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2018 Wheels Tyre Test: Tyre noise

By Nathan Ponchard, 08 Oct 2018 Features

2018 Wheels Tyre Test: Tyre noise

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

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. Indeed, the test Commodore RS’s original-equipment Continental ContiSportContact 5 tyres each feature a layer of foam coating inside the tyre to cut down road noise – something that’s instantly evident when comparing those 245/45R18 tyres to the more aggressive 245/35ZR20 Michelin Pilot Sports on the up-spec VXR.

One of the ways low-rolling-resistance eco tyres save fuel is by turning comparatively little of their kinetic energy into road roar, and the opposite was definitely true of the grippy Hankook.

Need new tyres? Find a great deal at WhichTyre.com.au

The best-performing tyre in the dry – the Hankook Ventus S1 Evo 2 – also proved the loudest at 60km/h on the relatively smooth bitumen section heading out of the Tyre Test pits, as measured in decibels (dB) using a Sound Pressure Level (SPL) meter set to hold a peak value.

The Hifly, on the other hand, compounded its mediocre straight-road tyre noise by also adding “quite a bit of tyre squeal” in the dry-road dynamic disciplines.

RESULTS

GT Radial Sport Active - Winner

Praised for its “all-round great driving performance”, the GT Radial was notably quiet from the get-go. “Not squeally or schreechy in turns, a very consistent feel, and quiet,” remarked Renato of the GT Radial’s hushed manners. Indeed, it was the only tyre that prompted any seat-of-the-pants comment about its perceived refinement, backing up the SPL meter’s winning findings. The next eight tyres – Falken, Continental, Maxxis, BFGoodrich, Nexen, Achilles, Vitora and Momo – all recorded an identical 58.0 dB, which perhaps says more about the lack of a really rough, country-road-rivalling surface at our test facility than any real-world equivalence.

 

THE TYRE TESTS

2018 Wheels Tyre Test: SlalomSlalom
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.

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!



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