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Michelin, Goodyear Eagle, Falken, Toyo - Ultra-High Performance Tire Guide

Anthony Gelinas
May 1, 2008
Epcp_0805_01_z+porsche_gt3+rear_view Photo 1/12   |   Michelin, Goodyear Eagle, Falken, Toyo - Ultra-High Performance Tire Guide

Most consumers don't understand how important having the proper tire can be-it really can mean the difference between life and death. When choosing replacement tires, it is crucial that they meet or exceed the specifications dictated by the vehicle's manufacturer. If planning on going up in size, either on the stock wheel or larger aftermarket wheels, it's good idea to ensure the new size conforms to tolerances set by the manufacturer (see the requirements placard typically located on the vehicle's door jamb). It's also important not to change the rolling diameter too much, because drastic changes can throw off a vehicle's traction control systems, braking and acceleration, even the navigation system. A good rule of thumb is not to exceed plus/minus three percent.

There's a lot more to a tire than its size. While proper sizing is important to make sure the aforementioned systems aren't affected, the following tire ratings are the ones that keep you safe.

Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) is a system used by the government to ensure all tires are graded equally in three separate categories: treadwear, traction performance and temperature resistance. This prevents individual manufacturers from making claims that cannot be substantiated and helps consumers make a more informed decision when purchasing tires. All tests are performed at government-specified laboratories and test tracks under controlled conditions.

Most drivers never look at their tires unless there is a severe problem. Drivers and mechanics will often misdiagnose vehicle performance issues when the problem could be attributed to worn or improperly inflated tires. When experiencing reduced fuel economy, sometimes a tune-up is in order, but often the tires will be under-inflated. Other problems associated with tire issues can include rough ride and reduced braking ability.

Research is priceless when it comes to selecting tires. If replacement tires carry the exact specifications as stock, you're covered. If there are any differences, make sure they're on the plus side and that you correct the cold inflation pressure to match the characteristics of the new tire. To maintain peak fuel economy, optimal wear and trouble-free operation, it's a good idea to check cold inflation pressure as often as possible, being sure to make corrections for weather and altitude changes.

Breaking it down

*Treadwear grade is used to determine how long a tire will last when compared to the government's control tire. For example, a control tire graded to 100 and a test tire are subjected to the same test at the track; if the test tire lasts twice as long as the control tire, it would carry a grade of 200.

*Traction performance
grade indicates how well the tire stops on wet asphalt and concrete, graded from highest to lowest as AA, A, B, and C. A tire with an AA grade will have a much shorter stopping distance than a C. Note that these grades don't indicate dry weather traction.

*Temperature resistance grades of A, B and C are used to show how well the tire dissipates heat generated by its contact with the road. This is especially important during aggressive or high-speed driving, since excessive heat buildup can lead to catastrophic failure.

*Load and speed ratings are typically located after the tire size and are often referred to as the 'service description.' The number corresponds to load, the letter to speed rating. For example, 91W translates as a tire at maximum inflation being able to support 1,356 pounds at 168 mph. It's an esoteric system.

Treadwear 300 Traction AA Temperature A

Epcp_0805_03_z+michelin_pilot_sport_ps2+side_view Photo 3/12   |   Michelin, Goodyear Eagle, Falken, Toyo - Ultra-High Performance Tire Guide

Michelin's Pilot Sport PS2 was inspired by Formula One design, and made possible by patented C3M manufacturing technology. This process allows the precision to place size-optimized, individual aramid/nylon hybrid filament components wrapped within the carcass. In addition, it allows for the integration of highly specialized compounds within the tread, one for maximized dry grip and the other for wet handling, wear and durability.
Features:
*Variable Contact Patch technology enhances grip by increasing the contact patch
*Inner grooved and siped shoulder blocks of the asymmetric tread use a 40-percent groove-to-rubber ratio for optimal wet traction, while the massive outer shoulder blocks have a 30-percent ratio for maximum dry traction
*Ultra-Low Profile (ULP) technology creates a tire with a rounder sidewall for strength and durability
*Acoustically tuned tread pattern reduces noise by varying the amount of tread blocks on the inner and outer part of the tire (55 outer and 75 inner)
Wheel Diameters: 17-22 inches
UTQG: Treadwear 220 Traction AA Temperance A

Michelin
866.866.6605
www.michelinman.com

Epcp_0805_04_z+contisportcontact_3+side_view Photo 4/12   |   Michelin, Goodyear Eagle, Falken, Toyo - Ultra-High Performance Tire Guide

