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Max Performance Tire Buyer's Guide

Jordan Lacroix
May 9th 2014 Features 3530 views

As cars continue to be manufactured with increasingly high horsepower levels, the need for added traction also becomes a never ending quest. Today's performance vehicles must perform well at the track, all while being manageable enough to get enthusiasts back home without excessive noise or discomfort after the racing is over. For this purpose, the max performance tire category was born. Created as a no compromise top performer in terms of dry grip and structural rigidity, these tires feature state of the art compounds that are derived directly from motorsports racing. They are not meant to be quiet, and will have your grandma grimacing about the harsh ride. If high mileage is at the top of your list when shopping for tires, look elsewhere. With treadwear ratings of 200 at best, these tires melt rapidly to provide you with the most thrilling g-forces you have ever experienced behind the wheel. Please keep in mind that all max performance tires are designed to be used in temperatures far exceeding the freezing mark. When cold, these tires can be outright dangerous therefore always use caution when tires are not properly warmed up to their efficiency range.

 

BFGoodrich g-Force Rival

While looking at the g-Force Rival you immediately notice how the tread blocks come way down the sidewall of the tire, this is meant to increase grip in aggressive cornering and to provide accurate feedback to the driver. A competition blend of silica is used in the tire's compound to offer high grip levels not only at the beginning of the race but up until the end as well. A reinforced structure is used to stiffen the sidewall as much as possible to sustain high cornering forces.

  • UTQG: 200/AA/A
  • Rain Channels: Yes
  • Rim Protector: Yes
  • Available Sizing: 15 to 20 inches
  • Tire Weight: 20.5 to 34.5 lbs, 22.7 lbs (225/45/17)

 

Bridgestone Potenza RE-11

Bridgestone is betting on its new "stealth" block technology which is derived from their F1 race tires to increase dry grip and response. It entails slicing uneven grooves that feature rounded edges throughout the sides of the tire. This acts to restrict movement of the tread blocks and keep the tire firmly planted on the surface of the road. The middle portion of the tire has deep channels for efficient water evacuation.

  • UTQG: 180/A/A & 200/A/A
  • Rain Channels: Yes
  • Rim Protector: Yes
  • Available Sizing: 15 to 20 inches
  • Tire Weight: 16 to 19 lbs, 25 lbs (235/40/17)

 

 

Dunlop Direzza ZII

Dunlop uses a harder topping compound on the surface of its tire to improve responsiveness, and the very flat surface helps deliver maximum grip on the road. High and rigid shoulder grooves and blocks increase stability during hard cornering and the tire's true circle profile enhances flexibility for better control during varying load conditions of race track use.

  • UTQG: 200/A/A
  • Rain Channels: Yes
  • Rim Protector: Yes
  • Available Sizing: 14 to 19 inches
  • Tire Weight: 17 to 31 lbs, 24 lbs (225/45/17)

 

 

Falken Azenis RT615K

A motorsports inspired 8/32nd tread design gives Falken's flagship performance tire superior grip in dry conditions. It features an advanced sticky compound that is suitable for both street and track use, and has massive sport side shoulder blocks to keep you in control through the corners. It also sports a wide solid center tread rib that acts to minimize wheel spin during hard acceleration. We also love this tire's aggressively flanged rim protector, since everyone knows that mishaps happen.

  • UTQG: 200/A/A
  • Rain Channels: No
  • Rim Protector: Yes
  • Available Sizing: 14 to 18 inches
  • Tire Weight: 18 to 33 lbs, 25 lbs (225/45/17)

 

Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G:2

The huge tread blocks on the outside edge of this tire are all business, managing efficient cornering while being stable when pushed to the limit. Goodyear uses their special race-inspired tread compound to offer one of the stickiest tires on the market, which is probably why it is used as original equipment on America's muscle cars (Camaro ZL1 and Mustang GT500).

