Three-Month Update: Vredestein Ultrac Vorti Tires on a 2000 BMW M5

Vredestein knows that Grassroots Motorsports knows a thing or two about performance tires. And they know that our readers do, too. That’s why they came to us with a simple request: Find five readers worthy of a set of Vredestein’s latest performance tires, their Ultrac Vorti and Ultrac Vorti R. Over the next six months, you’ll be seeing feedback from these readers in the form of regular blog posts on our site.

Story and Photos by Spectro Racing

I’m happy to report that all of the enjoyable traits I identified from my first article have continued into the first three months of use. The tires are still as quiet, grippy, and comfortable as ever. And on top of that, they are wearing like iron after enduring a multitude of harsh heat cycles. The ultimate grip of the tire remains impressive for its market segment, and the only real handling trait I can fault it for is lackluster responsiveness. I wish I had known that they ran wide, so that I could have used a better-fitting 265-width tire for this test to more accurately reflect how the tire behaves when properly mounted. I believe the tire would be even more enjoyable without such a bulging fit.

One unfortunate result of having 275s was that I was unable to use the tires to compete in the Sports Car Club of America “Dixie Tour” autocross event at South Georgia Motorsports Park, as the Street Touring Extreme (or Sea Touring Extreme, as I call it in my Bimmer yacht) allows only up to 265-width tires for rear-wheel-drive cars. It didn’t stop me from driving the car up to SGMP on the Ultrac Vortis, however, and it actually provided a rather useful comparison being able to drive the car back-to-back with the Vredesteins and the more aggressive Bridgestone RE-71R.

Make no mistake; the RE-71R and its ilk are in a different league than the Ultrac Vorti. The autocross-specific 200 treadwear RE-71R is loads stiffer and more responsive than the Ultrac Vorti. The ultimate grip is better as well, but not to an extreme amount. Realistically, I don’t think the Ultrac Vorti has what it takes to trophy at a Tour event against true 200 treadwear autocross tires, but at the same time, I wouldn’t have had a miserable time competing on them, either—They would still be fun. While the turn-in isn’t as crisp and immediate as I would like, the release felt as you drive beyond the limit of grip becomes pretty predictable as you get some seat time with the tires. At a track day or carving some back roads, they would be just as confidence-inspiring as the Bridgestones, albeit generating lower g-forces. While I wouldn’t ever recommend the Ultrac Vorti for serious autocross competition, I also wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as an “only” tire for someone who had one set of wheels, daily drove their car, and did occasional track days and local autocrosses as well. That’s not something I can say about the Bridgestones, which I would be uncomfortable daily driving, and which also get greasy and wear quickly on track.

Speaking of wear, the Ultrac Vorti is exhibiting most of the usual wear symptoms of a street tire driven hard on track on the M5, but the lifespan looks promising. The shoulders have visible marks from rollover, but they are in the appropriate places and not extending beyond the shoulder onto the sidewalls. Wear across the width of the tire is visibly even. Some of the center ribs are showing some minor chunking, but nothing large enough to cause concern. Normally, street tires on my M5 meet their demise from excessive heat causing large chunks of tread to separate from the tire, often closer towards the shoulder. The fact that the shoulders aren’t showing any signs of chunking is encouraging.

In summary, it’s a tire that has eighty percent of the performance of a dedicated autocross or HPDE tire, but considering its wear life, even when driven hard, is half as expensive and twice as comfortable. I look forward to the next three months on the Ultrac Vortis.

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