We rate our tyres' ability to grip a wet road, instead of riding up on the water. Which is the rain master?
To test the level of grip our tyres deliver in the wet, weuse two very different techniques.
First, our Audi A4 was fixed to the rail on the preparedstrip for the straight-line aquaplaning test. This ensured that, as we accelerated,the left-hand tyre ran through 7mm of water on each run.
We measured the speedwhen this wheel was spinning 15 per cent faster than the one in the dry – the pointat which control is lost.
For our second aquaplaning assessment, we drove through aflooded five-metre strip on a tarmac circle, increasing speed until all gripwas lost. Lateral force was rated throughout by a g-meter. No matter how you measureaquaplaning, though, Goodyear’s amazing OptiGrip was the clear winner. We got upto more than 55mph in a straight line before grip was lost.
Fellow wet weather expert Vredestein was runner-up both times,and in the straight test it got closer to the Goodyear.
Dry track winnerBridgestone proved itself in the wet, too, with third and fourth in the twodisciplines. Continental took the final podium spot on the curve, but was fifthin a straight line.
Fulda and Kumho also fared better on the curve, whilePirelli scored two mid-table results.
The big surprise was Michelin. It languished at the bottomof the results in the corner test, behind even the struggling Wanli andHankook. It was better than both in a straight line, but bosses won’t bepleased by this performance.
Hankook also needs to look at its tyre’s design, while Wanliwas at least in touch with the rest this time. Debutant Maxxis has work to do,though, as the pre-production M36 struggled in our aquaplaning tests.
|Straight aqua results|
|Curved aqua results|
In this review
- 1IntroductionOur experts put 12 of Britain's top-selling tyres through their paces. Which is best for your car?
- 2Dry HandlingIt's arguably the most important aspect of a tyre's performance - but just what did our test reveal?
- 3Wet Handling and CorneringSafety and control are paramount on wet roads - so which rubber was the most reassuring to drive on?
- 4Aquaplaning - currently readingWe rate our tyres' ability to grip a wet road, instead of riding up on the water. Which is the rain master?
- 5Dry BrakingThe heat is on as we put rubber through punishing emergency stops
- 6Wet BrakingTo stop quickly on a rain-soaked surface requires a different range of abilities. Which is a wet winner?
- 7Rolling ResistanceIt's central to better mpg, so we look at energy required to turn a tyre
- 8PriceCost is a key factor, but does it pay to go for the cheapest?
- 9NoiseTyre roar is a big issue - so we look for the quietest choice
- 10ResultsWe've crunched the numbers to reveal Britain's best tyre