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Tires come in many treads, sizes and performance characteristics. Here is a primer on the basic car tire categories and some popular consumer choices.

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Extreme Performance Summer

Hyper-focused on extreme dry grip, but gives up wet traction, comfort and tread life to get it. Not to be driven in near-freezing temperatures, in snow or on ice, or at high speeds in deep standing water, these specially tuned tires combine big-block tread designs with aggressive tread compounds and reinforced internal constructions to emphasize dry road response, traction, handling and high speed capabilities for serious driving enthusiasts.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Hankook Ventus R–S4.

Max Performance Summer

Designed to deliver the highest combination of dry and wet traction along with reasonable ride and treadwear. Not intended to be driven in snow or on ice, these technologically advanced ultra low profile, high speed tires combine computer developed designs, and unique materials with precision manufacturing techniques to provide an unsurpassed blend of dry and wet traction and handling.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S.

Ultra High Performance All-Season

Responsive handling, very good on dry and wet roads plus adequate winter traction. Reasonable comfort and tread life. Branded with the M+S symbol, these ultra-low profile tires are designed to provide year-round traction (even in light snow) through tread designs and compounds that remain more flexible in the cold weather to help blend all-season traction with very good handling and high-speed capabilities.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+.

Ultra High Performance Summer

Focused on nimble handling on dry and wet roads with acceptable ride quality and tread life. Not intended to be driven in snow or on ice, these low profile tires are designed to provide responsive handling and crisp steering response in both wet and dry conditions.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500.

High Performance All-Season

A nice balance of responsive handling, good year-round traction and acceptable treadlife. Branded with the M+S symbol, these low profile tires are designed to provide year-round traction (even in light snow) through tread designs and compounds that remain flexible in the cold weather to help blend all-season traction with good handling.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season.

High Performance Summer

A blend of good handling, dry and wet traction and acceptable tread wear. Not intended to be driven in snow or on ice, these low profile tires are designed to provide responsive handling and crisp steering response in both wet and dry conditions.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Pirelli Cinturato P7.

Performance All-Season

A combination of handling and style with adequate all-season traction. Branded with the M+S symbol, these tires provide year-round traction (even in light snow) and will upgrade the appearance and performance of vehicles originally equipped with Passenger All-Season tires. Most tires offer white letter or black sidewall styling.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Cooper Cobra Radial GT.

Racetrack & Autocross

DOT-legal competition tires focused on lowering lap times in dry conditions. Not for street use or wet track conditions.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Toyo Proxes RA1.

Streetable Track & Competition

Track-capable tires that can be driven on the street. Somewhat longer wear life than track-only tires, plus modest wet capability.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Pirelli P Zero Corsa System.

Drag Racing

DOT-legal tires focused on maximizing acceleration traction and lowering ETs. Limited cornering capability and not for wet conditions.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the BFGoodrich g-Force T/A Drag.

Grand Touring All-Season

Delivers a nice balance of good year-round traction, comfortable ride and reasonable tread life. Branded with the M+S symbol and capable of providing year-round traction (even in light snow), these tires are designed to blend a performance tire's appearance with a passenger tire's smooth, quiet ride. Grand Touring All-Season tires are often used as Original Equipment and place more emphasis on handling and high-speed capabilities than Standard Touring tires.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Michelin Cross Climate+.

Grand Touring Summer

Designed to blend good dry and wet traction with a comfortable ride. Not intended to be driven in snow or on ice, these tires are designed to blend a performance tire's appearance with a passenger tire's smooth, quiet ride. Grand Touring tires are often used as Original Equipment and place more emphasis on handling and high-speed capabilities than Standard Touring tires.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Michelin Primacy HP.

Standard Touring All-Season

Focused on longer tread life, while also delivering a smooth ride and sufficient all-season traction. Branded with the M+S symbol and capable of providing year-round traction (even in light snow), these tires are designed to blend a performance tire's appearance with a passenger tire's smooth, quiet ride. Standard Touring tires are typically available in the lower speed ratings and higher aspect ratio sizes and place more emphasis on ride comfort and treadwear than Grand Touring tires.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Continental TrueContact Tour.

Passenger All-Season

Longer treadwear plus a good ride and reasonable traction. Branded with the M+S symbol and capable of providing year-round traction (even in light snow), the steering response and handling capabilities of Passenger All-Season tires won''t match that of performance or touring tires. They emphasize good wear, a plush ride, and predictable handling.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Goodyear Assurance TripleTred.

Highway All-Season


Focused on longer tread life while providing a smooth ride and sufficient all-season traction. These tires typically feature independent tread blocks and multiple sipes positioned around the tire to combine good on-road (including gravel and dirt roads) poise with foul-weather traction. They are branded with the M+S symbol and capable of providing all-season versatility, including traction in light snow.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Michelin Agilis CrossClimate.

Studless Ice & Snow

The best when winter weather is at its worst. Designed for maximum traction in snow, slush or on ice. Reasonable clear-road handling and acceptable wear life.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Blizzak DM-V2.

Studdable Winter/Snow

Aggressive tread patterns to handle snow and slush. Built to accept optional metal studs for additional ice traction. Stud use, however, is restricted or banned in some states.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the General AltiMAX Artic 12.

Performance Winter/Snow

Strikes a nice balance between clear road handling and snow/ice traction. Better wet/dry traction. A good option for higher performance vehicles.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Michelin Alpin PA4.

Run Flat

Run-flat tires have a reinforced sidewall or, in some cases, an internal support ring that will support the weight of the vehicle after a loss of air pressure. These tires enable a vehicle to be driven at reduced speeds for a limited distance in the event of a flat tire. This eliminates stopping in a potentially dangerous situation to change a tire.

A popular and highly recommended tire in this category is the Yokohama AVID ENVigor ZPS.
 

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I just got michelin pilot sport 4s and they're pretty amazing. I haven't done zero to sixty runs yet. But I've been able to do things I haven't been able to before since I've had the car (3 years). I put eibach sport springs and shocks and that dropped my 0-60 by anout .4 seconds maybe a little less.. I was averaging 5.1-5.3 with my exhaust and tune. Best was 4.9 Got the springs and shocks and have a hard time getting under 5.5. I'm hoping I'll be able to get 5.1 consistentlu again.
 
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