Andy Hollis
Andy Hollis
9/12/16 11:46 a.m.

If tire development stopped in the 1950s, today we’d all be riding around on big balloon tires sporting obscenely wide whitewalls. Sure, we’d look all jazzy, but we’d be giving up the performance that we now take for granted.

Want to appreciate how far the technology has come? Take a look at the market segment spurring some of the industry’s most intense development: extreme-performance summer tires. This category includes the 200-treadwear rubber so often found at track days and autocrosses. Call it the sharp end of the stick.

The segment recently welcomed two new contenders: BFGoodrich tweaked its g-Force Rival-S for 2016, and Maxxis released its Victra VR-1 in a superwide 245/40R15. Before this, only R-compound race rubber came in that size.

Has the bar been raised once more? During our autocross test from last year, the Rival-S just barely beat out the Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R for top honors. The BFGoodrich posted a top lap time of 23.6 seconds, while the Bridgestone trailed by just two-tenths.

Time to see if there’s been a change in the status quo.

Read the rest of the story

9/13/16 6:07 a.m.

In reply to Andy Hollis:

Would have liked to have seen the RE71 in this test, but I totally get why it's absent. I'm running the 2015 Rival right now and have found it to be a super sticky setup, without the propensity to slide that other people report. My big complaint is that they require so much steering angle and are very numb in both feeling and noise - you say the '16s are more responsive, can you give a little more detail about that?

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