2013 Sport Auto Max Performance Summer Tyre Test

This year's Sport Auto performance tyre test chose ten 18 inch tyres in 225/40 R18. The usual array of wet and dry tests were performed on a Mercedes A 250, with a focus on the tyres dynamic qualities.

As the quality of tyres improve, the gap between the top brands gets smaller and smaller, with just ten points covering the top six tyres.

The Results

Dunlop SportMaxx RT1st: Dunlop SportMaxx RT
Total: 225 / Dry: 141 / Wet: 84
Dry: 83.2 seconds
Wet: 69.1 seconds
Overall: The Dunlop Sport Maxx RT is a very well balanced tyre. While not the fastest in any test, the steering precision and agility of the tyre makes it a pleasure to drive. Excellent braking and no overheating on the long dry runs.

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Michelin Pilot Sport 3 PS32nd: Michelin Pilot Sport 3 PS3
Total: 222 / Dry: 139 / Wet: 83
Dry: 82.6 seconds
Wet: 69.2 seconds
Overall: The Michelin Pilot Sport 3 is one of the best in the dry, with a high level of grip and good high speed stability. When wet, the steering feel is still excellent but it lacks some of the ultimate grip of the top wet runners.

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Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 23rd: Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2
Total: 219 / Dry: 132 / Wet: 87
Dry: 83.2 seconds
Wet: 68.2 seconds
Overall: Great aquaplaning results, very good wet braking and a good wet laptime making the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 a wet specialist. Slightly softer than the Dunlop, the Goodyear understeers a little earlier than the Dunlop in the dry.

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Continental Sport Contact 54th: Continental Sport Contact 5
Total: 218 / Dry: 120 / Wet: 98
Dry: 82.9 seconds
Wet: 67.6 seconds
Overall: The Continental Sport Contact 5 is the strongest tyre in the test for wet performance. Unfortunately, in the dry tests the Sport Contact 5 overheated fairly quickly, with dry laptimes degrading and the tyre wearing quickly.

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Nokian zLine5th: Nokian zLine
Total: 217 / Dry: 139 / Wet: 78
Dry: 82.3 seconds
Wet: 68.7 seconds
Overall: Second best in the dry, the Nokian Z Line takes abuse well with no signs of overheating. Good grip in the wet, but load changes are fairly snappy and the wet braking and aquaplaning performance was a little behind the top 4.

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Hankook Ventus S1 evo26th: Hankook Ventus S1 evo2
Total: 216 / Dry: 135 / Wet: 81
Dry: 82.8 seconds
Wet: 69.3 seconds
Overall: Excellent dry handling with good steering precision and an agile response. Sporty too in the wet, with a good balance. Average aquaplaning properties knock the Hankook Ventus S1 evo 2 down to 6th.

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Pirelli P Zero7th: Pirelli P Zero
Total: 213 / Dry: 130 / Wet: 83
Dry: 83.6 seconds
Wet: 69.0 seconds
Overall: While the P Zero pattern is starting to show its age, it's still an excellent wet weather tyre. Quick steering with lots of feedback in the dry leaves the Mercedes a little twitchy at the limit. Average aquaplaning result.

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Bridgestone Potenza S0018th: Bridgestone Potenza S001
Total: 207 / Dry: 129 / Wet: 78
Dry: 83.7 seconds
Wet: 69.9 seconds
Overall: Like the Pirelli, the S001 is starting to show its age and scores mid table in all tests.

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Vredestein Ultrac Vorti9th: Vredestein Ultrac Vorti
Total: 203 / Dry: 136 / Wet: 67
Dry: 81.6 seconds
Wet: 69.6 seconds
Overall: Fastest tyre in the dry with good steering precision but the wet performance keeps the Vorti out of the top group as it drops a few points in aquaplaning and braking.

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Falken FK45310th: Falken FK453
Total: 180 / Dry: 129 / Wet: 51
Dry: 83.8 seconds
Wet: 72.5 seconds
Overall: Good in the dry tests, but falls behind in the wet tests with a lack of grip and sharp twitchy handling.

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