At the start of last year we predicted it would be the year of the all season tyre, and with six new all season tyres launched from nearly all the premium manufacturers, we're happy to report we were correct.
While all season tyres are interesting technically, and with the new Michelin CrossClimate moving the goalposts for how an all season tyre should perform, they're not exciting tyres to read about. Fortunately, 2016 is gearing up to be the year of the maximum performance tyre!
It's been a while since a manufacturer has launched a really exciting performance tyre, and with best tyres on the market such as the Michelin Pilot SuperSport and Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 being four and six years old respectively, it's time something new appeared.
First to be launched, and technically launched to press and dealers in December 2015 is the Continental Sport Contact 6. We've already written our first thoughts which you can read here, and it looks to be a very good improvement on the Sport Contact 5!
Next up will be the replacement for the TyreReviews user reviews favourite, the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3. We're not sure when the press launch will, so we don't know when we'll be driving it, but you can be sure as soon as we do we'll be giving our thoughts and it's already available in a few selected sizes.
Also pencilled in for the early part of 2016 is the Michelin Pilot Sport 4. While this replaces the Pilot Sport 3, which hasn't always been regarded as a UHP tyre, Michelin have renewed the "sport" focus for the Pilot Sport 4, and integrated lessons and technology learnt from the Pilot SuperSport. It should be a fine rival for the new Goodyear, and we've already been lucky enough to write our first impressoins of the tyre which will be online in the next few days.
Quarter two of 2016 should see Dunlop replace the Sport Maxx RT, with the creatively titled Dunlop Sport Maxx RT 2. We've not had any concrete information through on this tyre, but expect it to be an even sportier version of the Asymmetric 3, which can't be a bad thing.
There are murmerings of a new UHP tyre from Pirelli, keen to capitalise on their Formula 1 sucsess, but we won't have any concrete information for until Febuaray and March.
Which just leaves Bridgestone. At time of writing we're on a flight to Monaco, where Bridgestone are launching a "game changing tyre". We're not entirely sure what this tyre is, but we expect some sort of extended mobility solution to replace runflat, and if they're targeting the BMW market there should be a sporty variant.
With the big six all launching performance products this year, you can expect a few of the smaller brands to follow suit. Sadly, the smaller tyre manufacturers aren't quite as proactive with their plans, but one up and coming manufacturer, GT Radial, have a big UHP tyre launch with the GT Radial SportActive launch in March. GT Radial tyres are quickly troubling the mid range manufacturers in terms of quality, so a new UHP launch from them should be extremely interesting for the market!
Sadly Yokohama have no new tyre due this year, but we expect new products, or product updates from the likes of Hankook, Falken, Toyo, Avon, Fulda and Kumho.
Be sure to keep an eye on TyreReviews for all the new product information as and when it's announced, and feel free to ask any questions or make comments below!