The AD09 is the latest in Yokohama’s line of track-oriented tyres, and is set to go on sale in 2022.
Ultra High Performance (UHP) tyres like the new Bridgestone Potenza Sport, Pirelli P Zero PZ4 or Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S – which were the highlights of our first-in-Singapore tyre test – may rule the roost when it comes to giving premium cars a sporty edge without compromising too much on comfort, but they’re not the last word in grip and roadholding.
For that, we have to look at Extreme Performance tyres, and one of the most venerable and popular examples in this segment is Yokohama’s Advan Neova range. Yokohama has just revealed the latest addition to this family, the new AD09, which is due to go on sale in Japan in Feb 2022, before “gradually being expanded to Asia and North America”. Unfortunately, no launch dates have been set for markets other than Japan, according to Yokohama’s official dealer in Singapore, YHI Automotive.
The AD09 carries the torch held by its predecessor, the AD08R, which has been around since 2013, and is beloved by the sports car and trackday crowd in Singapore and Malaysia thanks to its combination of limpet-like dry grip, excellent wet grip, decent refinement, surprising longevity, and outstanding value for money. We’ve had positive experiences with the AD08R before – AUTA director Joel had them on his Lotus Elise a few years ago, while I myself used them on my dad’s Mitsubishi Grandis and my Suzuki Swift Sport in various autocross and time attack events.
As Yokohama’s highest-performing street tyre, the AD09 moves the game on with a slight improvement in dry lap times, but a much larger one in the wet. Given the AD08R’s reputation for grip and progressiveness in the wet, we can’t wait to test this out for ourselves.
It achieves this thanks to a number of new features. Most obvious is a completely new asymmetric tread pattern that does away with the hook-shaped design of the AD08. Instead, there’s a significantly wider tread block on the outside of the tyre which provides a larger contact patch during cornering, and a wide groove on the inside of the tyre with lateral “lugs” that help with water drainage.
Additionally, there is a new structure that makes the AD09 Yokohama’s most rigid street tyre to date, and a new compound that Yokohama says not only improves dry grip and lap times and lasts longer on circuits, but also provides better controllability that would help amateur drivers in their performance.
The AD09 will initially be available in 20 sizes, ranging from 15 to 20 inches, but we understand that Yokohama intends to release another 60 sizes (up to 21 inches) by the end of 2022.