Sport Auto 2019 UHP Summer Tire Test – 245/30 R20

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Sport Auto 2019: 245/30 R20 UHP Summer Tire Test

320 horsepower and 400 Newton-meters of torque is the extreme power for the front-wheel-drive sport hatchback Honda Civic Type R. In order to transfer such power to the road surface, you will need a set of UHP tires, and big ones, too — 245/30 R20. The expert team of Sport Auto Magazine tested eight ultra-high performance summer tires in 245/30 R20 using a Civic Type R, and named the best of them.

One of the world’s most powerful front-wheel-drive sport hatchbacks exported to Germany is factory-fitted with Continental SportContact 6. Most of all, the test team members were interested in this question: is there an alternative that can make this powerful Japanese export even faster, safer, and more comfortable?

List of models tested:

Exotic tire size

245/30 R20 tires are not made exclusively for Civic Type R. They can also be fitted on Alfa Giulia, Audi R8, Citroën DS5, Mercedes E-Klasse, and Peugeot 308.

The choice in this slightly exotic size is not extremely wide: apart from the cheap Asian-made tires, which, for obvious reasons, do not meet the high standards of sports cars, there are also expensive tire models that were engineered in collaboration with car makers to be fitted specifically on this or that car model. The probability of such tires performing to their full potential if installed on other cars is low or at best unpredictable.

Stay away from original tires

For example, the probability that Pirelli P Zero 245/30 R20, which was specially engineered for the front axle of Audi R8, and which is marked as AO (Audi Original), will perform equally well as an all-purpose tire on the front-wheel-drive Civic is close to zero, the Sport Auto experts say.

Honda Civic wet performance
Honda Civic Type R on track

If you turn down this particular offer, in addition to Continental SportContact 6 there are seven more potential candidates, including the brand-new model Hankook Ventus S1 evo3, and also Michelin Pilot Sport 4S — the winner of the last year’s BMW M2 test.

Now, here is the question — can Michelin also dominate on front-wheel-drive? The results of the test clearly show that even if it can, then not on a wet surface: neither its hydroplaning resistance, nor its wet braking, nor its wet handling come even close to the Hannover development.

Wet Braking

Continental
30.4
Falken
32.3
Michelin
33.0
Hankook
33.6
Goodyear
33.8
Vredestein
34.2
Toyo
34.5
Bridgestone
36.1

Info! Wet braking in the range of 100–0 km/h.

Wet Handling

Goodyear
90.9
Continental
89.2
Falken
88.5
Toyo
87.8
Bridgestone
87.7
Michelin
87.0
Vredestein
87.0
Hankook
85.1

Info! Average Speed, km/h.


Lateral Grip

 Continental 
8.10
Goodyear
8.04
Michelin
7.98
Falken
7.93
Toyo
7.89
Vredestein
7.89
Bridgestone
7.88
Hankook
7.87

Info! Lateral Acceleration, m/s².


When braking at 80 km/h, the wet braking distance of Michelin exceeds the Continental result by more than 2.5 meters. Even its closest pursuer — Falken Azenis FK510 — lost to SportContact 6 by almost 2 meters. Anyway, on wet pavement, the Continental product turned out to be invincible.

Straight Hydroplaning

Toyo
80.8
Bridgestone
76.8
Falken
76.5
Goodyear
75.6
Continental
75.4
Michelin
75.2
Vredestein
75.0
Hankook
73.5

Info! Rate of grip loss, km/h.

Lateral Hydroplaning

Bridgestone
2.62
Continental
2.60
Toyo
2.50
Michelin
2.42
Falken
2.41
Vredestein
2.39
Goodyear
2.36
Hankook
2.17

Info! Lateral Acceleration, m/s²


Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 also scored rather high points in the wet but their wet braking still fell short of the leader’s. The same holds true for Toyo, Falken, Michelin, and Bridgestone tires, while the brand-new Hankook tire also showed handling shortcomings, as well as weaker hydroplaning resistance, especially lateral.

Continental’s Superiority in the Dry

Honda Civic dry performance

Comparing the dry braking distances calculated as an average of several consecutive results clearly showed that Michelin was the obvious leader: these French tires can bring a standard car from a speed of 100 km/h to a standstill within 34.6 meters.

Dry Braking

Michelin
34.6
Continental
35.0
Vredestein
35.5
Hankook
35.9
Bridgestone
36.0
Goodyear
36.3
Falken
37.2
Toyo
37.6

Info! Dry braking in the range of 100–0 km/h.

Dry Handling

Continental
115.8
Goodyear
115.0
Vredestein
115.0
Falken
114.8
Bridgestone
114.3
Michelin
114.0
Hankook
113.7
Toyo
112.6

Info! Average Speed, km/h.


The gap between 35 and 36-meter braking distances in occupied by Continental SportContact 6, Vredestein Ultrac Vorti R, Hankook Ventus S1 evo³ and Bridgestone Potenza S001. And only the results of Falken Azenis FK510 and Toyo Proxes Sport exceed the 37-meter mark.

