2010 Sport Auto Ultra High Performance Tyre Test

Mix eleven 235/35 r19 ultra high performance summer tyres, one 300bhp Ford Focus RS and a large dose of German attention for detail and you end up with one awesome tyre test!

In 2010 Sport Auto have tested 3 of the newest big brand tyres (Potenza S001, Sport Contact 5P and the new P Zero), Korea latest darling (S1 EVO) and 7 other of the usual max performance contenders - it should be a good shoot out!

Unlike a lot of the European tests where the results bias towards wet performance, Sport Auto knows we buy these sort of UHP tyres for dry performance and ultimate laptimes and have weighted the results accordingly!

The results? It's extremely close at the top with few surprises, but further down the table things get interesting.

Key points:

  • The new Bridgestone Potenza S001 and Continental Sport Contact 5P both have excellent all round performance to place first and second respectively. It's always good when new tyre technology drives the market forward.
  • The Pirelli P Zero has the fastest dry laptime, with the Hankook S1 EVO and Michelin Pilot Sport 2 just 0.1 seconds behind. The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric, winner of 2 tests in 2007 actually had the slowest dry laptime.
  • The Michelin Pilot Sport 2 is still the tyre to beat in the dry, with only the P Zero matching its performance when the tarmac wasn't wet.
  • The Hankook S1 EVO continues to show it's excellent capabilities, winning the wet performance tests and extremely strong in the dry.
  • The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric's had a poor performance, largely due to this test being bias towards dry grip. It actually had a decent wet showing only 0.5 seconds off the fastest tyre and ranking 4th overall in the wet.
  • Another previous test winner, the Vredestein Sessanta Ultrac won the aquaplaning test but then showed average performance for the rest of the test, finally placing just 9th.
  • The new Toyo T1 Sport isn't that sporty.
  • The Nokian Z G2 is quite sporty, placing 5th which is excellent for a company that until recently specialised in winter tyres.

On to the full results...

Key: EU - Price in Euros | HA - Handling (lap time in seconds) | CL - Constant Load | DR - Driving | ST - Steering response | BR - Brakes (from 62mph) | AQ - Aquaplaning
Dry Wet
EU HA CL DR ST BR Total HA DR ST BR AQ Total Total

Bridgestone Potenza S 001
1st 244 47
65.0s
16 22 23 30
35.5m
138 30
64.4s
20 18 17
44.6m
10
78.6mph
95 233
The S001 is a very balanced tyre in the wet with neutral handling and excellent grip. In the dry, the grip is excellent, the only drawback is a slight lack of steering precision from the front wheels

Continental Sport Contact 5P
2nd 253 49
64.6s
12 24 24 30
35.4m
139 29
64.5s
16 18 20
43.4m
8
76.7mph
91 230
The Sportcontact 5P has taken a good step forward from it's predecessor, the Sportcontact 3. It is more sporty with great steering feel and excellent braking qualities in the dry or wet. It's extremely consistent in all ten tests.

Hankook S1 Evo
3rd 221 49
64.5s
15 22 23 28
36.0m
137 30
64.3s
18 19 20
43.4m
6
73.8mph
93 230
The Hankook is the best wet weather tyre in the test, offering the highest levels of grip. It also offers excellent performance in the dry, but like the R001 it has a slight vague feeling through the steering compared to the Conti, P Zero and Michelin.

Pirelli P Zero
4th 255 50
64.4s
16 23 25 30
35.5m
144 29
64.7s
16 20 14
46.3m
5
72.3mph
84 228
While the P Zero is the most expensive tyre on test, it underpins this with very good performances. It offers consistent, excellent handing in both the wet and dry with quick reaction to steering inputs. Slightly let down by braking.

Michelin Pilot Sport 2
5th 249 49
64.5s
17 25 25 28
35.9m
144 25
66.0s
12 20 14
46.3m
8
76.9mph
79 223
The Pilot Sport 2 is the oldest tyre on test, but still one of the best tyres for dry performance offering an excellent direct steering feel. The Pilot Sport 2 is let down slightly by its wet handling on the limit with the Focus RS getting a little oversteer. The Pilot Sport 3 was introduced to address these wet weather weaknesses.

Nokian ZG 2
6th 223 47
65.0s
20 19 22 27
36.2m
135 27
65.3s
17 16 14
46.1m
8
75.9mph
82 217
A good safe tyre in the dry and wet. The Nokian Z G2 isn't the sportiest tyre on test, but at the same time it isn't the worst tyre on test. A good long term option.

Dunlop SportMaxx GT
7th 234 47
65.0s
19 23 22 25
36.7m
136 24
66.3s
16 17 13
46.7m
8
75.8mph
78 214
The Dunlop SportMaxx GT is a tyre of two minds. It is excellent in the dry, but let down by it's wet performance.

Toyo T1 Sport
8th 209 48
64.8s
13 19 22 26
36.3m
128 26
65.6s
16 16 14
46.0m
6
73.7mph
78 206
The Toyo T1 Sport responds well to initial steering input, but then changes to understeer. In the wet, the braking is disappointing.

Vredestein Sessanta Ultrac
9th 203 47
64.9s
18 21 21 20
37.8m
127 24
66.2s
15 14 13
46.8m
10
79.1mph
76 203
The Ultrac Sessanta convincingly wins the aquaplaning test but then disappoints in wet handling by offering little feedback through the wheel and strong understeer.

Kumho Ecsta KU39
10th 194 46
65.2s
18 19 18 23
37.1m
124 24
66.4s
14 15 16
45.1m
8
76.2mph
77 201
While the KU39 offers strong braking characteristics it gives very little feedback to the driver resulting in a doughy steering feel. It also lacks traction in the wet.

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric
11th 216 43
65.7s
15 15 17 21
37.7m
111 28
64.8s
18 18 15
45.6m
9
77.6mph
88 199
The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric is a great feeling in the wet with neutral behavior on the limit and gentle load change reactions. Let down by numb feeling in the dry.




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