The ContiSportContact 3 is the latest in the successful ContiSportContact performance line, featuring tread-specific patterns for high-powered, rear-wheel-drive cars. A double-rib center tread is separated by Y-shaped grooves and larger tread lugs, improving stability and steering response.
Features:
*Fine sipes in the tread ribs support elements of the tread, distributing brake forces evenly across the entire contact patch
*To reduce deformation and enhance stability when subjected to high lateral forces, the tread blocks have angled sides
*Asymmetrical tread was designed with the largest possible outer contact area for steering response and high-speed stability
*State-of-the-art silica compound optimized for wet traction without sacrificing dry handling or reducing tread life
Wheel Diameters: 15-21 inches
UTQG: Treadwear 280 Traction AA Temperance A

Continental
800.445.8646
www.conti-online.com

Epcp_0805_05_z+falken_fk452+side_view Photo 5/12   |   Michelin, Goodyear Eagle, Falken, Toyo - Ultra-High Performance Tire Guide

The Falken FK452 has been developed for dry- and wet-weather handling. To optimize performance in the wet, water is channeled away by a pair of wide center grooves, generous sipes and tread blocks with chambered edges.
Features:
*Silica-enhanced compound uses micro carbon particles to enhance contact points between the polymer and the carbon, adding strength. The chemical coupling between rubber and silica adds flexibility
*High-tension carcass incorporates wide steel belts, jointless cap ply, a layer with nylon and aramid twisted cores, and a steel reinforced sidewall
*Phase-shifted lateral groove pattern and five pitch variations help to keep noise levels as low as possible
*3D tread blocks are rounded and chambered to minimize tread deformation
Wheel Diameters: 16-22 inches
UTQG: Treadwear 300 Traction AA Temperance A

Falken
800.723.2553
www.falkentire.com

Epcp_0805_06_z+goodyear_eagle_f1_asymmetric+side_view Photo 6/12   |   Michelin, Goodyear Eagle, Falken, Toyo - Ultra-High Performance Tire Guide

The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric uses Active Cornergrip Technology, an aramid reinforcement in the inner sidewall that helps equalize pressure across the contact patch during cornering for superior grip.
Features:
*Racing Compound Technology combines carbon black (for dry traction), silica (for wet traction) and a new-generation polymer to enhance stiffness
* Asymmetric tread has wide, solid outboard shoulder blocks that help with cornering, a continuous center rib for high-speed stability and wide circumferential grooves with an open inboard tread pattern to disperse water
*Construction includes two steel belts reinforced with layers of polyamide cord
*Varying tread block sizes (set in a staggered arrangement) reduce noise
Wheel Diameters: 17-20 inches
UTQG: Treadwear 240 Traction AA Temperance A

Goodyear
330.796.2121
www.goodyeartires.com

Epcp_0805_07_z+hankook_ventus_v12_evo+side_view Photo 7/12   |   Michelin, Goodyear Eagle, Falken, Toyo - Ultra-High Performance Tire Guide

Hankook developed the Ventus V12 Evo using a corporate philosophy known as 'Kontrol Technology', a set of principles based on the premise that the tire is the source of control. The K stands for kinetic.
Features:
*Tread blocks located on either side of the solid center tracking rib utilize diverse angles on the edge of the tread blocks, creating a 3D effect that helps maintain even contact to optimize handling and braking
*High Polymer & Specific Resin (HPSR) compound increases wet traction and decreases wet braking distances
*High-density nylon reinforcement belt beneath the tread reinforces structure and ensures even distribution of pressure during cornering
*Wide linear grooves, aggressive Y-shape channels and Multiple Tread Radius (MTR) help drain water, increasing contact.
Wheel Diameters: 17-21 inches
UTQG: Treadwear 280Traction AA Temperance A

Hankook
800.426.5665
www.hankooktireusa.com

Epcp_0805_08_z+nitto_invo+side_view Photo 8/12   |   Michelin, Goodyear Eagle, Falken, Toyo - Ultra-High Performance Tire Guide

