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Old 07-21-2005, 05:45 PM   #1
ripvw
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Default Best wet tire - recent Auto Motor und Sport test results

(Sorry about the length of the post - hope you find it interesting.)

While searching for test results on the T1R and other recently released max performance tires, I came across the June 2005 test conducted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport magazine. I could not find an English translation - probably will be released later - but with some help from Google I figured most of it out and here are the results:

All tires were 225/45x17 Y-rated examples tested on a Mercedes coupe at Continental's test track here in Texas . The magazine created a subjective 100 point ranking scale based on both wet and dry objective test results, with some categories weighted higher than others. For the wet, the most important category was wet braking, weighted at 40 potential points, followed by wet handling @ 20 points max and then a number of other categories including lateral stability, aquaplaning, aquaplaning on curves, wet acceleration, etc. @ 10 points max. The 100 point dry ranking scale gave greatest weight to dry braking @ 30 points, with 20 points each for dry handling and high-speed lane changing ability, and then 10 points for things like comfort, noise and rolling resistance.

Pirelli PZeroNero (summer): 96 wet/92 dry
Continental SportContact2: 94W/91D
Bridgestone RE050A: 92W/92D
Dunlop SP SportMaxx: 87W/92D
Goodyear F1 GSD3: 87W/91D
Toyo T1R: 85W/88D
Michelin PS2: 76W/94D
Michelin PE2: 79W/90D
Kumho Ecsta KU19: 82W/85D
Matador MP45: 64W/83D

The Pirelli summer PZeroNero tested well but this size is no longer listed on TireRack's site - not sure if it is available elsewhere. The Kumho was offered up as Kumho's best wet tire, but obviously it is less expensive than the other tires and while it did very well on some wet tests is was not really competitive overall. The Matador is not sold here as far as I know and based on the results I can't see bothering to find out more about it.

More important - to me, at least - than the ranking system the magazine employed is the raw test data upon which it is based. Here are the results for that:

wet handling:
Continental with a 73.2 second wet lap
Bridgestone @ 73.9
Pirelli @ 73.9
Dunlop @ 74.0
Kumho @ 74.5
Toyo @ 74.7
Goodyear @ 75.3
Michelin PE2 @ 75.7
Michelin PS2 @ 76.8
Matador @ 78.2

wet skid pad:
Pirelli with an 11.5 second result on a 60-meter pad
Dunlop @ 11.6
Goodyear @ 11.65
Bridgestone @ 11.7
Continental @ 11.7
Kumho @ 11.8
Toyo @ 11.8
Michelin PS2 @ 11.9
Michelin PE2 @ 11.95
Matador @ 12.10

Wet traction:
Pirelli with a 5.1 second wet sprint to 60kph
Kumho @ 5.3
Continental @ 5.4
Dunlop @ 5.4
Bridgestone @ 5.6
Goodyear @ 5.6
Michelin PS2 @ 5.7
Toyo @ 5.8
Michelin PE @ 6.3
Matador @ 6.8

Wet braking:
Pirelli in 69.1 meters from 100kph to 0
Kumho @ 72.6
Continental @ 73.0
Bridgestone @ 73.5
Goodyear @ 75.2
Toyo @ 77.3
Dunlop @ 77.5
Michelin PS2 @ 78.2
Michelin PE @ 79.5
Matador @ 85.9

aquaplaning:
Goodyear reaching 88.1kph @15% slippage through 7mm of standing water
Bridgestone @ 88
Continental @ 87.7
Michelin PE @ 87.6
Matador @ 87.5
Dunlop @ 85.2
Michelin PS2 @ 84.7
Pirelli @ 84.7
Toyo @ 84.5
Kumho @ 78.7

lateral aquaplaning:
Continental reaching 3.98 meters per second, per second while running a wet slalom course between 65 and 95kph through 6mm puddles of water
Michelin PE @ 3.96
Toyo @ 3.90
Bridgestone @ 3.70
Goodyear @ 3.59
Matador @ 3.53
Pirelli @ 3.44
Dunlop @ 3.38
Michelin PS2 @ 3.32
Kumho @ 2.64

