Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.5
 
 

2013 Subaru Impreza WRX 5-Door
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Laurel, MD
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
December 30, 2013

This really is a do it all tire. In the dry, I've not noticed any difference between the summer tires that came on it and these. In the wet....no problem with traction or braking. In the light snow...no problems. I've heard others report issues with snow, but even with the traction control off....they worked great for me. They are a little noisy on some kinds of pavement, but not unacceptable. Very happy with the all around performance.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.29

2010 BMW 335d Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 1,500
Location: Oakville, ON
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 1,500 Miles on Tires
January 19, 2011

The dry and wet weather performance of this tire is excellent at low temperatures in fact I would say the car handles better than it does on the OEM Continental Run-Flats. The tires are good in light snow and traction is excellent but when snow gets deeper, although the car never gets stuck,the tires do not feel as if they are gripping that well and you have to be careful not to brake too hard or they will slide. The tread pattern is not an aggressive winter tire patten. I have had no problems so far due to the fact I drive on roads that usually get ploughed soon after a snow fall but if I was diring in deeper snow more often I'd get something with a slightly more agressive winter tread and forego some of the really excellent dry and wet wether performance.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.38
 
 

2006 Porsche Cayman S With Standard Brakes
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Miles driven on tires: 12,000
Location: Hingham, MA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 12,000 Miles on Tires
March 15, 2014

Drove these tires from Spring thru Fall last year including 1 autocross and 6 track days. Performed and wore much better than the Michelin PS2's they replaced. Stiff sidewalls were a big plus at the track, but the ride quality and noise were still acceptable on the street. Very predictable cornering at the track and easy to modulate at the limit although you need to watch tire pressures which rise quickly at the start of each day.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.27
 
 

2004 Ford Mustang Mach 1
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Cohoes, NY
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
March 22, 2014

This review is of my WS70s bought this winter, but also my WS50s which I bought in 2007. Both sets of Blizzaks have been absolutely awesome and to be honest, I can't tell the difference between them. If you have never driven on proper winter tires then you will be astonished. When I bought my Mustang (305bhp/320lbft rear wheel drive) to use in upstate New York, everyone said I would need another vehicle for the winter. One lone friend told me that all I needed was good winter tires. He directed me to Tirerack. On my all-season (Ha) tires, the car was pretty much undriveable on ice and snow. With these studless ice and snow tires I have NEVER had any problem, and I'm a skier, so that means getting to the Mountains just after the storm. In six winters, I have seen at least ten accidents unfold in front of me in snowy or icy conditions and have never been concerned that I was going to become part of the accident. The car steers, accelerates, corners and brakes with great confidence. It would be a lie to say they have the ultimate grip of a summer tire, but they turn an unuseable car into a very good winter vehicle.

The only time these tires have caught me out is on wet pavement. On two occasions (in six years) they span up unexpectedly whilst accelerating pretty hard in second gear (The car is a Standard), but that was really my fault.

It is worth noting that in retrospect, I should have replaced them last year. The WS50s did about 30,000 miles and I expect the WS70s will be similar. The performance in ice was undiminished, but they started to struggle in snow because of insufficient tread-depth. I replaced them with about 3/16 of tread remaining. I'm sure this is less than Bridgestone recommend.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Latitude Tour

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Latitude Tour Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.44
 
 

1999 Mercedes-Benz ML320
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Miles driven on tires: 63,000
Location: St Petersburg Beach, FL
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 63,000 Miles on Tires
March 27, 2014

