Sportauto 2022: Summer Tire Test R19

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The German motoring magazine tested UHP and UUHP tires, as well as three semi-slick models.

List of models tested:

Sportauto magazine has conducted a series of tests of summer tires in size 235/35ZR19, which fits many compact sports cars, such as Volkswagen Golf GTI or Hyundai i30 N. On the European market, a large number of tire models in this size are available, from UHP tires with excellent wet grip to sportier UUHP tires, and even track tires, which are commonly referred to as «semi-slicks».

In the UHP and UUHP classes, seven tire models were tested, including a few new products — Bridgestone Potenza Sport, Michelin Pilot Sport 4, Continental SportContact 7, Falken Azenis FK510, Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport, Hankook Ventus S1 evo Z, and the recently modernized Pirelli P Zero (PZ4). The list of tested semi-slicks included Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2, Nankang AR-1, and the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R in the version homologated by Porsche and bearing an additional N0 sign.

The tires were tested using Hyundai i30 N
The tires were tested using Hyundai i30 N

While for the first two tires the weight of the points was almost standard, and varied only slightly (UUHP tires are usually designed with a bigger focus on dry pavement), for the semi-slicks it was completely different. First of all, this applies to points scored on wet pavement — for the UHP and UUHP tires, they are 40% and 30% respectively, while for the track tires only 10%. As for ride comfort and environmental performance, they were not taken into account at all (0% weight) because on a race track they are irrelevant. In addition to this, the maximum number of points for dry performance was raised from 10 to 12 for the semi-slicks because «this was the only way to compensate for their huge deficit of wet traction». The final ranking was composed in accordance with the method adopted for the UHP tires, but for the UUHP tires and semi-slicks, extra rankings were added (second and third respectively) with regard to the evaluation weight changes.

Dry braking

Continental
33.5
Nankang
33.7
Pirelli
34.6
Michelin
34.8
Falken
35.0
Goodyear
35.5
Hankook
35.7
Bridgestone
35.7
Michelin
35.8
Pirelli
36.0

Info! Dry braking in meters. (100-0 km/h)


Among the UHP and UUHP tires, the best one was pronounced to be the Continental SportContact 7, which is winning already a second test after its premier (it scored an absolute victory during its debut in independent tests), and the experts noted that on dry pavement neither the famous handling precision and well balanced performance of the Michelin PS4 nor the amazing cornering grip of the Bridgestone Potenza Sport could not help them get the upper hand over the Continental model, which demonstrated outstanding braking performance. On wet pavement, the Bridgestone model again scored high points thanks to its excellent grip in corners, but the Continental tire demonstrated a braking distance so short (2.5 meters shorter than that of the next pursuer, when braking form 80 km/h) that the experts said that this tire model set a new standard for wet grip.

Wet braking

Continental
27.5
Michelin
30.0
Falken
30.3
Bridgestone
30.5
Pirelli
32.4
Goodyear
33.5
Hankook
34.0
Michelin
37.5
Pirelli
40.0
Nankang
41.1

Info! Wet braking in meters. (100-0 km/h)


As for the semi-slicks, due to their tread patterns with an increased tread-to-void ratio, they can hardly tackle the task of dispelling water from the contact area, and once such a tire hits a puddle, the grip goes instantaneously. When placed on wet pavement, the Nankang model barely mustered the grip sufficient to make it to the finish line, while the Pirelli tire demonstrated a much better performance, and the Michelin model’s performance was surprisingly close to that of the worst of road tires. In the braking test, the differences between the tires were the most prominent of all. The stopping distance demonstrated by the Continental CS7 when braking from 80 km/h was 27.5 meters, while the semi-slicks needed from 37.5 to 41.1 meters to perform the same task, which essentially means that when a car on Continental tires is already standing still, a car on Nankang tires will keep on driving at about 50 km/h, i.e. driving on such tires in the rain is not recommended.

On a dry track, however, after a few warm-up laps, the semi-slicks can fully demonstrate their potential, and their lap time in the test was on average three seconds better than that of road tires. High scores were received by all the three tires, including the Nankang model that ensures excellent grip during the braking, acceleration, and maneuvering, and, as the pilots said, feels more like full-fledged semi-slicks (but delivers a ride as noiseless as that of a caterpillar tractor). The Michelin model quickly reacted to the turns of the steering wheel, yet at the same time was a little bit temperamental, while the Pirelli tire behaved in an unstable way only during emergency braking and in corners (no gripes otherwise), and, thanks to its excellent stability at high speeds showed a good lap time, its grip staying consistently stable for a long time.

