Longest-Wearing Z-Rated Performance Tires

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 by Gary Stanley

What can drivers of sports cars and high performance vehicles with low profile, Z-rated Ultra High Performance All-Season tires do if they want to have longer wearing tires? In the past, the best a driver could hope for, in regards to treadwear, was an option that lasted approximately 20,000 miles. This was the case for so long that it has become a common misconception that all low profile tires or tires with a high speed rating have rapid treadwear. On the contrary, there are options available with long treadwear ratings. Three of the best to consider are the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 and Continental ExtremeContact DWS.  

 Continental Extreme Contact DWS
Continental ExtremeContact DWS
 Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2
Hankook Ventus S1
noble2
 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3
Michelin Pilot Sport
A/S 3


The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 has the best dry grip and quickest steering response among the three and comes with a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty. Both the Continental ExtremeContact DWS and Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 feature 50,000-mile treadwear warranties and perform a little better in light snow conditions compared to the Pilot Sport A/S 3. All three tires are made in a variety of sizes. Now, even drivers of sports cars like the Chevy Corvette and Ford Mustang can find tires with higher treadwear.  

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

Low Dust Brake Pad Options

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Does your vehicle have squeaking brakes or pads that produce too much dust? You may want to consider a move to a ceramic pad. Ceramic pads leave a lighter trail of dust than traditional pads with a higher metallic content and are typically very quiet. While ceramic pads do not have the necessary heat range to be used effectively in a track environment, they are still appropriate for some spirited drivers.

Ceramic pads meet or exceed all Original Equipment standards for durability, stopping distance and noise. According to durability tests, ceramic compounds extend brake life compared to most other semi-metallic and organic materials and outlast other premium pad materials by a significant margin - with no sacrifice in noise control, pad life or braking performance.

As mentioned earlier, another characteristic that makes ceramic pads attractive is the absence of noticeable dust. All brake pads produce dust as they wear. The ingredients in ceramic compounds produce a light-colored dust that is much less noticeable and less likely to stick to your vehicle's wheels. Consequently, wheels and tires maintain a cleaner appearance longer.

If you're considering a ceramic brake pad for your vehicle, take a look at the following options:

For more information on using a ceramic brake pad on your application, read "Why Ceramic Brake Pads?"

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position vs Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Since its release a few years ago, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport has dominated the Max Performance Summer category, garnering praise from many drivers of high performance cars. Its combination of handling, grip, responsiveness and road manners make it a top choice for the discriminating enthusiast. So much so, that I decided that it was the right choice for my own personal vehicle. Take a look at "Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires Installed on My Car" and "Michelin Pilot Super Sport: 5,000 Mile Update" to learn more about my experience with this top-rated tire.

Last year, my Michelin Pilot Super Sports were due for replacement. While I enjoyed their performance and handling for three years, I was impressed with a recent test of the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position. In this test of four top Max Performance Summer tires, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport finished on top. To many, this was no surprise. 

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
 Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport


However, many in our test were surprised at how close the Bridgestone compared favorably to the Pilot Super Sport. On the street and track, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport had faster steering response and a bit more dry grip than the S-04 Pole Position. However, I felt that the Bridgestone summer tire had a bit softer ride quality on the street, while still giving excellent cornering grip and road feel. Many may feel that the S-04 Pole Position has a better balance of ride quality and handling that would suit a vehicle that's driven spiritedly.

My conclusion? The Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position is great alternative to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport for those willing to give up a little in terms of ultimate handling and grip for a bit softer ride and lower price-point. Shop by vehicle and see if this Bridgestone tire is available for your application.

Great Grip Comes with Savings: Hankook Ventus V12 Evo K110

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Testing tires allows us to accurately tell which tires deliver the right combination of grip, handling and road manners to improve your drive. It also allows us to compare tires and tell drivers what tire we think works best for them. When new products come out, we can tell customers how they compare to other tires, as well as how they are an improvement over an older model. Case in point,  Hankook's new Max Performance Summer Ventus V12 evo2 which is replacing the closeout Ventus V12 evo K110.

New Max Performance Summer Hankook Ventus V12 evo 2
Hankook Ventus V12 evo2
Closeout Max Performance Summer Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110
Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110


We're in the midst of testing the V12 evo2, so look for our test report to be available later this year. In the meantime, take a look at the closeout savings on the Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110. For example, the popular 225/45ZR17 has been marked down to $63*. The tire is currently in the top ten of our survey results and combines comfort and control in dry and wet road conditions.

Developed for the owners of sports cars, sporty coupes and high performance sedans, the tire allows drivers to express their personality and style. A high-grip silica tread compound features an innovative functionalized styrene polymer that lowers tire rolling resistance to enhance vehicle fuel economy without surrendering dry and wet traction.

