The best summer tyres

  • Author: OPONEO.CO.UK

Everyone knows what a tyre looks like.It's round, black, with some labels on the side and grooves and cuts on the tread.But what should we consider when buying a tyre?What are the differences between models?What is the advantage, or the differences between one tyre and the other?
The manufacturers try to outdo one another in innovations and novelties that are supposed to ensure market success and customer satisfaction.Let’s look at the solutions used in 2010 models, that were highly recommended in last year’s ADAC tests.

Bridgestone Potenza RE050 A

This is one of the tyres considered by many drivers to be a synonym for reliability and high performance.Despite the fact that Bridgestone Potenza RE050A has been available for a couple of years, it is still at the top of this list.Its status was further confirmed when it was considered a highly recommended product in this year’s ADAC test of size 225/45 R17 tyres.

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Bridgestone RE050 A

Bridgestone RE050 A

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Potenza RE050A has been especially praised by drivers for its balanced performance on dry and wet roads, as well as for its low noise level.Its high performance can be credited to the engineers, that modelled Potenza on Formula 1 tyres. The outer part was designed based on the slick technology, while the inner part is responsible for channelling water.The tyre uses a rubber mix containing silica, which extends the range of optimal working temperatures, ensuring high performance in all summer conditions.The tread pattern was designed to guarantee the lowest possible noise level from its blocks.Slanted grooves on the shoulder channel water, while the innovative ribs and blocks ensure precise driving and low noise level.

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The tyre is available in sizes from 16” to 20” and with profiles 55 to 30. It was chosen as original equipment for such cars as:AMG C-Class, S-Class, CLS 55 & SL 55, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, DB9, Audi A4, A6, S6, TT, BMW series 1, 3, 5, 6 and Z4, Ferrari Enzo, 575-Maranello Superamerica, F430, Scaglietti 612, Honda S2000, Lexus IS 250/350, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, B-Class, C-Class, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8, Opel Astra and Zafira, Porsche 911, Cayman and Boxster, Seat Altea, Leon, Toledo, Subaru Impreza & Legacy, Volkswagen Cabrio EOS, Golf 5, Golf GTI, Golf Plus and Passat.

Continental ContiPremiumContact 2

Continental ContiPremiumContact 2 is another example of a tyre which has been praised for years by drivers and has ranked high in many tests.This year's ADAC tests were no different. The tyre was considered highly recommended in the 185/65 R15 group.

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Continental ContiPremiumContact 2

Continental ContiPremiumContact 2

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ContiPremiumContact 2 is a successor to the ContiPremiumContact model, and even though the tread patterns seem similar at first, the new model was equipped with a new technology that significantly boosted its performance.The innovative 3D grooves shortened braking distance on both wet and dry surfaces.A three-dimensional groove shape is more efficient at channelling water when braking and when driving, pushing back the aquaplaning point.When driving on dry surfaces, the shape of the grooves ensures better stability and drivability.The pattern and shape of the grooves was designed to limit the rolling noise.Apart from 3D grooves, the tyre has an optimised shape and area of the contour to better avoid aquaplaning.Continental engineers have also designed a new rubber mix which provides good grip and high durability.

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This tyre is intended for middle and higher class vehicles.It is available in many different rim sizes, from 14 to 18 inches, profiles of 70 to 40 and in widths of 155 to 245.

Continental ContiSportContact 3

In this year’s ADAC test, another Continental tyre, ConntiSportContact 3 was also tested.

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Continental ContiSportContact 3

Continental ContiSportContact 3

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It is intended for more powerful cars with sporting parameters.Asymmetry was a guiding principle when designing this model:there's asymmetry in the whole tread, the pattern of grooves and cuts, as well as the grooves themselves.This means that the shapes of the right and left side of the groove are different.This solution guarantees very high stability and precision.These two parameters are very important when driving at high speeds, especially with abrupt manoeuvres, when there are lateral forces at play.The folded fringes stabilise the tread ribs and decrease their deformation by the forces.This rib shape also provides longitudinal stiffness when braking and accelerating.The Hanover engineers didn’t forget about the tyre’s properties on wet surfaces and took it into consideration when designing the grooves.

