Any guy in his garage can fab up some intake or strut bar that’ll work or could even be sold in the aftermarket. But tires are a whole different ball game. Tire manufacturers spend millions of R&D dollars trying out different compounds and designs to offer the best and most safe rubber possible to consumers. In the performance market, BFGoodrich is a respected name but has been missing in action. Its previous gForce Sport tire was introduced in 2004—a bit outdated but its new g-Force Sport COMP-2 is finally here and is an evolution of BFG’s technology. It’ll be marketed as BFG’s top-of-the-line summer performance tire with 58 sizes ranging from 15-20”, in front of its popular KDW rubber.
The first characteristic that was addressed was wet grip, a known drawback from its previous gForce. Now, it’s a thing of the past as the new COMP-2 has a silica-infused compound to improve grip and steering response without sacrificing the life of the tire. Not to bore you with too much technical info, there were also changes to the shoulder blocks, sidewalls and internal structure to give it better feedback and stability along with very noticeable g-Hooks on the outer tread section to give the tire more bite at all cornering angles.
Everything looked peaches and cream on the brochure but we needed to give the tires a good whoopin’ to see if the claims were legit. BFG rented out AutoClub Speedway for us as we surveyed the COMP-2 against comparably priced products like the Yokohama S.drive, Dunlop Direzza DZ101, Kumho Ecsta SPT and Hankook Ventus V12. While none of our tests were timed, we drove all the tires back-to-back to get a feel for the differences. We can’t say any of the tires were bad; in fact, there were some tests where we felt comfortable in the competitive tires. But overall the new BFG proved to be the boss.
The wet test surprised us the most. Typically on a rainy day, our instinct is to take it a little easy. We wouldn’t exactly take a canyon road balls out when it’s pouring rain. But BFG soaked a parking lot for us and threw us the keys to a few VW GTIs. Being a front-wheel drive car, we would be able to feel the weaknesses of the tires pretty easy, especially against the Kumho and Hankook tires. The BFGs felt much more stable and easier to steer than the other two brands with the Hankook feeling less responsive on a high speed slalom forcing us to give it more driver input while the Kumho had a little too much wheel spin and sloppier transitions. After hours tearing up the track, we began to believe BFG’s new compound and structural integrity wasn’t just smoke up our asses but had made solid improvements which allowed us more control and grip despite the slippery conditions. We also put the COMP-2 against the Yokohama and Dunlop on a series of dry road course tests on cars like the all-wheel drive STI. Each time out on the track, the BFG consistently demonstrated its grip and stability.
By all means, the new COMP-2 isn’t any R-compound but for a daily-driven performance tire that maintains a good ride quality and long tread-life, it was forgiving, confidence-inspiring and dependable when pushed to the limits.—Sam Du