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General Tire G-Max AS-03 - Tire Review

All-season performance tire.

Oct 10, 2011

Specs & Details

General Tire G-Max AS-03
Type All-season performance tire
Size Various sizes
UTQG 480 AA

Test Mules

EVO X, Audi TT-S, Audi S4, Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro
Test Driver
Peter Tarach, editor in chief
Test Track
Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, CA
Track Condition
70 degrees F, Sunny and dry, wet skidpad

Key Features

  • 3-D interlocking tread blocks for improved handling and reduced wear
  • Replacement tire monitor indicates when the tire is worn out and needs replacing
  • Visual alignment indicators aid in alerting the driver when the tire is wearing prematurely on one side
  • Aqua-cleave tread channel design reduces aquaplaning and enhances wet grip

The recent big push from tire manufacturers in the performance-tire segment has been all-season tires. It seems a bit illogical to think that tires, which are meant for rain, snow or dry environments, can deliver superb handling characteristics. And truth of the matter is, they can’t. All-season tires will always give up grip to proper summer tires that are built for performance.

Modp 1110 01+general tire g max as 03+cover Photo 1/6   |   General Tire G-Max AS-03 - Tire Review

That said, there are many consumers who are looking for a good blend of performance and durability. If we could afford to drive on super-sticky rubber and replace our tires every 6,000–10,000 miles, then I’m sure we all would. The reality is that most of us have to make some type of sacrifice and find a good in-between tire that can provide a decent amount of grip for those spirited driving days while maintaining good tread life for the daily commute.

General’s G-Max AS-03 tire does a great job fitting that description. With a UTQG treadwear rating of 480, it’s meant to last for a long time period (depending on your driving style), and with its 3-D sipe technology and aqua-cleave design, the AS-03 lives up to its all-season name and proves suitable for winter and raining seasons.

But hidden in its all-purpose design is a pretty decent performance tire that surprises with the amount of grip it offers.

Modp 1110 02+general tire g max as 03+audi rs Photo 2/6   |   General Tire G-Max AS-03 - Tire Review

When we first heard we’d be testing the new G-Max AS-03 at Infineon Raceway in an EVO, TT-S, Mustang and Camaro, we were very curious and skeptical whether the tire could handle the rigors of these powerful machines.

Using interlocking treads that bond together for greater and stiffer tire surface, the AS-03 delivers performance that you wouldn’t expect for a tire in its class. Grip was on par with some of the entry-level performance summer tires on the market, despite the inherent tread squirm that occurred in the more demanding corners on the track. Turn-in response and slow-speed cornering were sharp and above what we expected from the AS-03.

Having run the G-Max AS-03 in multiple vehicles through a wet skidpad, autocross and on the track, praise has to be given to General Tire for all its design efforts for this tire. It raises the bar for all-season performance, and while we’re not going to go as far as saying they’re suitable for track use — which we don’t feel they are — for any backroad adventure or, as in most cases, the long freeway drive to work, the AS-03 proves very capable.

Modp 1110 03+general tire g max as 03+as 03 Photo 3/6   |   Despite being built as an all-season tire, the G-Max AS-03 surprises with the amount of performance it provides.

And with some of the incorporated replacement tire monitor and visual alignment indicators, you’re getting a great deal of features in an all-season tire. Best of all, if you aren’t convinced in the AS-03 capabilities, General Tire is offering a 45-day, money-back guarantee. That’s right, you can buy the G-Max AS-03, try it and if you don’t find it meets your criteria, then you can bring ’em back!

Sources

General Tire
Charlotte, NC 28288
800-847-3349
www.generaltire.com

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