When it comes to purchasing a set of tires, the offerings can seem limitless-and a bit confusing to those with little knowledge about them. You can certainly read up on them online (at chevyhiperformance.com, for instance), but it really comes down to one simple question: What are your intentions?
You need to figure out if you're looking for all-out performance or if longevity is more applicable for your needs.
In our case, we were interested in a set of performance tires for our '02 C5 Z06 Corvette. The original Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar rubber, a good tire in its own right, was worn out and more-or-less ready to be retired. It was a perfect time to try out Nitto's latest NT05s.
We had a number of reasons for our decision. For starters, we're planning to hit up several autocross and open track events throughout the year, and while race tires seem enticing, we wanted a tire that could be driven to and from the events. Another important aspect was the treadwear rating, since most of the events we're planning to enter have a minimum 200 rating requirement. Of course, the other important factors include a nice ride quality for road trips and the ability to shed water when caught in the occasional SoCal downpour. Our criteria may seem extremely demanding, but the NT05s sounded very promising-at least on paper they were the perfect tire for us.
To get the baseline numbers, we headed over to our new test facility at the former El Toro Marine Base, where we put the Z06 through the paces in the 420-foot slalom, 60-0 mph braking, and the skidpad. While the baseline numbers were impressive, the NT05s didn't disappoint. For the full disclosure, turn to the next page and see why we're so hip to Nitto's NT05 lineup!
What Is It
Nitto's latest maximum-performance tire
What We Did
Outfit our C5 Z06 with a fresh set of sneakers and put them to the test
$940 ($180 each for P275/40R17, $290 each for P295/35R18)