Spring may be getting off to a slow start this year, but the tyre testing season is well underway. Having already compared 51 summer tyres for 15-inch wheels, AutoBild has now turned its attention to sports tyres for 20-inch rim diameters. Fitted on a Mercedes C-Class, eight tyres in size 245/30 R20 were put through the usual tests: aquaplaning, braking from 100 km/h (62 mph), wet and dry handling, noise, rolling resistance and cornering in wet conditions.
Note the presence of the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 and HankookVentus S1 Evo K107 in the line-up. This was due to the latest models of these tyres not being available in the size tested. The following tyres were tested:
1 tyre not recommended, 2 with room for improvement
As the only tyre to receive the “not recommended” rating, it’s safe to say that the Nankang Noble Sport NS-20 did not convince AutoBild. The Taiwanese manufacturer’s tyre finished last in every braking test, both in dry and wet conditions. On the wet, the tyre needed almost 5 metres more to come to a stop than the closest tyre, and more than 11 metres more than the first-place tyre in this test. On the plus side, it obtained the top score in the aquaplaning test, and came second for rolling noise. It was also the cheapest tyre tested, with a total cost of €420 (around £370) for 4 tyres, which is at least half the price of most of the other tyres in the test.
“Recommended with reservation”, the KumhoEcsta PS71 was let down by its poor wet handling. Slow on this surface and with a long braking distance, this tyre made up ground in aquaplaning tests. It also offered the best score for rolling resistance fat an overall cost of €560 (around £490).
The Bridgestone Potenza S001 also paid for its sub-par performance in wet conditions. With the second longest braking distance on this surface, it needed 51.7 metres to stop from 100 km/h.
A crowded podium, 5 exemplary tyres
The Continental SportContact 6 proved to be a well-balanced tyre, both in wet and dry conditions. Stable when cornering and quiet, it was let down by its rolling resistance, which was the highest of the tyres tested and prevented it from ranking higher.
There was a three-way tie for second place between the Vredestein, Hankook and Goodyear entries. The VredesteinUltracVorti R dominated the ranking for dry handling and had the second shortest braking distance on this surface (36.6 m). It was just as effective in wet conditions, despite losing some ground in aquaplaning resistance tests, a characteristic shared with the HankookVentus S1 Evo K107. The latter tyre was also well balanced, providing good performance on wet and dry roads with a fast steering response. The Hankook tyre was also the cheapest of the “exemplary” tyres with a total price of €790 (£690) for four. As mentioned earlier, the Ventus S1 Evo K107 is an older generation tyre, as is the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2, which according to AutoBild, also performed well. The magazine underlines the tyre’s good cornering stability and wet braking performance. It finished second in wet braking tests, needing 46.7 m to stop from 100 km/h.
Top spot in this test went to the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, which obtained very good results on all surfaces. On dry roads, it has the shortest braking distance (35.9 m). It also recorded the second best result for dry handling. On wet surfaces, the Michelin tyre took first place in handling tests and also had the shortest braking distance (45.2 m). It even performed well in aquaplaning tests. AutoBild emphasized the precise steering of the PS4S and the tyre’s good feedback, despite average comfort levels and high rolling noise. However, this performance comes at a price: €1100 (roughly £960) for a set of four tyres, at least €200 more than its competitors.
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