Tire Rack Puts New And Improved Ultra High Performance All-Season Tires To The Test

Fuzion, Kumho and Sumitomo go head to head with category stalwart Firestone

Does new or improved always equal better? When it comes to ultra high performance all-season tires (UHPAS), the latest test data from The Tire Rack, America’s largest independent tire tester and consumer-direct source for tires, suggests that it does – at least in some cases.

Tire Rack’s most recent test included three UHPAS tires claiming a level of “newness,” including the all-new Fuzion UHP Sport A/S as well as the redesigned Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 and Kumho Ecsta 4X II. Firestone’s existing Firehawk Wide Oval AS was included to provide a solid category reference point.

To put these tires to the test, Tire Rack evaluated each set based on its performance in dry conditions, wet conditions, on the road and on the track. Using a 2014 BMW F30 328i sedan as its “test sled,” Tire Rack testers went to work on the company’s own test track and real roads.

Tire Rack’s South Bend test track provides a surface for wet and dry road simulations, as well as maneuvering challenges, such as 90-degree corners, ramps and a five-cone slalom. The six-mile road loop, on the other hand, provides a variety of everyday traffic conditions, speed limits and surfaces, ranging from smooth concrete and new asphalt to coarse concrete and patched asphalt. To get the complete picture, Tire Rack’s testing process also ensures that every tire is subjected to the type of driving a consumer will engage in, regardless of geography, from expressways and state highways to country roads.

Kumho proved to be both champion and challenger in this test. The brand dominated in every test category, including handling, traction, steering response and road noise. The Kumho Ecsta 4X II maximized sportiness and traction in both wet and dry conditions and minimized intrusive road noise – the best possible blend of attributes in the UHPAS category. The Sumitomo, another updated model, took second place, demonstrating impressive traction in wet conditions and delivering a comfortable ride. Firestone ended up in third place due to overall uncompetitive performance, including slow lap times. With the poorest results both on the track and on the road, including worst performance in wet conditions, Fuzion’s UHP Sport A/S brought up the rear in this group despite its all-new status.

For complete results and more detailed information on this and other tire tests, visit TireRack.com, where you’ll find information on this evaluation, dozens of other comparisons, and thousands of relevant consumer surveys.

About Tire Rack

Tire Rack, family-owned and headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, is America’s largest independent tire tester and consumer-direct source for tires, wheels and performance accessories. Their team of over 100 test drivers (their sales team) tests tires from every major tire manufacturer on the company’s state-of-the-art, 11.7-acre test facility. The findings are then posted on the company’s website, tirerack.com, where consumers can make an educated decision on a tire, wheel or performance accessory purchase.

Tire Rack has also collected results from nearly 150,000 consumer surveys representing over 2.4 billion miles of real-world tire data, the largest known cache of such information anywhere. In addition, various testing and informational videos are available online in their Video Center at tirerack.com/videos. Since 1979, Tire Rack has grown from a single-point retail store in Indianapolis to encompass over 2.2 million square feet of space in seven distribution centers across the country. A diverse and broad in-stock inventory from 20 major tire and 55 wheel brands can be delivered anywhere in the country, most in one business day. A national network of over 8,000 independent Recommended Installers is available to assist customers with installation of their purchases.

To read today’s automotive/motorsports op-ed, news and information please visit PRRACEwire, or follow us on Twitter at PRRW – Twitter, or PRRACEwire.

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