The company goal at Falken Tire is to help you get a performance grip at an affordable price. This is done with tires like the FK-06M radial, an all-season tire featuring a performance-minded uni-directional tread design and a long-lasting, multipurpose grip compound. It's available in 14- through 16-inch sizes. For more intense applications there's the GRB II, with a more aggressive tread pattern and a new "silica" tread compound offering extreme road handling ability in wet and dry conditions. It's available in 17- and 18-inch sizes. Falken Tire Corporation: 10404 Sixth St., Dept. SC, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730; (909) 466-1116; www.falkentire.com.
As you might expect from one of the oldest names in tires, Firestone has an extensive line of performance tires. The Firehawk series consists of everything from ultra-high-performance offerings to general performance radials to touring tires. The SZ50 EP is the ultra-high-performance model and features a dual-layer tread pattern developed from Firestone's Indy rain tire. Four high-performance Firehawk models are also available, along with two performance models, including the SS20, which would be a natural choice for a variety of musclecars. Firestone: One Bridgestone Park, Dept. SC, Nashville, TN 37214; (800) 807-9555; www.firestone.com.
The Goodyear Eagle series of tires is one of the longest-running names in the world of performance radials. Eagles have found plenty of success on race tracks, and have been original equipment on a host of performance cars over the past two decades. The Eagle F1 Steel is still at the top of Goodyear's ultra-performance line, and features exclusive tread compounds and steel ply designs that offer precise handling, excellent treadwear, and low noise. It's available in 15- through 18-inch sizes. Goodyear Tire: 1144 E. Market St., Dept. SC, Akron, OH 44316; (800) GOODYEAR; www.goodyear.com.
The Michelin Man may be pudgy, but he knows how to handle the curves. For that task he uses the Pilot line of radial tires, which includes performance offerings like the XGT Z4. This is an all-weather high-performance tire designed to offer a comfortable ride and plenty of grip. It does this with an aggressive tread pattern, advanced-technology compounds and an undertread structure that provides plenty of stability. Pilot XGT Z4s are available in a variety of 16- to 20-inch sizes. Michelin: P.O. Box 19001, Dept. SC, Greenville, SC 29602; (800) 847-3435; www.michelin.com.
If you're into drag racing at all, the name Mickey Thompson is sure to be familiar to you. ET Drag slicks are staples on the strip, and the DOT-approved ET Street is really gaining popularity with the street-legal racing crowd. The ET Streets feature nylon carcass plies with a racing tread compound, and are available in sizes to fit 15- and 16-inch diameter wheels. MT still has an assortment of fat street meats as well, including the ever-popular Sportsman and Sportsman Pros. Mickey Thompson: 4670 Allen Rd., Dept. SC, Stow, OH 44224; (330) 928-9092; www.mickeythompsontires.com.
Pirelli calls its top offering of performance tires the P Zero line because, as they say, it has "zero limits." The latest segment of that line is the P Zero Rosso (or "red"), which is available with either an asymmetrical tread pattern (for all-out dry track performance) or a directional one (for better wet grip). Both Rossos use new-generation silica compounds for maximum grip and feature a tread block design engineered to reduce noise and provide comfort. Pirelli Tire North America: 500 Sargent Dr., Dept. SC, New Haven, CT 06536; (800) 822-8686; www.us.pirelli.com.