car tires

car tires

When Cooper set out to make the CS5 Touring line of car tires, it didn’t want to create just another tire. It wanted to celebrate what it has built and grown into over the last 100 years. It wanted to create one of its best tires ever. More than that, the company wanted to prove that it could create tires that are world-beating, and every bit as impressive as those from companies like Michelin and Pirelli.

Cooper invited a collection of journalists including myself to come to its tire testing facility in Texas to give these tires a real test . We spent time doing laps in wet and dry to push these slabs of rubber to the breaking point. As there are two models in the lineup, Grand Touring and Ultra Touring, Cooper was even kind enough to round up cars wearing competitor rubber from Pirelli and Hankook to prove just how good the new tire really was.

Cooper threw the gauntlet, handed us the keys to some BMWs and Mustangs , and let us decide who the winner was. Does the CS5 live up to all the hype?

Read on to learn more about the Cooper Tire CS5.

My eyes were tired, and the sun was unnaturally bright for 7 a.m. on Tuesday, but the warm Texas weather gave me satisfaction as I opened the balcony door. In just a few short hours I would be throwing cars around a racetrack as I began my one-day crash course on tire testing and comparisons.

I’ve been on worse assignments.

The event was put together and hosted by Cooper Tire. The American tire company, one of the last still operating in the US, has just released the new CS5 line of premium touring tires. With more than 2-million testing miles, and built as a replacement for the company’s best-selling tire ever, the CS5 is quite an ambitious project. Oh, Cooper is also celebrating its 100th anniversary as well. Somehow, I have been invited along with a selection of my colleagues to put this new tire through its paces.

The day would consist of laps around both dry and wet circuits to test the tires abilities, and Cooper had brought along some competition for us to compare against as well. Our weapons of choice included the new BMW 328i and some V6-powered Ford Mustangs .

I would learn a lot about tires, myself, and the breaking point of a C7 Corvette’s rear differential.

Read on to learn more about my day as a tire tester and find out how I did

The first-generation Dodge Challenger was one of the quickest muscle cars you could have back in the early 1970s. The R/T model, for instance, needed just 6.2 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph and 13.7 seconds to complete the quarter mile. That was pretty quick 40 years ago.

The current Challenger can still hold its own against the Ford Mustang and the Chevy Camaro — the only modern muscle cars around — but its 0-to-60 and quarter mile figures have improved only slightly.

However, these numbers tend to become spectacular under NHRA regulations, where superchargers, aerodynamic tweaks and drag race -spec tires can make things astoundingly fast. Racing driver Rob Goss, for exacmple, managed to take his 2009 Challenger into seven-second territory last year, setting a new quarter-mile record for the model.

More recently though, Goss improved his benchmark once again by completing the 1320 in only 7.32 seconds at 187 mph, making his DragPak-fitted Mopar the fastest modern-day Dodge Challenger out there.

The record pass was achieved during the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) Muscle Car Series in the Street Outlaw Class at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida. Word has it that Goss is set to reach new heights by the end of the year.

In case you’re wondering, this specific Challenger is powered by a 404-cubic-inch, aluminum V-8 engine built by BES Racing paired with a Pro Charger F1X supercharger.

Speaking of superchargers and Challengers, did you know the 2015 Challenger is getting a "Hellcat" V-8 engine that’s expected to deliver at least 640 horsepower? More info about this spectacular mill, as well as on the facelifted Challenger, are about to become official at the New York Auto Show this week, so make sure you stick around and don’t miss any of the details.

BFGoodrich has certainly made a name for itself over the years in all arenas of motorsports , but its last major victory was in the 46th annual Tecate SCORE International desert racing series within the 2013 Baja 1000. Drivers rolling on BFGs captured four of the top five overall positions in the series. Adding to BFGoodrich’s bragging rights, the company also equipped seven of the top 10 Trophy Trucks with its tires.

What’s more, BFGoodrich claimed wins in 10 vehicle classes, including defending its title in the Baja Challenge Class as Team BFGoodrich’s BC2 team emerged victorious by a clear four-hour margin to with the event for the second straight year. The BC2 vehicle was driven by Terry Earwood, the Lead Instructor for Skip Barber Racing School.

Percentage wise, BFGoodrich was the clear leader with nearly 65 percent of all four-wheeled, race-finishing vehicles rolling on BFG-branded tires. Everything from BFG All-Terrain and Mud Terrain tread designs to desert-race specific tires and tread designs were represented.

The grueling high-speed, off-road race is 883 miles of huge dips, gullies, jumps, and deep sand that begins and ends at Ensenada, Mexico. Nearly 300 racers representing more than 20 counties must endure the incessant pounding and jostling of obstacles that would shred any stock vehicle. In fact, more than 50 percent of racers failed to finish the race within the 36-hour time limit. Adding to the Baja’s difficulties are booby-traps scattered across the course set by ill-willed spectators looking for a harrowing crash. More than a few vehicles each year are claimed by such a fate.

