Testing Tires to Maximize Your Summer!

Friday, August 30, 2013 by Doc Horvath

While all-season capable tires can provide plenty of grip in nearly every situation, many enthusiasts prefer to have a dedicated set of summer tires to maximize handling during the warm weather months. To find the best of the best in our Max Performance Summer category, we tested two newcomers, the Dunlop Sport Maxx RT and Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105 against the best tires from previous tests, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position.

In order to evaluate each tires' high performance capability and every day manners, we subjected all four to both our Performance Test Track Drives and Real World Road Rides. On our 4.1-mile loop of expressways, state highways and county roads, we're able to get a sense for how each tire will perform in real world conditions, like those most of our customers experience on their daily commute. The variety of pavement types, conditions and legal speeds puts each tire through its paces and helps determine overall ride comfort, road noise and handling characteristics. While the Michelin Pilot Super Sport continued to impress our testers with its handling, Yokohama's ADVAN Sport V105 was right behind the Super Sport and showed all of our testers that it has a good steering response and feel. The Bridgestone and Dunlop options rounded out the group, providing excellent road feel and manners, but just not quite to the level of the Michelin and Yokohama.

On our 1/3-mile test track, we can replicate extreme maneuvers (in both wet and dry conditions) normally experienced during an abrupt emergency avoidance move. When driven to the limit of our test cars' capability (and our driver's ability) the Michelin continued to lead the field in dry conditions, with the Yokohama having the better grip in wet. Again, the Bridgestone and Dunlop (in that order) were just a touch behind the others, but still providing fantastic traction. 

In the end, the Michelin was able to retain its top position in the category with the Bridgestone and Yokohama models tied for second place. The tight scores reinforce the fact that all four tire manufactures have done their homework and know what the tires need to do to be in the Max Performance Summer category.

For a complete recap of our test, read "Testing New Max Performance Summer Tires: Can the Latest Keep Up With the Greatest?"

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