Hankook Ventus S1 evo2
Korean tyres are fast gaining credibility against premium brands: Nexen finished third in last year’s tyre test, and Hankook flies the flag again with a fine showing to come joint fourth in 2013.
Korean tyres are fast gaining credibility against premium brands: Nexen finished third in last year’s tyre test, and Hankook flies the flag again with a fine showing to come joint fourth in 2013. We can see clear progress from the company: in 2011, when we last tested 17-inch tyres, the S1’s predecessor ended up last.
But this year, the S1 demonstrated Hankook’s leap forward, particularly on wet roads, where it scored a string of podiums. Only its wet cornering let the side down. And the tyre lacked balance on the soaked handling circuit, with the rear moving around thanks to strong front grip. Yet that front grip was beneficial for lap times, allowing acceleration good enough for third in the wet handling test.
The Hankook was best of the rest in wet braking, taking second, albeit three metres behind the stellar ContiSportContact 5. It was also best of the rest in aquaplaning, behind the superior Michelin. And while it was less convincing on dry roads, fourth in our close dry braking test was promising.
As with the Goodyear, the S1 found it hard to match rivals on the fast sweeps of the dry handling circuit. It turned in well enough, but gave up early as cornering forces built, and required more lock to get round longer turns. Where it really lost out to the joint-fourth Goodyear was at the pumps.
There was a 20 per cent margin between the two – so the S1 would use around four per cent more fuel than the Asymmetric 2 and six per cent more than the Dunlop. Still, the Hankook did hit back by edging its rival in the noise test.
In this review
- 1IntroductionWe test the best tyres for your car
- 21st Continental ContiSportContact 5The new ContiSportContact 5 scored a victory on its tyre test debut, albeit by a very narrow margin. Key to this success were our braking tests.
- 32nd Michelin Pilot Sport 3 New designs dominated our top six this year, but the exception is this Michelin, which is the best of the 17-inch tyres we last tested in 2011.
- 43rd Dunlop Sport Maxx RTHigh-mileage drivers would do well to consider the Sport Maxx RT.
- 5=4th Hankook Ventus S1 evo2 - currently readingKorean tyres are fast gaining credibility against premium brands: Nexen finished third in last year’s tyre test, and Hankook flies the flag again with a fine showing to come joint fourth in 2013.
- 6=4th Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2Our winner of this tyre test in 2011 has to settle for joint fourth this time around, giving best to the new tyres from Continental and Dunlop and tying with test newcomer Hankook.
- 76th Yokohama Advan Sport V105The V105 is new for 2013, and you can clearly see Yokohama’s track roots in the tyre, which replaced the popular V103 at the top of the brand’s road range.
- 87th Bridgestone Potenza S001Yet again, Bridgestone found it tough in our tyre test, finishing last among its premium rivals.
- 98th Vredestein Ultrac VortiVredestein was the star of the dry handling circuit.
- 109th Pirelli P Zero
- 1110th GT Radial Champiro HPYChinese company GT Radial makes its Auto Express tyre test debut this year, and its Champiro HPY undercut rivals here by a comfortable margin – buy four, and you’d save around £100 over an equivalent set from a premium brand.