MOTOR Tyre Test 2016

MOTOR Tyre Test 2016

MOTOR Tyre Test 2016

by June 23, 2016

You shouldn’t have to follow motorsport to appreciate the critical importance of tyres when it comes to not just performance but also safety.

You could have enormous power, the sharpest chassis and Jupiter-sized brakes, but you couldn’t call your performance car effective if the rubber between it and the road wasn’t up to scratch.

And it’s not true that car makers always fit their vehicles with the best rubber possible. Reality is, they’ve got to balance a number of factors including fuel consumption, noise, ride quality, wear resistance/life, supply logistics and cost.

Audi rs3 tyresCurrent F1 tyre monopolist Pirelli features in our tortuous 2016 Tyre Test, joined by former grand prix racing suppliers Michelin, Goodyear, Dunlop and Continental. Also here are Korean brands Hankook and Nexen; from humble beginnings in the Aussie market these brands have established respected reputations.

Toyo and Nitto are Japan’s only representatives, Bridgestone benched because its new tyre relevant to this test wasn’t yet available. China’s HiFly rounds out the list and here’s hoping it fares better than last year’s last-placed compatriot, Winrun.

We’re testing a 235/35 R19 this year, chosen for its popularity in the ever-burgeoning compact, high-performance car segment.

Audi rs3 rearThat makes the new Audi RS3 an apt choice as our workhorse for cycling through the five driving disciplines on 10 sets of boots. Not only will its 270kW, 2.5-litre, five-cylinder engine ensure each set of tyres is given a thorough workout, but the quattro all-wheel drive system reduces a variable in the testing process by spreading the drive loads between all four tyres.

Our test regime comprises four disciplines run in the dry – slalom, braking, motorkhana, lateral G – and one in the wet. Wet-braking is designed to expose any tyre that might be a one-trick, almost-a-slick, track-attack competition special rather than a real-world all-rounder that performs no matter the conditions.

A control tyre was tested periodically to establish a reference point for all our competition rubber. This allowed us to assess whether any tyre was able to gain an advantage by running at a time of day that happened to be optimal conditions.

Our number one gun Warren Luff captains the driving side again, and we’re using our pinpoint-accurate Racelogic timing gear.

Warren luffWe wouldn’t trust anyone but the efficient and effective JAX Tyres and Eagle SMF teams to man wheel guns, pressure gauges and swap rubber.

And in our ongoing efforts to improve the Test, we’re completing dry disciplines on the more real-world bitumen surface of Sydney Dragway’s enormous car park, a departure from Sydney Motorsport Park’s concrete testing surfaces.

We have more control over the spread of water this year, too, improving consistency. (But sadly we couldn’t control the amount of dirt on the surface, as you’ll see.) With everything locked and loaded, it’s time to get stuck in.

THE CONTENDERS

It’s Europe vs Asia in one super-heated rubber run-in
*Prices for one 235/35R19 tyre

HIFLY HF805 CHALLENGER DSRT
Origin: China 
Treadwear: 280

HIFLY HF805 CHALLENGER DSRT tyresMICHELIN PILOT SUPER SPORT
Origin: France
Treadwear: 300

Michelin Pilot Super sport tyresDUNLOP SPORT MAXX RT
Origin: Germany
Treadwear: 240

Dunlop Sport Maxx RT tyresGOODYEAR EAGLE F1 ASYMMETRIC 3
Origin: Germany
Treadwear: 300

GOODYEAR-EAGLE-F1-ASYMMETRIC-3-tyresPIRELLI P ZERO
Origin: Italy
Treadwear: 320

Pirelli P Zero tyresCONTINENTAL CONTISPORT 5P
Origin: Czech Republic
Treadwear: 240

Continental Contisport 5p tyres
NEXEN N FERA SU1
Origin: Korea
Treadwear: 300

Nexen N Fera SUI tyresTOYO PROXES T1 SPORT
Origin: Japan
Treadwear: 240

Toyo proxes t1 sport tyresHANKOOK VENTUS S1 EVO2
Origin: Korea
Treadwear: 280

Hankook ventus s1 evo2 tyresNITTO INVO
Origin: Japan
Treadwear: 220

Nitto invo tyres

Click here for more tyre test action and to see MOTOR’s 2016 tyre test winner.