225/40R18

Tyre Reviews 2021: UHP Summer Tire Test R18

The British tire portal tested 14 models of UHP and UUHP summer tires.

List of models tested:

In his new test, Jonathan Benson, the founder of the British portal Tyre Reviews, tested tires in popular size 225/40 R18 at a Goodyear test facility in France, using a VW Golf GTI as a test car. The test involved UHP tires, but the test team also added three «even sportier» UUHP tires — the Bridgestone Potenza Sport, the Goodyear F1 SuperSport, and the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S — due to which Goodyear and Michelin were represented by two models at once.

The tires were tested using VW Golf GTI.Source: tyrereviews.com
The tires were tested using VW Golf GTI. Source: tyrereviews.com

The Bridgestone Potenza Sport is a new model 2021 that has already won an Auto Bild Sportscars test; in addition, the TR test for the first time around included such tires as the premium Pirelli P Zero PZ4, and the budget Altenzo Sports Comforter (the Altenzo brand is owned by Zhejiang Bodong Industry & Trade Co., Ltd., headquartered in the Chinese province of Zhejiang). Other new models of the season on test also included the GT Radial SportActive 2 and the Vredestein Ultrac Vorti+.

 

On dry pavement, the cheap Altenzo tires immediately started to fall behind their rivals, and the only other tire that could not make it within 97 seconds was the Avon ZV7 (the brand is owned by the American Cooper). As the TR experts noted, both these tires felt fine on the warm-up laps, but as the tires got warm the grip dropped off quite quickly which resulted in a lot of understeer. Next up in the 96 second range were GT Radial, Nokian, and Hankook. According to Benson, the GT Radial was an enjoyable tire to drive but did not have the desired grip, whereas Nokian and Hankook both felt a little vague through the front of the car, were prone to understeer, and didn’t enjoy being hot.

Then comes a group of Falken, Goodyear, Vredestein, and Pirelli — all within a second of each other! The Falken was praised for good steering response and well balanced performance, but it was lacking a bit of feedback through the wheel, while the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 subjectively felt quite sporty, had a stable balance and good braking and turning, but it felt a little traction-limited coming out of the slower corners, which cost it a few precious tenths of second of the lap time. The Vredestein tire had direct precise steering with good grip, and felt sporty right up until the limit where the grip could suddenly go without a warning. At the same time, Vredestein turned out to be one of the most stable tires in terms of heat, and it was also one of the freshest-looking tires when it came off the car at the end of the test. As for the Pirelli P Zero PZ4, it was a fast, direct steering, well weighted tire, and felt really good when cornering. Although it did seem to struggle with the heat a little more than some, its handling response was up to the high standard that you would normally expect from this popular Italian brand.

Test discipline: dry handling. Source: tyrereviews.com
Test discipline: dry handling. Source: tyrereviews.com

Third and fourth places were scored by the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 and the Continental PremiumContact respectively. The TR experts noted that there was no denying the Michelin’s grip, but it felt a little numb compared to the Goodyear, Pirelli, and Continental. At the same time, the Michelin was stable in its lap time and gave the driver lots of confidence to push on. As for the Continental, it was the fastest of the UHP tires, and had an exceptionally sporty feeling, but it seemed to struggle with the heat a little more than others, so laps two and three were slower than the first one.

The top three tires in dry handling were the UUHP tires, and, although the difference in lap time between the Bridgestone and Michelin was all but negligible, they behaved differently, and, according to Benson, the Potenza Sport «felt meatier and more like a track tire», ensuring an extremely confident lateral grip. First place, however, was scored by the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport, which not only ensured excellent handling response but also better maintained its performance when heated, compared to the Bridgestone and Michelin.

 

Like in the dry, the Altenzo was the slowest tire on test, just with a bigger margin in the wet. The TR experts noted that there wasn’t anything particularly terrible about the balance of this tire, it just lacked grip in all directions. The last but one place was shared by the Avon and Goodyear SuperSport, and, while Avon ensured a good handling performance with gentle understeer, but fell short of its rivals in terms of grip, especially on the brakes, the F1 SuperSport had direct steering and great feedback, but struggled a little with hydroplaning, especially on the rear which led to oversteer.

