This years Auto Express UHP Summer tyre test comes at a rather odd time - issue 1131 released 8th September. While it might have come at a time when the country is starting to think about winter tyres, Auto Express have still done an excellent job writing 9 pages dedicated to 12 performance summer tyres over 10 different disciplines. To carry out these tests Auto Express borrowed the Contidrom in Germany, a fleet of Skoda Octavia test cars wearing the optional 225/45 r18 sized tyres and purchased 2 sets of each tyres tested at random to ensure the manufactures didn't send "special tyres".
On test were:
While we suggest picking up a copy of the magazine for the full write up, our hightlights were as follows:
Dry Handling - The Pirelli P Zero had the best dry road handling, being the only tyre to dip below a lap time of 109 seconds. the second place Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric was more than half a second behind the Pirelli in lap-time, and chunk behind the P Zero in steering precision. Third place Michelin Pilot Sport 3 got close to the Pirelli in feel, but couldn't quite match the ultimate grip.
Wet Handling - Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric won the wet handling test by offering excellent grip and the best turn in. The second placed Continental Contisportcontact 3 was just over 1/10th behind with the Pirelli P Zero a further few hundreds adrift.
Aquaplaning - Unsurprisingly directional tyres still offer the best aquaplaning resistance with the Maxxis Victra MA-Z1 Drift and Uniroyal Rainsport 2 acing straight line tests and 2nd and 4th in curved tests. The Michelin Pilot Sport 3 was surprisingly strong winning the curved tests and placing 4th in a straight line. The dry handling king Pirelli P Zero did poorly in the aquaplaning tests.
Dry Braking - Pirelli P Zero wins another dry test stopping in just 35.96 meters. Continental Contisportcontact 3 and Bridgestone Potenza RE050A place second and third just 14cm and 25cm behind. The budget Runways required more than a car length extra to stop over the Pirellis, meaning you'd still be travelling at 20mph when you'd have stopped on the premium rubber.
Wet Braking - Continental Contisportcontact 3 wins with the Michelin Pilot Sport 3 and Bridgestone Potenza RE050A in 2nd and 3rd respectively. The Runway tyres needed over 8 metres more than the Continentals to stop, meaning you'd still be doing 24mph when the Contis had stopped you.
Conclusion - The Contisportcontact 3 wins meaning Continental win the Auto Express tyre test for the second year running. The new Michelin Pilot Sport 3 placed second, just ahead of the third placed Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric as it showed surefootedness in the wet not normally associated with the pilot sport range - something Michelin have worked extremely hard on with the Pilot Sport 3. The Dunlop SP Sport Maxx TT placed 4th with it's strong dry performance, with the Hankook Ventus S1 evo just pipping the Pirelli P Zero to 5th after the Pirelli's poor aquaplaning results. The ultra budget Runway tyres were a liability and not recommended for any type of vehicle.
Here are the full results (please note the results are in the correct order - the total scores don't quite reflect this as Auto Express factored in price)
|1st: Continental Sport Contact 3|
Total: 870.3 / Dry: 198.4 / Wet: 486.4 / Comfort: 98.5 / Rolling Resistance: 87
|2nd: Michelin Pilot Sport 3 PS3|
Total: 869.2 / Dry: 197.2 / Wet: 486.1 / Comfort: 97.3 / Rolling Resistance: 88.6
|3rd: Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric|
Total: 860.5 / Dry: 197.2 / Wet: 479.6 / Comfort: 96.4 / Rolling Resistance: 87.3
|4th: Dunlop SP Sport Maxx TT|
Total: 858.7 / Dry: 196.4 / Wet: 472.7 / Comfort: 99.7 / Rolling Resistance: 89.9
|5th: Hankook Ventus S1 evo|
Total: 855 / Dry: 197.2 / Wet: 458.7 / Comfort: 99.1 / Rolling Resistance: 100
|6th: Pirelli P Zero|
Total: 841.7 / Dry: 200 / Wet: 461.8 / Comfort: 97 / Rolling Resistance: 82.9
|7th: Vredestein Ultrac Cento|
Total: 845.1 / Dry: 192.7 / Wet: 460.9 / Comfort: 99.6 / Rolling Resistance: 91.9
|8th: Uniroyal Rainsport 2|
Total: 851.2 / Dry: 192.1 / Wet: 474.1 / Comfort: 96.4 / Rolling Resistance: 88.6
|9th: Bridgestone Potenza RE050A|
Total: 844.2 / Dry: 197.9 / Wet: 472.7 / Comfort: 94.6 / Rolling Resistance: 79
|10th: Sava intensa uhp|
Total: 835.4 / Dry: 193.7 / Wet: 444.9 / Comfort: 100 / Rolling Resistance: 96.8
|11th: Maxxis MA Z1 Victra|
Total: 818.1 / Dry: 192.3 / Wet: 459.6 / Comfort: 98.2 / Rolling Resistance: 68