One of the perks of the job is being able to test the tires we sell. We are one of the few -- if not the only -- company in our field with our own test track. And because of this, we are able to provide first-hand, non-biased critiques based on these tests because we get to actually experience how each tire behaves in different situations.
And we get to drive brand new 2011 BMWs, which is pretty cool, too!
My first test this year involved four different High Performance All-Season tires, three of which are newcomers to the market: the Firestone Precision Sport, the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01, the Yokohama AVID ENVigor, and the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S (which was used as a reference point). This particular test was done on a dry track, and it featured simulated street corners, expressway exit ramps, lane changes, and a slalom. While each tire had pros and cons -- you'll be able to read all about it in a few weeks when the test results are published -- my favorite one was the Yokohama AVID ENVigor.
The tire handled very well on the skidpad and was very responsive during transitions. It gripped well and while I would not explore the absolute limits of the car on an all-season tire, the Yokohama was the one that provided the most confidence, especially during braking and rapid turns. I had heard good things about this tire through the grapevine and they were confirmed: the ENVigor is a very competent tires for those looking for a High Performance All-Season tire.
Please check our Tire Test section in the upcoming weeks for complete results.