is very competitive and Dunlop wants to stay a step ahead of its competitors.
In preparation for the launch of this new model, we had the chance to do some preliminary testing of the Direzza ZII against the Z1 Star Spec to get a feel for how the new option compares to the older one. The biggest improvement we noticed was in steering response and predictability.
The new tire was faster to respond to driver inputs and imparted greater confidence with its traction and stability. This resulted in noticeable improvements in both wet and dry lap times. We weren't able to run enough laps to begin to see significant wear on either tire, however what there was already showed the Direzza ZII wearing at least as well as the Z1 Star Spec.
Faster and more predictable in the dry and wet, and at least equal wear rate shows that Dunlop hit the mark with the Direzza ZII. Stay tuned as we'll be doing a full road, dry and wet track comparison later this year to see how this newer tire compares with other options in the Extreme Performance Summer category. The Dunlop Direzza ZII is expected to arrive in mid-to-late January, with more sizes filling out the lineup as we approach spring.
To see our initial report of the tire, read "Dunlop Direzza ZII Introductory Track Drive."