Nearly all cars that come with high performance run-flat tires use a summer only rubber compound to maximize grip levels and make the most of the car's power and suspension. While strong on performance, nearly all summer compounds are short on durability. Many of the customers I deal with are willing to give up a little high-speed performance for more mileage, so they opt for an all-season compound. We recently tested four of the leading high performance tires that maintain run-flat capability to see which one is considered the best.
The four tire manufacturers we tested (Bridgestone, Michelin, Pirelli and Yokohama) are globally recognized for offering high quality performance tires, so we put each model through a series of tests, both on our Real World Road Rides and on-site test track.
At the track, the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus ZP led the way in wet traction and came in a close second to the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT in our dry pavement runs where we simulate abrupt emergency avoidance maneuvers and other situations. The Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season Run Flat came in third with the Yokohama AVID ENVigor ZPS close behind as it didn't provide the same level of grip as the others.
Our Real World Road Ride consists of a 6.6-mile loop of two-lane roads, four-lane roads and expressways, as well as surfaces that include asphalt (some very smooth areas while others are patched) and concrete (complete with expansion joints and some studded tire wear) that are similar to what our customers can expect on their daily commute. Out on the road, we found the Potenza's new 3G technology can minimize the expected harsh ride that run-flat tires are known for and set the bar very high for all the others. The Pilot Sport A/S Plus ZP was just a step behind but both the Pirelli and Yokohama options seemed to transmit the noise and road feel from bigger impacts and expansion joints.
For a complete report of the test, take a look at "Testing Performance All-Season Run-Flats."