dry handling:
Michelin PS2 with a 62.3 second dry lap
Continental @ 62.5
Dunlop @ 62.8
Bridgestone @ 62.9
Michelin PE @ 63.0
Toyo @ 63.3
Pirelli @ 63.4
Goodyear @ 63.5
Kumho @ 63.9
Matador @ 64.4

dry braking:
Goodyear in 35.4 meters from 100kph to 0
Continental @ 35.8
Michelin PS2 @ 35.8
Pirelli @ 35.8
Bridgestone @ 36.5
Dunlop @ 36.5
Toyo @ 36.5
Michelin PE @ 37.6
Kumho @ 38.1
Matador @ 39.0

noise:
Matador @ 71.8 db(A) @ 80kph - wow, it finally won something
Kumho @ 72.3
Pirelli @ 72.6
Goodyear @ 72.7
Continental @ 72.8
Bridgestone @ 73.1
Toyo @ 73.4
Dunlop @ 73.4
Michelin PS2 @ 73.5
Michelin PE @ 73.6

rolling resistance:
Michelin PS2 with 1.76 "kilowatts per Rad" of energy @ 120kph
Matador @ 1.80
Kumho @ 1.85
Michelin PE @ 1.87
Bridgestone @ 1.88
Continental @ 1.88
Dunlop @ 1.90
Pirelli @ 1.97
Goodyear @ 2.03
Toyo @ 2.15

Based on the raw data, the overall "winner" to me looks like the Continental Conti SportContact2 225/45x17 Y-rated tire. It scored exceptionally well in the wet tests with first place finishes in wet handling and aquaplaning on a curve and no lower than 4th place on the other tests. It also finished right behind the PS2 on the dry lap and right behind the Goodyear in dry braking. This is obviously not the same SportContact2 that TireRack tested 2 years ago - Y-rated vs. the older W-rated tire. Based on what I know right now, I would replace my FK451's next year with either the Yokohama Neova's and drive more slowly in the rain or get the Conti's and continue to drive with complete confidencel on Houston's rain-swollen streets (it's pouring outside as I write this).

This test also makes it clear that the PS2 is really more a dry tire than a wet one - something that others have already mentioned - and that the new Toyo T1R is not "the tire to beat" in the wet. It certainly scored respectably well, but the Dunlop, Bridgestone and Goodyear appear to offer more performance overall. The Continental bests the T1R soundly - and at the same price of about $145 per tire.

older Auto Motor und Sport test results are available free from Falken Europe website - I had to pay $2.51 to download this newer test from the magazine:

http://www.falken-europe.de/common/i...fs/sa_test.pdf

http://www.falken-europe.de/common/i..._0403_enen.pdf

German speakers who believe that they may be able to offer additional insights on these test results should PM me - I'd appreciate your help.
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Old 07-22-2005, 12:49 AM   #2
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So apparently the much anticipated T1-Rs are nothing special and not really a good value. I remember when the original T1s won the same magazine's shootout years ago...how times have changed.
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Old 07-22-2005, 01:18 AM   #3
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Nice find - thanks for posting it! I would be a bit skeptical about Conti - it is a German magazine testing German tire... I posted earlier another review that compared GS-D3, P-Zero Nero, Nokian Z, PS2, and Conti SportContact 2 - the Conti lagged behind considerably. In that review the overall winner was GS-D3, best dry tire was PS2, Nokian Z was doing good too.
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Old 07-22-2005, 02:45 PM   #4
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l i saw a european review that put the t1r much higher in wet performance than this magazine did- second in every category only to the S-03 pole position. in dry grip, the toyo was just avg.

what was the test car in this case?
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Old 07-22-2005, 03:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordzappo
...what was the test car in this case?
"All tires were 225/45x17 Y-rated examples tested on a Mercedes coupe at Continental's test track here in Texas"
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Old 07-23-2005, 11:53 AM   #6
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Additional data from earlier 2004 Auto Motor und Sport test:

Here's some more results from the same magazine with another set of 225/45x17 Y-rated wet-biased max performance tires - tested 1 year earlier using a BMW 3-series sedan at a different track (Goodyear Proving Grounds in southern France) using similar testing methods (raw test data only):

wet handling:
Pirelli PZeroNero (summer) with a @ 67.2 second wet lap
Uniroyal RainSport 1 @ 67.25 (only W-rated tire in the test)
Goodyear GSD3 @ 67.3
Dunlop SP Sport Maxx @ 67.35
Michelin Pilot Sport @ 67.4
Nokian NRY @ 67.4
Falken FK451 @ 68.15
Kumho KU19 @ 68.3
Hankook Ventus Sport K104 @ 68.5 (cheapest tire of the test - European prices)
BFG G-Force Profiler @ 68.55

wet skid pad:
Pirelli with an 19.8 second result on a 150-meter pad
Goodyear @ 19.95
Michelin @ 19.95
Nokian @ 20.00
Uniroyal @ 20.00
Dunlop @ 20.05
Hankook @ 20.05
Falken @ 20.10
Kumho @ 20.25
BFG @ 20.30

Wet traction:
Pirelli with a 4.2 second wet sprint to 60kph
Michelin @ 4.4
Dunlop @ 4.5
Uniroyal @ 4.8
Goodyear @ 4.9
BFG @ 5.0
Falken @ 5.1
Kumho @ 5.1
Nokian @ 5.1
Hankook @ 5.3

Wet braking:
Pirelli in 55.2 meters from 100kph to 0
Dunlop @ 55.9
Uniroyal @ 57.2
Michelin @ 59.1
Kumho @ 61.2
Goodyear @ 62.5
Nokian @ 64.2
Falken @ 64.4
BFG @ 65.3
Hankook @ 68.2

aquaplaning:
Falken & Nokian both reaching 97kph through 7mm of standing water (% slippage not specified - first time I've seen GSD3 lose an aquaplaning test)
Uniroyal @ 96.5
Goodyear @ 93.5
Dunlop @ 93
Pirelli @ 93
Michelin @ 91.5
BFG @ 90
Kumho @ 90
Hankook @ 88.5

lateral aquaplaning:
Pirelli reaching 3.6 meters per second, per second while running a wet slalom course between 65 and 95kph through 8mm puddles of water (note: the magazine actually shows .36 m/s squared, which I took to be a typo based on previous test results)
Dunlop @ 3.5
Falken @ 3.4
Nokian @ 3.4
Uniroyal @ 3.4
Goodyear @ 3.3
Hankook @ 3.1
Michelin @ 3.0
Kumho @ 3.0
BFG @ 2.9

dry handling:
Dunlop with a 74.2 second dry lap
Hankook @ 74.25
BFG @ 74.4
Michelin @ 74.5
Falken @ 74.75
Pirelli @ 74.8
Goodyear @ 75.05
Kumho @ 75.15
Nokian @ 75.3
Uniroyal @ 75.3

dry braking:
Michelin in 35.2 meters from 100kph to 0
Pirelli @ 35.4
Goodyear @ 35.5
Falken @ 35.6
BFG @ 35.8
Dunlop @ 36
Nokian @ 36.4
Hankook @ 36.7
Uniroyal @ 36.9
Kumho @ 37.3

noise:
Falken @ 70.4 db(A) @ 80kph - owning the Falkens, I can only say that they are not that quiet on most road surfaces - but still better than RE92's
Dunlop @ 71.1
Goodyear @ 71.2
Michelin @ 71.2
Pirelli @ 71.2
BFG @ 71.4
Kumho @ 71.4
Nokian @ 71.4
Hankook @ 72.3
Uniroyal @ 72.6

rolling resistance:
Michelin with 1.75 "kilowatts per Rad" of energy @ 120kph
Uniroyal @ 1.78
Dunlop @ 1.83
Nokian @ 1.87
Pirelli @ 1.94
Hankook @ 1.98
Goodyear @ 2.05
Kumho @ 2.05
Falken @ 2.07
BFG @ 2.18

Since I purchased the Falken FK451's based on the results of 2 other Auto Motor und Sport tests conducted in 2001 and 2003, I was very interested to see how they did here. The FK451's strengths from the previous tests are evident - the aquaplaning resistance of this tire is extraordinary, along with excellent dry braking - but it's relative weakness in wet braking is also in evidence. Of course, those earlier tests used different FK451's than the 225/45x17 Y-rated tire tested here. One of the benefits of comparing the 2004 with the 2005 test is that the tires were all the same size and rating, even though the car and test track are different.

