Tires. They’re something we all need but very few of us really know anything tangible about them. They’re made of rubber, they glide over surfaces and come in a variety of types, running the spectrum from extreme off-road to low rolling resistance, environmentally friendly variants. As a common consumer, it would seem that’s all you need to know. But how you drive your car can help to determine what kind of tires best fit your driving personality, and can completely transform the way your car handles in extreme situations or lazily commutes about town.
In the performance tire segment, there are a lot of choices. Not just between manufacturers, but between tire brands and types within manufacturers as well. For example, within the BFGoodrich g-Force lineup – as a whole a performance tire with an ultra-sticky rubber compound and large, chunky tread blocks – there exist no fewer than seven variants. Let me say that again: BFGoodrich offers seven variants of their g-Force high performance tire. They range from the track-based, tread-less R1 semi-slick tire to the drag-centric (and unabashedly named) g-Force T/A Drag Radial to the everyday high performance g-Force Sport. So taking the time to figure out which specific tire caters to your needs can go a long way to many happy miles of driving.
My needs, however, are especially unique. I needed a set of road tires for my track car, a stripped-down 1989 BMW 325i with a back-breakingly stiff race suspension and anti-roll bars as thick as a Chipotle burrito (mild exaggeration). Obviously for sheer all-out grip, track-only tires like the g-Force R1 or Toyo Proxes R888 are the ideal setup. But if you plan on driving your car to the track, as I often do, something more everyday is required. And since you’ll be running two sets of rims and two sets of tires, picking up a set for the track commute that can double as rain tires iwould be incredibly sensible. Hence, I was in the market for all-season tires, and the BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S hit the mark.
BFGoodrich was kind enough to supply us with a review set in diminutive 195/60R14 dimensions.
Roughly translated, that means a 14-inch rim size with a 195 mm width and a sidewall (or ‘series’) measuring 60 percent of the tire width. If that makes sense, consider yourself a graduate of the DriverSide sidewall reading crash course.
One of the great things about street performance tires is the progressive nature with which they lose grip. Slicks and semi-slick track tires have a tendency to be very snappy – you’ve got tons of grip and then suddenly, with very little warning, you have none. This makes for lots of off-track excursions if you habitually smash through the car’s limits, and that’s generally not very fun.
However, with the g-Force Super Sport A/S tires, the limit can easily be approached. This makes adjusting the car’s attitude mid-corner very easy, and a quick prod of the throttle is met with progressive, controllable rear-end slip rather than terrifyingly abrupt oversteer. On the track, grip was surprisingly ample and high cornering speeds the norm, feeling more like a summer performance tire than anything that’s capable of dealing with rain. Grip under braking on track was strong and the ABS hardly ever fired off despite the use of race brake pads, which is quite surprising to say the least. Furthermore, blistering was a non-issue on track, despite having run the tires in 85-plus degree weather.
On the road, the tires are fantastic in both the dry and wet. With polyurethane bushings all over, race suspension and a limited-slip diff, the car should be a real handful in the wet, but the g-Force All Seasons do a great job of channeling water away and keeping the rubber in contact with the road. And despite the fact that my track car has very little left in the way of sound deadening, road noise isn’t intrusively loud on the freeway.
If you’re looking for a performance tire that maintains multi-season flexibility, it’s hard to look past the g-Force Super Sport A/S. While less expensive than similar products from other manufacturers, they’re perfectly competent on a daily basis and stack up against the competition well.