Continental’s SportContact 7, WhatTyre Tyre of the Year 2022, added to its impressive tally of test victories as it was named the “outstanding” tyre in the Sportauto summer tyre test 2023. Elsewhere there was a very notable showing for the “very good” Firestone Firehawk Sport, one of only two tyres to record above-average ratings in all three disciplines rated in Sportauto’s final analysis – wet, dry and environmental. The tyre infiltrated the group of five premium brands in the top half of the rankings, beating its Bridgestone stablemate, the Potenza Sport, and the Pirelli P Zero PZ4. The magazine tested eleven tyres in size 225/40 R18 92Y XL mounted on an Audi S3.
When searching for the best tyre for sporty driving, the choice is between maximum safety and the highest possible dynamics. The former involves good grip and deep grooves, especially in the rain. But for the fastest cornering and optimal contact with the road, especially in dry conditions, a tyre with a low void ratio is the way to go.
The practice of pairing wide rear tyres with a narrower size on the front axle is a common one for modern performance cars as this configuration provides good traction and cornering on dry roads, more even levels of wear – and it looks good. But is a mixed fitment advantageous in the colder months? Do the wider rear tyres really deliver more traction on icy and snowy roads and reduce the risk of oversteer? German publication Sportauto has sought to answer such questions by comparing mixed fitment winter tyres with a non-mixed setup.
The improvement in the quality of all-season tyres has supported their sustained growth in Europe. While the latest test by the DACH region’s leading auto clubs continued to characterise the product as an unrecommended compromise, German magazine ratings this year have been much less snooty about the segment. Joining the UK’s leading consumer testers in praising the latest generation of year-round fitments, was AutoBild, among the industry’s most coveted ratings, while the most recent Sportauto test gave six out of the seven candidates “good” or even “very good” overall grades. The test acknowledges the advantages of seasonal rubber via two Bridgestone control tyres, the Turanza T005 summer tyre and the Blizzak LM005, but also points out the “amazing qualities” of the seven test subjects on cold-wet and cold-dry roads. The seven all-season tyres were tested in size 225/45 R18 on a BMW 330i.
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.
Continental’s winning streak in this year’s winter tyre tests continues with victory in the latest from German magazine Sportauto. The comparative evaluation of ten tyres featured in the current issue (11/2017) places the WinterContact TS 850 P in first place together with the first-generation Goodyear UltraGrip Performance.