Circuito Tazio Nuvolari - the still quite young racetrack near the Italian town of Cervesina, halfway between Milan and Genoa, provides an impressive backdrop for the showdown of the sport auto summer tire test 2017. Seven sporty S road tires and three semi-slicks compete against each other. The compact Toyota GT86 sports coupé serves as the test vehicle: front engine, rear-wheel drive, lock, neutral weight distribution, 200 evenly built-up extractor horsepower, crisp, short gearshifts, precise steering. A sporty ascetic, fair, active driving and with the courage to do without deceitful control electronics in the background. A sports car that has a lot to tell: about the road and the grip that connects you with it.
Summer tire test 2017 with 10 sporty rubbers
Grip equals grip and therefore also safety, tires can never have enough of that. Little Sneak knows a lot about that too. And she does, relentlessly and directly. The distances between the wheel suspension and the steering wheel are short. As short as the spring travel and as tight as the upholstery of the seat shell. But this is the only way for the test driver's extended nerve tracts to find their way to the center of static and dynamic friction, to the point where grip is created: in the contact area of the tires. The sense of our big summer tire test with the size 225/40 R18 is next to the pure Performance comparison of the individual products to work out their different characteristics.
The test field ranges from tour-oriented, comfortable tires tosuper sporty and uncompromising semi-slick. While the road tires can be evaluated according to the tried and tested sport auto standard criteria, the final evaluation of the three sport tires (road-approved semi-slicks) is weighted according to the criteria for the cup tires. The difference lies essentially in the evaluation of the wet properties: While road tires have a strong 40 percent of wet qualities, they only count as 20 percent for motorsport products.
Is such a fair comparison possible? Not quite. In order to take into account the outstanding performance of the semis, especially on dry racetracks and still make a direct comparison with road tires , we have increased the possible maximum number of points in the dynamic disciplines dry from 10 to 12 points here. This is the only way for sports tires to compensate for their massive deficits on wet slopes with top performance on the racetrack.
Toyo Proxes Sport weak in the dry
The Bridgestones is a more comfortable, touring-oriented long-distance tire with low rolling resistance Turanza T001 known. And that's exactly how it looks on the GT86: It's quiet, comfortable, safe and forgiving with a wide limit range. In addition, it rolls off easily and thus ensures low fuel consumption. Athletic is different - but are there any significant weaknesses? Barely. Only when aquaplaning in bends does it start swimming comparatively early. Nevertheless, the tire is worth recommending to us.
With exemplary aquaplaning safety and exemplary short braking distances when dry, Goodyears Eagle F1 can also be classified among more comfort-oriented touring athletes due to its behavior on the GT86. Basically a very safe tire with low rolling resistance, the last year on the front-wheel drive Ford Focus ST could confidently achieve the test victory . Can he keep the lead this time in the face of new competing products?
Now the new Toyo Proxes Sport: He gains respect when braking wet. Here it decelerates with the shortest possible stopping distance to the front of the field, shines with above-average aquaplaning protection, and it rolls extremely quietly. But that's about it. There is a lack of grip and stability in wet corners, on dry tracks it appears spongy and indifferent. All in all, it achieves a 'still recommendable' rating - but in the highly endowed competitive environment of our sports tire ranking it does not come close to the leaders.
Brand new Pirelli P Zero weakens in the rain
Kumho defines itself more clearly here - with a clear commitment to sport. With good grip, decent steering precision and directHandling is the Ecsta PS 91 doing well on the dry track in our summer tire test. It is a shame that the Koreans are giving up wet properties and foregoing comfort and low rolling resistance, but it is possible that one or the other will not give a damn about top performance in the rain and prefer to drive a cheaper tire. We can live with it too: In the opinion of sport auto, the Kumho is “still recommendable”.
The brand new Pirelli P Zero comes on the scene with plenty of praise and advertises sporty performance for every day. It quickly becomes clear in the tests that during its development the focus was on optimal handling on dry asphalt as well as on the lowest possible rolling resistance. In the lap times on the racetrack, it is at the forefront, shines with high steering precision and direct steering response. A strong idea. When wet, however, it bends a little: the braking distances are too long, the rear is too restless, there is a little lack of aquaplaning safety in corners. So it is better if we tend to classify the Pirelli more as sport than on tour. In the sum of its properties, it achieves the coveted grade 'recommended'.