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This tyre is meant for higher class and sports vehicles.It is available in many different rim sizes, from 16 to 22 inches, profiles of 55 to 25 and in widths of 195 to 325.

Dunlop SP Sport MAXX TT

Dunlop SP Sport MAXX TT is a product for drivers of high-class and sports vehicles.

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Dunlop SP Sport MAXX TT

Dunlop SP Sport MAXX TT

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The most important technological solutions which ensure high performance of this tyre are:Kevlar, a rubber mix containing nanoparticles and the Dunlop Touch Technology.Kevlar, which is known for its strength, was used in the beading to ensure better stiffness and better fit around the rim.Grip on wet and dry surfaces, as well as high durability are provided by the special rubber mix, which contains a selection of polymers, as well as nanoparticles and resins.There was great emphasis on tread properties when designing the tyre.The tread contour is larger and more square, which provides for better stability and driving precision.These parameters are also guaranteed by the MRT (Multi Radius Trea) technology, which ensures optimal pressure distribution when driving.

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Dunlop SP Sport Maxx TT is available in sized from 16 to 19 inches and the widths of 195 to 255.

Dunlop SP Sport Fastresponse

Dunlop SP Sport Fastresponse is equipped with the Dunlop Touch Technology, which is also used in SP Sport Maxx TT model.

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Dunlop SP Sport Fastresponse

Dunlop SP Sport Fastresponse

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Dunlop SP Sport Fastresponse is equipped with the Dunlop Touch Technology, which is also used in SP Sport Maxx TT model.
Although the solution used here is different in details from Dunlop SP Sport Maxx TT, their purpose is the same - to enhance drivability in all conditions, grip on dry and wet surfaces and protect against aquaplaning.
An asymmetrical tread on this tyre consists of three zones, each of them different in character and purpose.Just as with Dunlop SP Sport Maxx TT, the engineers made the contact patch more rectangular, which has a positive influence on stability and precision.MRT technology was also used.Even though the rubber mix differs from the that used in SP Sport Maxx TT, it is still worth mentioning.The rubber mix improves the tyre’s performance on wet surface and has higher durability.All this is ensured by a proper, more durable and more homogenous mixture of silica and polymers.

Check Dunlop SP Sport Fastresponse user reviews on OPONEO

This tyre is available with speed indexes of T, H, V, sizes from 14" to 17", with a profile of 45 to 65 and the widths of 185 to 225.

Michelin Pilot Sport 3

This is a new product from Michelin for the summer season of 2010. It is the successor of the Pilot Sport 2, which was dedicated to powerful sports vehicles.

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Michelin Pilot Sport 3

Michelin Pilot Sport 3

The manufacturer declared that all tyre parameters were improved as compared with the previous model, including the braking distance on wet surfaces by 3 metres, durability by 10%. Rolling resistance was also decreased.
What innovations allowed the French manufacturer to achieve such results?Three elements were the most vital:

  • Green Power Compound – a tread rubber mix, which enhances both grip and durability, thanks to a special formula of elastomers.Silica was used as a filler in the mix, which lowered the fuel consumption.
  • Anti-Surf technology – a way to avoid aquaplaning by making the shoulder more rounded, which raises them above the surface to better channel the water sideways through the cross-grooves.
  • Programmed Distortion Technology – the shape of the tread pattern which provides grip, precision, even wearing-off and optimal temperature, when combined with the Green Power Compound.The tyre heats up quickly, which allows it to achieve its proper grip just a few moments after the car is started.At the same time, when the optimal temperature is reached, the special properties of the rubber prevents excessive heat accumulation, which would decrease drivability and increase rolling resistance.

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The efficiency of these solutions was confirmed by the ADAC tests of 255/45 R17 tyres, where this tyre was rated as highly recommended.MICHELIN Pilot Sport 3 tyres will be introduced gradually over the whole 2010.25 sizes will be available by the end of the year.Pilot Sport 3 has already been approved as original equipment for Audi A3, Citroen C4, Ford CMax, Mercedes S65 AMG, Mercedes E-Class and Mercedes SL.

Nokian H

The group honoured by ADAC this year also included the 185/65 R15 Nokian H.

