Toyo's latest ultra-high performance tire, the T1R, replaces the aging T1S as the company's primary foray into the hugely competitive UHP marketplace. And it does so with traditional Toyo values, like competitive pricing, considerable engineering and, most importantly, better driving qualities than its predecessor.
In fact, according to Toyo's testing, the T1R outperforms the tire it replaces, the T1S, in every category a tire can be measured. The most significant improvement is made in dry handling. However, handling and braking in both wet and dry conditions are superior to the T1S, as well. Significant effort was also spent making certain the T1R is quieter than the tire it replaces-both new and when worn.
We know this because we took Toyo's word for it at the tire's press introduction last year. However, along with the lip service extolling the virtues of the T1R, Toyo set up back-to-back driving experiences against the T1S, on a grippy dry tarmac surface, in identically prepared Toyota Celicas. The results? Better than the lip service.
Bottom line: The T1R offered a measurable improvement in lap times on the large autocross-like course. The quicker times were a result of more control under high load. This is probably thanks to a stiffer sidewall and a more aggressive shoulder area, which seem not only more durable but also offer more outright grip at the limit than the T1S. The T1R was also far quieter when driven hard than the T1S-it simply squealed less, a characteristic we've discovered often goes hand in hand with very sticky tires.
Along with big, important-sounding phrases like high-modulus bead apex compound, which Toyo says is a hard bead filler that stiffens the T1R's lower sidewall, we also learned about the new tire's circumferential rib, which contributes to the improvement in lateral grip and likely shoulder life. Toyo says the T1R's ultra-high molecular polymer and high silica compound minimize heat build up during cornering and increase tread life. Toyo must not be full of it either, since the T1R looked significantly better at the end of our beating than T1S tires we'd put through similar abuse.
Toyo tells us the T1R was developed using its new T-Mode computer simulation technology, which includes hydroplaning, tread pattern and vibration analysis. In addition to our comprehensive autocross evaluation, the tires were also tested on the Nurburgring's 14-mile North loop and at the MIRA proving ground in the UK-both in the wet and dry-to develop its all-weather prowess.
The T1R is V, W or Y speed rated (depending on size) and bears UTQG ratings of 280 for treadwear, AA for traction and A for temperature. Odds are good Toyo makes one in the size you need, since it was introduced in 83 sizes, ranging between 14 and 21 inches in diameter, with tread widths between 185mm and 295mm. Aspect ratios between 55 and 25 are offered.
Based on our experience with the T1R, It's clear Toyo is serious about its flagship road tire being an improvement and a serious competitor in the UHP world. With more outright grip, better control and less noise, it's certainly got a leg up on its predecessor. And with Toyo's pricing, it's definitely no slouch in this market.
Things we like about the Toyo T1R* Big improvement over T1S in all arenas* Huge application list
Things we don't like about the Toyo T1R* There isn't a set on any of our project cars yet