Before the cold and wet weather of winter set in last year, we coordinated a day with Goodyear to road test its new eagle F1 asymmetric tires. designed in europe and intended for higher-end european performance cars, these tires already had a reputation to uphold, bearing in mind Goodyear's success with its Gs-d3 tires.
Goodyear handed us the keys to four european cars properly equipped with the F1 asymmetric tires and we happily unleashed hell upon the new rubber.
The eagle F1 asymmetric's tread design uses a wide asymmetric pattern that divides the tread into three sections. the outer patch is solid to increase cornering grip, while the inner is designed to disperse water. in the middle is a continuous rib to stabilize the car at high speed.
The construction of the F1 is optimized for grip using a racing compound of carbon black, silica and updated polymers to improve traction in dry or wet conditions. while aimed at the luxury car market, the compound also minimizes road noise.
However, the breakthrough with these tires is its active CornerGriptechnology. when you think about a car taking a fast corner, pressure is put on the outside of the tire and load is taken off the inside. with this new technology, additional reinforcement is added to the inner sidewalls, allowing the inner section of the tire to have more contact with the road during cornering. in turn, the contact area of the tire is greater, with less load transfer, resulting in better traction. it sounds good on paper, but how would it do on the streets?
Three keys sat on a table in front of us. They belonged to a 295hp porsche Cayman s, a 507hp 6.2 liter mercedes e63 amG and a 3.2 liter audi tt quattro.
After grabbing the keys to the porsche, we realized there was a full day of driving all three cars, so our worries vanished.
We proceeded to enjoy the Cayman on the angeles Crest highway, a famous stretch of canyon roads northeast of la. the road peaks at 7000ft and is a tourist attraction on weekends. But it was a wednesday and the road was empty for our real-world tire test.
On all three vehicles, we pushed the tires to the limit and were pleased with how they performed. the Cayman handled gloriously through each turn but felt slightly underpowered on the straights. Craving more power, we stepped into the e63 amG. with 500hp at our disposal plus lots of weight to maneuver, it steered well through tight turns. in one instance, the e63 handled a 180 hairpin at triple the posted speed limit without the tires even squealing.
The tt was the most predictable and controllable car. with quattro and dsG matched to the F1 asymmetric tires, it was the most commanding drive through the canyons.
After hours of mashing through the twisties, we returned to the city and Goodyear set up an autocross with two Bmw Z4s. one equipped with the eagle F1s and the other with Bridgestone potenza re050a pole position tires. we were going to compare how each tire would handle the tight, dry course. and we discovered the Goodyear's were slightly better, being marginally more forgiving and with better turn-in response.
Although we never got a chance to test these new tires in the wet, their dry abilities meant we certainly wouldn't hesitate to drive on them on a daily basis.