February 2, 2013

Tire Wars: BFGoodrich Rival Smokes The Competition

Special thanks to our good friends at TopSpeed for providing the information in this post.

Recently, BFGoodrich released a new tire called the G-Force Rival. Up until then, the best tire produced for the street was the Comp2, which was released in 2012. The Rival is in a class called an “extreme-performance” tire, which is a tire class that is on the borderline of being “illegal for the street.”

Michelin, in 1988, acquired BFGoodrich, which is made exclusively in the USA and takes advantage of all the benefits derived from Michelin’s technologies.

BFGoodrich was confident it had developed a tire to beat the competition. So they ran a series of road tests with the G-Force Rival to see how it compared against a few other high-performance tire brands. The opposition that was presented was the Hankook Ventus R-S3, Toyo Proxes R1R, BFG Comp 2, BFG R1S, and the Falken RT-615K, which are all top-of-the line performance tires.

The first test was a short autocross using three Subaru STIs fitted with the Rival, Hankook and Toyo 245/40R18 tires. The track was small, with many sharp turns that required hard braking in order to test the tires behavior under intense driving conditions.

The brand new tires were mounted onto the three Subaru STIs and the competition began. After thirty runs, the Hankook tires looked decent but had slight deformation along the edges, and the Toyo tires looked severely worn with cuts and slashes all over. However, the Rival was brutally used through 45 runs and looked in better condition than either of the other two.

The skid pad was the next test using three Mazda Miatas fitted with 225/45ZR17 BFGoodrich G-Force Rivals, BFGoodrich Comp2, and the BFGoodrich R1S. The skid pad tests the amount of g-forces felt while the car is in a controllable skid, under throttle. The Comp2 could only muster up 0.8g, while the Rival and the R1S was both pushed to the limit of 1.16gs.

The next test of tire torture was a long autocross using two BMW E46s, fitted with 245/40R18 BFGoodrich Rivals and Hankook Ventus RS3. The course was longer than the previous autocross, with faster corners and high-speed slaloms. The Rival gave smoother control and a sharper response than the Hankook. When the experiment was over, the Rival looked good, and once again the Hankook RS3 showed outer edge wear.

The final test was an all out battle of speed on the NOLA Racetrack using Ford Mustang FR500s fitted with the 245/40ZR18 Rival and Falken RT-615K tires. Making two laps around the track really wasn’t enough to see the full limit of the tire, but was enough to get a good feel. When it was all said and done, this test ended in a tie.

And the winner is:

BFGoodrich Rival, delivering superb handling, excellent response, smoother control, and minimal tread wear. And the cost? $239.00 MSRP for the tire size used in this competition. These tires will be available for pre-order on February 1, 2013, in 15 different sizes from 15 – 20 inches and 205 – 335 widths.

Image Credit: TopSpeed

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