In the last five years, India has seen the launch of numerous premium and sports oriented cars intended for high-speed motoring and performance execution. This change is quite omnipresent in all sections of vehicles — right from hatchbacks such as the Fiat Abarth Punto and the VW Polo GT TSI, to all the way up to the supercars such as the Jaguar F-Type or the Audi R8. And, with the advent of such cars, there’s a need for better rubber as well to cater to the performance requisites of these expeditious cars.
So, we have shortlisted five high-speed tyres that will serve your performance rides in the best possible way. We have arranged the following tyres in an ascending order of their prices and the value they offer.
MRF Perfinza CLX1
MRF was long due to produce a more performance friendly tyre than the Z.L.O, and Perfinza CLX1 is worth the wait. The tyre is one of the most affordable performance tyres available in the country and is an ideal choice if you want to upsize without spending a fortune. It is available in a price bracket of Rs 5,800 to Rs 12,500. The tyre is made up of a softer-than-usual compound, if you consider any other MRF tyre, which usually tends to be on the harder side. It allows the MRF Perfinza to offer better braking, acceleration and cornering capabilities
The MRF Perfinza boasts an asymmetric tread pattern to offer a perfect mix of quiet ride and advanced grip. The rib grooves are designed with a tree-branch-like layout to aid in better water expulsion and wet weather handling. Surprisingly, the MRF Perfinza CLX1 is available with very limited sizes especially considering the fact that MRF usually has a very elaborate size availability for its tyres. The tyre is available with the sizes starting from 195/60 R 15 88V to all the way to 225/45 R 17 91W. One gets the ‘V’ and ‘W’ speed ratings for the tyre, which have a safe operational limit of 240 kmph and 270 kmph, respectively, under maximum permissible load.
Apollo Aspire 4G
If you are looking for a tyre that is not too heavy on your pocket, then the high-performance tyre offering from the homegrown manufacturer is quite promising. Despite very competitive price bracket of Rs 10,000 to Rs 14,500, the Aspire 4G is a very impressive performance tyre. The tyre uses a vinyl solution SBR (Styrene Butadiene Rubber) compound blended with high silica content to produce an intermediately soft and grippy tyre tread. The compound allows the Aspire 4G achieve a better warm weather handling characteristics.
The tread follows a symmetric unidirectional pattern, with three wide and one narrow groove on the rib. These grooves provide excellent straight-line speed and water expulsion. However, despite this, the Aspire 4G lags a bit behind when it comes to wet weather driving compared to its more expensive competitors.
On the performance front, the Aspire 4G has a satisfactory output for the price it is offered at. The wide outer shoulder blocks allow for more support during cornering, whereas the unique tread pattern offers a quiet ride. Because the tyre is not too soft, the car is able to achieve a better fuel economy. The tyre is available in a wide range of sizes starting from 215/55 R 17 94W to 225/50 R 17 98W. The ‘W’ rating signifying that the tyre can safely operate at 270 kmph under maximum load. The tyre is available with the Abarth Punto as a stock offering.
Continental ContiSportContact 5P
Starting at a price tag of Rs 12,000 and going all the way up to Rs 30,000, the ContiSportContact 5P is a very grippy tyre thanks to a softer tread compound that it uses. The tyre is ideal for both warm and wet weather uses and is a perfect choice if you are looking for downright performance. The tyre compound tends to be on the softer side and under high-speed use one can expect a low tyre life. However, under normal use, the tyre can last longer, while providing a uniform grip throughout its life. To give you an idea, the tyre gives better grip than the next tyre in this list but loses marginally only in terms of tyre life.
The tread pattern is dominated by a wide shoulder block which allows higher cornering speed and superior stick on curvy roads. The mid-rib section of the tyre gets three deep wide grooves for improved straight-line stability and water dispersion. The tyre is available in a size band that starts as low as 225/50 R 17 FR 98W to 275/45 R 20 FR 110Y. The ‘W’ and ‘Y’ rating means the tyre can operate safely at 270 kmph and 300 kmph correspondingly under maximum permissible load.
Michelin Primacy 3 ZP
Moving towards more premium offering, the Michelin Primacy 3 ZP has made a name for itself when it comes to performance all round tyres. The tyre is an absolute winner if you are looking for an exceptional performance but not at the cost of the longevity. The price starts at Rs 16,700 and goes all the way up to Rs 32,000. And, although the company has exclusively developed the tyre with Mercedes Benz, it also suits Audi, BMW and other competitors equally. The 3 ZP is bestowed with a highly flexible tread compound that accommodates the undulations on the road very well and offers maximum grip. The tread features a symmetric pattern with two wide grooves in the centre of the rib, whereas two narrows on either side. The tread also features reinforced sidewalls that allow the tyre to be driven at 80 kmph even in the case of tyre puncture.
In addition to this, the tyre also is able to provide a decent mileage, a long life and lower road noise levels. This is achieved by packing the tread blocks in a unique S-shaped vane pattern, which makes sure that there’s minimum block movement and thereby ensuring less wear and tear. When it comes to the sizes, the Primacy 3 ZP’s catalogue starts from 225/50 R 17 ZP and goes till 245/45 R 19 ZP. The French tyre is available with a ‘W’ speed rating, which means it’s safe for 270 kmph under maximum permissible load. On the other hand, ‘ZP’ signifies that it is a run flat tyre.
Pirelli P Zero
Sitting at the very pinnacle of performance tyres in India is the P Zero. The tyre is priced between Rs 14,000 to Rs 45,000 and is designed to offer maximum grip under high-speed setup. The tyre falls on the softer side, and hence the tyre life is lower than both the Michelin and the Continental. However, since high-speed performance is the major goal of this tyre it’s not justified to ask for increased life.
The P Zero uses a special compound that employs high silica content with carbon black to heat up the tyre quickly and get it softer. This offers increased grip in various road temperatures, however, the P Zero is predominantly a warm and dry weather tyre. The tread pattern too is optimized to offer maximum cornering grip along with superior acceleration and stopping power. The tread, since optimized for grip, creates quite a noise. But, the P Zero has a few tricks up its sleeve to curb that as well. The tyres have a noise dampening foam on the inside that makes it quieter.
On top of this, the Pirelli P Zero is available with more than 40 sizes to choose from. Starting from 225/45 R 17 94Y all the way up to 295/30 ZR 19 100Y. The speed rating chart also expands from ‘V’, ‘W’ and ‘Y’, giving the buyers even more choices to avail.