Andy Hollis
Andy Hollis
12/12/17 10:30 a.m.

These are heady times for enthusiasts: We get to enjoy a huge selection of fast, truly street-legal tires from a wide range of manufacturers. The prices are fair, too.

This is all courtesy of the universal adoption of 200-treadwear street tires across multiple, popular competition venues. The popularity of these 200tw tires has driven manufacturers to focus tremendous attention on this category. And that attention keeps delivering new products: The old four-to-six-year refresh cycle has been shortened to just a year or two as the performance bar is constantly pushed ever higher. It’s an outright tire war-and we all win.

As grip has increased, though, tire life has dropped. This has brought increased sales and led to some supply chain shortages. Participants now need to have a Plan B that includes both an alternate tire and correlating setup specs.

Three new contenders have recently entered this world: the Nexen N FERA SUR4G, Hankook Ventus R-S4, and BFGoodrich g-Force Rival S 1.5. That means, of course, that it’s time for some more testing.

Our test vehicle would be the ex-GRM Street Touring Miata, which won a pair of SCCA ProSolo championships back in 2006. It’s now being campaigned by multi-time champ David Whitener. Since this is his car and it’s set up the way that he likes it, David served as the primary test driver. Fellow multi-time champ Andy Hollis ran as a guest to add veracity to the data. We used our permanent test course and skidpad marked on the expansive, medium-grip asphalt of the airport in Mineral Wells, Texas.

Tire sizes were 225/45R15, all mounted on Street Touring-legal 15×7.5-inch wheels sourced from 949 Racing. Our prices for all of the tires tested came courtesy of Tire Rack’s website; note that these prices can fluctuate over time.

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CyberEric Reader
12/12/17 11:45 a.m.

Thank you for the test!

Is the Nexen a new tire with the same name? Sounds like they've made some big improvements. 

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
12/12/17 3:15 p.m.
CyberEric said:

Thank you for the test!

Is the Nexen a new tire with the same name? Sounds like they've made some big improvements. 

This from Nexen-------We did change the name slightly. From SUR4 first edition to the SUR4G which was tested this time around.

Good read. I would really get into a 200TW track tire comparison test; no auto-x tests, big track only. With the focus dividing the tires up, into hero lap tires, sprint race/HPDE tires, and enduro/endurance tires, based on observed tire behavior and the test results. Yeah, that would be a long day, that would require a pretty big support crew. And multiple relatively similar track cars. I don't mind taking off work to help wink

ogrib New Reader
12/12/17 3:46 p.m.

... but how do these compare to the RE-71R?

fanfoy Dork
12/12/17 3:55 p.m.

Wow good job Nexen. 

CyberEric Reader
12/12/17 5:18 p.m.

In reply to Joe Gearin :

How could I have missed that! :) Thanks!

CyberEric Reader
12/12/17 5:19 p.m.

In reply to ogrib :

Was wondering the same thing. Probably depends on driving style and car weight/tire size. At least that's what seemed to separate the Rival and the RE71R.

Trans_Maro PowerDork
12/12/17 9:02 p.m.


Like the "available at wal-mart for $30.00" Nexen?

NickD UltraDork
12/13/17 5:30 a.m.
Trans_Maro said:


Like the "available at wal-mart for $30.00" Nexen?

Yeah, they threw down with a serious motorsports development program

red_stapler Dork
12/13/17 7:17 a.m.

Nexen is basically what Kumho was in 2000 or so.

Jaynen SuperDork
12/13/17 6:45 p.m.

The Nexen are just a great bargain. If you are not trying to be the best of the best especially save yourself the 30-40 bucks per tire. I will say running them at a track day they did start to get a bit hot and greasy about 20 minutes in to a 30 minute session but up until then they felt very consistent (we were running them on a 2015 WRX at VIR full course)

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