How BAD can tyres make a car? Premium VS Budget tyres tested and reviewed!


I mean, just how bad can a set of tyres make a car? It can’t be that bad. I’m going to have to let this Q7 pass Its a diesel! It’s not even a quick one! Okay, so to sum up the experience of budget tyres versus premium on a C63 AMG. I’ve been driving my ass off and I know this circuit, I know this car and I’ve not been going slowly and I’ve just been breezed past by a Q7, which weighs as much as a house. So while budget tyres certainly save you a lot of money and while the balance in the wet isn’t as dangerous as I was worried about – I thought it would be all oversteer and snap – you actually have to push quite hard to get oversteer What you will do, is you’ll understeer in to something because the front end turn-in and the front end braking on these things – and then understeering out of corners. You can’t even provoke it on throttle So So you’re saving a chunk of money, but you’ll in the wet at least, for this test, for wet handling you’re losing security you’re losing feedback, and you’re losing enjoyment, man. Because I thought even with the lower grip I thought it would at least be fun. You’d get it – get it sideways and be a hero But you get so little from the front you just don’t know what’s going on. You can’t really – there we are – ABS again, where there’s never been on the Contis. [sigh] And also, like, consistency. I was two-tenths across five laps driving exactly as I am now. On the SportContact 6’s, and they were just a dream – there’s understeer again, there’s oversteer Alright, let’s just showboat and see if they’re at least fun doing that. No, because you’ve got the front end oversteer [apprehension] It was a lot easier to drift on the Contis. You’re stabbing the throttle and the first thing you get, instead of the rear coming around, because the fronts got no grip, you just get understeer. So then you have to stab on the throttle more and then it goes really sideways, really quickly, which is – [irritation] Its just not the most the most efficient way to drift. So even if you’re a drift master which I don’t claim to be These are still harder then the premium tires. They’re still harder to drift, they’re harder to drive neatly, they’re harder to drive slowly because you’ve got more steering lock and less steering feel. There’s just no [laughs] There’s just no goodness. There’s no way this tire is better apart from price. And I would rather not crash my fancy C63 AMG although it’s not my car, I still don’t want to crash it. So to summarize. If you are looking at enjoying your sports car in the wet. don’t buy budgets, because they’re not as fun. They’re not as fast, they’re not as consistent. You’ve got not idea what’s going on. You don’t get as much information from them, and [grunt] unless you really, really like to be – oh – on the edge of questionable death the whole time oh – oh! you um, yeah Point Proven. I can’t get the back end out becasue I’ve got no front end grip! Yeah, unless you want to be wondering whether you’ll make it home from the shops when it rains these are probably not the best tires. Next up is wet braking. Now, the Rotella budget tyre is actually a “B” label EU label for wet braking, which is incredible. But they way they’ve achieved this is with a very soft compound The “B” label is about 5% worse than the “A” label, So in theory the two tyres are very closely matched in wet braking, but the difference is actually quite a bit of residual speed, a point of accidents so we’ve set up my friend Foamy we are going to do a braking mock-up and see if our friend survives. [laughs] Definitely killed him. Poor guy. So, dry handling, the fast one. I’ve been lapping on the SportContact 6’s, which have been doing about 55 second, 55.5 second lap It’s not strictly a lap, we’re using a section of a lap that really loads the tyres up through this fast left and right section So I was tipping in here on the SportContact 6’s at about 175 This is about 165, and the rear is quite floaty. So unlike in the wet where the SportContact 6’s sharp front end and the Rotella’s – the budgets – had quite a – quite a stable rear end, but no front end grip. The front end grip for these budget tyres is actually quite… good. Can’t complain. It’s just the rears going off really quickly [laughs] That was close. It’s not giving you as much information, so these are quite good. Getting a bit of push understeer definitely at mid-apex, slower than on the SportContact 6’s But the Rotella’s To be fair, in the dry, they’re not that bad, but generally you find with – uh, they’re quite bad at braking generally you find the differences in the wet and the dry are much less slight. So that was a 57.48 So that means, two seconds across a 58 lap, which is quite a big difference. I think the bigger difference, like in wet handling, doesn’t come from the raw time. It comes from the controlability of the tyres, because you’re just losing – you’re losing a balance of a car, it needs to be balanced to drive safely on the road, and I’ll be perfectly honest, these budget tyres are potentially a little bit more fun in dry handling just because the rear comes around a little bit more. But, it’s not as quick, and it’s not as safe for the road So where do we sit on this premium versus budget? The budgets have been a lot closer to the premium tyre than anyone expected, myself including in objective data. The 5% difference in wet and dry handling and wet and dry braking doesn’t sound like a lot on paper but as demonstrated with our poor foamy friend, it’s actually quite a big gap The bigger gap comes in the subjective differences of the tyres in the handling. Where the budget tyre in the wet had a really awful front end – you couldn’t get it to brake, you couldn’t get it to turn it was just scrambling for grip everywhere – but with quite a strong rear end. The balance changed in the dry to a much stronger front end, and a really loose rear end which meant for some lovely, drifty, fun shots on track, but not so good on the road. The price difference is quite a lot There’s a £250 price difference between the Continental SportContact 6’s and the budgets we’ve used for this Mercedes C63 AMG. Is the saving of £250 worth the sacrifice in subjective handling? I don’t think it is. What you’re losing by giving up subjective handling – or by giving up the premium tyre for the budget tyre – its’ so much more than 5% wet braking, 5% dry braking You’re giving away car balance, you’re giving away car control, you’re giving away predictability. Which, as big, as much fun as the big slidey skids are on track, in this, right now, I don’t want to be doing it on the road. I want to be having a car I trust and I want to have a front end I know in the wet. If i turn in, in a bend, it will turn turn, and if I power out in the dry, on a bend, it won’t oversteer. Whereas the budget tyre gives you this really unpredictable, worrying nature that you can’t quite rely on it to do what you expect it to do. So again, the subjective gap is probably like 50%, and I know the objective gap is only 5% and the price difference is probably 40%, and these are a lot of percentages, but, you have to appreciate, driving them back to back – there is a difference – and you can feel the quality of the Continentals through the steering through the car control through the car balance, how the tyre reacts, how the tyre loads up, how the tyre feels at the limit, how the tyre feels past the limit, how the tyre behaves when its really hot, it just doesn’t overheat and it just – its’ a much better package overall. So, for all the cost savings with the budgets and for as close as the budget is to the Continental’s ultimate lap time and ultimate braking distances, that 5% translates into a much worse package overall to live with because the balance just goes everywhere. If you’ve enjoyed this video, please feel free to like and subscribe below Any question, please ask, and there’s full information on the Tyre Reviews website. These Continentals are fantastic! That’s how a tyre should behave.

About the Author: Michael Flood

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