P255/65R16 106T Latitude Tour on an ML320 first series SUV. The tires are holding up well with just over 63k miles over 64 months. The first 18 months (14k mi) were in New England and the tires performed well through two northern winters. Snow traction was excellent as was wet traction. The last 48k miles have been in south Florida, mostly highway miles. Treadwear is excellent with about 4 to 5/32 of depth across the widths of each tire. (Tire rotation schedule and alignment issues with the car are main culprits for the uneven tire wear). Wet weather driving at highway speed in Florida has been great with zero hydroplaning (on 255s) along with confident braking. Dry weather driving is relatively quiet as is expected from all season tires. Mileage for the ML320 at highway driving is consistently 20mpg which I attribute 1-2 miles on the tire model. The previous tires were also Michelins but were H rated, lower tread life tires. I was initially concerned with "T" (118mph) speed rating, "B" temp rating, and 106 load index (2,094lb) for Florida drivers tend to consistently speed beyond the 70 MPH law. The ML is a heavy SUV with gross weight of 6000lbs. Front and Rear GAWR are 2550 & 3550 lbs respectively. A typical workday round trip is 140 miles highway driving 3-4 times a week. Additionally, was also concerned about the Florida heat and sun as the vehicle was not parked under cover for most of the last three years. As such, there is cracking all along the circumference of the tire walls (dry rot cracking, maybe). At this point, I am pleased with the performance and longevity of these Latitude Tours and may likely keep them on until the warranty period end (or another 2k miles). As a side note, I would purchase these again for a vehicle that I expected to keep a long time. These tires were a great investment. By the way, I love Tire Rack and will continue to purchase from them. Just replaced these with Conti CrossContact LX20 due to cost and remaining life of the Benz.

Which Rotor Fits Your Needs Best?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Brake rotors only come in one shape, but there are many different options. From Original Equipment replacements to multi-piece race rotors, we have what you need to match your driving style. Take a look at different rotor styles we offer to find the one that's right for your vehicle. It's important to remember that rotors should always be installed in axle pairs to maintain the most effective brake performance.

  1. Plain  - Plain style rotors are Original Equipment replacement options for most vehicles. They're balanced to minimize vibration and meet or exceed O.E. standards.
  2. Slotted - Slotted rotors are for everyday use, as well as high performance street and track driving. These rotors have a race-ready look and match Original Equipment dimensions.
  3. Drilled - This style of rotor is a one-piece, direct replacement option that meets Original Equipment standards. They also improve wet and dry braking performance.
  4. Slotted Multi-Piece - These rotors improve heat handling and have Thermo-Graphic paint markings for heat monitoring.

Centric Plain 120 Series
Rotor

StopTech SportStop Drilled
Rotor

DBA 5000 Series T3 2-Piece
Rotor


Search by vehicle to see what application fits your needs best! Also, to learn more about about enhancing your vehicle's appearance and braking performance, read "The Finishing Touch: Brake Rotors."

Max Performance Summer Tires for 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Here in South Bend, Indiana we are nearly thawed out from a brutal winter and it is time to start considering what tires to run this summer. For enthusiasts with cars that are driven on the street as opposed to the track, this usually means selecting a tire from our Max Performance Summer category. Max Performance Summer tires feature advanced ultra low profile, high speed options that combine computer developed designs and unique materials with precision manufacturing techniques to provide an unsurpassed blend of dry and wet traction and handling.

If you're shopping for a set of tires from this performance category, here are your top picks:

King of the Hill: Michelin Pilot Super Sport

The Pilot Super Sport does everything well: wet traction, dry traction, steering response, braking and even treadlife is better than average for the category. This tire is designed to allow sports cars, sporty coupes, performance sedans and supercars to achieve their full potential in dry and wet conditions. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires are competitively priced and usually cheaper than the previous generation Pilot Sport PS2.

Top Tier Value: Bridgestone S-04 Pole Position

The Bridgestone S-04 Pole Position is a leading member of the most recent generation of Max Performance Summer tires. While their raw grip is not quite equal to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, they have excellent traction in wet and dry conditions, are extremely stable and provide confident handling. Bridgestone has been pricing them very aggressively, and in some sizes, you'd almost be crazy not to buy a tire this good at such a low price.

Lots of Grip, Not Yet Hyped: Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105

If you're the type of enthusiast who likes to do things a little differently from the rest, this may be the tire for you. The Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105 has not yet made a big splash in the marketplace, but it has exceptional grip. I'm also a fan of the responsive handling that its stiff sidewalls provide. To see how the tire performed during our in-house test, read "New Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105 Tested."

