When shopping for a performance tire, there was a time when the driving enthusiasts had to choose between the ability to handle the weather or an ultimate grip. Things have changed, and the performance tires that we see today have strong crop rubber that makes the tires reliable. Choosing the right tire depends on the way you drive, where you live, and what you expect from the tire. Fortunately, performance tires help you to enjoy both driving on highways or off-road canyon driving.
You may consider buying performance tires if you have a high-performance car or you would like to upgrade your vehicle. These tires are great for summer use, and above anything else, the grip is their top priority. Tires in this category have a superb grasp on the dry tarmac. Although they can be driven in the rain, they perform best when the surface is dry.
What are performance tires?
As their name suggests, performance tires are the ones that are specially designed to deliver maximum performance above everything else. Tire manufacturers use a special rubber compound in order to maximize cornering abilities and increase grip, but the shorter lifespan may be the only tradeoff.
Over time, many tire manufacturers have worked hard to increase the tread life and comfort of the tires, and for the past few years, performance tires have started to become accommodating and comfortable. Generally, performance tires perform much better in warm weather conditions because the rubber is more pliable, and this way, they are able to offer a good grip in the summer months.
List of best performance tires
- Michelin Pilot Super Sport
If you don't mind dropping a little bit of cash when buying a performance tire, then you don't need to look any further, because Pilot Super Sport by Michelin is what you need. This tire has been a segment leader among the performance tires for quite a long time. Not only the Pilot Super Sport offers you the highest grip levels as compared to the other performance tires, but its tires are also well balanced.
In both dry and wet weather conditions, these tires can perform well, offer good comfort, reduced road noise, and are also quite durable. Those drivers, who are still not convinced of Michelin Pilot Super Sport's superiority, should know that these are the factory tires on the BMW M3 performance cars. Therefore, the Pilot Super Sport is trusted by car enthusiasts and performance car manufacturers alike.
- Pirelli P Zero All Season Plus
These are the all-season performance tires for those car owners and enthusiasts who would like to have a high performance in any condition and season. The P Zero All Season Plus combines high-end performance, control, and traction for your performance car. It offers you great cornering as it is built with the outer tread blocks with lateral siping, and this gives you a much better grip on turns and twists.
The tire can give you stability even on snowy roads because its inner ring has extra siping, which allows it to have much better control on snow and ice and is also helpful against hydroplaning. The treadwear is decreased with the help of a variable control belt of nylon, which helps increase your confidence on the road.
The tread blocks of variable size are helpful to reduce the road noise in order to have a quiet and peaceful ride. These performance tires are backed by a 50,000-mile tread life warranty by Pirelli, while on the set of new tires, there is a 30-day trial offer as well. This means you can bring the tires back if you don’t like them for any reason.
- Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 R
These are performance tires by Yokohama specially designed for high grip levels in both dry and wet driving conditions. These tires have an aggressive tread that can produce quite a loud road-noise, but because of the soft and sticky compound used in these tires, you will have a high level of grip.
The track tests clearly indicate that Advan Neova is a consistent tire that will never be experiencing a dip in its performance when the weather becomes hot. If you like to turn a quick lap after lap over multiple sessions during your track day, these tires are surely well suited to do the task for you.
These tires may not be having a balance like other top-level performance tires, as they have an aggressive tread and a soft and sticky compound. This is the main reason why they are great performance tires, but it is worth noting that these are not that suited for road use. These are the top-notch track day tires and quite expensive as well. Therefore, you can save money if you can use these tires only on the track which extends the tread life.
- Hankook Ventus R-S4
The Ventus R-S4 by Hankook is a successor to the R-S3 and is a performance tire that is able to deliver a cornering performance and excellent handling. This tire features the latest silica high-grip and a black carbon compound.
Ventus R-S4 produces a low-void directional pattern and is able to offer an exceptional grip because of the outboard shoulder blocks that are massive. A wide and continuous center rib contributes to the immediate steering response of this tire.
Hankook R-S4 has addressed and improved the R-S3's issues regarding the wet grip by adding highly dispersible silica. Although these tires are still not considered to be ideal for heavy rain, these performance tires are surely able to take advantage of the extra reinforcement in their shoulder. This helps the tires to handle performance driving even with vehicles that have a high camber. It is worth noting that a driver should be selecting the right size of the tires for the particular car make to enjoy great performance.
- Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R
This is a semi-slick road-going tire by Pirelli that is very suitable for usage on the track. If you drive these tires on the street, these will wear very quickly. Therefore, you will need a second set of wheels as the 'track only' tire set because these are soft and sticky tires.
You will be always having a very good day driving thanks to the traction of these tires, but because of the high levels of grip, these may rob your vehicle of the steering feel. The P Zero Trofeo can also be very loud on the road.
While these Pirelli tires are among the best performance tires found in the market at present, as they can be seen on the record-holding Lamborghini Aventador SV J, it is still important to keep in mind that they will not be performing well on the road. These are noisy, can wear out quickly, and have a low grip in wet weather.
- Toyo Proxes R888 R
The R888 R by Toyo is considered the alternative of the Trofeo R tires by Pirelli by many people because they have a similar aggressive tread and a soft compound. This is the reason why these tires are considered to be the best ones for a day track.
The tires have high road noise and a low weather grip and are surely great to put on your car when you start racing on a track and must be replaced before leaving. Although these tires are not ideal for driving on the road, they are still quite safe.
Proxes R888 are competitively priced and very durable high-performance tires. If you are ready to tolerate the road noise, durability, and comfort, and would like to have superb grip, then R888 is the best tire you can find on the market.
- Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
This is a factory OEM tire by Michelin used on some of the fastest cars in the world, including the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. A driver can trust the Sport Cup 2 tires because Porsche is not the car that cuts any slack when it comes to performance. These tires surely offer the highest levels of grip in dry conditions, but driving in wet conditions is never suggested by the manufacturer.
Although these tires can perform great in normal wet conditions, a driver should never use these tires on standing water. These tires make up for about everything else but may lack in damp weather performance. The durability of these tires is good, as these are performance-focused tires, while they have a very high dry grip. Therefore, if you are using a high-performance car on a track, then you will never go wrong with the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2.
Performance tires have become increasingly popular over time. These are basically designed to provide sports cars, exotic cars, and racing-style cars with a much-improved traction and handling response. Most of the performance tires are built for the wet and dry summer conditions, but there are a number of tires that have all-season capabilities.
These tires are surely great for improving the racetrack-inspired features of a car, including reduced stopping distance and cornering abilities. Although you may have to make small compromises in road noises, gas mileage, and lifespan, these tires can surely give you enhanced performance.