Toyo Extensa HP
Type High-performance value line for sport coupes and sedans
UTQG 360 A A
Key Features»Exceptional wear life, all-season handling and high quality at a remarkably low price »Uni-directional tread design for easy tire rotation »Toyo Tires' Silent Wall for quiet operation on the road »Four-wide circumferential grooves and full-depth sipes for excellent wet traction »Interlocking tread blocks to enhance stability and cornering »Three-variable pitch design to minimize tread noise
'95 Nissan 240SX
Jay Chen, contributor to Modified
Dry, wet and snow
We're used to dealing with high-grip, treaded track tires when it comes to Toyo Tires. After all, they're the brand that came up with the venerable Toyo RA-1, the original treaded DOT R-compound-spec race tire used in grassroots racing and Speed World Challenge alike. They're also the makers of the new super-stiff, super-sticky R888.
But we often forget that Toyo, like so many other brands, is founded on the passenger tire. And the same economical value we found in the RA-1 extends down through the majority of its entire line. In fact, the R-compounds we're so familiar with are probably the most expensive tire per size you can find in the Toyo lineup. This means one thing: Toyo's street tires are extremely economical but contain the same technology, construction and knowledge base that the company's race tire reputation is built on.
This time, we're not after sheer grip-we've been bitten by the drift bug. So instead of looking for the stickiest contact patch we can get our hands on, we're on a mission for a set of amateur drift tires that are sticky enough to retain some sense of performance feel and strong enough to last through countless spinouts.
Toyo had the perfect economical match with its new Extensa HP tire, the first entry-level, high-performance tire. Toyo's goal for the Extensa was for it to be affordable, long lasting-basically, the well-known Toyo predictability that we've all come to know. Sprinkle in a little full-depth tread for wet traction and a reasonable sidewall that's communicative and forgiving, and we have the ideal drift tire to practice on. It will also last long enough for us to drive to and from the track a handful of times before even contemplating replacement.
For our 240SX, which had originally been set up on staggered 225/255 grip style tires, we went with a 225 setup all around. This would help the car rotate easily and break rear traction with limited power and no hydraulic hand brake. The tires break away as expected and do a great job of communicating both audibly and through steering feel generated through the tread and sidewalls.
On the street, the Toyo Extensa HP also performs fantastically as a daily driver tire with plenty of grip for most corners and onramps, while still being soft and quiet enough to compensate for the stiffest of suspensions and bushings. It also made an edgy car forgiving enough in the wet with ample traction. We even ventured into the rare sleet and snow of the high mountain passes of Southern California. The tires manage to keep the car in line and function reasonably where most other all-season tires fall short when it comes to freezing temperatures. The best part is the affordability. Toyo offers the Extensa HP in sizes from 16-, 17-, 18- and 20-inch rim diameters with widths ranging from 195 to 245mm.