LAST UPDATED: November 21, 2019
Best Ultra-High Performance Tires: Enjoy Safe and Comfortable High-Speed Driving
An excellent performance tire makes it possible to accelerate and brake safely
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON November 21, 2019
Tires are a vital part of your vehicle’s anatomy. However, choosing a quality high-performing tire for driving at high speeds is a challenge because of the number of tire companies and options out there. In this article, we have assembled the best ultra-high performance tires on the market to help you make an informed choice.
Pirelli is known for making classic sporty tires. These are sophisticated and aggressive and built for speed and power.
- Each tire is built with a silica-infused and carbon black tread
- Rigid yet sturdy and comfortable
- Tires are grippy and offer improved handling and control
- They are expensive and a full set will cost you a bit
- They aren’t going to be great in a snowstorm or on icy streets.
Featuring advanced 2nd Generation Radial technology, the Achilles ATR is designed for a smooth and peaceful ride. With a speed rating of W, this tire can effortlessly sustain speeds of up to 168 miles per hour. Additionally, its interlocking tread improves stability and cornering performance.
- dB Silent Technology ensures reduced noise
- Tire has excellent braking and accelerating capabilities
- Has good traction on both dry and wet surfaces
- Grip on snowy and icy surfaces is not good
- Has poor handling in muddy conditions
A robust and beefy-looking high performance tire built for sporty sedans, cars, and coupes. They feature better handling and are ultra grippy.
- They are reasonably priced for high performance tires
- They provide a comfortable ride
- Reduced noise
- Increased stopping power
- Not the best in wintry conditions or on long drives
- May reduce your overall gas mileage
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Benefits of Ultra-High Performance Tires
- Improved traction. Performance tires create a solid contact patch with the road to create better traction. This enables you to maintain control at higher speeds. It can also mean that you can drive faster in inclement weather while maintaining grip with the road.
- Responsive handling. Performance tires are designed to give you improved handling on both straightaways and cornering. They also give you stability when hard-braking. This is due to advanced rubber compounds and inner tire construction.
- Quieter ride. Performance tires are designed to operate smoothly at high speeds. This gives you a smoother and quieter ride at increased speeds when compared to generic or touring tires.
Types of Ultra-High Performance Tires
These are typically summer tires and aren’t meant to be used in freezing temperatures. They feature an aggressive tread design that will not provide traction in snow, ice, or standing water. The internal construction of the tire has reinforcement to provide strength, improved dry road response, traction, and high-speed handling ability.
This is another type of tire that isn’t designed for winter weather driving. Max level performance tires will give you a nice combination of dry road performance and wet road traction. You’ll also have more reasonable treadwear and a smoother ride compared to extreme performance tires. You’ll find innovative rubber compounds and computer-designed tread patterns with these tires.
There are two types of ultra-high performance tires: summer and all-season. Performance summer tires aren’t meant for driving in freezing temperatures. The all-season tires provide traction in light snow. These tires are more low-profile than touring tires but still give you crisp responsiveness and decent traction.
High-performance tires also come in all-season and summer versions. The all-season version uses a different rubber compound that enables the tire to stay flexible and responsive when temperatures dip. These tires are lower-profile than touring tires but are not quite as sporty or performance-minded as ultra-high performance tires. You’ll find slightly more aggressive tread designs than touring tires.
From its headquarters in Greenville, S.C., Michelin is one of the world leaders in tire manufacturing. Founded in 1891, the company has built a reputation for creating innovative and high-performing tires. The Michelin Pilot Sport All Season Performance Radial Tire will perform well in your car.
Continental produces some of the highest-quality performance tires on the market. The company may not have a large worldwide market share, but it focuses on its core customer base. Its tires use the best materials and tread patterns. The Continental Extreme Contact Performance Radial Tire will give you both traction and stylish looks.
As one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world, Bridgestone has corporate offices in both Tokyo, Japan, and Nashville, Tenn. The company manufactures both OEM tires for vehicle production and performance racing tires. Try the Bridgestone Potenza Pole Position Performance Radial Tire for a sporty feel.
Founded in 1898 in Akron, Ohio, the Goodyear brand is known worldwide for its production of high-quality tires, including performance tires. Try the Goodyear Eagle High Performance All-Season Tire, and experience the excellence for yourself.
Pirelli has built a solid history of manufacturing quality tires for more than 40 years. The company’s commitment to innovation and research results in high-performance tires that will provide you with increased traction and handling. Try the Pirelli PZero Performance Radial Tire.
Founded in Tokyo, Japan, in 1917, Yokohama began as a rubber company. It has since led the Japanese market in innovation and tire development. It was the first Japanese brand to achieve ISO9001 certification thanks to its quality assurance. Try out the Yokohama Parada Spec X High Performance Tire.
Founded in 1941 in Korea, Hankook has built a reputation when it comes to building affordable performance tires. The company has made ground internationally by becoming involved in racing events. This has helped establish the brand’s quality and performance. The Hankook Dynapro ATM Performance Radial Tire is an example of the company’s commitment to performance.