Test discipline: wet braking. Source: tyrereviews.com
Test discipline: wet braking. Source: tyrereviews.com

The Nokian and Vredestein both lacked a bit of grip and feedback through the wheel, though the Vredestein was a little prone to understeer, and the Nokian to oversteer. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S was the nicest of the three UUHP tires in terms of balance, but, like all the UUHP tires it hydroplaned more than the UHP tires on the lap making an ultimate lap time difficult, while the Continental PremiumContact 6 again ensured a stable and reliable performance and demonstrated an excellent grip in any situation. A little bit of a surprise was brought this time around by Hankook, which demonstrated a relatively low lateral stability during the handling test — just like in the dry — but in the braking test outperformed all of its rivals with such an impressive lead that the testers had to conduct extra runs that further proved the tire’s outstanding straight traction on wet pavement.

The new GT Radial SportActive 2 was more impressive in wet handling than it was in wet braking, having no issues with the deeper water on the wet handling lap which certainly helped its overall lap time. The Falken and Asymmetric 5 were opposing styles on a similar time. The Falken felt more sporty than when tested in other sizes, with quick direction changes on the front axle — but the rear couldn’t keep up, so the driver was fighting oversteer — whereas the Goodyear Asymmetric 5 was a very well-balanced tire, giving you good grip and predictable handling in all directions.

 

Third place in the handling test was scored by Pirelli, which was a joy to drive in the wet (its only negative point being slight oversteer), and silver was won by the new Bridgestone Potenza Sport, the fastest of the UUHP tires and almost the fastest of all the tires. The compound on this tire feels a bit like a track tire, it needed a few laps to get some heat into it, and it struggled with hydroplaning more than any other tire, but when it was in contact with the surface it had excellent levels of grip. And, finally, first place in the wet test was won by the Michelin Pilot Sport 4, which allowed the driver to develop high speeds and at the same time feel perfectly safe.

The experts also evaluated the external noise level and rolling resistance — the quietest tire turned out to be the GT Radial, and the best environmental performance was delivered by the Altenzo.

Verdict

First place in the TR test was shared by three tires — Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5, Michelin Pilot Sport 4, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S. The TR experts described the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 as a tire with almost no weaknesses, excellent grip in the dry and wet, sporty handling, excellent hydroplaning resistance and low rolling resistance. As for the two Michelin tires, both of them demonstrated very good results, but fell a little short of some of the competitors in terms of crispness of steering response in the dry. About the new Bridgestone model, which fell a little short of the leaders, the TR experts said that it felt more like a track tire for the road, and, when heated, ensured outstanding grip. At the same time, low tread depth creates difficulties on wet pavement, first of all, resulting in low hydroplaning resistance.

The Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport also demonstrated excellent maneuverability on dry pavement, but it had problems once the track was sprinkled with water, while the Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 impressed the testers with an exceptionally short wet braking distance, but was a little bit slow to respond to the driver’s actions in any conditions. The Pirelli P Zero PZ4 is a rare tire that seems to blend good grip in the dry and wet, sporty handling, low rolling resistance and good levels of comfort. If this tire had a slightly better hydroplaning resistance, it would have been in the top group.

Then came the Continental PremiumContact 6, which showed a good lap time in the dry, including due to fast and crisp steering response. At the same time, however, for all intents and purposes, these capabilities were achieved at the cost of sacrificing the ride comfort level. The Falken Azenis FK510 came only ninth this time around, but the TR experts noted that this tire did deliver good dry and wet handling, short wet braking distance, and good hydroplaning resistance. One line below in the tournament bracket was occupied by the new GT Radial SportActive 2 tire, which also had good straight and lateral hydroplaning resistance, the lowest noise on test, stable wet handling with good levels of grip, and low rolling resistance, but was failed by a relatively long wet braking distance.

The Nokian Powerproof did not make it in the top group in the TR test because it lacked the level of grip of its rivals, while 12th place was scored by the recently presented Vredestein Ultrac Vorti+, which demonstrated good heat resistance and dry handling, but was unable to repeat its performance on wet pavement. The last-but-one line in the tournament bracket was scored by the Avon ZV7, which had low noise and was good value for the money, but demonstrated less-than-perfect grip. The main outsider of the test became the cheapest Altenzo Sports Comforter+, which also fell short of all the other tires in terms of grip.