Computer engineering software combined with specialized digital audio testing equipment was critical to the Nitto Invo's non-directional design. The two technologies were combined to produce a tread block optimized for wet and dry performance with low road noise.
Features:
*Large inner and outer shoulder blocks and continuous center rib provide stability during cornering and braking
*Variable pitch technology keeps road noise low without sacrificing ride comfort
*For wet-weather performance, twin circumferential grooves channel water, while 3D siping provides numerous biting edges
*Silica-reinforced compound reduces flex for better handling and braking performance
Wheel Diameters: 17-22 inches
UTQG: Treadwear 220-260 Traction AA Temperance A

Nitto
714.252.0007
www.nittotire.com

Epcp_0805_09_z+pirelli_p_zero+side_view Photo 9/12   |   Michelin, Goodyear Eagle, Falken, Toyo - Ultra-High Performance Tire Guide

After 24 months of testing, development and five patents, Pirelli released its new P Zero. With this came 15 OEM approvals on some of the most exclusive supercars on the planet.
Features:
*Special nano-composites below the tread and bead compound promote thermo-stability and help to inhibit wear
*Asymmetrical tread pattern incorporates three wide longitudinal grooves for wet-weather performance. S-shaped sipes reduce road noise, while the dynamic asymmetric contour profile allows the tire to keep a constant footprint
*Pirelli's Hy.Co (Hybrid Cord) system is used to control deformation, imparting durability and longevity
Wheel Diameters: 17-20 inches
UTQG: Treadwear 40-220 Traction AA Temperance A

Pirelli
800.747.3554
www.us.pirelli.com

Epcp_0805_10_z+toyo_t1_r+side_view Photo 10/12   |   Michelin, Goodyear Eagle, Falken, Toyo - Ultra-High Performance Tire Guide

Toyo's T1-R used computer simulation technology which analyzes the way a tire reacts when subjected to extremes, allowing the testing of multiple designs and optimizing patterns, structures and materials.
Features:
*Generation S silica-reinforced compound inhibits heat build-up, giving a high wet coefficient of friction for a balance between wet and dry performance
*V-shaped main grooves inhibit hydroplaning
*High-modulus bead apex rubber and casing, wide high-tensile steel belts, and spiral-wound jointless edge and cap plies aid steering response and high-speed stability
*Ultra-high molecular polymer-enhanced tread compound with rigid shoulder rib bands promotes optimal (even) wear
Wheel Diameters: 14-22 inches
UTQG: Treadwear 280 Traction AA Temperance A

Toyo
800.442.8696
www.toyo.com

Epcp_0805_11_z+yokohama_advan_sport+side_view Photo 11/12   |   Michelin, Goodyear Eagle, Falken, Toyo - Ultra-High Performance Tire Guide

The Yokohama ADVAN Sport tackles the design of ultra-high performance with two approaches: grip from the outside and strength from the inside. The asymmetrical tread enhanced with nanotechnology helps with grip, while multiple construction techniques provide strength.
Features:
*Polymer/silica/carbon nanotechnology tread compound (bonded, super-fine, high-grade silica and polymers at the molecular level) is used for flexibility and durability
*The carcass uses two wide steel belts and jointless nylon triple-edge cap plies with overlap construction, creating three shoulder layers and two middle layers. Fifty-percent overlapping rayon plies add strength and stability at high speeds
*Sidewall incorporates high-stiffness bead filler with steel inserts
*Variable round shapes of different widths and angles reduce one-sided abrasions and work with four wide main circumferential grooves with groove-in-groove (finely cut grooves in the walls reduce stress) to increase wet weather performance
Wheel Diameters: 15-21 inches
UTQG: Treadwear 180 Traction AA Temperance A

Yokohama
714.890.3800
www.yokohamatire.com

Epcp_0805_12_z+vredestein_ultrac_sessanta+side_view Photo 12/12   |   Michelin, Goodyear Eagle, Falken, Toyo - Ultra-High Performance Tire Guide

The Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta's contemporary sidewall and tread pattern can be attributed to the Giugiaro Design studio. Aesthetics are important, but the technical know-how to back them up is even more so.
Features:
*Parametric design: a mathematical formula developed to optimize construction and shape
*To keep road noise to a minimum and reduce the risk of aquaplaning, the tread features a longitudinal design with four circumferential grooves
*HTS+ (Handling Tuned Sidewall) helps maintain comfort while increasing contact with the road for a more direct steering feel
*Dual-layer rayon carcass improves load capacity, stability and handling
Wheel Diameters: 17-20 inches
UTQG: Treadwear 280 Traction AA Temperance A

Vredestein
800.221.3422
www.vredestein.com

By Anthony Gelinas
55 Articles

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