2014 Auto Review Max Performance Tyre Test

Test Summary
Best tyre for dry roadsPirelli P Zero Corsa
Best tyre for wet roadsHankook Ventus S1 evo2
The most comfortableMichelin Pilot Super Sport
Bridgestone Potenza S001
The lowest wearMichelin Pilot Super Sport
Bridgestone Potenza S001
The quietest tyreMichelin Pilot Super Sport
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2
Bridgestone Potenza S001
Pirelli P Zero Corsa
A 444bhp Mustang Boss 302 might not be the last word in car dynamics, but it's what the Russian magazine Auto Review have chosen to use for their 2014 Max Performance tyre test. Wearing massive 255/40 R19 front tyres, and 285/35 R19 rears, this was never going to be an "ordinary" tyre test, and the inclusion of a drifting test only highlighted the testers were out to have fun driving while getting their data.

After the clinical nature of German tyre tests, this is a great way of being different, and could put a different spin on the overall results. But it didn't.

The Continental still won thanks to a commanding wet performance, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport was still excellent in the dry and wear tests but lacked a little in the wet, the new Hankook had another a strong all round performance and the Goodyear was still a great all round tyre... other than aquaplaning, which has never been a problem in smaller sizes.

The Results

Continental ContiSportContact 5 P1st: Continental ContiSportContact 5 P
Total: 99 / Dry: 28 / Wet: 46 / Comfort: 8 / Noise: 8 / Wear: 9
Positive: Braking in the wet and dry, handling in the wet
Negative: Low resistance to aquaplaning
Overall: In 2011 the 5P won our tyre test on a Focus RS and Scirocco R, and the Continental is equally good on a Mustang! On the wet track the car has good grip, and starts to slide smoothly and predictably. In the dry, the tyre doesn't quite have the control accuracy as the Michelin or Pirelli, but it has a good time none the less. No problems with wear, and good comfort make for a lovely tyre for everyday use on high speed cars.

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Michelin Pilot Super Sport2nd: Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Total: 99 / Dry: 29 / Wet: 42 / Comfort: 9 / Noise: 9 / Wear: 10
Positive: Handling in the dry, comfort, wear
Negative: Handling in the wet
Overall: The Michelin Pilot Super Sport has been created using technology from the 24 hour race at Le Mans, and you can tell on the track! It’s one of the best tyres on the track and road in the dry, and even after drifting the tread shows very little sign of wear. In the wet, the tyres prove slightly worse. Resistance to aquaplaning raises no objections, but on the road the driver is forced to work harder than with other tyres once on the limit. Perfect for those who want to enjoy the fast ride.

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Hankook Ventus S1 evo23rd: Hankook Ventus S1 evo2
Total: 96 / Dry: 26 / Wet: 47 / Comfort: 7 / Noise: 7 / Wear: 9
Positive: Traction on wet roads, handling on wet roads, high resistance to aquaplaning
Negative: Noise, low comfort, dry handling
Overall: The new Hankook S1 Evo 2 have a near flawless performance in the wet. They grip well and are backed by predictable behavior on a winding road. Though the laps are slightly slower than Goodyear and Conti, the tyre has excellent control, with an excellence resistance to aquaplaning rounding out the wet performance. Slightly weaker in the dry, the performance is average, with good grip ruined by a snappy on-the-limit style and comparatively high noise and low comfort. An excellent choice for those who gives priority to safety on a wet road.

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Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 24th: Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2
Total: 98 / Dry: 26 / Wet: 46 / Comfort: 8 / Noise: 9 / Wear: 9
Positive: Braking in the wet and dry, handling in the wet
Negative: Low aquaplaning resistance
Overall: Last year the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 won the 17 inch UHP tyre test, and they've proven to be excellent in 19” too - short braking distances, fastest time on the winding road test, and very nice to drift on too! The main drawback of these tyres is puddles, where unlike their 17 inch counterparts, these seem to aquaplane earlier than the other tyres on test, but subjectively they're a little number than the Michelin and Pirelli in the dry too. They're a quiet tyre, with medium ride comfort, and while they wore slightly more than the best while drifting, the higher starting tread depth meant total cost is fine. Great tyres overall, but beware of puddles with tyres over 255 wide.

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Bridgestone Potenza S0015th: Bridgestone Potenza S001
Total: 95 / Dry: 25 / Wet: 42 / Comfort: 9 / Noise: 9 / Wear: 10
Positive: Aquaplaning, high treadwear, comfort
Negative: Handling on dry pavement
Overall: The Bridgestone S001 has a surprisingly poor subjective score, feeling numb in both the wet and dry and with only average grip, not feeling that sporty. Excellent wear and extremely comfortable makes it look like Bridgestone have taken this tyre too far away from the sporty feel they often enjoy. Good tires for everyday driving, but for track days is better to choose something else.

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Pirelli P Zero Corsa6th: Pirelli P Zero Corsa
Total: 88 / Dry: 30 / Wet: 36 / Comfort: 7 / Noise: 9 / Wear: 6
Positive: Braking performance on dry pavement, handling on dry pavement
Negative: Grip and control on wet pavement, low resistance to aquaplaning, low comfort
Overall: The Pirelli P Zero would have been the correct tyre to have in this test, however as it’s not made in the sizes required, Pirelli opted to send the Corsa System, which is more an extreme performance / trackday combination of tyres. The combination of a directional front and asymmetric rear just gave the tyre the edge in the dry over the Michelin, but it struggled in the wet with braking, cornering and aquaplaning. Low comfort and high wear make these good track tyres, but for everyday use is better to use more versatile tyre.

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Kumho Ecsta KU317th: Kumho Ecsta KU31
Total: 81 / Dry: 21 / Wet: 35 / Comfort: 8 / Noise: 8 / Wear: 9
Positive: Price
Negative: Grip and control on wet pavement, low resistance to aquaplaning, grip and handling on dry pavement
Overall: The Kumho KU31 looks smart, but unfortunately doesn't deliver in test. On wet roads the performance is mediocre with plenty of understeer and poor aquaplaning performance, and in the dry the braking distance from 62 mph is almost 4 meters longer than the best on test, which means when the Continental had stopped, the car would still be travelling at near 20 mph! Not the best option for road or track.

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