Sportauto test: Most tyres fail to enthuse
Yesterday we reported the results of the Auto Motor und Sport summer 2019 tyre test and noted that while no tyre received the publication’s highest rating, most gained its recommendation. It’s a different story at sister title Sportauto – its test of eight tyres yielded a ‘highly recommended’ winner, but six of the candidates only received a lukewarm endorsement.
Sportauto selected a Honda Civic Type R for proceedings and fitted it in turn with each of the eight size 245/30 R20 Y tyre brands. This hottest of the Civic hatches underwent a battery of tests: Performance in dry conditions accounted for half the points given out, wet performance 40 per cent and environmental considerations, such as rolling resistance and noise, the remaining ten per cent.
Continental SportContact 6 – Test winner: Age hasn’t wearied the 2015-launched SportContact 6 – the Continental tyre was the only one to come up smelling of roses in the Sportauto test. It delivered the shortest braking distances and safe understeer in wet conditions. Further positive qualities included direct steering response, high stability on dry roads, crystal clear feedback, exceptional directional stability and clear vehicle response. Sportauto’s only complaints were some reductions in self-damping and aquaplaning prevention. These niggles didn’t prevent the Sportauto testers giving the SportContact 6 a ‘highly recommended’ rating.
Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S: Although it missed out on a ‘highly recommended’ rating and wasn’t considered quite on par with the Continental tyre in the wet, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S impressed Sportauto with a short braking distance in dry conditions, safe understeering handling in both the wet and dry, and good ride comfort. It gained a rating of ‘recommended’ for its efforts.
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2: The third-placed Goodyear tyre received, as did those finishing behind it, the tyre test world’s backhanded compliment – the ‘still recommended’ rating. It was in this instance a case of hard luck, too: The Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 achieved an overall score of 7.9 out of ten points, just 0.1 points below the ‘recommended’ cut-off. Sportauto thought it a balanced, safe tyre, easy to control in the wet and also comfortable. The Goodyear tyre’s drawbacks included a less than optimal braking performance, comparatively sluggish steering response as well as limited steering precision in dry conditions.
Hankook Ventus S1 Evo³: Sportauto was satisfied with the Hankook tyre’s driving dynamics and braking in dry conditions. It also achieved the best score in the test’s environmental disciplines. Performance suffered in the wet, however: The testers reported weak lengthways wet grip, sudden oversteer in the wet and sluggish steering response.
Bridgestone Potenza S001: Smooth sailing for the Bridgestone Potenza S001 in dry conditions; Sportauto found the tyre agile and safe on dry roads. Things became a little choppy in the wet, however, with marks lost for braking performance. The Bridgestone tyre didn’t give the best ride comfort and rolling resistance, either.
Vredestein Ultrac Vorti R: Sportauto considered the Ultrac Vorti R a balanced tyre. It delivered safe longitudinal dynamics in the dry as well as good aquaplaning prevention. The chief criticisms levelled at the Vredestein tyre were a lengthened wet braking distance and an audible tyre/road noise.
Falken Azenis FK510: Falken finished the test in joint last place, and it delivered balanced overall performance in the wet. However, Sportauto singled out a number of points of critique: The publication reported sudden oversteer in the wet, sluggish steering response and lengthened braking distances on dry roads, and a lack of handling precision.
Toyo Proxes Sport: Like the Falken tyre, the Toyo Proxes Sport was also credited with overall balanced performance in the wet. And, again, Sportauto noted a number of drawbacks. These included a strong reaction to load changes in the wet, little steering precision, significant understeer and extended braking distance in the dry.