Result summary. 2022 Sportauto Summer Tire Test — 235/35R19 Places 1–10
Result summary. 2022 Sportauto Summer Tire Test — 235/35R19 Places 1–10. (click to enlarge)

Compared to the UHP and UUHP tires, the Pirelli model sometimes showed a time five seconds better, while the «fastest» among the road tires were Continental and Bridgestone, which lost to the semi-slicks by mere 1 or 2 seconds — quite a decent result, particularly considering the fact that no wet performance was sacrificed. At the same time, the Bridgestone model was very noisy and had a high rolling resistance, while the Continental tire technologists proved that you could indeed combine sporty and environmental performance within one tire.

1st place: Continental / SportContact 7

Quick Take
N/A 34

Continental SportContact 7

  • This tire replaced Continental / SportContact 6
  • Available Sizes in Line: 3
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Maserati Levante M161 [2016 .. 2023]
    • • Maserati Quattroporte VI (M156) Facelift [2016 .. 2023]
  • Year Released: 2022
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+, Southeast Asia
Continental SportContact 7

  • Excellently balanced performance
  • Outstanding dry and wet braking capabilities
  • Relatively low lateral hydroplaning resistance
  • Low riding comfort
  • Exemplary

2nd place: Michelin / Pilot Sport 4

Quick Take
81 69

Michelin Pilot Sport 4

Handling Dry Performance Wet Performance Price/Quality Comfort Treadwear
  • Available Sizes in Line: 150
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Alpine A110 [2017 .. 2023]
    • • Audi A4
    • • Audi A5
    • • Ford Fiesta
    • • Kia Niro
    • • Nissan Qashqai
    • • Opel Corsa
    • • Peugeot 308
    • • Porsche Panamera
    • • Renault Clio
    • • Volvo S90
    • • Toyota 86 ZN8/ZD8 [2021 .. 2023]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2015
  • Regions for sale: North America, Central & South America, Europe, Russia+, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Oceania
Michelin Pilot Sport 4

  • Predictable behavior and precise steering response to the driver’s actions on dry pavement
  • Relatively low lateral hydroplaning resistance
  • Reduced shock-absorbing properties
  • Very good

3rd place: Bridgestone / Potenza Sport

Quick Take
82 65

Bridgestone Potenza Sport

Dry Performance Handling Wet Performance Comfort Treadwear
  • This tire replaced Bridgestone / Potenza S001
  • Available Sizes in Line: 87
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Lamborghini Huracan Facelift [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Fisker
    • • Ferrari Roma [2020 .. 2023]
    • • Maserati
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2021
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa, Oceania
Bridgestone Potenza Sport

  • Outstanding cornering stability on wet and dry pavement
  • Surprisingly good hydroplaning resistance
  • Fast and precise response to the driver’s actions
  • Average dry and wet braking performance
  • Very good

4th place: Pirelli / P Zero PZ4

Quick Take
81 63
Dry Performance Handling Wet Performance Comfort Treadwear
  • This tire replaced Pirelli / P Zero
  • Available Sizes in Line: 294
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • BMW 8 Series G14/G15/G16 [2018 .. 2023]
    • • Hyundai Kona OS Facelift [2020 .. 2023]
    • • Acura NSX NC1 [2016 .. 2023]
    • • Volvo V90 II [2016 .. 2023]
    • • Jaguar XF
    • • BMW X1
    • • BMW X2
    • • MINI Countryman
    • • MINI Clubman
    • • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    • • Jaguar XE
    • • Audi A4
    • • Audi A5
    • • BMW 3 Series
    • • Mercedes-Benz A-Class
    • • Mercedes-Benz B-Class
    • • Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
    • • BMW 7 Series
    • • BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
    • • BMW X3
    • • BMW X4
    • • BMW X5
    • • BMW X6
    • • Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
    • • Mercedes-Benz E-Class
    • • Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe
    • • Audi A8
    • • Bentley Continental GT
    • • Bentley Continental GTC
    • • Porsche Boxster
    • • Porsche Cayman
    • • Audi A3
    • • McLaren 540C
    • • McLaren 570GT
    • • McLaren 570S
    • • Volvo V40
    • • Hyundai Veloster
    • • Lamborghini Huracan
    • • McLaren Senna
    • • Audi R8
    • • McLaren 720S
    • • Porsche 911
    • • BMW 5 Series
    • • Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 4
    • • Porsche Panamera
    • • Audi A6
    • • Audi A7
    • • Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
    • • Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class
    • • Volkswagen Touareg
    • • Lamborghini Aventador
    • • BMW Alpina B5
    • • Jaguar F-Type
    • • Ferrari 488 Pista
    • • Ferrari GTC4Lusso
    • • Ferrari Portofino
    • • Maserati GranTurismo
    • • Maserati GranCabrio
    • • Ferrari 812 Superfast
    • • Dodge Challenger
    • • Aston Martin Vantage
    • • Alfa Romeo Stelvio
    • • BMW Alpina XD3
    • • BMW Alpina XD4
    • • Jaguar E-Pace
    • • BMW X4 M
    • • BMW X3 M
    • • Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
    • • Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
    • • McLaren GT
    • • Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
    • • Lamborghini Urus
    • • Volkswagen Atlas
    • • Ford Mustang Mach-E [2020 .. 2023]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: North America, Europe, Russia+, East Asia, Middle East, Africa, Oceania
Pirelli P Zero PZ4