Take advantage of this great deal and view all sizes for the Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110 that are currently available at a closeout price.

*Prices subject to change

Best All-Terrain Tire Choices for 275/55R20 Size

Monday, June 30, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Not too long ago, 20-inch tires were rare, exotic and mostly reserved for high-end European SUVs or show vehicles gracing the cover of automobile magazines. Those that were available were ultra high performance tires, often with little to no all-season traction and wore very quickly. This is not the case today. In fact, 20" tires are an option on many popular trucks, SUVs and domestic and import crossovers. 

Of the 20" sizes that are used, one of the most common is 275/55R20. This size is often used on SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Suburban, Ford Expedition and GMC Yukon. Trucks that commonly use this size include the Chevy Silverado, Dodge Ram 1500, Ford F-150 and can even be used with 20" wheels on newer Toyota Tundras. 

A popular misconception is that one can't find more aggressive On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tires in this size. This performance category is one of the most effective in snow traction and light off-road capability in a tire that can be used year-round. Many of the best all-terrain tires on the market are available in this size, such as the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar and Michelin LTX A/T 2.   

 Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
 Michelin LTX A/T 2
Michelin LTX
A/T 2


If you're looking for a more street friendly ride and longer wear, I'd suggest the Michelin LTX A/T 2. It compares quite favorably to a long-time favorite that you can learn about by reading, "BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO vs. Michelin LTX A/T 2." For more aggressive snow and off-road traction, consider the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar as your top choice.  

Does your vehicle require a different tire size? Shop by size and view the complete selection available for your vehicle. 

Michelin Replaces Primacy MXV4 with the New Premier A/S

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Michelin is known in the tire industry and by drivers worldwide for their technology and innovation. In 1946, Michelin produced the first radial tire. In 1992, Michelin introduced high silica rubber compounds and Green X technology. Continuing to develop new and exciting products, this year Michelin released the first tire with Evergrip Technology, the Premier A/S.  

What is Evergrip Technology? Simply stated, it reduces the rate of decline in wet traction. The Michelin Premier A/S retains more of its outstanding wet traction as it wears down. 

There are three main components to how this helps the tire perform:

  • Sunflower oil additive in the rubber compound maintains wet traction even in lower temperatures. 
  • Extreme silica acts to further improve wet traction throughout the life of the tire.
  • Emerging Grooves widen as the tire wears, reducing hydroplaning.  
 Michelin Primacy MXV4
Michelin Primacy MXV4
 Michelin Premier A/S
Michelin Premier A/S


This technology is so effective that Michelin is choosing the Premier A/S as the replacement tire for its top-of-the-line Grand Touring All-Season option, the Primacy MXV4. Already an outstanding tire, I installed the Primacy MXV4 on one of my own vehicles. You can read about my experience with this tire in a post titled, "Best All-Weather Tires for Mazda CX-7."

Why did Michelin place such a focus on wet traction? Keep in mind that accidents are more likely to happen on wet roads compared to dry. Drivers rank the ability to stop when a tire when is worn compared to when new as a top consideration when they're purchasing a new set of tires. The Michelin Premier A/S delivers that additional margin of safety when you need it the most!  

Shop by vehicle to see if this tire is available for your application.

Continental ExtremeContact DW vs. Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Friday, June 13, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Two of the most popular Max Performance Summer tires being discussed on automotive forums lately are the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and Continental ExtremeContact DW. Both options are highly rated and outstanding tires. In our survey results, the Pilot Super Sport is currently ranked first, while the ExtremeContact DW is fourth.

How do the two tires compare? The Michelin Pilot Super Sport offers better handling, steering response and more desirable dry and wet grip. Continental's ExtremeContact DW provides a slightly softer ride than the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and a slower steering response as a result.

Some BMW forum members state that the ExtremeContact DW has a softer sidewall compared to other tires in the category. This can be viewed either as a positive feature or a downside depending on what you're looking for in your tire. Softer sidewalls (and slower steering response) result in improved ride quality and less harshness from sharp impacts like rough roads or expansion joints on the highway. 

Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Continental Extreme Contact DW
Continental ExtremeContact DW


When it comes time to make a purchase, what tire is best for you? Think about your driving style and preferences for ride quality. If you want immediate response when quickly moving the steering wheel from side to side and desire the best dry and wet traction, go with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Are you willing to give up a little steering response for a softer ride? If so, the Continental ExtremeContact DW would be the way to go. Are you still having trouble deciding? For additional help choosing the best tire for your vehicle, visit our Tire Decision Guide.