View all Max Performance Summer tires we offer and find the one that will make your summer driving a blast!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General G-MAX AS-03

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General G-MAX AS-03 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7
 
 

2013 Ford Mustang GT Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Harleysville, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
March 19, 2014

I have these mounted on a 2013 Mustang GT, with 245front, 275 rear. For the most part, I am very pleased with the tire. My only concern is in wet weather, during spirited acceleration, these will break loose pretty quickly. Not just during active rain, just on wet roads, these will start spinning if I am not careful. Wet braking is very good, and if I had to choose, I would much rather have the tires hold during braking. Having the back tires break loose when you hit third gear on wet roads reduces trust in the tire. I have had other high performance cars and tire, but never one with 420 hp, so that could be part of the problem(?) Tires look great, would buy them again.

Looking for Lightweight Track Wheels at a Great Price? The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is Your Answer

Monday, March 24, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

Autocross and track season are quickly approaching and many racers have already begun to plan for upcoming races and events. As most enthusiasts know, switching out your vehicle's heavy, factory steel or alloy wheels is one of the easiest performance upgrades to your track vehicle. By switching to a lighter weight wheel, your car will instantly feel quicker and respond better compared to your stock wheels. The rotational force to get a lighter weight wheel to move and stop is less, therefore the engine and braking system of the car can respond quicker. Reducing the unsprung weight will also reap benefits when cornering, as the shocks and springs will have less weight to dampen during rebound and compression.

Typically, the answer to a lighter wheel is purchasing a fully forged alloy wheel, however, this option can become expensive for some. There are many highly engineered cast alloy options that are more affordable and provide a great bang for your buck.


Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Black Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Bright Silver Paint

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Gold Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Special Brilliant Coating


Enkei Racing Series' RPF1 uses a revolutionary MAT Process to make lighter weight wheels. MAT is a technology for producing an aluminum wheel by combining Enkei's MAP (Most Advanced Production) and flow-forming forging technology. MAP is a highly automated system. Each process is connected in a single-piece flow system that transports wheels from the melting process, through heat treatment and on to machining. The process of spinning the rim vs. casting it to both shape and elongate it produces a finer, more even aluminum structure and ensures the wheel will remain lightweight and strong. The complete MAT process has a drastic impact on the microstructure of aluminum and results in outstanding improvement of the mechanical property of the material.

As wheels and tires become larger, use of the MAT process to manufacture wheels becomes even more important. In order to reduce weight under a vehicle's suspension, larger wheels must remain light. Enkei Racing Series' new generation of 10% - 15% lighter weight, forged MAT wheels are strong and retain optimum anti-flex properties.

The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered in black painted, bright silver paint, gold painted and special brilliant coating finishes for a wide assortment of vehicles like BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Honda. Shop by vehicle to see if the Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered as a performance upgrade for your track car.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter Reviewer's Overall Rating: Not Rated
 
 

2013 Ford Focus ST
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Miles driven on tires: 20
Location: Watertown, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 20 Miles on Tires
February 08, 2014

So I just bought this car and I needed winter tires badly, and I had them studded for extra peace of mind when I came here to tire rack and bought a winter tire package with steel wheels as these are just for winter and don't need fancy wheels covered in snow and crap all winter. I installed these very recently and first impression were good from the looks in person. I took them for a drive as soon as I installed them with our roads being completely covered in packed snow on plowed roads and 4-7 inches of powder on unplowed roads. We have recently received 18 inches of snow in the last 3 days and these tires take it all on without issue. The only time I had to slow down was when the front bumper was hitting the fresh powder on the roads (6 inches deep powder) and was blowing up and covering my windshield and I couldn't see. I stopped several times on snow covered hills and my car just walked op the hill without issue. Being located in Watertown, NY we get a lot of lake effect snow and it can hit at a moments notice and I spent the most part of my day testing theses tires out. Stopping was easily done as long as you don't just mash on the brakes as to be expected with any tire the ABS kicked in but still stopped controllably. Deep snow wasn't an issue, some icy roads are easily manageable, packed snow covered roads were a cinch and I really enjoyed driving in the fowl weather with these tires. No white knuckles for this guy just ease of travel as I was back to feeling safe and confident behind the wheel with these shoes on the car. Now my car has quite a bit of torque for a Front Wheel Drive vehicle that I was concerned about but the traction control worked well and the tires gripped well. These tires were cheapest offered for my car and I was skeptical as I usually go for blizzaks but these I think perform at the same level easily. I would buy these again without worry and knowing they are lower priced than the other competitors just made it easy to choose

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Ecsta PA31

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Kumho Ecsta PA31 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.36
 