You can also see the relative consistency in performance between the tires tested in 2004 - Pirelli, Dunlop, and Goodyear - compared to how they did in the 2005 test. I think that speaks well for the magazine's basic testing methodology.

Finally, the performance of the Kumho in this test resulted in that company's decision to redesign the tire for 2005 - so this Kumho is different from the KU19 tested in 2005.
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Old 07-23-2005, 12:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
You can also see the relative consistency in performance between the tires tested in 2004 - Pirelli, Dunlop, and Goodyear - compared to how they did in the 2005 test. I think that speaks well for the magazine's basic testing methodology.
or a tendency to like/dislike certain brands?

It looks like no tire scores high across every category, so there's no clear bias. I'm just suggesting that consistent rating of a brand doesn't necessarily indicate fair testing. I think a larger spread showing radically different tire recommendations over the years would indicate that better.
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Old 07-23-2005, 02:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordzappo
or a tendency to like/dislike certain brands?

It looks like no tire scores high across every category, so there's no clear bias. I'm just suggesting that consistent rating of a brand doesn't necessarily indicate fair testing. I think a larger spread showing radically different tire recommendations over the years would indicate that better.
in 2001, the "winner" was Dunlop, Continental in 2003, and of course Pirelli in 2004 & 2005 - but as I already said that is based on their weighted scale, whereas I prefer comparing the raw data and coming to my own conclusions. My winner in 2005 is the Continental, not the Pirelli.

Having reviewed the results now from 4 different tests conducted by this magazine going back to 2001, I cannot see any pattern of bias one way or another towards a specific brand. And unlike Consumer Reports, they do not just report the results of their weighted scale, but provide the raw data so that we can draw our own conclusions. I believe the Auto Motor und Sport tests are an important addition to the testing that TireRack provides, especially since American car magazines - with the exception of GRM - appparently lack the courage to present us with this much needed objective data.
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Old 07-24-2005, 12:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripvw
Based on the raw data, the overall "winner" to me looks like the Continental Conti SportContact2 225/45x17 Y-rated tire. It scored exceptionally well in the wet tests with first place finishes in wet handling and aquaplaning on a curve and no lower than 4th place on the other tests. It also finished right behind the PS2 on the dry lap and right behind the Goodyear in dry braking. This is obviously not the same SportContact2 that TireRack tested 2 years ago - Y-rated vs. the older W-rated tire. Based on what I know right now, I would replace my FK451's next year with either the Yokohama Neova's and drive more slowly in the rain or get the Conti's and continue to drive with complete confidencel on Houston's rain-swollen streets (it's pouring outside as I write this).
Interesting manufacturers can update a tire so it performs dramatically better in tests, yet, largely, retains the same appearance. I always thought tread pattern, not internal construction or manufacturing technique, was the determining factor for wet braking and handling. How exactly did Continental create such a large jump in performance while leaving the tread pattern unchanged, or nearly so?

Also, you'd think if there was such an improvement, they manufacture would rename the tire, making it clear this is a new, improved model.

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Old 07-24-2005, 01:38 AM   #10
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I'm curious about the choice of tires....I have driven about half of these mentioned and the Conti sports contact are pretty good wet, but nothing compared to the S0-3's.

The S0-3's are better, IMHO, by far, than any high performance tire I have ever driven in the wet and they are very good dry. They do not work well on BMW's though. The BMW traction/steering assitance control don't like tires that are too sticky so they don't work well with S0-3's or any sticky tire...RX-7's also need to shave sticky tires.

I think the S0-3's beat the RE-50, Pirellis, Kuhmos and Toyo's especially wet.

