2012 Auto Bild Max Performance Tyre Test

The Winning Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 Traditionally, German based Auto Bild put together some of the best tyre tests in the world, and in 2012 they've set a new benchmark.

Not content with picking 15 of the top tyres to test, Auto Bild started with 50 of the leading tyres in 225/45 R17, and subjected them to wet and dry braking, only putting through the top 15 to this test to ensure the tyres on test really are the best of the best.

Subjecting just the top 15 tyres from the braking tests to the usual array of handling tests have left the results closer than ever, but with some surprise tyres included. Of course, with only 15 of 50 going through there's some surprise ommisions, with the Falken FK453, Yokohama Advan Sport, Vredestein Ultra Cento and Avon ZV5 not even making it to the top 25 of the knockout test.

The Top 6

Leading test is a TyreReviews favourite, the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2. Commended for its excellent wet handling, and having one of the shortest braking distance in the dry, the Goodyear was classed as a "tyre without fault".

The excellent Nokian Z G2 While the winner might not have been a surprise, a very strong showing from Nokian with the Z G2 left the "premium midrange" tyre in a very close second place. Nokian is one of the highest rated winter tyre brands in the world, and this test proves they know how to make a summer tyre too. Commended for dynamic handling, low fuel consumption and short braking, the Z G2 is a tyre to watch (and use!) in the future.

Third place was awarded to the new Hankook S1 EVO 2. The new EVO was rated the best on the wet handling course, and strong 3rd place in the dry handling left its only real weakness being the second highest wear of the group.

Also being marked down for wear was the 4th place Dunlop Sport Maxx RT. Just released, the Sport Maxx RT scored joint first in the dry handling and wet braking tests and was only a fraction behind the Hankook in the wet handling tests.

Fifth place was taken by the Bridgestone S001. The Bridgestone scored very well in the wear and mileage tests, and resisted aquaplaning better than most, however struggled in the wet handling tests with understeer, something we found in our 2011 subjective shootout.

Rounding out the top 6 is the Continental Sport Contact 5. This result will disappoint Continental, as the Sport Contact 3 was nearly exclusively a test winner, but the Sport Contact 5 lost points for being the most expensive tyre on test, and very noisy. On the positive side, it had the lowest fuel consumption and the best braking on wet roads, so this tyre will do extremely well when the tyre labelling law is introduced, which focuses on these two areas.

The Rest

The Barum Bravuris 2 in a strong 9th 7th to 10th was taken by the Pirelli P7 Cinturato, Michelin Primacy 3, Barum Bravuris 2 and Fulda Sport Control. The Michelin Primacy 3 scored extremely well considering it's designed to be a touring tyre, but we can't help but feel the Michelin Pilot Sport 3 would have faired better, and Barum and Fulda proved once again they're the mid range brands to consider, instead of Falken, Vredestein, Kumho etc who didn’t make it into the top 14. The Fulda was also award the "eco master" badge, offering the best price / performance in the top 15.

11th place was taken by the Nexen N8000. Curiously Nexen don't usually score this well, but with the Korean brand recently bringing a fully automated factory online, could Nexen be the first budget brand to emerge as a real contender to the mid range brands? They’ll have to work on wear if they truly want an all round balanced tyre, with the N8000 predicted to have less than half the life of the best tyres on test.

The Toyo T1 Sport ended in 12th place, with the Uniroyal Rainsport 2 in 13th. Interestingly the Uniroyal scored near, or at the top of every wet test, but was let down by its poor handling in the dry, where as the Toyo was stronger in the dry, but suffered an average wet performance and a high rolling resistance.

14th and 15th went to the BF Goodridge gForce Profiler and the Kumho KU39. The BF Goodridge seemed to trade the best wear score for poor wet handling, where as the Kumho was a comfortable tyre but comparatively poor in every other category.

The Results

As always with Auto Bild tests, the scores are weighed in favour of the wet performances, so the automatically totalling can be ignored.