 

2004 Infiniti I35
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Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Chicago, IL
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
January 30, 2014

Bought these to go on my girlfriend's infiniti. Replace some old Goodyears. I'm one for spirited driving and these tires hold up well for that. dry grip is solid and it takes some pushing to get these tires to their limits in a big sedan. very stable overall, but there's a very slight hesitation when doing sudden course correction (did a quick homebrew autocross when the tires were new). Most people won't notice it but i'm used to driving an Mr2.
Wet grip is great for an all season and im constantly impressed by how stable it is and its resistance to sliding. You can get it to slide if you push too hard, but i can take the same turns comfortably at 80% speed wet vs dry. wet braking is a little less impressive, as it will engage the ABS quickly if you stab it too hard, but generally good braking performance in light and heavy rain.
Snow/ice performance is average for an all season, Light snow being significantly better than deep, but i've only needed to dig myself out once this winter, so from standstills/parking it gets you going just fine.
I drive with traction control off most of the time and i have to actually try to lose the rear end on anything other than ice. very predictable when a slide begins as well.
For the record, i live in Chicago, so i've seen wet, dry, snow and ice in the same week.
Rides a little harsh and drones a bit at 70mph, but those are acceptable trade-offs for a the perforamnce/price envelope this tire gives.
four/five stars.

Looking for the Best Wet Traction from an All-Season Tire?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

Driving in the rain can be a nerve-racking experience on its own, but factor in having a tire that's bad in wet conditions and you can have a recipe for disaster. We have the ability to test tires on our track when it's dry, as well as wet. This is important because there can be a very significant difference when it comes to wet traction between competing tires.

When it comes to choosing a tire with great wet traction and hydroplaning resistance, Tire Rack has a long list of tests we've performed ourselves. In these tests, we highlight important factors such as wet braking, wet steering response and wet cornering g-Force. Also, view customer surveys as they are very helpful when trying to identify which tires provide the best wet traction.

 General Altimax RT43
General AltiMAX
RT43
 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3
Michelin Pilot Sport
A/S 3
 Continental Pure Contact with EcoPlus Technology
Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology


If you're looking for an all-season tire with great wet traction and hydroplaning resistance, take a look at the General AltiMAX RT43, Michelin Pilot A/S 3 and Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology. All three choices have tested very well during our in-house tests and are continually rated highly by customers for their wet traction capabilities.

To learn more about the importance of having a tire that can handle wet conditions, read "Hydroplaning: The Role Tires Play."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Optimo H431

Monday, March 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Hankook Optimo H431 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 3.29
 
 

2013 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T
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Miles driven on tires: 150
Location: Saint Louis, MO
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 150 Miles on Tires
January 30, 2014

I purchased a new Sonata Turbo that come with these tires. I kept them for 3 days and 150 miles. After the first rainstorm, they went in the trash. I could not pull away from a stop sign or light in the rain without the traction control having a seizure. If I turned it off, the car just sat there and spun. Braking was just as bad. There was no way to stop without the ABS going crazy in the rain. Only a very gentle stop would keep the ABS out of the loop. I have to say that in 41 years of driving, these are the absolutely worse tires I have ever tried to drive on. I have no clue what the snow traction is like. I couldn't live with them long enough to find out. So yes, I bought new tires for a three day old new car.

In case you think it was me or the car, the replacement tires were Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3's. All of the above problems disappeared. Only in the snow has the traction control and ABS intervened. And I've now been through 12.5 inches of unplowed snow to get to work.

So if your thinking of putting these on your car, you'd be better off going to a junkyard and picking up a set of completely bald tires with the cords hanging out - they will give you just as good wet weather performance as this pitiful excuse of a tire.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Monday, March 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.91
 
 

2002 Honda Civic LX Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 5,400
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 5,400 Miles on Tires
February 09, 2014

First impression: Snow is a joke with these tires

GREAT in snow, like epically good. I can do highway speeds on a snow covered road and feel perfectly stable. The largest increase in snow performance was the braking. These stop you so well in the snow. They are surprisingly quiet when cruising. However if brake, accelerate, or take a corner they make a fair bit of noise. There is a good quarter to half second lag between the steering input and the tire response. That is to be expected with this type of tire though. If your expecting alot of snow, these are a good bet.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

