I just finished the road ride on some Ultra High Performance Summer tires. We tested the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport, the Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500, the Yokohama s.Drive, and the Kumho Ecsta SPT.
The Kumho Ecsta SPT has nice on-center steering feel, an acceptable level of dry grip, and good cornering stability. It did not, however, have the most civilized road manners of the group, creating just a bit more noise than the other tires and not absorbing the road impacts as well as the other tires tested.
Driving on the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport, I found myself pleasantly surprised. The tire had nice on-center steering feel, good grip, and predictable cornering stability. One of the quieter tires in the test, it did a very nice job of absorbing the impacts of the road. The tire had a heavy feel to the steering, but it was heavy in a good way, by making you feel connected to the road.
The new Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 is a nice all-around summer performance tire. Firestone did a good job combining a little bit of everything. It is not the quietest, or the most comfortable, but I would call it acceptable from that standpoint when looking at a performance-oriented tire. It has nice steering feel and responsiveness, and gave a nice connected feeling to the road.
The Yokohama s.Drive has it all...but of course, like most of the Yokohama tires, it creates a harmonic that I hear and find a bit offensive. From a ride and performance aspect it does a great job of creating nice road manners and and predictable performance characteristics. As an all-around option, one of the best as long as you can get past the harmonic. It is not "noise" it is a very specific pitch, probably something that not everyone will hear.
There will be more to come! Stay tuned to tirerack.com for all the test results.