For Conti, the proven SportContact 5 . In the wet and dry evaluation it reaches a level comparable to the Goodyear, is super safe in aquaplaning, noticeably more direct in the articulation and top in lap times on the racetrack. In return, he demands concessions in terms of ride comfort, rolling resistance and noise. The Conti is positioned more in the sporty corner of road tires. Why not the new oneSportContact 6 takes part in the test? Quite simply: It is only available in sizes from 19 inches. The tried-and-tested and permanently updated 5 Series will thus be retained up to 18 inches and can compensate for the deficits mentioned with more sportiness. The grade: 8.5 and therefore 'recommendable'.
Michelin PS4 can be sporty and touring
One thing is still missing - the new Michelin PS4 . Why? Is it too sporty or too toury? On the contrary: it can do both! With outstanding performance in the wet, direct handling, perfect controllability and fast lap times on the dry circuit, it is not too good for anything. A real all-rounder who dominates this summer tire test of size 225/40 R18 with an almost flawless freestyle. A far superior tire, which one likes to overlook for the small weaknesses in road noise and rolling resistance - this is what test winners look like.
Are semi-slicks better? Definitely not in the wet! Pirellis P Zero Trofeo R and Michelins Sport Cup 2 to hold on to the wet asphalt. Even simple exercises such as wet braking require significantly more travel. While road tires are in the best case from 80 km /h after 32 meters, the two only come to a standstill after more than 39 meters. When it comes to handling, they are more meat than fish and slide more than they grip. If there is a little more water on the track, you can surf happily - of course in the direction of the outer curb.
And the spectacularly sparingly profiled Toyo R888 R ? When wet, it drives as it looks: like a slick. If the rubber is in contact with the asphalt, he grabs and stands from a speed of 80 after 34 meters. This clearly outclasses Pirelli and Michelin. The same applies to handling on the irrigated circuit. Here it can be moved surprisingly quickly as a rubbery driving challenge - as long as you avoid puddles in curves and hit exactly the right point of maximum lateral support: If it swims up, you're gone.
Semi-slicks, please, only on the racetrack Wet
In principle, the following applies to all semi-slicks: There can be no recommendation for such tires on wet roads outside of racetracks. Is the racetrackdry, things look completely different. Here, after a few warm-up laps, they show what potential they have. Despite the comparatively low engine power, the semi-slick-tyred GT86 drifted around the course almost two seconds faster in the relevant sector times than on the road rubbers tested. Super-precise, extremely manageable and with very good feedback, the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R .
Not quite as direct, but with a wider limit range, very balanced handling and, finally, also the better lap times, Michelin's Pilot Sport Cup 2 shines. Its ABS braking values, which are somewhat worse than the two competitors, do not fall here substantial weight. But in the overall ranking, which is why the otherwise convincing Michelin falls a little behind. Its comparatively low rolling resistance is less relevant for racing. And what does the Toyo R888 R in our summer tire test? Also drives almost like a slick here. If it weren't for the distinctive cross-cuts, which give the tire a rolling noise of a large agricultural vehicle that is only audible in the vehicle interior, but all the more intrusive.
Its designers obviously wanted to prevent it from being used on the road. And that is a good thing, also in view of its not uncritical wetness behavior. On the Racetrack, different noises determine driving pleasure and lap time. Possible steering angles, cornering speed and driving stability count here. If all of this is exhausted, the Toyo , to be at the level of the Pirelli in the lap times. His secret recipe is lateral guidance and a wide range of grip with amazing steering angle reserves - both factors that make compact and light athletes like the GT86 fast.
Which semi wins?
The greatest balancing act in the Cup Tire dares Michelins Pilot Sport Cup 2 . It's broadband, goodmanageable and fast. Even when wet, it is the most controllable in the Cup Tire League. If it was a question of occasional use on public roads, the Michelin would certainly be the first choice. This test is about which of the three is the sportiest tire. And that is the uncompromising Toyo, which in the overall standings even succeeds in pushing itself up to the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R due to its somewhat capricious but undoubtedly higher wet grip level. From a motorsport point of view, the following applies to both: “highly recommended”. If you look mainly at the properties on dry tracks, one of the leading positions of the Pirelli cannot be compromised.
