Specs & Details
BFGoodrich g-Force Rival
Type Max Performance Summer
UTQG 200 AA A
- Silica-infused compound molded into asymmetric tread designs that are performance-tuned to match tire width
- Large, solid outboard tread blocks wrap the tread compound farther down the sidewalls for predictable feedback and maximum cornering grip
- Lateral groove draft angles promote consistent performance and wear
- Chamfered block edges resist feathering under extreme cornering and braking
- Reinforced internal structure reduces flex to increase steering response
Scion FR-S on Mann Engineering coilovers
David Pratte, Editor-at-Large
Toronto Motor-sports Park (during a CSCS Time Attack event)
Dry, sunny, and warm
The max performance summer tire segment has been heating up in recent years, thanks to the growing popularity of street tire classes in both autocross and time attack competition. New to the segment is the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival, a tire that showed a ton of potential back in the spring of 2013 when it first appeared on the scene.
Having spent the summer beating on a set of 245/40ZR17s on our friend Vinh Pham’s lightly modded Scion FR-S, we’ve learned quite a lot about these sticky BFGs. For starters, on stock FR-S rubber we were seeing max cornering g-forces of about 1.0 to 1.05 g, while the Rivals bumped that up significantly to right around 1.3 g at our local test track. To put that into perspective, we generally see about 1.4 g with a DOT competition/track tire, so the Rival compound is clearly closer to that of a race tire than a street tire.
Lap times confirmed just how fast the Rivals are, knocking a full 3 seconds off our best lap time. That’s a massive improvement, and what’s even more impressive is how much feedback the Rivals provide as you approach the limit of adhesion. It’s always easy to hear and feel when you’ve pushed these tires too far, and because they have a gradual breakaway characteristic to them, bringing the tail end of the FR-S back in line with the front never required more than a touch of opposite lock.
We also collected a lot of tire temperature data on the Rivals, so we can confirm that they work best at temps (recorded using a probe-type pyrometer) in the 160 to 200 F range and seemed to be slightly grippier at the upper end of this range. That said, they produced close to their maximum cornering power at temperatures as low as 120 F, so unlike some of the other tires in this category, the Rivals are actually quite flexible and usable in a wide range of temperatures.
Still, you shouldn’t mistake these for all-seasons, as BFG very clearly states they’re not suitable for cold weather driving of any type. Instead, think of the BFG Rival as a hybrid between a full race tire and an ultra-high-performance summer tire. They can definitely pull double duty during the warm season, but you’re not going to want to get caught out in cold weather on these.
All in all, we were extremely impressed by the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival, as they were very easy to work with from a setup standpoint and have degraded very little during three time attack events, plus several lapping day test sessions. In fact, they still look pretty much new, which is both a testament to how durable this tire is and how light the Scion FR-S is on its feet (and tires). Talk about a win-win combo.