1st place: Goodyear / Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5
Quick Take
88 62

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5

Price/Quality Dry Performance Wet Performance Handling Treadwear Comfort
  • This tire replaced Goodyear / Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3
  • Available Sizes in Line: 133
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi e-tron GT [2020 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, Oceania
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5
  • Excellently balanced performance, almost no issues found
  • Great handling response in the wet and in the dry
  • Very short wet braking distance
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Increased noise
  • Highly recommended

2nd place: Michelin / Pilot Sport 4
Quick Take
81 68

Michelin Pilot Sport 4

Handling Dry Performance Wet Performance Price/Quality Comfort Treadwear
  • This tire replaced ⛔ Michelin / Pilot Sport 3 PS3
  • Available Sizes in Line: 148
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Alpine A110 [2017 .. 2021]
    • • Audi A4
    • • Audi A5
    • • Ford Fiesta
    • • Kia Niro
    • • Nissan Qashqai
    • • Opel Corsa
    • • Peugeot 308
    • • Porsche Panamera
    • • Renault Clio
    • • Volvo S90
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2015
  • Regions for sale: North America, Central & South America, Europe, Russia+, East Asia, Oceania
Michelin Pilot Sport 4
  • Excellently balanced performance, almost no issues found
  • Excellent traction and short braking distance in any conditions
  • Slightly delayed steering response
  • Highly recommended

3rd place: Michelin / Pilot Sport 4S
Quick Take
87 77

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

Price/Quality Wet Performance Dry Performance Handling Comfort Treadwear Snow/Ice Performance
  • This tire replaced Michelin / Pilot Super Sport
  • Available Sizes in Line: 206
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Ferrari GTC4Lusso [2016 .. 2020]
    • • Porsche 911
    • • Porsche Boxster
    • • BMW X3 M F97 [2019 .. 2021]
    • • BMW X4 M F98 [2019 .. 2021]
    • • Cadillac CT4-V GM Alpha 2 [2020 .. 2022]
    • • Cadillac CT5-V GM Alpha 2 [2020 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2017
  • Regions for sale: North America, Central & South America, Europe, Russia+, Japan, Oceania
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
  • Excellently balanced performance
  • Very short dry braking distance
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • High rolling resistance
  • Highly recommended

4th place: Bridgestone / Potenza Sport
Quick Take
93 48

Bridgestone Potenza Sport

  • This tire replaced Bridgestone / Potenza S001
  • Available Sizes in Line: 87
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Lamborghini Huracan Facelift [2019 .. 2021]
    • • Fisker
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2021
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada
Bridgestone Potenza Sport
  • Crisp steering response, good handling, and a short dry braking distance
  • Low hydroplaning resistance
  • Prone to oversteer on wet pavement
  • Recommended

5th place: Goodyear / Eagle F1 SuperSport
Quick Take
77 59

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport

Dry Performance Handling Wet Performance Comfort Treadwear
  • Available Sizes in Line: 76
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Lotus
    • • Cupra Formentor [2020 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, China, Southeast Asia, Oceania
Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport
  • A road tire that is equally good on a racetrack
  • Quick steering response, and good feedback through the wheel in the dry
  • Prone to oversteer and long braking distance on wet pavement
  • High noise emission
  • High rolling resistance
  • Recommended

6th place: Hankook / Ventus S1 evo3 K127
Quick Take
78 53

Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 K127

Price/Quality Dry Performance Wet Performance Handling Comfort Treadwear
  • This tire has been replaced by Hankook / Ventus S1 evo3 EV K127E
  • This tire replaced Hankook / Ventus S1 evo2 K117
  • Available Sizes in Line: 197
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi RS6 C8 [2019 .. 2021]
    • • Audi RS7 C8 [2019 .. 2021]
    • • BMW 3 Series VII (G20/G21) [2018 .. 2022]
    • • BMW Z4 III (G29) [2018 .. 2022]
    • • Audi S3 8V [2013 .. 2016]
    • • Audi S3 8V Facelift [2017 .. 2020]
    • • Audi S3 8Y [2020 .. 2022]
    • • Tesla Model 3 [2017 .. 2022]
    • • BMW 2 Series F44 [2019 .. 2022]
    • • Porsche Boxster Typ 981 [2012 .. 2017]
    • • Porsche Cayman Typ 981c [2013 .. 2016]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, Oceania
Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 K127
  • An exceptionally short braking distance on wet pavement
  • Short braking distance on dry pavement
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Prone to understeer on wet pavement
  • Average hydroplaning resistance
  • Recommended

