Fans of performance know that tyre choice makes a significant difference in the overall capabilities of a vehicle. Michelin and Goodyear have new offerings in the ultra-high-performance (UHP) street segment for 2022, and Jonathan Benson from Tyrereviews.com had the occasion to evaluate both brands – and many others – in one of his comprehensive testing sessions.
For this round of tyre testing, a new Volkswagen GTI was chosen as the singular vehicle for no less than nine competing UHP tyres. Actually, make that eight in the UHP group and one for Touring, as for reasons not entirely clear, Bridgestone sent a set of Turanza TW05s instead of Potenza Sports. Benson takes the opportunity to highlight the differences between Touring and UHP tyres with a sidewall demonstration, showing how much flex the Turanza has versus the other tyres.
Speaking of which, the latest Michelin is the Pilot Sport 5, facing off against the other newcomer, the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6. Other well-known tyres in the test include the Continental PremiumContact 6, Hankook Ventus S1 Evo 3, and the Yokohama Advan Sport V105. For budget-minded buyers, Giti GitiSport S2, Rotalla S Race SU01, and the Semperit Speed Life 3 offer comparisons from the lower end of the spectrum.
With (most of) these tyres being classified as ultra-high performance, dry handing is certainly the focus of the test. The evaluation goes far beyond that, however, to include wet handling as well as braking in both dry and wet conditions. Hydroplaning, rolling resistance, and curb protection for wheels are also considered, and the test adds some subjective considerations for noise and comfort. A winner is crowned for each segment as well as an overall champion, based strictly on the data. However, Benson highlights the subjective nature of driving and individual preferences as important factors to consider before making a decision.
From a pure standpoint of fast track times in dry condition, the Continental PremiumContact 6 barely edged out Goodyear for a win, with Yokohama in third and the new Michelin in fourth. Surprisingly, the Bridgestone wasn't last, with that honour going to budget brand Semperit. It's a vastly different story in the wet, however, with Goodyear, Michelin, and Semperit virtually tied at the top. As for the other categories and the overall winner? There are certainly some surprises but for those expecting a Michelin sweep, you'll definitely find this review interesting.
We'll leave the final results for the video, and if you want more insight on the test with a deep dive on tyre testing in general, check out Jonathan Benson in the latest Rambling About Cars podcast, available below.