Asia’s Ultimate Tyre Awards 2022 results: UHP category

Asia’s Ultimate Tyre Awards 2022 results: UHP category

The hottest tyres for the hottest cars in the world

As enthusiasts, the kind of cars we lust over tend to be the very best high performance ones: the fastest, the best-handling, the sleekest, and often the coolest.

The level of engineering and design required to achieve such superlatives can be as fascinating as the cars themselves, and the same could be said of tyres.

Like high performance cars, the most exciting type of tyres are Ultra High Performance (UHP) ones. They receive the most intensive R&D, the most advanced technology, and are generally the tyres we’re most excited to hear about and try ourselves. And, we’re not ashamed to admit, this is the one tyre category we were most excited about too.

For car and driving enthusiasts, feel is as much a part of the experience to savour as pure performance. They are the conduit between our hands and the road, which is why tyres take on an extra dimension beyond just keeping a car rolling. A good tyre can do wonders to enhance a car’s drive, and a bad tyre can equally ruin it.

Testing High-Performance tyres means you need a high-performance car, and for that, we have the Kia Stinger GT. The immense 370hp punch from its 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 ensures there’s enough oomph to give the tyres a good workout, while its relatively soft suspension, long wheelbase and limited-slip differential make the Stinger really forgiving and easy to read when you’re at, or even over the limits of grip.

The Stinger runs a staggered tyre setup, 225/40R19 in front, and 255/35R19 in the back. For our contenders, we have two of the newest and most eagerly anticipated UHP tyres, as well as one of the all-time favourites. We also have something of an all-rounder, and a more value-oriented mid-range offering: 

  • Bridgestone Potenza Sport
  • Pirelli P Zero PZ4
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
  • Yokohama Advan Fleva V701
  • Nexen NFera SU1

The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 was originally planned to be included as well, but unfortunately due to stock availability, it had to sit out this year’s test.

Naturally, for this category we focused on the performance tests, putting equal weightage on Handling and both Dry and Wet Grip and Braking. The weightages for this category are:

  • Dry Handling (Circuit): 20%
  • Dry Grip (Skidpan): 20%
  • Wet Grip (Skidpan): 20%
  • Dry Braking: 20%
  • Wet Braking: 20%

The Raw Data

The Results

5th: Nexen N Fera SU1

Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)20%4th72.36 s+3.07 s-4.43%
Dry Grip (Skidpan)20%5th0.670 g-0.137 g-16.99%
Wet Grip (Skidpan)20%5th0.669 g-0.075 g-11.75%
Dry Braking20%5th29.27 m+6.32 m-27.52%
Wet Braking20%4th25.30 m+4.23 m-20.09%
Noise01st78 dB
Rolling Resistance02nd57.43 m-1.97 m-3.31%

A clear gulf emerged between the top 3 and bottom 2 in this category. 

In 5th place is the Nexen NFera SU1, which scored the lowest in nearly all the tests we were focusing on, and received the most negative feedback of any tyre throughout the event. 

The testers noted that the N Fera lacked grip everywhere, meaning the Stinger was easily provoked into both understeer and oversteer, and the soft sidewalls translated to vague steering feedback and noticeable hesitations to commands from the helm. Furthermore, the ride was also actually less composed, and the car also felt more squirrely under braking.

It was the quietest tyre in this category and 2nd-best in rolling resistance, but we have a feeling those aren’t high priorities for the typical UHP tyre customer.

RRP: S$185 (225/40R19) / S$202 (255/35R19)

4th: Yokohama Advan Fleva V701

Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)20%5th72.87 s+3.58 s-5.16%
Dry Grip (Skidpan)20%4th0.758 g-0.049 g-6.64%
Wet Grip (Skidpan)20%4th0.695 g-0.063 g-8.25%
Dry Braking20%4th27.33 m+4.38 m-19.1%
Wet Braking20%5th25.77 m+4.70 m-22.31%
Noise03rd83 dB+5 dB-6.41%
Rolling Resistance01st59.40 m

Like the Nexens, the Yokohama Advan Fleva V701 isn’t as aggressive a tyre as our podium finishers, which is why it only manages 4th place.

