All season tires can be a great way to ensure that you are always getting the best possible traction and grip on the road no matter what the weather is like. They are a great choice if you drive regularly and live in a place that has all four seasons. However, not every all season tire has the performance capabilities you might be looking for. They are known for their dependability and long tread life, but not so much their handling or acceleration.
Figure 1: Ultra high performance all season tires can give you the best of both worlds in all around performance and safety. Source: PRNewswire.com.
It can be difficult to go through every all season tire on the market and find a set that will also give you responsive handling and steering. Luckily, they do exist and that’s what today’s post is all about. By narrowing down the choices in the market to find the tires that have performance-focused technology, we have been able to put together a shortlist of the best ultra high performance all season tires.
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With this list, you can find the set that is perfectly suited to your performance needs, as well as the comfort and reliability that comes with an all season tire. By looking for the “best of both worlds” option, we have been able to find some truly incredible examples of the best ultra high performance all season tires.
What Makes a Great Ultra High Performance All Season Tire?
All season tires are generally known for their comfort and quiet ride, even in less than ideal weather. Because of this, they tend to have softer handling and a squishier ride quality, which may not be ideal for a sports car or lighter coupe. This is why many people choose to own multiple sets of tires for different seasons. However, if you don’t want to make this investment or bother with changing out your tires every few months, a high performance all season tire could be a great option.
Figure 2: Combining all season compounds with high performance tread is a hallmark of the best ultra high performance all season tires. Source: AutoGuide.com.
We spoke to a tire specialist at Big O Tires who told us that the best ultra high performance all season tires will have “compounds that are designed to change with the seasons. They’re still made out of rubber, but they use additives and other things like that to keep them from softening up in the summer. A lot of winter tires are just too soft when they hit a hot surface, so those special compounds are great for keeping them light on their feet and quick when it’s hot out.”
Many of these special tire compounds use silica or silane to react to the temperature of the asphalt. This provides a low rolling resistance when it is hot out, and a high rolling resistance when it is cold. Rolling resistance is measured by how much energy it takes to rotate the tire. The lower it is, the more reactive the steering and acceleration will be, which is ideal for a sports car or two door coupe.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO ON WHAT IT MEANS FOR AN ALL SEASON TIRE TO BE ULTRA HIGH PERFORMANCE
High speed stability is another important factor in the best ultra high performance all season tires. Stability is usually dictated by the tread design and the construction of the tire. Tires with independent tread blocks will react individually to inconsistencies in the road, creating an absorbent surface for the car to roll along. Circumferential grooves can also increase stability at highway speeds and make for a more fun driving experience by improving cornering and reducing understeer. By combining these factors with the specialized compounds, you can get all the best qualities of a high performance tire, without sacrificing safety in poor weather conditions.
Sources: TheDrive.com; LiveAbout.com; BridgestoneAmericas.com; Continental-Tires.com; Interview with tire specialist at Big O Tires conducted 12/21/2020.
How Did We Pick the Best Ultra High Performance All Season Tire?
In putting together our shortlist, we went through many of the best all season tires on the market and found the sets that were most geared towards performance. To do this, we looked for tires that had a large amount of surface tread as well as water wicking technology built into that tread design. Combining these factors is a great way to get the best performance out of a tire, while still maintaining all season dependability.
Figure 3: Ultra high performance all season tires will still give you responsive handling, even in light snow. Source: Improb.com.
We also looked for all season tires that had a low profile. This means that they have a smaller ratio of height to width. A low profile means that they will be quicker to respond to your movements on the gas and brake, while delivering an increased grip due to their larger width. Many all season tires do not have this low profile, so we were able to narrow down the market with the lowest possible ratio to find the best ultra high performance all season tires available.
By choosing one of the tires from our shortlist, you can ensure that you are getting that solid combination of performance and reliability. If you want year round dependability for your sports car or small coupe, any of these could be a great option.
Sources: TireDeets.com; TheDrive.com.
1. Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season
Figure 4: The Eagle Sport All-Season uses outboard shoulder blocks to give you a biting edge around the circumference of the tire. Source: TireRack.com.
The Eagle Sport All-Season by Goodyear uses an all season tread compound and combines it with high performance technology to give you everything you need in one tire. With a large surface area, it allows the tire to maintain a wide contact patch that translates into responsive handling and quick braking and acceleration. With an asymmetric tread pattern, it also gives a quiet ride by keeping air from becoming trapped within the tread grooves.
Outboard shoulder blocks on the Eagle Sport enable some of the best steering response on the market. The driveability of these tires is what makes them one of the best ultra high performance all season tires available. The sipes along the circumference are also at the full depth of the tire, so you will get superior traction, even as the tires wear.
The internal construction of the Eagle Sport is where the high performance aspects really shine. It uses Goodyear’s RaceWrap Construction Technology, which was developed specifically for NASCAR competition. Using a polyester cord casing, the sidewalls are at a slight angle, which allows them to flex and move with the car. This creates flexible handling and an incredibly tight response. Combining these elements with the all season capability gives you some of the best all around quality available.
2. Firestone Firehawk AS
Figure 5: The Firehawk AS uses a combination of compounds to create a tire that is suited for nearly any application. Source: TireRack.com.
The Firehawk AS by Firestone is an all season tire that was developed specifically for drivers of sporty coupes, sports cars and high performance sedans. It combines safety and performance for a year round usability that is unmatched in the all season market. This combination is what makes it one of the best ultra high performance all season tires.
The asymmetric tread design keeps water out from underneath the vehicle and is made up of Firestone’s Long Link Carbon compound. This compound is incredibly stable as-is, but is enhanced even more with the use of silica as an additive in order to give you the all season capability. By reacting to the temperature of the road as well as the surface, you get complete control no matter what the weather is like.
The full depth grooves and sipes also give you a longer tread life at peak performance. Many tires will start to lose their capabilities as they wear down, but since the negative space is that deep, it will continue to serve you even after many seasons. With 20% more biting edges than the previous model, the Firehawk AS is, without a doubt, one of the best ultra high performance all season tires available on the market.
3. BFGoodrich G-Force Comp-2
Figure 6: The G-Force Comp-2 by BFGoodrich uses a V-shaped directional pattern to move water from the contact patch and increase traction in wet weather. Source: TireRack.com.
The G-Force Comp-2 by BFGoodrich is their ultra high performance tire with a dedication to all season driving. It uses a high silica compound to react to the weather and flex accordingly in order to translate to a quick, responsive feel, even in light snow. This tread compound is molded into a directional pattern in a V-shape that runs along the circumference of the tire. This allows the G-Force Comp-2 to move water out from under the vehicle and maintain a solid contact patch with the asphalt.
This directional pattern is offset by the independent tread blocks that are squared off on the sides to give you more biting edges in snow and rain. The wrap around the shape of the tire and help promote even tread wear, which can prevent bald spots and a dip in performance.
The G-Force Comp-2 also uses BFGoodrich’s Performance Racing Core to give you stability at high speeds and responsive cornering. This attention to the construction is what makes this one of the best ultra high performance all season tires available on the market.