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Nokian H

Nokian H

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Nokian H and Nokian V have the same tread pattern, but different rubber mix and structure.Both versions are optimised for speed.
The Cool Silica mix used in Nokian H contains silica, which decreases rolling resistance, and thus fuel consumption and CO2 emission, which fits very well with the environmentally-friendly image of the company.Additionally, the mix’s composition allows it to retain its properties for a wide range of temperatures – even in relatively low temperatures for the summer tyres.

The tread on Nokian H is asymmetrical.Four wide circumferential grooves that efficiently channel the water from the contact surface are its characteristic feature.Additionally, the bottom and the walls of the grooves are polished to further enhance water removal.The middle section of the tyre is very stiff, which influences the tyre's behaviour in corners and when braking on dry surface.The tread pattern also includes a solution called Splashstopper.It stops the water from splashing to the sides and behind the wheel, which enhances driving safety.

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This tyre is available with speed index H, rim sizes from 14" to 16", with a profile of 55 to 65 and the widths of 175 to 215.

Pirelli Cinturato P7

A range of Cinturato tyres is divided in three families - Cinturator P4, Cinturato P6 and Cinturato P7 - depending on the size and class of the vehicle, for which the tyre is approved.
Cinturato P7 is a new summer tyre from Pirelli, which combines environmental friendliness with high performance.Thus, it is the Italian manufacturer’s response to current trends.

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Pirelli Cinturato P7

Pirelli Cinturato P7

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The mixes used in this tyre do not contain harmful aromatic oils.The rubber mix, as well as the construction, help limit the CO2 emissions. All this was achieved while improving braking on wet and dry surfaces, as well as other parameters, when compared to the previous model.An asymmetrical tread pattern has four circumferential grooves responsible for channelling the water outwards.Blocks in every rib have different shapes and were designed to ensure even wear, high mechanical and acoustical comfort (low noise level) and enhance safety and performance throughout the whole lifetime of the tyre.A special, technologically advances polymer mixture is another benefit of this tyre.

This tyre is available in the width of 205 to 245, rim sizes 16 to 18 inches and profiles of 60 to 40. It was approved as original equipment for such manufacturers as Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo.

Pirelli Cinturato P6

Cinturato P6 is a Cinturato model for mid-range vehicles. The aims while designing the tyre were the same as with Cinturato P7.

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Pirelli Cinturato P6

Pirelli Cinturato P6

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This tyre is environmentally friendly, without compromising its safety and performance.But this time, a different road to achieve this was chosen.This time, a symmetrical pattern was used, with four circumferential grooves to channel water from the road.The middle belt of the tread is very stiff and stable, which helps keep it in constant contact with the road and ensures stability, even at high speeds.The shape and correct profile of other tread blocks, combined with characteristic sipes, provide traction and braking in all conditions.

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This tyre is available with speed indexes T, H and V, rim sizes from 14" to 16", with a profile of 55 to 65 and the widths of 145 to 205. It is used as original equipment by such manufacturers as Seat and Volkswagen.

Uniroyal Rain Expert

Uniroyal is a brand known for their tyres’, sometimes called rain tyres, performance on wet surfaces.The Rain Expert model, just like most of this manufacturer’s tyres, has a V-shaped tread pattern.

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Uniroyal RainExpert

Uniroyal RainExpert

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The blocks form a V-shaped pattern with three or four circumferential grooves, depending on tread width.It is a perfect combination – the V-shaped pattern breaks the water, which is then channelled by the circumferential grooves.These grooves have a special double-concave shape, which prevents whirlpools forming,  which would impede efficient water removal.

There is also an original solution, which has not yet been used in summer tyres, namely an additional treadwear indicator, higher than a standard TWI.It is 3 mm high which is based on the principle that the risk of aquaplaning and braking distance drastically grow beyond this tread depth.There are small rubber cubes placed in various places around the circumference, that tell the user that they should consider replacing the tyre, even though it may still be legally used.The locations of these indicators are marked by drop-shaped symbols on the shoulder.

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Uniroyal RainExpert tyres are available in 78 sizes from 13 to 16 inches and in widths from 135 to 235.

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