The Dunlop brand is currently owned by Goodyear. It was founded in 1888 and focuses on manufacturing performance tires for both cars and motorcycles. The company dedicates its research to creating more durable rubber compounds to keep up with ever more powerful motors. The Dunlop Sport Maxx High Performance Radial Tire is sure to please you with its performance and innovative tread design.
Ultra-High Performance Tires Pricing
- Under $100: These are low-quality tires, and you should question their performance and durability capabilities. These tires may be more affordable upfront but will cost you more in the long run.
- $100 to $200: Most quality and true performance tires fall in the upper end of this price range. The more expensive the tire, the more specialized the performance qualities will be.
- $200 and up: These are the highest-quality tires you can put on your car. You’ll find innovative rubber compounds with computer-designed tread patterns.
You need to match the size of your new tires to the size of the tires that are currently on your vehicle. You can look at your current tires to find out the size you need. There will be a code that contains a mix of letters and numbers. Pay attention to both the diameter and the width. Wider tires will give you more contact with the road, and therefore a better grip.
Since these are performance tires, they should have a higher speed rating than other types of tires. Racing tires will be the only type that has higher speed ratings. If you plan to drive at high speeds, such as on the highway or track, then you should pay attention to this rating, which can vary from one performance tire to the next.
The rubber compound will be different from one manufacturer to the next. It will also vary among the different types of tires. Summer performance tires have a softer rubber that is meant for optimum performance in warm weather. Unfortunately, the softer rubber will also wear away faster. All-season performance tires have a slightly harder rubber and will perform in colder temperatures.
- Tread Pattern. Look for a tire that has a less aggressive tread pattern. Performance tires have a tread that is designed for wet and dry roads. They’ll have minimal sipes, which are the grooves that channel snow away from the tire. Pay attention to how wide the grooves are when compared to the size of the tread.
- Compact Patch. The larger the contact patch is on the tire, the more traction you’ll have. The larger contact patch also means your fuel economy may go down due to the increased traction and drag from the road. Consider which is more important, or try to find a nice balance of both.
- Circumferential Grooves. Look for tires that have circumferential grooves. These are the grooves that wrap lengthwise around the tire. They’ll help channel water away from your tires so you can maintain a better grip on the road, especially at higher speeds. They do not channel snow, so the tires will not provide traction in certain winter conditions.
Best Ultra-High Performance Tires Reviews & Recommendations 2021
When it comes to high performance tires, it is difficult to beat Pirelli and its P Zero Nero All-Season High Performance Radial Tire. The company has been in the business of making tires for almost 100 years. These tires are ultra-sleek and sophisticated. They are built for two things: speed and power.
On the topic of appearance, the tires each feature a silica-infused, carbon black tread. This makes each tire more rigid so it resists deformation under pressure. This also makes the tire much more grippy and capable of holding onto the surface of the road when belting around a track or on the highway.
As they are high performance tires designed for sports cars and SUVs, they are rather expensive. We wouldn’t recommend taking them out in a snowstorm or on icy streets. They may also wear down quite quickly, too, considering they are thinner tires.
These tires feature the second generation of radial technology from Achilles ATR. They’ll give you a smooth and quiet ride. They have a speed rating of W, which means the tire will reliably perform at speeds of up to 168 miles per hour. The tread features an interlocking design that will improve stability and cornering.
This tire has db Silent Technology that actively quiets the tire’s operational noise. You’ll find the tires’ handling improves as you accelerate and brake. It also gives you superior traction on both wet and dry roads.
A downside, common to most performance tires, is that it doesn’t perform well on snowy or icy roads. It also lags on muddy roads. It’s best to stick to warm weather driving.
The BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 Performance Radial Tire is robust and mighty-looking. The tires are built for sports cars, coupes, high performance sedans, and modern muscle cars, hence the reason for their modern yet sporty look. The tires are designed to improve the car’s overall handling, traction, and control on highways and roads.
The tires are also set at a reasonably low price for high performance rubber. Each features a large and beefy radial tread design for enhanced stopping power and comfort. While the tires may be rigid, they aren’t stiff when it comes to how they drive. They offer a smooth and comfortable ride throughout their life.
The tires have great traction on dry and wet roads but are lacking when it comes to control in slick conditions. They are not great commuter tires or made for long-distance driving and may also reduce your overall gas mileage, as they are larger than standard car tires.
The Kumho Ecsta All-Season Tires are sturdy and dependable high performance tires. They are designed for sporty coupes, sports cars, and sedans. They’re also ideal for drivers who want to get out and explore the open road. As with all-season tires, they are effective year-round. No matter if it's raining, a bright sunny day, or lightly snowing, they provide excellent grip and control on the road.
One of the best features of the Kumho Ecstas is found in their tread design. Each is made with high-grip resin and a large amount of stiffness that increases their grip strength and traction. This comes into play mostly when pushing them to their limits: high speeds, quick cornering, and track racing.