  • Good handling response and stability on wet pavement
  • Long braking distance on wet pavement
  • Relatively poor traction and limited lateral stability at high speeds on dry pavement
    Good

5th place: Falken / Azenis FK510

Quick Take
80 65
Price/Quality Wet Performance Dry Performance Comfort Treadwear Handling Snow/Ice Performance
  • This tire has been replaced by Falken / Azenis FK520
  • Available Sizes in Line: 201
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi A1 GB [2018 .. 2023]
    • • Toyota Mirai II [2020 .. 2023]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: North America, Central & South America, Europe, Russia+, Japan, Middle East, Oceania
Falken Azenis FK510

  • Short braking distance and good handling properties on wet pavement
  • Attractive price
  • Delayed and fuzzy steering response on dry pavement
  • Good

6th place: Hankook / Ventus S1 Evo Z K129

Quick Take
N/A 25

Hankook Ventus S1 Evo Z K129

  • Available Sizes in Line: 15
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • MINI Cooper F55/F56 Facelift II [2021 .. 2023]
    • • Porsche Panamera II (971) Facelift [2020 .. 2023]
    • • BMW X3 M F97 [2019 .. 2021]
    • • BMW X4 M F98 [2019 .. 2021]
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Hankook Ventus S1 Evo Z K129

  • Great handling response in the wet
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Long braking distances, especially on wet pavement
  • Insufficient stability during emergency braking on dry pavement
  • Good

7th place: Goodyear / Eagle F1 SuperSport

Quick Take
77 67

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport

Dry Performance Handling Wet Performance Comfort Treadwear
  • Available Sizes in Line: 79
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Cupra Formentor [2020 .. 2023]
    • • Porsche 911 IX (992) [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 (CD1) [2020 .. 2023]
    • • Lotus
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, China, Southeast Asia, South Africa, Oceania
Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport

  • Acceptable overall performance on dry and wet pavement
  • Long braking distance on wet pavement
  • Relatively low stability during the emergency maneuvers on dry pavement
  • Good

8th place: Michelin / Pilot Sport Cup 2 R

Quick Take
N/A 42

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R

Handling Dry Performance Wet Performance
  • This tire replaced Michelin / Pilot Sport Cup 2
  • Available Sizes in Line: 22
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Ferrari 488 Pista [2018 .. 2020]
    • • Mercedes-Benz
    • • Porsche
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Central & South America, Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Oceania
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R

  • Precise steering response, neutral behavior, and good track traction
  • Controllable behavior on wet pavement
  • Poor braking performance under temperatures typical for everyday life
  • Insufficient stability during emergency braking
  • Very good

9th place: Pirelli / P Zero Trofeo R

Quick Take
62 26
Dry Performance Comfort Handling Treadwear Wet Performance
  • Available Sizes in Line: 21
  • Year Released: 2012
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, East Asia
Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R

  • Excellent wet grip for a tire from this category (even though its threshold is achieved soon)
  • Precise steering response and confidence-inspiring handling lightness on a track
  • Poor braking performance under temperatures typical for everyday life
  • Very prone to oversteer on wet pavement
  • Low riding comfort
  • Very good

10th place: Nankang / AR-1

Quick Take
N/A 26
    • Year Released: 2022
    • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
    Nankang AR-1

    • A high level of traction and stability (depends on the heat degree), as well as good performance and neutral behavior on a track
    • Poor hydroplaning resistance, can suddenly lose grip on wet pavement
    • Very noisy, plus strong vibrations
    • Very good

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