SOUTH BEND, Ind., July 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Are ultra high performance and all-season capability mutually exclusive in a tire? The answers to this question and others are readily available at TireRack.com, America's largest independent tire tester and consumer-direct source for tires, wheels and performance accessories.
The company kicked off its 20th year of putting the world's best tires through their paces with a new ultra high performance, all-season test featuring four brands with leading design and technology in this category: Continental's new ExtremeContact DWS 06, Goodyear's Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-Season, Michelin's Pilot Sport A/S 3 and Pirelli's P Zero All Season Plus.
Targeting sports cars, coupes and sedans, the majority of older Ultra High Performance All-Season tires supplied strong dry and wet traction and handling, while providing minimal wintertime traction. However, with the advent of the game-changing Continental ExtremeContact DWS some six years ago, the driving landscape was changed. Suddenly, owners of high-performance cars looking for better winter mobility could get it with one tire designed to also perform well during warmer months.
In Tire Rack's most recent round of testing at the company's test track and on roads in and around South Bend, test drivers used identically prepared 2014 BMW 328i sedans for the warm weather evaluation. Winter condition testing by Tire Rack takes place in northern Sweden.
Although ultimate cornering capability may play well at a track day, most owners subject their high-performance cars to a far wider range of road surfaces, temperatures and conditions. For that reason Tire Rack testers head for public roads to evaluate noise comfort, ride quality and everyday handling. At the track, the one-third-mile course includes 90-degree street corners, a five-cone slalom and simulated expressway ramps. Tests are conducted in both wet and dry conditions, and allow the team to experience the traction, responsiveness, handling and drivability typically encountered only during emergency maneuvers or in competition.
On the road the Michelin's responsiveness and tight, direct steering feel provided a slight edge over Continental, with Pirelli finishing a close third and Goodyear in fourth.
On less than perfect pavement the Pirelli held the advantage, doing what the testers called "a good job muting the sharpness of expansion joints and crudely patched potholes." Over the rough stuff the Conti again placed second, followed by Michelin and Goodyear. When combined, tread and impact noise levels for all four were tolerable, with Pirelli, Continental and Michelin tightly grouped in the team ratings. The noise score for the Goodyear tire was lower, due to its combination of tread noise and "booming" when encountering larger impacts.
Fuel economy was also measured, with worst-to-best within eight-tenths of a mile per gallon. None of these four models was designed to optimize fuel efficiency, but Goodyear scored highest in the category.
For complete results and more detailed information on this and other tire tests, visit www.TireRack.com, where you'll find information on this evaluation, dozens of other comparisons, and thousands of relevant consumer surveys.
About Tire Rack
Tire Rack, family-owned and headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, is America's largest independent tire tester and consumer-direct source for tires, wheels and performance accessories. Their team of over 100 test drivers (their sales team) tests tires from every major tire manufacturer on the company's state-of-the-art, 11.7-acre test facility. The findings are then posted on the company's website, www.tirerack.com, where consumers can make an educated decision on a tire, wheel or performance accessory purchase.
Tire Rack has also collected results from nearly 150,000 consumer surveys representing over 2.4 billion miles of real-world tire data, the largest known cache of such information anywhere. In addition, various testing and informational videos are available online in their Video Center at www.tirerack.com/videos. Since 1979, Tire Rack has grown from a single-point retail store in Indianapolis to encompass over 2.2 million square feet of space in seven distribution centers across the country. A diverse and broad in-stock inventory from 20 major tire and 55 wheel brands can be delivered anywhere in the country, most in one business day. A national network of over 8,000 independent Recommended Installers is available to assist customers with installation of their purchases.