My last four sets of tires for my WRX have been S0-3's, my next set will be Eagle F1 GS-D3 because they seem to have the edge in hydro and dry control by customer survey at the tire rack.
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Old 07-24-2005, 10:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunny
...I always thought tread pattern, not internal construction or manufacturing technique, was the determining factor for wet braking and handling...Also, you'd think if there was such an improvement, they manufacture would rename the tire, making it clear this is a new, improved model.
one of the biggest differences in how a tire will handle in the rain is the tire compound - how fillers like silica and carbon black are blended with the base rubber can make a huge difference in wet and dry handling. And I do not think that you can tell all the differences in tread design by just looking at a picture of the tire on the Internet - you would have to see both versions close up.

A visit to Continental's website shows nine different 225/45x17 Conti SportContact2's as well as 3 different 225/45x17 run-flats. All exactly the same performance - I think not. Quite honestly, the biggest problem I'll face if I go and buy the Conti's next year will be to make sure I get the exact tire that tested so well in the magazine. That's where Luke will come in...

As to your other point, Michelin made huge changes in its Pilot Sports tires - incuding obvious changes in tread pattern - and kept the same name. Go figure.
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Old 07-24-2005, 06:44 PM   #12
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S-03's too sticky???

Lolz

Lolz

Lolz

Ok whatever chump. Better in the wet than S-02's, but in every other respect the S-03 blows in comparison.

Buy a bloody kuhmo MX instead of the S-03, more dry grip, plenty of wet grip.
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Old 07-25-2005, 03:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
And unlike Consumer Reports, they do not just report the results of their weighted scale, but provide the raw data so that we can draw our own conclusions.
For those of you who don't subscribe to consumer reports, they last tested in late 2004, and they rated the Eagle F1 GSD-3 as the top performer, witht he Toyo T1-S slightly behind it, and the Conti coming in third.

Just to add another magazine's 2 cents.
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Old 07-25-2005, 11:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripvw
one of the biggest differences in how a tire will handle in the rain is the tire compound - how fillers like silica and carbon black are blended with the base rubber can make a huge difference in wet and dry handling. And I do not think that you can tell all the differences in tread design by just looking at a picture of the tire on the Internet - you would have to see both versions close up.

A visit to Continental's website shows nine different 225/45x17 Conti SportContact2's as well as 3 different 225/45x17 run-flats. All exactly the same performance - I think not. Quite honestly, the biggest problem I'll face if I go and buy the Conti's next year will be to make sure I get the exact tire that tested so well in the magazine. That's where Luke will come in...

As to your other point, Michelin made huge changes in its Pilot Sports tires - incuding obvious changes in tread pattern - and kept the same name. Go figure.
Interesting; I wonder if emailing Continental they'd share what changes have been made to the tire.

As to which one to get, well, it looks as long as you stay away from the runflats and the OEM versions, which are presumably only sold through their respective dealers, you've only got a choice between the older 94W and the newer 91Y in 225/45/17. I notice Tirerack doesn't have any of the 91Y version currently in stock. I assume it's just been released?

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Old 07-25-2005, 08:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunny
I notice Tirerack doesn't have any of the 91Y version currently in stock. I assume it's just been released?
missed that. oh well - they're in stock in 2 days according to this:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/Compar...None&x=58&y=10

not sure if they are newly released in the US - the test showed up in the June '05 issue, which I assume means that they ran the test in Texas sometime in the spring...
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Old 08-04-2005, 06:05 PM   #16
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Well I took the plunge and ordered the 91Y ContiSportContact 2s online from Tirerack. Lets see if Auto Motor Und Sport got it right and these really are the best of the current summer tires. Not that I've got much to compare them to--I'm currently running the original ContiSportContacts in 215/45/17. They're good, but not great--a little mushy on turn in, and downright uncommunicative in the wet. Oh well, these new ones should be two generations ahead, so lets see how much they've improved.

Other than that, I've only driven on AVS ES100s (terrible--loud, excessive tramlining, poor ride quality, though I guess the handling itself was comparable to the SportContacts), and Kumho Ecsta 712s. I can't really make a proper comparison not having driven Eagle F1 GS-D3s, PS2s, or S-03s or RE050s.

