After attending my share of tire launches, I’ve become accustomed to the routine. Wake up early, sit through a presentation highlighting the latest and greatest technology, then get handed the keys to a car for a test drive. While these presentations are informative, I’m often left wondering if it’s all just a case of a placebo effect. Did I really experience a novel and innovative technology when I drove the car, or did it seem more fantastic since they told me it would be?
With the new Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2, I came to the launch having experienced driving the first-generation Eagle F1 Asymmetric on my Audi A3 for the past year. I was elated when Goodyear handed me the keys to a VW GTI, because now I could make some real-world comparisons. The first leg of the test drive consisted of some freeway miles and driving over picturesque mountain roads, as well as an unfortunate miscommunication with my navigator that lead to some off-roading. This gave me a real feel for the tire since my girlfriend gets me lost all the time. As an added bonus, I also got to drive a TT RS equipped with the F1 Asymmetrics on some of those same curves. After an adventurous and heart-pounding day, I could only come to one conclusion: While the first-gen Eagle F1 Asymmetric was an amazing tire, the second-generation really is that much better.
The second day of the event had us up at the crack of dawn, boarding a bus to take us to a racetrack in the middle of nowhere. At the track, I awoke from my dreamlike state to the seeming mirage of 20 VW GTIs parked next to the track. My anticipation grew, but after orientation we were led to our test car: a 4,000-pound Audi A7 3.0 TDI, the exact opposite of what you would define as a track car.
Maybe it was from going into a situation with no real expectations, or even bad ones, or maybe because the Goodyear tire is actually fantastic, but by the end of the day, I had the time of my life. Having never driven the A7, I was impressed by its agility on the track. It held the corners at high speeds, made its way quickly and precisely through the slalom, and stopped on a dime in both wet and dry conditions. By the end of the long day I was left pondering a new question: Was it Quattro all-wheel drive or the tires?
A few weeks later while driving a short-term 3.0T A7 equipped with tires from a brand that shall remain nameless, everything about the Goodyear test made sense. It had been the Goodyear technology that complemented the Quattro system’s attributes and worked in perfect harmony. If Goodyear could make this massive sedan turn and brake like a precision track car, then they are selling the real deal.
Now, back in my A3, I find myself driving harder than usual so I can replace my gen-one Goodyears with the new-gen F1 Asymmetrics.