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2018 Wheels Tyre Test: Slalom

By Nathan Ponchard, 08 Oct 2018 Features

2018 Wheels Tyre Test: Slalom

Upping your car’s cornering G-force by 10 percent is the stuff of a sports suspension upgrade, right? And cutting a car-length from your braking distance is the work of a set of Brembos? Nope, you just need a great set of tyres

2018 Wheels Tyre Test: Click here to read the introduction

The swerve-and-recover test, or slalom – just like the skiing event – is an efficient way to gather meaningful data on a tyre’s transient grip level in less than 10 seconds. Across more than 50 runs (including control-tyre stints), Renato only spun the ESC-disabled Commodore once – a 180-degree slide wearing the Momo tyres before they’d been scrubbed in properly.

Yet there was plenty of oversteer action as each brand-new set of tyres had their surfaces scuffed to enable the tabulation of consistent, meaningful results. A tyre’s slalom performance reflects its real-world ability to swerve to avoid an obstacle, however the feedback it gives us about confidence-inspiring feel, well-telegraphed handling responses – or otherwise – as well as steering consistency is invaluable.

The GT Radial’s victory here was undisputed – it was more than 0.2sec ahead of second place – though barely a whisker separated the next five positions, and the top seven all matched or bettered the 5.99sec average. The BFGoodrich put in an unremarkable performance, despite its “consistent, predictable feel on the limit”, whereas the quicker Nexen felt a bit vague at the helm and “didn’t feel like it suited the car.”

At the lower end, the Vitora demonstrated “good slide warning on the limit”, while the even slower Momo gave “no slide awareness whatsoever”, with “very little warning of its limit of lateral grip”.

RESULTS

GT Radial Sport Active - Winner

“Very quick in the slalom, even when brand new on scrubbing runs,” read Renato’s notes, which were backed up by the data. The GT Radial was convincingly quicker than the rest of the field, but it also impressed with its “all-round great driving performance and very consistent feel”, and was a tyre that allowed the driver to easily feel the limits of grip. The silver-medallist Hankook also garnered praise for being “super consistent” and “very direct and communicative”, while the Falken felt “immediately grippy on the slalom, with almost no sliding whatsoever (without serious provocation)”.

 

THE TYRE TESTS

2018 Wheels Tyre Test: Dry BrakingDry Braking
You would've thought that simply jamming on the picks as hard as you can and letting the anti-lock braking system (ABS) sort out the rest was a given in a modern car. And it is, but not without one big variable – tyres.

2018 Wheels Tyre Test: Wet CorneringWet Cornering
Wet Cornering proved a definitive differentiator between the greats and not-so-greats of the group.

2018 Wheels Tyre Test: Wet BrakingWet Braking
It’s the one discipline that separates the mighty from the mediocre by a big margin … and we’re talking about brand new, correctly inflated, high-spec tyres here!

2018 Wheels Tyre Test: Tyre NoiseTyre Noise
Few surfaces in the world can match the noise generation of an Australian coarse-chip road, so tyre noise does play a vital part in the driving performance of your vehicle.



TYRE TEST RESULTS

MOTOR Tyre Test 2015: The VerdictWHEELS TYRE TEST 2018: The Results
From the outset, it was clear the Falken Azenis FK510 was in with a real shot.



2018 WHEELS TYRE TEST

MOTOR Tyre Test 2015: The VerdictIntroduction
Upping your car's cornering G-force by 10 percent is the stuff of a sports suspension upgrade, right? And cutting a car-length from your braking distance is the work of a set of Brembos? Nope, you just need a great set of tyres