Everyone should know that new tires on your car will help it accelerate, handle, and stop better than ever; but short of the “they’re way better” it’s not often you have true feedback numbers versus opinion. Luckily Jason from Engineering Explained was installing new tires on his Honda S2000 and decided to get a little more data together than just “it feels a lot better.”
The test subject is a Honda S2000 which is riding on some cheaper Fusion tires, which are worn down (although still legal), mismatched, and the wrong size. In addition, the wheel alignment was out of spec further harming performance. Wow, a lot going on with this. Engineering Explained points out that the S2K has experience oversteer while braking, making for a dangerous vehicle when driven at the limit.
Data was collected before the new tires were swapped on for an accurate comparison of before and after. Not too brag worth, but you’ll see what the numbers are soon. Amusingly, the install requires some unique Tetris style stacking in the S2K in order to get the RE-71R tires to the shop. After having Bridgestone RE-71R tires installed along with a proper alignment, the braking test begins with the new setup.
To be fair, the Fusion tires pulled off are all season, while the Bridgestone’s are considered high performance summer tires. With that said, the difference is shocking. Using a Vbox Sport, data is collected with sensors and GPS to provide amazing accuracy, and we can truly see how much better new, summer tires can be on your car. To collect an accurate time and distance before and after, each test was run multiple times.
When the results are tallied up, the new tires perform better by a large margin. The aged and worn out Fusion tires pulled off a best 60-0 distance of 136.13 feet while taking 3.41 seconds to do so. The worst performance was the third test, most likely from tires and brakes heating up, managed 143.90 feet and 3.58 seconds. As for the RE-71R tires, the 60-0 distance was considerably shorter at 112.30 feet and 2.84 seconds, and a best of 107.93 feet in only 2.63 seconds. Even at its worst, the Bridgestone tires brought the S2000 to a stop 28.2 feet faster!
Shorter stopping distances aren’t just for the street either, track benefits of better handling and shorter stopping distances go a long way to help improve lap times. Granted, stopping faster on the street might be a lot cheaper for you too, if it prevents an accident.
One final and very important note; run the tires for the type of driving and climate you live in. High performance summer tires won’t work well in cooler temperatures or snow, just like all season tires on the track won’t perform as expected.