High Performance Tires

High performance tires are an extremely popular type of tire that more and more drivers are opting for, but they are not for everyone. High performance tires give the driver maximum stability at high speed. They provide unparallel handling for cornering, braking, and grip on dry pavement. In the meantime, high performance tires are expensive yet generally not suitable for all season driving. The tread wears out sooner too. Here we offer tips and information that can help you decide whether high performance tires are good for you.

Features of High Performance Tires

In the most practical terms, high performance means higher speed ratings and more grip on dry surfaces for better handling or braking.

In terms of construction, a high performance tire typically weighs much less than a touring or specialty tire and has a wider and a shorter sidewall height with a lower profile.

You can find the high performance (or ultra-high performance) label on top of the tire. High performance tires will generally carry speed ratings of U (124 mph) or H (130 mph); and ultra performance or max performance tires with speed ratings of Z (over 149 mph), W (168 mph), and Y (186 mph).

Pros and Cons of High Performance Tires

High performance tires outperform touring tires on dry roads. With speed ratings that can run well past double the speed limit in the U.S., high performance tires are a good choice if you plan on maximizing or boosting the performance of your car.

If you own a sports car, high performance tires are probably a given both for their sharp looks as well as their handling. For example, if your Chevy Corvette came stock with Y rated tires, you might not save very much by downgrading to a lower rated tire. If you value extreme handling and speed above everything, high performance tires are the right option.

The cost of high performance tires can be prohibitive, considering the limited length of usage. If you are accustomed to capable, moderately priced tires with long tread life and good warranties, you may be in for a shock.

High performance tires also do not give you a smooth and quiet ride. The thin and low sidewalls do not allow for much shock absorption. You will feel every little bump on the road. High performance tires also do not do well in the rain or snow. So if you drive in bad weather frequently, they are not your choice.

Should I Buy High Performance Tires?

To summarize, if your car is a transportation tool that takes you to work and your kids to school, you probably do not need high performance tires.

If you are really on the fence regarding high performance versus touring tires, the touring tires are probably the right choice. The ability to hold up at high speed while delivering precise handling comes at a high cost.

If you are on a budget or are looking for the best value, remember that the overall cost of high performance tires ownership is higher, often by a significant margin, due to shorter tread life.