When it comes time to replace tires, drivers usually stick to the brands and products they know or just get the same tires that originally came with the car.
But that’s not always the best option, since the tires fitted to your car from the factory may not suit your needs. They may be on the car to improve fuel economy, keep the cabin quiet, or they may just be there to keep costs down. The factory tires are chosen for a number of reasons, but when it comes to buying a new set, you have the opportunity to make that choice your own.
BFGoodrich makes tires for many different customers. The company is well known in the world of motorsports, where its tires have been used on winning cars in the gruelling Baja and Dakar off road races. On the road, the company has provided tires for plenty of winning cars in Formula 1 and Le Mans. Those off-road events and Le Mans are marathon races, meaning performance and durability are required.
The company, of course, makes tires for the consumer crowd as well. We had a chance to test some new tires from the company: the g-Force Comp-2 A/S, which are high-performance all-season tires that can keep up with high-performance summer tires. We also had a go with the Advantage T/A, a set of tires that are a bit more mainstream.
g-FORCE COMP-2 A/S: High Performance All-Season Tires
We tested a pair of V6-powered Ford Mustangs, one with the BFGoodrich tires, and the other with Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 performance tires. Through an intricate auto-cross circuit, it was clear that the BFGoodrich rubber was up to par with the pricier Continentals. Not only that, but there was less wheelspin off the line with the g-Force Comp-2 A/S tires, and when you triggered the ABS in the Continental-equipped Mustang, the rear end of the car squirmed a bit.
Finally, when it came to the slalom portion of the auto-cross, the Mustang equipped with the BFGoodrich tires seemed to require less drastic inputs on the steering wheel; my hands went left to right nice and smoothly, while in the Continental-equipped Mustang, there were some stutters, over corrections and other rough driving inputs. It was clear that the BFGoodrich rubber was performing better in this course.
The tire will be offered in 56 sizes that BFGoodrich says will cover 86 percent of the market. Primarily targeted as replacement tires for American muscle cars and Euro/Asian performance sedans, the COMP-2 A/S features a sexy-looking directional tread pattern that will fit with any performance vehicle.
The key to the tire’s success lies in its construction. The large rigid tread blocks are optimized to improve dry grip and have the maximum amount of road contact. The shoulder of the tire also features a bit more tread, which allows the tires to maintain grip while cornering and prevents too much deformation. The tire also has stiffer sidewalls. Finally, the high silica compound that makes up the tire is flexible in cold weather, which BFGoodrich assures will help this tire maintain some of its grip in winter weather. BFGoodrich reps were careful to point out that the COMP-2 All-Season tires are not a substitute for dedicated winter tires.
Advantage T/A Sport: Mainstream Performance
While the g-Force COMP-2 A/S tires cater to driving enthusiasts, the other tires that were available to test are considerably more mainstream. The Advantage T/A Sport is offered in 54 sizes that range from 15 inches to 18 inches. We tested the tires on Mazda3s in a similar autocross circuit that also featured some wet patches. These were compared to a set of Assure Fuel Max tires from Goodyear.
What was clear when testing the two sets of tires was how limited the Goodyear tires were in terms of performance and grip. Overall, they made the Mazda3 seem sloppy and piloting the car through the autocross circuit wasn’t very inspiring. I certainly wasn’t confident in the tire’s ability to keep me stuck to the road. The BFGoodrich offerings were far more composed. The tire felt like it was in constant contact with the road, and wasn’t letting go. The car also felt more responsive to inputs, similar to my findings with the COMP-2 tires.
The Advantage T/A Sport tires are designed to be sportier than other mainstream tires. Thanks to a feature that optimizes the tire’s footprint while cornering, the tire ends up feeling more responsive and confident. There are also sipes that help give the tire more surface area to bite into snow. There are also full-depth treads that ensure the tires will have a consistency in terms of performance.
The BFGoodrich tires we tested all seemed to be catered to the enthusiast. High-performance tires may not sound like they’re for everyone, but the truth is, it’s an important element of safety. Tires that are responsive, and grippy will be able to keep you out of trouble, too.
BFGoodrich features warranties for their tires. The g-FORCE COMP-2 A/S tires feature a 45,000 mile warranty, while the Advantage T/A Sport come with a 70,000 mile warranty. The tires will also typically be cheaper than the OEM offerings. These kind of assurances help new tire buyers feel more confident with their purchases, and will help sway them away from the lure of the tried and true rubber that came with the car. It’s not easy to make a decision like choosing new tires for your ride, but the offerings from BFGoodrich make a compelling reason to switch.