The road tires in the summer tire test
Michelin Pilot Sport PS 4
Pro: The test winner convinces with great feedback, stable driving behavior and outstanding grip in wet as well as excellent deceleration ability wet and dry.
Cons: slightly increased rolling noise.
Conclusion: highly recommended
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asym. 3
Pro: direct and active driving in the wet, good-natured with short braking distances on dry asphalt.
Cons: Load change reactions on wet , not very sporty in dry handling.
Price: approx. 99 euros
Bridgestone Turanza T001
Pro: decent wet grip with very good lateral guidance and dynamic wet handling properties. Wide border area on dry asphalt.
Cons: on the dry circuit, indirect, less sporty steering response, deficits in longitudinal aquaplaning.
Price: approx. 95 euros
Continental SportContact 5
Pro: very safe lateral guidance in wet conditions, high resistance to aquaplaning. Dry, short braking distances and balanced, precise handling.
Cons: poor comfort, relatively loud rolling noise on the outside.
price : approx. 107 euros
Pirelli P Zero
Pro: short braking distances dry,precise with very reliable lateral guidance in fast corners.
Cons: Deficits in wet braking, stronger load change reactions when wet.
price: approx. 95 euros
Toyo Proxes Sport
Pro: Shortest braking distances in wet conditions, good traction, good aquaplaning precaution.
Cons : Indifferent driving behavior on wet and dry roads, little cornering grip in wet conditions.
price: approx. 80 euros
Kumho Ecsta PS 91
Pro: balanced dry performance, good aquaplaning prevention.
Cons: poor wet grip, not very precise and clearly understeering in wet handling, quite nervous on the dry circuit, poor ride comfort.
Conclusion: still recommended
Price: approx. 80 euros
The semi-slicks in our summer tire test
Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R
Pro: The best among the semi-slicks shines with a high level of grip combined with outstanding steering precision on the circuit. Good traction, fast lap times.
Cons: Use in wet conditions is critical.
Conclusion: highly recommended
Price: approx. 300 euros
Toyo R888 R
Pro: comparatively short wet braking distances, very good grip, good precision and wide limit range on the circuit.
Cons: Use in wet conditions requires driving skills and sensitivity, loud roaring rolling noise inside.
Conclusion: very recommendable
Price: approx. 195 euros
Michelin Sport Cup 2
Pro: very balanced handling on the racetrack, no surprises, precise and resilient, wide range of applications.
Cons: for use on wet weatherRoadway largely unsuitable.
Price: approx. 178 euros
Test size 225/40 R18 fits among others on the following vehicles:
- Toyota GT86
- VW Golf GTI
- Audi S3
- BMW M140i xDrive (only front axle)
This is how we tested the summer tires (225/40 R18)
In order to ensure the best possible accuracy and reliability of results, all experiments in this test are carried out several times as far as possible. In all criteria, the products are rated according to a previously defined model. In principle, the best tire in a test discipline receives the maximum possible score of 10 points. In order to be able to compare it to road tires, the semi-slicks in selected dynamic dry disciplines were deviated from this evaluation model with a max. 12 points.
A progressive evaluation scheme is used, which is used for the objective evaluation by measuring devices as well as for the subjective rating by the test drivers. To ensure long-term results, sport auto has been comparing the test samples provided by the manufacturers with tires from subsequent test purchases in random follow-up tests for years. In focus: the top three of the tire test as well as products with atypical good performance or with unusual signs of wear. Deviations or anomalies lead to the test exclusion and corresponding reporting.
The wheels in the summer tire test
In the sport auto tire test of the 2016/2017 season, only Borbet-BL5 wheels are used. The lightweight aluminum wheel of the Borbet Sports line impresses with its dynamic lines and, in sizes from 16 to 18 inches, fits many vehicles with a five-hole connection. In addition to the classic 'brilliant silver' version (from 98 euros), the bike is also available in two or three colors in 'black polished', from 109 euros or' black red glossy '- only 18 inches from 197 euros - to have. Instead of conventional painting processes, Borbet relies on the color schemeinnovative laser-assisted ExaPeel process that allows the top layer of lacquer to be erased with μ-precision, thus making multi-colored lacquering possible without compromising durability or quality.