Friday, February 28, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.3
 
 

2008 Subaru Legacy Sedan 2.5 GT Limited
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Miles driven on tires: 3,500
Location: Richmond, VA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 3,500 Miles on Tires
February 23, 2014

These tires are excellent for winter-rated rubber on dry and wet roads, with progressive and predictable traction loss as you approach their limit while cornering. They are plenty capable of propelling my Subaru Legacy 2.5GT through over a foot of snow, although they are obviously aided by the AWD system's viscous limited slip differentials in this task. At speed, they maintain traction and stability through slush and shallow snow on the road.

On light snow and ice, they brake well but not as well as a fully dedicated snow/winter tire. This is to be expected, however, as these are designed for performance cars in areas with milder winters, where snows happens but infrequently. The trade off is far superior dry and wet traction than fully dedicated winter tires, with handling and braking comparable to some summer tires. Steering response compared to a summer tire is noticeably slower, due to the softer winter rubber compound.

Regardless, these will allow you to enjoy your car throughout the winter months without sacrificing much of the handling, braking, and cornering enjoyed on summer tires during the rest of the year. I highly recommend them, and they are a great deal for the price.

What Makes Your Track Car Stop?

Friday, February 28, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Race season is near and you've bought a fresh set of competition tires, lightweight wheels and sport suspension, but what about your braking system? Hawk Performance offers a wide selection of performance friction material for your autocross or road race car. Take a look at the following options from Hawk and see if one is right for your vehicle. 

HP Plus Plus Race Brake Pads

Hawk Performance's HP Plus disc brake pads are designed for sports cars, coupes and sedans for driving in autocross, Solo II and many “track day” applications. Also, the Hawk Performance HP Plus Ferro-Carbon compound can take the heat at the track and get you home safely without having to change your brake pads in and out. This compound was designed for the serious street and autocross enthusiast.

Black Track Only Pads

Black Track Only Pads feature an all-purpose competition compound for use on lower temp and torque applications. They're commonly used on the rear axle of vehicles when using Blue 9012 compounds on the front axle. These pads are also recommended for dirt circle track and driving school/lapping days.

Blue 9012 Track Only Pads

Hawk's most popular Motorsport Compound offers excellent modulation and braking power for a wide variety of applications. A strong initial bite combines with exceptional pedal feel to give drivers confidence during road racing and stage rally events. Blue 9012 Track Only Pads are popular with experienced lapping day and driving school participants.

HT-10 Track Only Pads

This pad is for road racing or pavement circle track use that requires more torque than the Blue 9012.

HT-14 Track Only Pads

HT-14 Track Only Pads are designed for vehicles that achieve high top speeds and require repeated high deceleration rates during road race competition. Drivers of Sports Car/GT and higher horsepower, open wheel applications will consider this pad.


Hawk HP Plus Race

Hawk Black Track Only Pads

Hawk DTC-60 Track Only Pads


DTC-60 Track Only Pads

Hawk's latest formulation for excellent torque control and modulation for wheel-to-wheel competition. DTC-60 pads can be combined with the DTC-70 when less torque is desired on the rear axle. Road race and asphalt circle track cars will benefit from using these pads from Hawk.

DTC-70 Track Only Pads

A higher torque version of the DTC-60, this compound is designed for vehicles with high top speeds that require repeated high deceleration rates. It can be used on the front or rear axle or combined with the DTC-60 if split friction between the front and rear axles is desired.

Search by vehicle to see all brake options available for your application.

What's the Best Brake Pad?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 by Doc Horvath

For most commuters, brake pads are items they can go through quickly and are often replaced only due to failure. In these cases, most people are prone to making quick decisions and don't take the time to consider the options available. To help find the best brake pad for your style of driving, review the differences in performance categories.

Premium

Assuming your vehicle never makes it to the track, brake pads in this category provide all the stopping power you need as you drive around town or hit the highway for a cross-country trip. Premium pads are of either semi-metallic materials for a good blend of stopping power and low noise or a ceramic compound to offer the same performance but with less dusting. Consider the options from Akebono, Brembo and Centric if this sounds like your style of driving.

