The Yokohama ADVAN Apex V601: A Max-Performance Summer Tire Designed for the American Market

Sponsored article presented by Yokohama ADVAN Tires.

 

While Yokohama’s performance tires have been popular with enthusiasts for decades—after all, the company goes back more than a hundred years—its new ADVAN Apex V601, a max-performance summer model, breaks ground. It’s the company’s first tire developed in the U.S. specifically for the American market.

What Kind of Tire Is the ADVAN Apex?

Every time a tire’s mission expands, compromises must be made. A tire that must handle dry summers as well as snowy winters, for example, isn’t going to hang with a dedicated race tire on track. It’s just the nature of physics and engineering.

The ADVAN Apex falls into the max-performance summer tire class, meaning its engineers aimed for very high marks in dry and wet handling. The tire isn’t intended for winter use, so that helped narrow the operating parameters.

A solid center rib provides high-speed stability. Wide outside tread blocks increase cornering grip. And deep circumferential grooves aid water evacuation while helping to dissipate heat. At the same time, the tread design provides a quieter ride, and rounded ribs extend tread life.

The tire’s UTQG treadwear rating of 280 hints at its dry-weather performance: sticky and aimed at the enthusiast market.

How does the ADVAN Apex Compare to the ADVAN A052?

Yokohama also recently released the ADVAN A052, an extreme-performance summer tire focused on dry grip and bearing an even softer 200-treadwear rating. This tire quickly dominated autocross competition, claiming eight titles at the 2019 Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships while practically sweeping the Street Touring ranks.

At first glance, these two tires look similar—similar tread patterns and similar UTQG ratings. How does Yokohama differentiate the two models, and how do their separate missions help someone select between the two?

In many ways, explains Duane Sampson, product marketing manager at Yokohama Tire Corporation, the ADVAN Apex and the ADVAN A052 are siblings. Both are made in Japan and both descend from a strong, unbroken lineage of Yokohama performance tires.

But in many ways, they are different,” he continues. “For example, the ADVAN Apex is made in the same facilities as our most premier OEM fitments, like those on the BMW M series or Mercedes AMG vehicles. And the ADVAN A052 is exclusively made on the same production line as Yokohama’s non-DOT competition tires that compete around the world.”

Since performance is paramount for both tires, they share visual cues, including that can’t-miss-it uninterrupted center rib and those blocky shoulders. “But whereas the ADVAN A052 has three circumferential grooves,” Sampson continues, “the ADVAN Apex has four circumferential grooves for water evacuation, as the ADVAN Apex is much more of a daily driver/weekend car tire that has to regularly deal with wet road conditions.”

Call the ADVAN Apex a slightly more civil version of the A052. It’s fast but also designed to shine under both wet and dry conditions.

As far as a customer trying to differentiate the two tires,” Sampson says, “it truly depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your tire purchase: dominate or enhance? If you are putting on tires to dominate the competition in an autocross or on track against other 200 UTQG category tires, the A052 is your choice without question. It will provide way more smiles than miles.

If you are taking your already-quick and fun-to-drive car and want to enhance those characteristics while still keeping it refined for the road, last up to 25,000 miles—12,500 with stagger fitments—then the ADVAN Apex is the tire,” he continues. “And don’t get me wrong, the Apex will provide plenty of smiles.”

How Does the ADVAN Apex Compare Against the Competition?

As Sampson explains, Yokohama aimed to take on all comers with its ADVAN Apex. “The focus on performance marks was the world-class brands and products that compete in the segment,” he explains, “but at the same time keep an eye on the tires that have a main selling point of price. Like the saying goes: Good, fast and cheap—pick two of three.

With the ADVAN Apex,” he continues, “we strived for the illusive trifecta of all: performance marks met for the category, a mileage warranty, and at a price that is attainable in the market.”

The ADVAN Apex in the 225/45R17 size—the smallest available—retails for about $140 each. That’s less than the Continental Extremecontact Sport and the Michelin Sport 4S, two of the previous benchmarks in the class.

How Was the Apex Designed for the American Market?

When it comes to tires, each country has its own standards and certifications, and those requirements have become more stringent in just the past 10 years or so.

These relate to fuel efficiency, wet grip and pass-by noise, all of which have an impact in some way or another on a tire’s performance in other categories,” Sampson explains.

Since the ADVAN Apex V601 was designed specifically for the U.S. market, its performance was tuned for our standards—which, in the end, centers on performance. “And by performance, most people automatically think of speed and handling,” Sampson explains. But he adds more qualities to the list, including wet performance, road noise and fuel economy.

And how does the focus on those attributes impact the other deliverables needed by a summer tire?” he asks. “Take all those things into consideration and then throw in the fitments for vehicles in the target market, and you are getting pretty close to a specific market-developed tire.”

How Was the ADVAN Apex Designed for American Cars?

Yokohama offers the ADVAN Apex in 44 different sizes, with rim diameters spanning 17 to 20 inches—a range that covers most of today’s popular sporty cars.

But again, some of those sizes specifically cover cars popular among American enthusiasts. “Here in the United States, we have different vehicles,” Sampson explains. “Without fact checking, I would say the proliferation of Dodge Challenger and Charger widebodies in many of the populous states likely outweighs the proliferation of the same vehicles overseas in all countries combined.” So yes, there’s an ADVAN Apex for that car.

How Was the ADVAN Apex Designed for American Roads?

One more ingredient Yokohama considered when tuning the tire: the roads it would encounter. “Now we combine vehicles with different road surfaces from Maine to Arizona made with different aggregates and subjected to vastly different types of weather,” Sampson explains. “And then throw in roads flat and straight as an arrow across the lower states to the twisting roads up the Sierra Nevada mountains.”

 

 
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Comments
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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/13/20 8:24 a.m.

Sizes start at 245/40-17 (smallest overall ID, there's also a 225/45-17) and go up to 20" variants. FYI.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
7/13/20 8:47 a.m.

Can we expect that the Apex will be less expensive than the A052?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/13/20 8:59 a.m.

Both tires are on Tire Rack now. In a 245/40-17, the Apex V601 is $169.22 and the A052 is $217.03. The RE-71R is $182.92.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
7/13/20 11:52 a.m.

I guess I’m the only guy in America with smaller wheels than 17s.

These sound great for a street tire that sometimes sees track/autox, something we have all been asking for as the competition street tires have gotten so bonkers, but I need something smaller.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/13/20 11:54 a.m.
CyberEric said:

I guess I’m the only guy in America with smaller wheels than 17s.

Even 17's are not in-vogue anymore. I have sold all but one of my sets of 17" wheels because the tire selection has gotten so lousy.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
7/13/20 11:58 a.m.

In reply to Javelin (Forum Supporter) :

Ugh. I hate this trend of boat anchor giant wheels. More expensive, more weight, and I don’t think it looks good either. I know I’m in the minority at that last point.

Patientzero
Patientzero HalfDork
7/13/20 2:00 p.m.

Since these are made for the American market, are they going to offer American (Muscle) sizes? 

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