Goodyear Releases New Eagle F1 All-Season Tire
Last month, we ran a story on ultra-high performance, all-season tires. Now Goodyear Tire has stepped up with a new tire designed to perform in the dry, wet and even in snow. In May, Goodyear launched its ultra-high performance Eagle F1 All Season tire. It is the first all-season tire Goodyear has produced under the Eagle name and incorporates much of the manufacturer's latest technology. This includes carbon-fiber reinforced sidewalls to reduce deflection under load. A DuPont Kevlar belt is layered beneath the tread for sound deadening and puncture resistance. To keep up appearances, the tire has a rim flange protector and a special compound Goodyear calls PermaBlack on the sidewall.
One of the more interesting features of the tire is Goodyear's "TreadLock Technology." This is a series of cups and domes cast vertically between the smaller tread grooves. According to its engineers, these lock the smaller tread blocks together under load for greater stability.
We had the opportunity to get some driving impressions at Goodyear's launch event at Daytona International Speedway. There weren't any Hondas available for testing but there was an RX-8, which is at least similar to an S2000 in power and balance. The all-season F1 seemed to perform well in both wet and dry conditions. Where it really excelled was transitioning from dry to wet surfaces. After putting some heat into the rubber, the compound softened and really hooked up through brief wet patches.
This characteristic would be particularly useful driving on mountain roads. It's not uncommon to have grippy dry pavement on one side of the mountain only to come around a corner to find the road slicked down with snow melt. Tread blocks that open up to evacuate water would be very handy in such circumstances.
Goodyear is releasing the Eagle F1 all-season tires this summer. The sizes scheduled for the initial runs are all fairly large in diameter and not particularly suited for small cars. However, its second release will include sizes for cars such as S2000s and larger sedans, like the TL and late-model Accords.