Performance Street

Pads in this category move the driver one step up the performance ladder. They offer a quicker initial bite of the pad to the rotor and more resistance to brake fade in high temperature applications. All the pads in this category will use different combinations of semi-metallic compounds to give the driver better performance but at the cost of more brake dust and decreased rotor life. Hawk and StopTech provide great options in this category.

Autocross/Track

Brake pads from the Autocross/Track performance category exist to provide ultimate stopping power in the most extreme temperature conditions. Given their higher temperature thresholds, most pads in this category are not well suited for street use as they need to be warmed up above ambient temperature to be effective. Within the category, there exist different ideal temperature ranges so the driver can fine-tune the pad to their anticipated use. However, all track pads will come with a noticeable increase in pad and rotor wear, along with extreme amounts of brake dust that would be considered unacceptable for street use. Hawk provides the bulk of our options in this category.

How do you find the brake pad that's right for your application? Shopping by vehicle will show you every option that's a match for your car!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Run Flat

Thursday, February 20, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Run Flat Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.2
 
 

2013 BMW 335i Sedan
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 32,000
Location: Alpine, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 32,000 Miles on Tires
February 17, 2014

I live in San Diego County in SoCal, but work in the far east county area, so have a commute that takes me from SD metro area to rural work location on a paved county road @ 3100" elevation. I get there via freeway to county road. This tire came as OEM with vehicle & I expect I will get 35,000 out of them before they have to be replaced (with the same tire). County road I drive on is winding & old asphalt (course, but not rough or broken), so these tires have gotten a workout. Seem to still be as quiet now as when I first got vehicle new. I get about 30 MPH average fuel economy on a car that has a 300 HP six-cyl engine with twin-turbos. I attribute a good portion of that to these tires (better than US EPA specs for fuel economy on this model). Car has been from West Coast to DC via Atlanta & back via Fla Gulf Coast - no problems at all in any conditions encountered. Went conservative on snow performance since I've only had limited experience with that (we do get some snow where I work in SD - I know, we're not supposed to get snow in San Diego). Wet & dry performance are exceptional. They have held grip in circumstance when I would have expected they would let go (hard braking). Can't say enough about this tire.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology

Thursday, February 20, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.75
 
 

2011 Volvo XC70
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Miles driven on tires: 800
Location: Leesburg, VA
Driving Condition: Easy Going

Initial Review, 800 Miles on Tires
February 17, 2014

This is an initial review and first impression. I'll post more detail when we rack up more miles. Most initial reviews tend to be relative, meaning the first impression tends to be based on comparison to the previous tires. These PureContacts (235/50/18 97V) replaced OEM Michelin Latitude Tour HP tires, which performed well with good tread life, even tread wear, and quiet ride. Their primary downfall was less than secure handling in winter conditions.

Out of the gate, these Continentals are very good. The ride is quiet, at least as quite or more so than the Michelins. They ride firm as a new tire, but not excessively so. We've driven them in light snow and wet conditions with no problems. Steering response is noticeably improved, but this is a Volvo with the comfort chassis and it's never going to be sporty.

I researched tires in great detail for weeks and went back and forth before choosing these tires. In the end, there were two tie breakers: the 60-day buy and try guarantee plus the consistent reviews and tests showing this tire has excellent handling in wet and light snow. It didn't hurt that these also were the least expensive of the top rated grand touring all season tires. For a family car, it's important for a tire to earn its keep when you need it most, which is during poor weather conditions and emergency braking. This has been a great choice so far.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 10
 
 

2003 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Branford, CT
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
February 14, 2014

I bought these tires a month ago to replace tires damaged by road debris. These are by FAR the best tires I've had on this car, including OEM Potenzas, Kumho Solus KH16, two sets of General Altimax HP. The General's were pretty good, but wore fast and did not corner/brake on snow well. These Pirelli's are amazing. The car is noticeably quieter and rides smoother -- it's like a new car. We have had a snowy winter so far in CT so I have had many chances to test these on snow and ice. I have had snow tires on other cars that didn't perform this well. Truly impressive. Yesterday I drove up the steep hill to my house on 8 inches of unplowed, unsalted snow without so much as a slip. A Subie and these tires is unstoppable! Very, very happy with this purchase... would buy again in a heartbeat.