The Top 10 Performance tyres of 2022

The Top 10 Performance tyres of 2022

Big is beautiful for tyre makers. Recent analyst reports tell us we can look forward to continued growth in the market for UHP tyres, with 17” and 18” and larger rim diameter sizes each expected to account for more than 50 million tyres sold in Europe annually by 2025. This means these larger rim diameters should account for a quarter of the region’s overall replacement tyre demand, with their proportion of total sales even higher in markets such as the UK.

This year, WhatTyre has separated tyres aimed at the highest echelon of the performance car world into their own category – supersports tyres – and this means our emphasis here is on products catering to the performance demands of more attainable sporting models as well as powerful executive saloons. We’ve examined the performance tyre popular sizes 225/45 R17, 225/40 R18, 225/50 R17 and 275/35 R19 and present ten products that have gained traction on the WhatTyre site.

Although they’ll continue to be widely available for some time to come, several of the products listed here have handed the baton to successor models in recent months. These new generation tyres are just beginning to trickle into the market and we look forward to getting better acquainted with them.

With a WhatTyre score of 8.74, the Pirelli P Zero PZ4 is our Performance Tyre of the Year – an honour it gains in addition to being a Supersports commended tyre. The PZ4’s ability to straddle both categories reflects the breadth of a range that begins with 225/45 R17 and goes all the way up to tyres for 23-inch rim diameters, a portfolio containing 129 dimensions in total.

P Zero PZ4 participated in just one tyre test in 2022, with Sportauto reporting “decent lateral control and a very neutrally balanced sporty but safe & fast handling in the wet.” This result builds on strong reviews in past years and, thanks to homologation with 18 brands of vehicle and a top tyre label rating of A for wet grip in many sizes, including the 225/45 R17 and 225/40 R18 fitments we looked at, Pirelli P Zero PZ4 is a WhatTyre high scorer and deserving winner of this year’s award.

A popular choice since its arrival in 2017, the Continental PremiumContact 6 remains a solid option for those wanting to pair good braking and handling in summer conditions with a comfortable ride. With a WhatTyre score of 8.48, PremiumContact 6 has well earned its place as our Performance Tyre of the Year runner-up and a WhatTyre Highly Recommended tyre.

As our Value Champion, the Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 also finds a spot on the WhatTyre Performance Tyre of the Year podium. If you’re looking for a product that handles and stops well but doesn’t cost the earth, Ventus S1 evo 3 offers a very attractive price/performance ratio. Reviewers frequently praise the Hankook tyre for its short stopping distances on both wet and dry roads, qualities reflected by its solid test results. The Ventus S1 evo 3 is also a favourite with OEMs, as recently evidenced by its selection as an original equipment tyre for the BMW i4 Gran Coupé, VW Golf GTI and Golf R. Aftermarket availability is excellent too, with approximately 150 sizes for 17” to 22” rim diameters on offer. All these factors combine to make Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 a deserving recipient of our Highly Recommended rating.

WhatTyre Commended Performance Tyres

Our 2021 winner, the Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2 offers across the board performance. Its ‘AB’ tyre label rating pairs very good grip on wet roads with low rolling resistance, and a tyre noise measurement of 68 dB means the Sport Maxx RT2 is quieter than many of its counterparts.

The Falken Azenis FK510 has been a strong-selling tyre since its launch. A new generation of Falken’s performance flagship has just arrived, but the FK510 reminded us that it is still a tyre to be reckoned with by snatching a coveted ‘exemplary’ rating in the Auto Bild Sportscars 2022 summer tyre test. Auto Bild’s testers praised the FK510’s performance in both wet and dry conditions.

Fulda isn’t a well-known name in the UK, but this brand from the Goodyear family offers a range of products including the performance-oriented Sportcontrol 2. The tyre is a solid performer in comparative evaluations, gaining praise for its handling in wet and dry conditions as well as value for money.

Another product experiencing generational change is the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5. Successor model the Asymmetric 6 walked away with a joint win in this year’s Tyre Reviews test as well as victories in the auto motor und sport test and the Auto Bild evaluation of 245/40 R19 tyres. These results are unsurprising given that this latest tyre builds upon the previous-generation product. A regular test winner since its launch, the ‘AC’ label rated Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 has been and remains an immensely popular tyre on the WhatTyre site.

As its name suggests, Dynaxer UHP is Kleber’s main product for this segment. This tyre from the Michelin-owned brand is designed to offer “peace of mind in wet conditions” and thus comes with a tyre label A grade for wet grip. The Kleber Dynaxer UHP range includes 11 sizes for 17” to 20” rim diameters.

Speaking of Michelin, the French tyre maker is another who has been busy updating its range. At the start of the year it announced the impending arrival of two new-generation models. One of these is a successor to the award-winning Michelin Pilot Sport 4, a tyre that scores very well indeed on the WhatTyre site. We haven’t yet seen much of the newcomer, but there’s still a lot to like about the Pilot Sport 4. It is still gaining impressive tyre test results in 2022, with Sportauto for example describing it as “very spontaneous, direct, precise & dynamic on dry roads whilst safe in the wet,” a tyre that “fulfils sporting expectations.”

Despite its affordable purchase price, Sava Intensa UHP 2 gives a good account of itself when compared against its pricier counterparts. Finishing seventh from a starting field of 50 tyres in its 2022 test, Auto Bild praised the Intensa UHP 2 for its performance in wet and dry conditions, including braking and when threatened with aquaplaning, as well as for the levels of comfort it offered. The Sava tyre’s wet grip credentials are underlined by a tyre label A rating in many sizes.

Rank Tyre Size
1 Pirelli P Zero PZ4 275/35 R19
2 Continental PremiumContact 6 225/45 R17
3 Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 225/45 R17
4 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 235/60 R18
5 Falken Azenis FK510 225/45 R17
6 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 225/45 R17
7 Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2 225/45 R17
8 Fulda Sportcontrol 2 225/45 R17
9 Nokian Powerproof 225/45 R17
10 Sava Intensa UHP 2 225/40 R18

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