Click past the jump for more on the 2013 Baja 1000

Once Wintertime falls upon us sports car owners, we typically park our babies in the garage for the season to avoid slipping and sliding all over the place in the snow and ice. Well, Goodyear has released a tire that helps eliminate slipping and sliding and is sized just right to fit your sports sedan and coupe.

Enter in the all-new Goodyear Ultra Grip 8, which is available in 11 popular sports sedan and coupe sizes, including ones that fit the Audi A6 , Cadillac CTS , BMW 3 Series and many more. These tires feature a saw-shaped center section to help plow the snow out of the way when braking and variable-edged angle to grip firmly in the remaining snow and ice under the tire. Additionally, the Ultra Grip 8 features a directional pattern that helps usher water away after the snow melts.

Another common complaint about sports cars in the Wintertime is the fact that the tires never properly warm up, leaving the sidewalls and tread stiffer than normal, which lowers ride quality and reduces handling capabilities. Well, Goodyear solves this with its special blend of polymers and silica to keep the rubber compound soft and tacky, even in very cold conditions, so you can enjoy the twisties below freezing without drastically reducing handling capabilities.

We’ll get a full review on the all-new Goodyear Ultra Grip 8’s as soon as possible, but like all Goodyear tires, we expect them to live up to the hype.

With summertime about halfway over and fall bearing down on all of us, the thought of taking the summer tires off of your beloved ride in favor of all-season rubber that just doesn’t perform the same is depressing. With exception to us southern-state dwellers, you need a set of tires that can handle the rain, snow and ice that the winter, fall and spring present us, and most summer tires simply can’t handle the elements. Well, Michelin has an all-new all-season tire that packs summer tire-like stickiness with an all-season design and features: the Pilot A/S 3.

This all-new Pilot Sport tire uses a special blend of silica to help enhance the "sticky" feeling of the tire and a tread design that helps jettison water from under your car’s footprint. The combination of water channeling and extra silica really helps the tire bite down on the road. Additionally, variable-thickness sipes on the outer section of the tread help break up the tension in the water and then lock together to create maximum rubber contact to the asphalt.

When it comes to tires, you cannot base purchasing decisions on sheer performance, unless you have tons of money to blow. You also have to consider how long the manufacture guarantees the tire will last. Most summer tires don’t include a mileage warranty and most all-season tires with any sort of warranty are too hard to perform well. Michelin obviously found a nice balance with the Pilot A/S 3,as these shoes come with a 45,000-mile warranty.

A truly unique feature on the A/S 3 that surprises even me - a seasoned expert in the tire industry - is Michelin’s Helio Compound, which helps the rubber retain its soft and sticky properties in cold temperatures. This is a frequent complaint of all-season tire users, as it can take seemingly forever for your tires to get up to temperature on a cold day. Not only does this increase cold-weather grip, but it also increases comfort in cold weather.

You can snag up these tires now between the sizes of 175/65R15 and 285/35R20, which covers cars ranging from the Fiat 500 to the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG . Once we get our hands on a set of them, we will let you know just how well they do, so stay tuned!

Click past the jump to see detailed videos on these all-new tires and the crazy tests they underwent.

When discussing tire brands, there are very few that have the history and cache of Michelin. The French tire manufacturer has been at the forefront of tire technology, and for its latest technological innovation, Michelin brought a roster of drivers to the NOLA Motorsports Park to test out the Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires.

Suffice to say, these tires give new meaning to the word ’versatility’. If assurances were currency that makes the world turn, Michelin’s promise of these tires’ capabilities are what you can consider as "taking it to the bank".

The Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires are built to last through all four seasons, so says Michelin. These bad boys match the traction of many summer tires while also offering the ability to drive in all seasons, including wet and wintery conditions.

And as the video will show you, Michelin’s test session at the NOLA Motorsports Park gives further credence to the overall capability and versatility of the French tire maker’s Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires.

BFGoodrich is coming up with a new extreme-performance tire, the Rival. That category of tire is the last street-legal step before you go to the dark side with race-only tires. If you are looking for mind-blowing performance, you owe it to yourself to shop in that category. The usual suspects are the Hankook RS3, Toyo R1R, Yokohama AD08, Kumho XS and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup.

Until now, BFG’s most extreme street tire was the Comp-2. Launched in 2012, the Comp-2 tire received first place on TireRack’s ultra-high-performance tire survey, not bad.

Michelin acquired BFGoodrich in 1988, so while BFG tires are solely manufactured in the USA, BFG benefits from all the research and development Michelin can offer. Think about it, all the goodies at a lesser price and made in the USA!

The Rival offers a couple of very distinctive features that make BFG hope it will be the next big thing. To prove its worth, they invited us for a full day of torture testing against the competition. Keep reading for our impressions first hand.

UPDATE: BFG posted two new videos to promote their new Rival tire, check them out after the jump.


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