All-time favourite tire? Dunlop WinterSport M3, which I'm running on the stock rims in 205/55/16. Crisp, predictable handling, smooth and quiet, composed in the wet, dry and snow, what's not to like? So shoot me, I think these are better in wet and dry than the RE92s (though I'm sure they'd get chewed to bits in hot weather), and they're snow tires!

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Old 08-04-2005, 11:26 PM   #17
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Dunny, snow tires can be beyond belief in thier ablity to grip a dry road...

the problem is that most of the really agressive snow/ice tires simply evaporate on dry paved roads if you use that grip. Super soft compounds, massive ammounts of sipes, and unsupported tread blocks mean that any large force on the contact patch simply starts to shread the tire. More so if they are allowed to get warm.
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XT6Wagon
Dunny, snow tires can be beyond belief in thier ablity to grip a dry road...
the problem is that most of the really agressive snow/ice tires simply evaporate on dry paved roads if you use that grip. Super soft compounds, massive ammounts of sipes, and unsupported tread blocks mean that any large force on the contact patch simply starts to shread the tire. More so if they are allowed to get warm.

^^^^no doubt.....they can shred to nothing in under 100 miles.....ask me how I know this
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Old 08-05-2005, 12:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunny
Well I took the plunge and ordered the 91Y ContiSportContact 2s online from Tirerack. Lets see if Auto Motor Und Sport got it right and these really are the best of the current summer tires...
very cool, man - I'll be very interested in your review. I'm sure you're well aware of this - but give it 500 to 1000 miles before you post your indepth review. I found the FK451's getting better every day almost up to the 1k mark...
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Old 08-05-2005, 09:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunny
Well I took the plunge and ordered the 91Y ContiSportContact 2s online from Tirerack. Lets see if Auto Motor Und Sport got it right

Dunny

and they shipped out on the 4th
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Old 08-13-2005, 12:58 PM   #21
AntiochCali
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on a heatbreaker dyno

Default what a nasty remark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XT6Wagon
S-03's too sticky???

Lolz

Lolz

Lolz

Ok whatever chump. Better in the wet than S-02's, but in every other respect the S-03 blows in comparison.

Buy a bloody kuhmo MX instead of the S-03, more dry grip, plenty of wet grip.
Put S0-3's on a BMW and the stupid car tracks every single pot hole. I wasn't saying that they are too sticky for my WRX, but the BMW traction control system doesn't work well with any tire that is sticky.

S0-3's on a Gen III RX-7 are similar - not due to traction control, I don't know why but I have driven both Proxys and S0-3's on an RX-7 and the word "squirmy" comes to mind. Shave the tires and it goes away. Not exactly the same problem as the BMW, but a similar feel.

And I agree that the S0-2's were better in the dry, but they were not very good in the wet - I thought they were even dangerous on the porsche.

Read what I wrote, Chump, it was about the combination of the traction control system of a BMW (2002 M5) and the S0-3's.

How does name calling add anything to your post?

Last edited by AntiochCali; 08-13-2005 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:06 PM   #22
XT6Wagon
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Tracking issues isn't caused by "sticky tires"

Lol.
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Old 08-16-2005, 06:10 PM   #23
equ
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My 330 perf pack with potenza RE040's tracks/tramlines like a (insert favorite word) on ruts, rifts, crowns etc...

The stiff sidewall, wide 18's, god knows what about the tread pattern and shoulder profile and the high feedback steering conspire. When it first happened, the tug on the wheel was so violent, I thought the car was posessed. It can turn the wheel half a turn (180) on mild ruts/depressions that you can barely see..

Otherwise the tire is fine for my purposes...
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Old 11-19-2005, 05:51 PM   #24
dunny
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Default Review of ContiSportContact 2 91Y

Alright, here's my much belated review of the ContiSportContact 2, 91Y version.

