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Old 06-30-2011, 09:22 AM   #1
miles@tirerack.com
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Post New Ultra-High Performance All-Season testing

We finally got to open up the track after getting some fresh payment and take the Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS out to see what it was all about. Check it out:

Testing Bridgestone's Potenza RE970AS Pole Position Ultra High Performance All-Season Tire

We also tested the other top tires in the same class for comparison. There's info here on the Continental Extreme Contact DWS, Michelin Pilot Sport AS+, and Pirelli PZero Nero AS.

My impressions:
I thought the Pirelli was a nice surprise and had nice handling and comfort.
The Michelin is still a winner and was extremely smooth for an otherwise sporty tire. It was a touch noisier than I remembered.
The DWS is still the most comfortable and quiet tire in the class IMO but still lacks the handling and cornering ability of the other tires here. Great grip but if you like to drive hard this won't be the miracle tire for you.
The RE970 had a great firmness and stability for cornering. It was one of the truest tires that I have gotten to drive meaning if you pointed it one direction that's exactly where you were going. Very fun although it was as noisy as the Michelin on the road ride without the comfort. Regardless, an awesome performance oriented tire.


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Old 06-30-2011, 09:57 AM   #2
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Nice test. I love it when you guys compare tires like this. Helps when buying time comes around.

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Old 06-30-2011, 11:32 AM   #3
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Thanks for sharing the new tests Miles! What's interesting is that no one tire dominated the testing based on the numbers. Some did better than others in dry, wet, etc. The perfect all-season tire still seems elusive and probably will be for some time to come. Hopefully Tirerack can test these tires head to head once again on cold pavement, ice and snow. We can then get a true feeling which one may be the better "all" season tire. I'm thinking the DWS may still be that tire but betting that other tire companies have it in their sights and will be introducing similar tires soon.
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:24 PM   #4
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Geezer, currently we do not do any comparison testing for all-season tires in winter conditions and I absolutely agree that would be very cool to see how they do. In my experience there are some outstanding all-seasons for winter out there right now (gotta echo the DWS here) but since dedicated winter tires are so much better still we want to encourage and promote their use solely for those conditions.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miles@tirerack.com View Post
Geezer, currently we do not do any comparison testing for all-season tires in winter conditions and I absolutely agree that would be very cool to see how they do. In my experience there are some outstanding all-seasons for winter out there right now (gotta echo the DWS here) but since dedicated winter tires are so much better still we want to encourage and promote their use solely for those conditions.


I agree with the premise of using and encouraging dedicated snow tires and have three sets for three cars in my garage right now. But I live in Colorado and drive the mountains frequently which is a different situation.

As you know there are relatively large sections of the country that do not justify dedicated snow tires due to moderate climates. But as we saw last winter, mother nature can throw curve balls anywhere. Watching cars spin and slide on TV in Atlanta, Dallas, etc proved that (and unfortunately for them provided great entertainment for us).

The people in those transitional areas could be doing a different type of tire search and purchase in the future (do to their wake-up call) but it may not include or warrant dedicated snow tires. Some so called all-season tires are better than others when it comes to the elements. That's why I think a total "four season" comparison of all season tires would be a nice and useful service by the "rack".
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:20 AM   #6
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Till then your best bet is:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/survey....jsp?type=GTAS

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/survey...ay.jsp?type=ST

Look for the best snow and ice traction?
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frednumber15 View Post

Surveys are better than nothing but I get a little skittish when things are based on subjective personal opinions. I prefer objective/scientific comparisons which give real side by side numbers to compare.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:22 AM   #8
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I went w/ the DWS's from the "rack''. I had the former extremecontact's. If I didn't have to deal w/ winter condition's in seattle, I'd go w/ some Dunlap's Star-spec's!
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:51 PM   #9
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Bumping this old thread as winter is coming again and some other like me may be looking for a high performance all season tire. I have the PS3s on now and love them, but 6 months of the year here is near or below freezing and I'm tired of driving a summer only tire at temps like that. I have a 4x4 truck so in the event of heavy snow I'll drive that. Right now I'm leaning towards the Bridgestone RE970AS.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:29 PM   #10
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They're definitely a good tire, but if snow is in the forecast (especially light snow), I know which one I'd want. The Continental is about as close to a true "all-season" tire as there is. I think the Tirerack summary does a pretty good job of hinting at that.

Tires tested:

Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position (Ultra High Performance All-Season 225/45R17 94W)

What We Liked: Balanced handling and sporty driving feel
What We'd Improve: Winter weather traction
Conclusion: A very well-rounded performer for drivers who experience minimal winter weather.


Continental ExtremeContact DWS (Ultra High Performance All-Season 225/45ZR17 91W)

What We Liked: Good wet and winter traction and a quiet ride
What We'd Improve: Steering response
Conclusion: A capable Ultra High Performance All Season tire that leads the category in wintertime traction.
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