German car magazine Auto Bild Sportscars recently named the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres as test winner in their semi-slick tyre test.
Keen to discover whether a semi-slick tyre was a good option for everyday driving, the German testers took 5 of the top tyres in this sector and put them through their paces.
The Tyre Test
Each tyre in the test was sized 235/35 R19 and fitted, each in turn, to a Focus ST – allowing the testers to help differentiate the performances of the tyres alone.
The location? Continental AG’s race and testing circuit in the heart of Texas.
Semi-slick tyres feature, by nature, a lot of rubber with little of the standard profiling and tread depth.
This look, and the driving style that complements these tyres, make them a very popular option amongst car tuners and gear heads alike.
Originally designed for amateur racing – semi-slick tyres have been enjoying a recent uplift in choice for every day drivers with beefier and more powerful cars.
However, due to the nature of the tyres, they have historically been considered as a potential safety risk when driving in wet weather – but, is this still true today? That was an answer Auto Bild Sportscars was keen to find out.
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 impressed testers. They commented on how the tyre delivered a precise steering response, with high levels of grip when on both wet and dry slopes.
The overall exemplary performance put this tyre at the top of the pack.
Dunlop Sport Maxx Race
In a close second, the Dunlop Sport Maxx Race provided testers with safe handling performance on wet and dry slopes. Like the Michelin, the tyre impressed the testers with precise steering and good road feedback.
The only downside being an average grip level on wet slopes.
Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R
The Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R delivered a convincing sporty handling performance, with fast lap times on both the wet and dry slopes. The steering precision being one area that particularly stood out for the testers.
However, a weak aquaplaning performance and high price let the tyre down.
Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 R
Testers found that the Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 R provided a balanced and safe wet handling performance, thanks to good lateral guidance and short braking distances in dry conditions.
Unfortunately an average grip and slight delay when steering on dry slopes let the tyre down.
Toyo Proxes R888 R
Coming in last place, the Toyo Proxes R888 R was commended for its short dry braking distances and affordable pricing point.
However, testers found the tyre’s performance significantly lagged behind the others in aquaplaning resistance, grip levels on dry and wet slopes and braking distances.
The Overall Verdict for Semi-Slicks
The overall verdict from Auto Bild Sportscars, for Semi-Slick tyres, was that yes – most modern tyres in this sector are good enough and reliable for the road.
The tyres tested from Dunlop, Pirelli and, most of all, Michelin impressed – with superb handling and direct steering performances.