Clone wars – Auto Bild Sportscars tests 7 performance tyres

Clone wars – Auto Bild Sportscars tests 7 performance tyres

As we’ve seen with passenger vehicle design, a range of factors coming together have led to most tyres looking more or less the same these days. And while dipping our lids to progress, we miss being able to instantly recognise a brand by its tread pattern. Auto Bild Sportscars also remembers fondly the diversity that has been swept aside by a “yawning boredom in the uniformity of unimaginatively cut longitudinal groove patterns.” But the existence of an army of round, rubbery clones doesn’t mean all tyres offer the same levels of performance or safety.

This is certainly the case with the seven tyre brands that Auto Bild Sportscars has tested for summer 2024. The German performance car publication looks at the mixed fitment 265/35R19 (front) and 295/30R19 (rear) and has selected products ranging in price from around 565 up to 1,365 euros for a set (£483 to £1,167), fitting these to a Mercedes-Benz AMG GT for evaluation.

And the winner is the Continental SportContact 7. Auto Bild Sportscars that this tyre is a “convincing super-athlete that shows hardly any weaknesses.” Thanks to a combination of precise steering behaviour, dynamic handling on wet and dry roads, excellent balance and short braking distances, SportContact 7 secures first place and the publication’s ‘exemplary’ rating.

Two other products share this rating, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S and the new Vredestein Ultrac Pro. Auto Bild Sportscars says the Michelin tyre offers “crisp and agile cornering”, while the Ultrac Pro is a “balanced, comfort-oriented all-rounder.” Both tyres performed well in all ten test disciplines and “in their own way” offer the highest levels of safety and driving pleasure.

Recommendations & non-recommendations

Three down, four to go: Auto Bild Sportscars recommends two of the remaining tyres as ‘good’ and one as ‘satisfactory’. All okay so far, but it withholds its recommendation for the last of the seven tyres.

The test team lightly criticise the Bridgestone Potenza Sport and Hankook Ventus S1 evo Z, commenting that both “still need to work on their handling balance.” The Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport, on the other hand, disappoints in the wet.

Auto Bild Sportscars warns its readers to avoid the Winrun R330 for safety reasons. “With this cheap tyre, both driving safety and driving pleasure fall by the wayside,” comment the tyre testers.

Rated exemplary

Test winner: Continental SportContact 7
+ convincing super-athlete with hardly any weaknesses, precise steering behaviour, dynamic handling on wet and dry roads, excellent balance, short braking distances, good aquaplaning reserves
– Slightly increased ride noise

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
+ well-balanced sports tyre that shines on both wet and dry roads, precise turn-in, good feedback, good balance, short braking distances, low ride noise
– Average safety reserves for aquaplaning

Vredestein Ultrac Pro
+ new, dynamically balanced sports tyre with very good safety reserves in aquaplaning, short braking distances, convincing ride comfort and quiet driving noise
– Slightly delayed steering behaviour

Rated good

Bridgestone Potenza Sport
+ dynamic handling characteristics and impressive grip on wet tracks, short braking distances, direct turn-in, good balance
– strong signs of wear after just a few laps on a dry racetrack (led to lower score & rating)

Hankook Ventus S1 evo Z
+ Sports talent with agile steering behaviour, good aquaplaning reserves and short braking distances on wet surfaces
– Lack of rear axle lateral control leads to a clear tendency towards oversteer on both wet and dry roads

Rated satisfactory

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport
+ dynamic sports talent with crisp, direct steering behaviour on dry roads, good comfort
– Lack of grip and significant understeer with longer braking distances in the wet, high rolling resistance

Not recommendable

Winrun R330
+ average reserves in aquaplaning, low rolling resistance
– lack of wet grip and dangerous handling, delayed turn-in with poor balance and treacherous oversteer on wet and dry roads, dangerously long braking distance


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