|HIGH-PERFORMANCE ALL SEASON |
|WHAT: ||GOODYEAR EAGLE F1 ALL SEASON |
|WHERE: ||DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY |
|HOW IT WAS TESTED: ||ROADCOURSE, DRY/WET AUTOCROSS, DRY/WET SLALOM |
|TEST VEHICLE: ||PONTIAC SOLSTICE |
245/45/18 Eagle F1 All Season, Z rated, 420 treadwear rating, traction AA, temperature A, $800. dual carbon-fiber reinforced sidewalls stiffen both sides of the tire to maintain road contact during hard turns, enhancing responsiveness and maneuverability. This tire has ultra high-performance and all season zones: the aggressive shoulder blocks and continuous center rib allow confident handling and steering precision, while Aquachutes provide enhanced traction in rain and snow. The Tredlock feature consists of interlocking micro grooves that give biting edges for all-season traction, and lock together for better grip in the turns.
The road course comprised of two turns and two emergency lane change situations. It utilized several different cars, including the RX-8, CTS, Audi TT, 350Z, and Infiniti.
To compare the difference in handling, some cars were shod with Goodyear's Response Edge touring tires, and some cars had the F1 all-seasons. While the handling difference was hard to ascertain between cars as different as a CTS and a 350Z, it was clear that the all-season F1 had good, if not exceptional, dry grip.
Next up was a dry/wet autocross course that pitted Pontiac Solstices, some with the F1 allseasons, and some with Michelin Pilot Sport AS tires (400 AA A), both in a 245/45/18 size. At the limit around the dry course, there was little difference between the two grippy tires. However, when the course turned wet the Goodyears started to shine, exhibiting less loss of control and better wet stability. Thanks to a tropical storm spinning off the Florida coast, and its ensuing rain, it soon became a wet/wet course and repeated jaunts between both tires proved the F1s a clear-cut winner. The Goodyears were simply more surefooted at the limit under very wet conditions-by a large margin.
Finally, a wet and dry slalom was set up with two manual Solstices and two automatics. In this test, the F1s would go up against the bridgestone Potenza RE960 AS in the same 245/45/18 sizes (400 AA A). You can never accuse automotive journalists of being too passive, and there were several spinouts as editors attempted to push the Pontiacs around the cones at top speed.
I wasn't able to get a good enough feel for both to declare a winner with the stick cars, but repeated trips in the autos proved that grip and predictability belonged to the F1s. Though this was a test orchestrated by Goodyear -with the types of tests, test vehicles, and test tires chosen by that company-it was hard not to be impressed with the new Eagle F1 All Season's performance.