Having the best score in Rolling Resistance and 2nd-best in the Noise Test counted for nothing in our weightage, and ultimately it was hindered by having the worst score in Wet Braking, and the 2nd-lowest scores in everything else. Our testers noted that understeer set in early, and feedback through the wheel was lacking.

RRP: S$260 (225/40R19) / S$300 (255/35R19)

3rd: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)20%1st69.29 s
Dry Grip (Skidpan)20%3rd0.784 g-0.023 g-2.78%
Wet Grip (Skidpan)20%3rd0.731 g-0.027 g-3.52%
Dry Braking20%3rd26.40 m+6.32 m-15.03%
Wet Braking20%2nd22.70 m+4.23 m-7.75%
Noise05th96 dB+18 dB-23.08%
Rolling Resistance03rd53.00 m-6.4 m-10.77%

The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is a known quantity and a firm favourite among car enthusiasts, but in this company, it could only muster 3rd place. 

It set the outright lap record on our Handling Course, but was only average in Dry Braking. It was closer to the highest class scores for Dry Grip, Wet Grip, and Wet Braking, but still only 3rd-best in these areas. 

Subjectively though, there was nothing but praise for the PS4S. Not only was its stability, precision and consistency great, but it felt grippy too. Our skidpad drivers remarked that the PS4S was the only tyre that could sustain high enough Gs to cause a pressure difference in their eardrums! 

Ultimately for Michelin though, it’s the data that counts the most in this event.

RRP: S$344 (225/40R19) / S$368 (255/35R19)

2nd: Pirelli P Zero (PZ4)

Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)20%3rd69.88 s+0.59 s-0.85%
Dry Grip (Skidpan)20%2nd0.791 g-0.016 g-1.91%
Wet Grip (Skidpan)20%1st0.758 g
Dry Braking20%2nd23.38 m+0.43 m-1.89%
Wet Braking20%3rd23.43 m+2.36 m-11.23%
Noise04th89 dB+11 dB-14.10%
Rolling Resistance04th43.27 m-16.13 m-27.16%

The new-generation Pirelli P Zero, or PZ4, put up a good fight, but could only claim the runner-up spot. 

As with other tests performed by other countries, the PZ4 emerged as the tyre you’d have the most fun with in the wet, as it achieved the best Wet Grip score. Dry Handling, Dry Grip and Wet Dry Braking were also excellent, getting within 2% of the class winner, but Wet Braking performance was only average.

Unlike the other contenders in this category, our drivers didn’t have much to say about the PZ4, but a couple of them did think it performed better objectively than it felt.

RRP: S$304 (225/40R19) / S$319 (255/35R19)

1st: Bridgestone Potenza Sport

Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)20%2nd99.66 s+0.24 s-0.34%
Dry Grip (Skidpan)20%1st0.807 g
Wet Grip (Skidpan)20%2nd0.744 g-0.014 g-1.77%
Dry Braking20%1st22.95 m
Wet Braking20%1st21.07 m
Noise02nd80 dB+2 dB-2.56%
Rolling Resistance05th41.40 m-18.00 m-30.3%

And finally, our winner, the Bridgestone Potenza Sport. What can we say about this new tyre other than that we were very impressed? 

It recorded the shortest stopping distances in both Wet and Dry, had the highest Dry Grip of the entire test, and came in a close second in Dry Handling and Wet Grip. Just 0.2s, or less than half a %, separated it from the Michelin PS4S on the Handling Course, and 0.014G, or 1.7%, from the Pirelli P Zero in Wet Grip.

Furthermore, our test drivers were wowed by the Potenza Sport’s quick response to steering inputs, feedback through the wheel, and the high peak grip levels. 

The only fly in the ointment was that the Potenza Sport overheated fairly quickly, recording slower times on the 3rd laps of both the Handling Course and Dry Grip skidpan and thus bringing down its average slightly. But overall, it had done enough to see off the other challengers, making the Bridgestone Potenza Sport Asia’s Ultimate Tyre Awards UHP Tyre of the Year!

RRP: S$281 (225/40R19) / S$345 (255/35R19)

Want to find out the results of all our other categories? Click these links for our Comfort, SUV, Eco, and Mainstream tests!

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