Tyres ‘tremendously improved’ – and getting better
Upon announcing the outcome of its 2013 summer tyre test, held in partnership with consumer foundation Stiftung Warentest, German motorists’ organisation ADAC noted that this latest test marks the 40th anniversary of its first tyre test. In 1973 – an “exciting time” for tyres due to the replacement of cross-ply with radial models – the ADAC used an Opel Rekord 1900 as a test vehicle to evaluate 25 tyres.
In the following four decades, tyre performance levels have markedly increased. Reporting its 2013 results, the ADAC wrote that “the standard of summer and winter tyres become so high in the meantime that we have had to extend our regular four-level system of recommendation by a further, fifth level.” The previous best result is now known simply as ‘good’, with a new ‘very good’ taking its place as the result to aim for. The ADAC noted that although none of the tyres in the current test achieved this new top result, it is “just a question of time” before products reach this.
This year’s tyre test involved two sizes, 225/45 R17, tested on a Skoda Octavia, and 185/60 R15, which was testing using a Volkswagen Polo. Seven of the 19 larger dimension tyres – the Continental SportContact 5, Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymetric 2, Dunlop Sport Maxx RT, Michelin Pilot Sport 3, Vredestein Ultrac Vorti, Hankook Ventus S1 Evo 2 and the Semperit Speed-Life – achieved a ‘good’ result (the second highest under the new five-stage rating system) and were therefore “particularly recommended”. From this seven, the Continental and Goodyear tyres achieved equal top points.
In the 185/60 R15 test, nine of the 19 tyres tested – the Michelin Energy Saver+, Continental PremiumContact5, Dunlop Sport BluResponse, Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance, Vredestein Sportrac 5, Bridgestone Turanza T001, Nokian Line, Fulda EcoControl HP and Semperit Comfort-Life 2 – achieved the ‘good’ test result. The Energy Saver+ narrowly squeezed out the Continental, Dunlop and Goodyear tyres as the top-scorer.