Although the tires may not be the most expensive when you compare them with other brands, they are set at a higher price. A full set of four will set you back a few dollars. The tires are also quite heavy, which can make it a pain to install them by yourself. They also aren’t great when driving in heavy snow or ice.
The Continental ExtremeContract Performance Radial Tire is aggressive-looking and built with improved handling on the street. Since they are high performance tires, they are designed for any vehicle that has a sport version. From sedans to coupes and hot hatches, the tires look great and perform even better once installed. Best of all, they are quiet and comfortable on the road, too.
The tires are capable of improving your drive on wet or dry roads due to their unique tread design. Each one is developed with an advanced silica-enhanced all-season tread compound so they have extra grip on all road surfaces all throughout the year. This also helps extend their overall tread life so they last through thousands of miles and several trips.
You may end up losing some performance when it comes to driving on snow and ice. The tires also aren’t the cheapest around, especially when putting them up against more popular brands. They may also wear down at a higher rate when compared to other non-high performance tires as well.
The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric Radial Tire doesn’t really need much explanation when you consider its name. As the name suggests, they are designed with high speed in mind. While they won’t increase your vehicle’s speed to match an F1 car, the tire may improve your gas mileage and get you further on a single tank of fuel. Not to mention, the tires look great, too.
The tires are also all-season, meaning they will provide great grip and traction throughout the year. Whether you drive a BMW, Audi, Camaro, or Mustang, the tires will enhance how your car looks, rides, and performs under pressure as well as normal everyday driving situations. They are a high-quality tire and make a great replacement or new set for any sports car.
While you may not rely on towing power, it is worth mentioning the tires’ maximum capacity weight. They won’t be able to pull a lot of extra weight, as they are only equipped to handle around 1,500 pounds. Plus, they are mid-range when it comes to price, and a full set will cost you in the end.
The Cooper Zeon RS3-G1 All-Season Tires are a modern and elegant choice for your sporty coupe or sedan. Cooper designs each of its tires with safety and performance in mind, and these Zeon’s are no exception. They offer great traction on both wet and dry surfaces, have an appealing and sporty look to them, and include an asymmetric tread design for maximum grip.
Each Cooper tire is developed with a special silica tread built into the rubber. This helps ensure the asymmetrical tread grips tighter while cornering and also reduces overall road noise while traveling at higher speeds. They provide a comfortable ride and flick away water to reduce hydroplaning so you can drive safely.
However, all of the included enhancements and refined tread pattern makes the tires pricey. They are the second most expensive tires on our list, but you can’t put a price on improved safety and control. They are also one of the lowest-rated tires when it comes to driving in winter weather.
The HANKOOK Ventus All-Season Radial Tire is a premium performance tire for any sports vehicle. It features silica-based rubber that makes it capable of handling better when driving on either dry or wet surfaces. One great feature of the tire is its semi-rib asymmetric tread design that improves its handling and makes the ride more comfortable.
Another important addition is the interior of each tire. HANKOOK developed the structure with twin steel belts for added weight, durability, and strength. Combined with a double layer of spirally wrapped nylon, the rubber is strong everywhere it counts. This includes the tread pattern and sidewall.
As premium performance tires, they are going to be rather expensive. They also are lacking when it comes to winter and snow performance. Their tread pattern is more prone to wearing down quicker than other brands, so they aren’t built for lengthy travels.
- When buying ultra-high performance tires, especially for racing or high-speed driving, consider the ones with V, W, and Y speed ratings. They have better handling, braking, accelerating, and cornering capabilities.
- Most ultra-high-performance tires are best suited for summer use only since they prioritize dry surface gripping capabilities. If this is an issue for you, consider a modern performance tire that has similar capabilities in all seasons.
- There are some factors you need to consider when buying ultra-high performance tires: the speed you crave, the surfaces you will be driving on, your budget, braking and accelerating capabilities, tire tread life, and fuel efficiency.
Q: How often should I change my ultra-high performance tires?
Changing your performance tires depends mainly on your driving habits and the quality of the tires. However, it is recommended that you change your high-performance tires after every 20,000 to 30,000 miles.
Q: What is the difference between all-season and performance tires?
All-season tires are designed to handle different weather conditions all year long; more emphasis is put on snow traction, thus compromising speed. Performance tires, on the other hand, are tailored for enhanced high-speed handling, cornering, and braking.
Q: Do I need to rotate my performance tires?
Yes. Most manufacturers advise on rotating performance tires every six months or 5,000 miles. This practice ensures they wear evenly, increasing braking effectiveness and general performance.
Based on our extensive research, we recommend the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season Performance Radial Tire. It is durable, has excellent traction and cornering capabilities, features safe braking, and has a Y speed rating.
However, for a budget-friendly performance tire, the Milestar All-Season Radial Tire stands out. It has everything you need in a performance tire and has a V speed rating.