  • UTQG: 220/AA/A
  • Rain Channels: Yes
  • Rim Protector: Yes
  • Available Sizing: 19 to 20 inches
  • Tire Weight: 29 to 32 lbs, 30 lbs (265/40/19)

 

 

Hankook Ventus R-S3

The updated Ventus R-S3 features new carbon black and silica-type racing compound for added grip on the track. The tire's shoulder is reinforced to keep the large shoulder tread blocks from deforming under heavy cornering loads. Along the center are two large channels to evacuate water build-up, and the wide center rib fights wheel spin and increases sharp steering response. However, we are still wondering who at Hankook got the wonderful idea of adding a flame design along the surface of the center tread blocks. We think it ruins the beautifulness of a flat and uniform racing tire, but 8yr old Hot Wheel fans will surely disagree.

  • UTQG: 200/A/A
  • Rain Channels: Yes
  • Rim Protector: Yes
  • Available Sizing: 15 to 20 inches
  • Tire Weight: 18 to 32 lbs, 23 lbs (225/45/17)

 

Kumho Ecsta XS

Kumho's Ecsta XS is legal for use in SCCA ST class events, and can also get you to and from the track rain or shine. The tire has an ultra wide tread contact patch and utilizes an ultra fine carbon black compounding agent for superior grip in dry weather conditions. It has been developed for quick warm-up at the track while maintaining durability throughout the race. Its W speed rating delivers an optimum run temperature of 203 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • UTQG: 180/AA/A
  • Rain Channels: Yes
  • Rim Protector: Yes
  • Available Sizing: 15 to 19 inches
  • Tire Weight: 19 to 34 lbs, 23 lbs (225/45/17)

 

 

Nitto NT05

Nitto engineers wanted to emphasize dry road response, traction, handling and high-speed capabilities with their NT05. To achieve this, they formulated a high performance tread compound and reinforced the internal structure of the tire. The sidewalls are extremely stiff and feature stretched tread blocks, and a slick wide center rib ensures that a lot of tire is always pressed against the asphalt. We really like this tire's aesthetic design, it looks very aggressive especially in extra wide versions.

  • UTQG: 140/AA/A & 200/AA/A
  • Rain Channels: Yes
  • Rim Protector: Yes
  • Available Sizing: 15 to 20 inches
  • Tire Weight: N/A

 

Toyo Proxes R1R

The R1R has an aggressive unidirectional arrow shaped tread design that features an extra wide footprint, in addition to sporting an autocross-inspired casing. Compound is silica reinforced to offer high levels of grip for longer periods of time on the racetrack, and stability control slits prevent irregular wear. Although there are no straight water channels along the middle of the tire, there are V-shaped ridges that take care of keeping the tire dry in certain wet driving conditions.

  • UTQG: 140/AA/A
  • Rain Channels: No
  • Rim Protector: Yes
  • Available Sizing: 15 to 18 inches
  • Tire Weight: 19 to 27 lbs, 23 lbs (225/45/17)

 

 

Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 R

Yokohama has been manufacturing tires in the Extreme performance category for many years now, and their Neova line continuously evolves in terms of stiffness, structure and compound technology. Silica and carbon are used throughout, and the huge side tread blocks go extremely far down the sidewall. These blocks hardly flex which means that your sports car remains in control and provides you with feedback during even the harshest of corners. A large rain channel flows down the center of the tire, and we must add that the Neova's tread pattern looks very stylish from the rear of a vehicle.

  • UTQG: 180/AA/A
  • Rain Channels: Yes
  • Rim Protector: Yes
  • Available Sizing: 15 to 19 inches
  • Tire Weight: 20 to 29 lbs, 24 lbs (235/40/17)

 

Gallery
Max Performance Tire Buyer's Guide
Max Performance Tire Buyer's Guide
Max Performance Tire Buyer's Guide
Max Performance Tire Buyer's Guide
Max Performance Tire Buyer's Guide
Max Performance Tire Buyer's Guide
Max Performance Tire Buyer's Guide
Max Performance Tire Buyer's Guide
Max Performance Tire Buyer's Guide
Max Performance Tire Buyer's Guide
Max Performance Tire Buyer's Guide
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