7th place: Pirelli / P Zero PZ4
Quick Take
80 60
Dry Performance Handling Wet Performance Comfort Treadwear
  • This tire replaced Pirelli / P Zero
  • Available Sizes in Line: 286
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • BMW 8 Series G14/G15/G16 [2018 .. 2022]
    • • McLaren
    • • Hyundai Kona OS facelift [2020 .. 2022]
    • • Acura NSX NC1 [2016 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, East Asia
Pirelli P Zero PZ4
  • Great handling response in the wet and in the dry
  • Low noise emission
  • Average hydroplaning resistance
  • Recommended

8th place: Continental / PremiumContact 6
Quick Take
90 67

Continental PremiumContact 6

Dry Performance Price/Quality Wet Performance Handling Comfort Treadwear
  • This tire replaced Continental / ContiPremiumContact 5
  • Available Sizes in Line: 261
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Toyota C-HR Facelift [2019 .. 2021]
    • • Mercedes-Benz C-Class Br205 [2015 .. 2021]
    • • BMW 3 Series VII (G20/G21) [2018 .. 2021]
    • • BMW 5 Series VII (G30/G31) Facelift [2020 .. 2021]
    • • Mazda CX-5 KF [2016 .. 2021]
    • • Ford Kuga III [2020 .. 2021]
    • • Renault Koleos II (CMF-CD) [2016 .. 2021]
    • • Subaru Forester SK [2018 .. 2021]
    • • Renault Megane IV (9A) [2016 .. 2021]
    • • Volvo XC40 [2017 .. 2021]
    • • Skoda Superb 3V Restyling [2020 .. 2021]
    • • Volvo V60 Cross Country II [2018 .. 2021]
    • • Mercedes-Benz X-Class D23 [2017 .. 2021]
    • • Audi A6 C8 [2018 .. 2021]
    • • Volvo S60 III [2019 .. 2021]
    • • Renault Alaskan D23 [2016 .. 2021]
    • • Volvo V60 II [2018 .. 2021]
    • • Jaguar I-Pace [2018 .. 2021]
    • • Ford Fiesta VII [2017 .. 2021]
    • • Ford Mustang Mach-E [2020 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, Japan, Oceania
Continental PremiumContact 6
  • Excellent handling response and short stopping distance on dry pavement
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Extremely high noise emission
  • Average lap time on wet pavement
  • Recommended

9th place: Falken / Azenis FK510
Quick Take
81 59
Price/Quality Wet Performance Dry Performance Comfort Treadwear Handling Snow/Ice Performance
  • This tire replaced ⛔ Falken / FK453
  • Available Sizes in Line: 203
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi A1 GB [2018 .. 2021]
    • • Toyota Mirai II [2021 .. 2021]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, Oceania
Falken Azenis FK510
  • Great handling response in the wet and in the dry
  • Short braking distance on wet pavement
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Good price/quality ratio
  • Average dry braking performance
  • High noise emission
  • Recommended

10th place: GT Radial / SportActive 2
Quick Take
N/A 27
  • Year Released: 2021
  • Regions for sale: Europe
GT Radial SportActive 2
  • Very high hydroplaning resistance, both straight and lateral
  • Extremely low noise emission
  • Great handling response in the wet
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Long braking distance on wet pavement
  • Average dry grip

11th place: Nokian / Powerproof
Quick Take
78 48
Price/Quality Wet Performance Dry Performance Treadwear Handling Comfort
  • Available Sizes in Line: 80
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Nokian Powerproof
  • Great riding comfort
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Long braking distance on wet pavement
  • Low hydroplaning resistance

12th place: Vredestein / Ultrac Vorti+
Quick Take
N/A 31

Vredestein Ultrac Vorti+

  • Year Released: 2021
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Vredestein Ultrac Vorti+
  • Good feedback through the wheel and good handling in the dry
  • High resistance to wear
  • Long braking distance and less-than-perfect handling response on wet pavement
  • Very high rolling resistance

13th place: Avon / ZV7
Quick Take
71 24
Dry Performance Wet Performance Comfort Handling Price/Quality Treadwear
  • Year Released: 2014
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Avon ZV7
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Low noise emission
  • Attractive price
  • Long braking distance and less-than-perfect handling response on dry and wet pavement

14th place: Altenzo / Sports Comforter +
Quick Take
N/A 26

Altenzo Sports Comforter +

  • Available Sizes in Line: 50
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Oceania
Altenzo Sports Comforter +
  • Very low rolling resistance
  • Low noise emission
  • Low price
  • Very long braking distance and less-than-perfect handling response on dry and wet pavement
  • Low hydroplaning resistance

Price