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 21st: Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2
Total: 31 / Dry: 8 / Wet: 8 / Rolling Resistance: 8 / Wear: 7
Positive: Extremely well balanced tyre without fault. Dynamic wet handling, shortest braking distances on wet and dry roads, low rolling resistance.

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Nokian Z G22nd: Nokian Z G2
Total: 32 / Dry: 8 / Wet: 8 / Rolling Resistance: 8 / Wear: 8
Positive: Convincing all rounder with the shortest braking distances on wet and dry roads. Good steering precision, low fuel consumption.

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Hankook Ventus S1 evo23rd: Hankook Ventus S1 evo2
Total: 29 / Dry: 9 / Wet: 9 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Wear: 4
Positive: Top performance on wet and dry roads, good resistance to aquaplaning, short braking distances.
Negative: High wear.

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Dunlop SportMaxx RT4th: Dunlop SportMaxx RT
Total: 27 / Dry: 8 / Wet: 9 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Wear: 3
Positive: Dynamic sporty handing on the wet and dry track with the top dry handling, stable cornering, short braking distances.
Negative: High wear.

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Bridgestone Potenza S0015th: Bridgestone Potenza S001
Total: 27 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 7 / Rolling Resistance: 4 / Wear: 9
Positive: Safe handling and short braking distances on dry roads, very good mileage.
Negative: Understeer in the wet, increased fuel consumption.

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Continental Sport Contact 56th: Continental Sport Contact 5
Total: 29 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 8 / Rolling Resistance: 9 / Wear: 6
Positive: Safe handling and best braking on wet roads, lowest fuel consumption.
Negative: Loud noise levels, expensive.

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Pirelli CINTURATO P77th: Pirelli CINTURATO P7
Total: 28 / Dry: 8 / Wet: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 5 / Wear: 9
Positive: Balance tyres, short braking in the dry, pleasant quiet ride, high mileage.
Negative: High rolling resistance.

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Michelin Primacy 38th: Michelin Primacy 3
Total: 31 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 10 / Wear: 8
Positive: Good driving characteristics on dry roads, very good wear, lowest rolling resistance.
Negative: Slight understeer in the wet.

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Barum Bravuris 29th: Barum Bravuris 2
Total: 26 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 7 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Wear: 6
Positive: Good aquaplaning, low rolling resistance, excellent value for money.
Negative: Understeer in the dry and wet, average comfort.

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Fulda SportControl10th: Fulda SportControl
Total: 29 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 8 / Wear: 9
Positive: Strong wet grip, short dry braking, good wear, low fuel consumption. Awarded "eco master" for having the best price / performance combination.
Negative: Only average handling qualities.

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Nexen N800011th: Nexen N8000
Total: 19 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 7 / Rolling Resistance: 3 / Wear: 2
Positive: Top marks in the aquaplaning test, low noise.
Negative: Poor wear, high rolling resistance.

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Toyo Proxes T1 Sport12th: Toyo Proxes T1 Sport
Total: 23 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 4 / Wear: 7
Positive: Safe handling qualities in the dry.
Negative: Only average in the wet, high rolling resistance.

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Uniroyal Rainsport 213th: Uniroyal Rainsport 2
Total: 28 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 9 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Wear: 7
Positive: Very good aquaplaning result, good wet handling.
Negative: Poor steering feel, heavy understeer in the dry.

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BFGoodrich g Force Profiler14th: BFGoodrich g Force Profiler
Total: 28 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 4 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Wear: 10
Positive: Best wear, low noise.
Negative: Poor aquaplaning result, poor wet handling.

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Kumho Ecsta KU3915th: Kumho Ecsta KU39
Total: 19 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 4 / Rolling Resistance: 5 / Wear: 5
Positive: Good comfort.
Negative: Poor steering feel, long wet and dry braking, high fuel consumption, poor wear.
Overall: Poor steering feel, long wet and dry braking, high fuel consumption, poor wear.

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