Cornering at high speeds inevitably brings up the balance and stability shortcomings. The outstanding performance in the dry, together with «crystal-clear» feedback, great road-holding ability, crisp steering response, and predictable handling led to one and only possible result: Continental.

Efficiency

Hankook
9.0
Continental
9.1
Falken
9.4
Goodyear
9.5
Michelin
9.6
Vredestein
10.0
Toyo
10.0
Bridgestone
10.1

Info! Rolling Resistance, kg/t.

Noise

Continental
72.6
Falken
73.2
Michelin
73.4
Hankook
73.8
Goodyear
74.3
Vredestein
74.3
Toyo
74.4
Bridgestone
75.6

Info! The noise level at a speed 80 km/h, db(A).


Michelin tires are often prone to understeer. They fell slightly short of SportContact 6 on a circular track due to slightly insufficient steering response.

The Results of Sport Auto Summer Tire Test 2019

Lorem Ipsum
Sport Auto 245/30 R20 UHP Summer Tire Test Result summary

1 place: Continental SportContact 6.

  • Positive: Excellent braking performance, quick and accurate steering response and good directional stability. 
  • NegativeAverage comfort, low aquaplaning resistance.

2 place: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S.

  • Positive: Best dry braking, good handling in the dry and wet, riding comfort. 
  • Negative: Slightly slow steering response in the dry, lower wet grip.

3 place: Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2.

  • Positive: Outstanding handling and lateral grip in the wet, ride comfort. 
  • Negative: Slightly poor braking performance than the leaders’, relatively weak steering response and lack of steering precision in the dry.

4 place: Hankook Ventus S1 evo³.

  • Positive: Acceptable braking distance and decent handling in the dry. 
  • Negative: Poor handling and sudden oversteer in the wet, lack of steering response.

5 place: Bridgestone Potenza S001.

  • Positive: Good braking, good dry handling. 
  • Negative: Average aquaplaning resistance, long wet braking, high rolling resistance and noise emission.

6 place: Vredestein Ultrac Vorti R.

  • Positive: Well-balanced performance in the dry, good hydroplaning resistance. 
  • Negative: Long braking distances in the wet, high rolling resistance.

7 place: Falken Azenis FK510.

  • Positive: Other than handling, good performance in the wet. 
  • NegativeSudden oversteer in the wet, long braking distances and poor handling on dry pavement, low riding comfort.

8 place: Toyo Proxes Sport.

  • Positive: Decent grip in the wet, good hydroplaning resistance. 
  • Negative: Longest dry braking, poor dry handling, high rolling resistance.

Verdicts and opinions of the experts of Sport Auto

Dry grip made all the difference. No other model performed as confidently on dry pavement as the duo of Continental SportContact 6 and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S.

Considering its obvious superiority in the dry, it was this model that won the victory in the 245/30 R20 UHP Summer Tire Test says the technical expert of TiresVote.com

It scored 9.0 points out of possible 10 and got a well-deserved verdict «Highly Recommended».

Continental SportContact 6
Continental SportContact 6 

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, the last year’s winner, only had to content itself with the second line in the tournament bracket (8.4 points) and the Sport Auto experts’ conclusion «Recommended».

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S

«Conditionally Recommended»

All the other competing tire models got the overall verdict «Conditionally Recommended» for various reasons.

The third stair of the winner pedestal, first of all because of its average braking performance on wet and dry pavement alike, got occupied by Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 (7.9 points).

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2

The new model Hankook K127 Ventus S1 Evo³ (7.6 points) turned out to be generally rather safe but its relatively weak handling and oversteer in the wet did not let it get any higher than the fourth place.

Hankook Ventus S1 evo³
Hankook K127 Ventus S1 Evo3

The fifth place was scored by Bridgestone Potenza S001 (7.5 points). Its braking performance was the weakest on test.

Bridgestone Potenza S001
Bridgestone Potenza S001

The sixth to cross the finish line was Vredestein Ultrac Vorti R (7.4 points), which, together with relatively weak braking performance in the wet, also demonstrated high rolling resistance.

Vredestein Ultrac Vorti R
Vredestein Ultrac Vorti R

The summer tires Falken Azenis FK510 and Toyo Proxes Sport shared the last line of the tournament bracket (7.1 points each). What clinched the matter in their case was weaker grip in the wet and in the dry, coupled with Falken’s oversteer on wet pavement and relatively low handling precision of Toyo.

Falken Azenis FK510 / Toyo Proxes Sport
Toyo Proxes Sport / Falken Azenis FK510 

Results

The exotic size of the tires that were chosen for the test significantly limited the choice of its participants. However, even in this lineup, the expert team was able to single out a few models with prominent negative features. At the same time, it was evident that on dry pavement Continental and Michelin play in their own league, while Continental’s performance in the wet totally explain why Honda Civic Type R is by default factory-equipped with these particular tires.