I picked these tires up in Seattle, Group 2 did a good job installing them (and the SPT pink springs I got as well, but at an outrageous price!). Total driving time on them before I handed the car off to my parents (I'm currently living in London, UK and don't even want to imagine how much it would cost to keep a WRX fed and watered here) included 700km trip over one of the snakiest, most off-cambered roads I've seen in North America (the Pacific Rim Highway to Tofino) and then a 1,000 km trip over the fast, flowing highway from Vancouver to Kelowna.

Conclusions: fabulous tire, but because of the WRX's unique handling weakness, might not be the best for the car.

First and abiding impression of this tire is that it's civilized. There's a reason this comes as standard on a bunch of high performance European cars (presumably with sport pack. I've seen it on Audis, BMWs and Mercedes here). This is the quietest tire I've had on the car. It is significantly quieter than the original ContiSportContact it replaced. Having had a chance to drive in my brother's WRX a few weeks later, I'd also say this tire is quieter than the RE92, again by a significant amount. And as a tire bred for the Autobahns, it's incredibly stable. The WRX, at least for me, has a tendency to feel floaty at speed, this tire smoothed that out considerably (bear in mind I did have the springs changed at the same time; I'm usually loath to change two things at once, but feel I can make a reasonably good fist of seperating out the benefits of the new tires from the new springs).

Building on that, the high-speed stability, the steering response and accuracy at speed was several levels above the original SportContact. Whereas the original (and I'll say it was no worse than the AVS 100, and much better than RE92) would often give uneven steering weighting and poor path accuracy, this one was a model of linear response and predictability, which is a godsend in the WRX.

And though it didn't rain too much, I can say the tire eliminated the biggest fault of the original: glassy, numb steering in the wet. Feedback was just as consistent in the wet as in the dry, and the tire never felt anything but composed. There was always a sense it would communicate faithfully what was going on under the contact patch, which is enormously reassuring.

The one thing I can't comment on is breakaway characteristics at the limit. Sorry, I just didn't push it hard enough, nor would I want to on public roads, to know how it behaves when you breach its grip limits.

That brings me to the one weakness of the tire: the turn in is too soft, just like the original ContiSportContact. After I'd driven with the new tires for a while I realized that turn in was far too soft on every tire I'd had on the car--to me it's the WRX's biggest dynamic weakness, and never disappeared regardless of the suspension mods I did. Ultimately the ContiSportContact 2 probably gains its smooth, quiet ride from a softer sidewall, which would be ideal for the well sorted European cars, but not so much so for the Rex.

If you're looking for a refined, smooth driving experience, but still with excellent performance, I doubt there's a better tire available. However, if you want maximum attack, though probably at a ride/noise penalty, my guess is a stiffer sidewalled tire like the Advan and perhaps the PS2 would be better.

Cheers

Dunny

Edit: forgot to add braking feel (since I didn't measure it, I can't vouch that braking performance was actually better, though it certainly felt so) was superb: powerful, stable and incredibly feelsome.

Last edited by dunny; 11-19-2005 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 11-20-2005, 09:52 AM   #25
ripvw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunny
...However, if you want maximum attack, though probably at a ride/noise penalty, my guess is a stiffer sidewalled tire like the Advan and perhaps the PS2 would be better.
great review - thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts down.

so they are a soft-sidewalled wet tire in the mold of the GS-D3 - I thought that would be the case although I've never seen anyone mention their sidewall stiffness in print before. So far, the only great rain tire that seems to have a stiff-sidewall is the Falken FK451, soon to be replaced by the FK452. I own the FK451's and love 'em, but they are not what you would call quiet, nor is their wet-braking in the same category as the Conti's. Way cheaper though.

The other two tires you mentioned are both great in the dry but do not offer anywhere near the wet performance of the Conti's, GS-D3's or FK451's. The PS2's have been criticized on this board for their soft-sidewalls, but the Advan's and Falken Azenis 615's have nice stiff sidewalls for those who don't need max rain performance or who auto-x and have to have the sidewall stiffness.

I will probably go with the Conti's or the GS-D3's next year just to try something different - and to see if the lack of noise offsets the lack of sidewall stiffness.
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