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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.

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