A set of UHP tyres can cost more than a grand or less than half that, but you get what you pay for. This is what Auto Bild Sportscars found in its latest tyre test – the pricier tyres nudged the top end of the results table, while the two cheapest brands were also by far the worst performers.
The performance car publication used a Ford Mustang for this year’s test, which looks at the nine premium, mid-range and budget brands of size 265/35 ZR20 tyres. Test challenges reflected the focus that Auto Bild Sportscars places upon performance and safety in wet and dry conditions – other considerations, namely rolling resistance, noise and ride comfort contributed only 15 per cent towards the final result.
The testers rated three of the nine tyres ‘exemplary’, a further three ‘good’ and one ‘satisfactory’. They declined to recommend another two tyres. While reporting being convinced by the top tyres’ “excellent handling qualities and generous safety reserves,” the testers “emphatically warned” against the candidates at the very bottom of the table.
A trio of ‘exemplary’ tyres
Bridgestone Potenza – test winner
Strengths: Excellent handling characteristics on wet and dry surfaces, precise steering behaviour, well balanced, shortest stopping distances on wet and dry surfaces, good aquaplaning characteristics.
Continental SportContact 6
Strengths: Balanced sport tyre with dynamic driving behaviour on wet roads, short wet and dry stopping distances, good ride comfort, low rolling resistance.
Weaknesses: Slightly elevated tyre/road noise.
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
Strengths: Sporty dynamic driving qualities on dry roads, precise turn-in, short stopping distances on wet and dry surfaces, low rolling resistance.
Weaknesses: High price tag.
3 ‘good’ tyres
Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport
Strengths: A balanced and high level of performance, dynamic driving behaviour on wet surfaces, short stopping distances on dry roads, pleasant ride comfort.
Weaknesses: High price tag.
Vredestein Ultrac Vorti R
Strengths: Sporty handling qualities, precise turn-in, short dry stopping distances, good value for money.
Weaknesses: Slightly lengthy wet stopping distances, elevated rolling resistance.
Hankook Ventus S1 evo3
Strengths: Safe driving behaviour on wet and dry surfaces, short wet and dry stopping distances, direct steering response.
Weaknesses: Meagre aquaplaning safety reserves, elevated tyre/road noise.
A ‘satisfactory’ tyre
Falken Azenis FK510
Strengths: Good aquaplaning safety reserves, harmonious wet handling behaviour.
Weaknesses: Limited grip levels when braking on wet surfaces, understeer in dry conditions.
2 tyres not recommended
Landsail LS588 UHP
Strengths: Very low rolling resistance.
Weaknesses: Limited wet grip, markedly long stopping distances on wet and dry surfaces, inharmonious understeer, low aquaplaning reserves.
Berlin Tires Summer UHP 1
Strengths: Low tyre/road noise, affordably priced.
Weaknesses: Severely limited wet weather qualities, dangerously long wet and dry stopping distances, spongey and inharmonious driving behaviour, indirect steering response.