200 track tires vs summer vs all UHP All-seasons
Two things I found surprising in this article: the DWS06+ performed really well in the dry handling/braking coming close to the Contact Sport, and how poorly the DWS06+ performed in wet handling/braking. There are many conclusions you can, pull from this. Mine is, if you are a Spyder owner and you think you need all-season tires, be repaired to slow down cause you won't be able to drive "spiritedly" any way, especially in the rain.
Now, take those same two tires where it 45 degrees or below. I wonder how the times would compare.
Tires are a very interesting subject. I found there are too many variables one of which is one set of tires may work great for a particular car but will not be so great with another car. Its probably due to the weight over the wheels and how the suspension interacts with it. I have found that the original tires our car came with had the best feel even though they are no where near as sticky as these newer tires. I come to learn that many of the newer tires have gone with softer sidewalls for plus sizing which lack responsiveness.
After many years of suffering though many interesting bad choices I went with the Firestone Indy 500s which are rebranded Bridgestones sold in Australia and Asian markets. These tires have stiff sidewalls like the OEM and feel very nice. They offer more than enough grip but they are not in the extreme category which is perfectly fine as they offer more grip than I need. Prior to this I had the Fallen RT615K which were extreme and too grippy that you had to be driving very fast to get any fun out of them. The sidewalls were a bit on the soft side but far better then some tires I have tried before.
I am on my third set of DWS06+, for my "dad car" first on an 04 TSX, now 09 Outback XT. I've had waaaay better experience with them than any other UHP all season I've tried, and they have also lasted much longer than their predecessors as well. This excludes Michelin UHP tires because I'm not willing to pay those prices.
I do not drive as spiritedly in the rain as a rule, but have not been unsatisfied with their wet grip as a whole. I am slightly unsatisfied with wet grip on my current set but feel the fault is mostly my own, moving from a 225/55 on 17x7 stock wheel to 245/50 on 17x8. The tires are slightly too wide for both the wheel and the car. I'm halfway through them now, next set will most likely be 235/55.
My experience driving in snow is limited but I am not unfamiliar. During the Texas "snowpocalipse" I had no trouble at all with AWD and DWS06+ rubber. The car was extremely stable and it was actually a lot of fun watching other less experienced drivers in less capable vehicles sliding all over the place while trying to drive carefully. I must admit I did hoon around in some parking lots during this as it was the first time I was able to purposefully slide the outback.
Also of note: From my limited knowledge, the DWS06+ is by far the lightest UHP all season available. If anyone knows different please let me know! I remember on my TSX when I first switched, I went from worn out (unknown brand) 225/50/17 tires to 235/50/17 DWS and they weighed 4lbs less than the worn out tires. That wheel (stock > aftermarket) and tire change netted me weight savings just shy of 10lbs per corner.
My toy has been wearing Federal 595s for the past couple of years. They are cheap, firm, sticky, predictable and not absolutely terrible in the wet. I also try to avoid driving the toy in the wet as a rule, just no reason to when I have something much safer available. Standing water is definitely a problem with the 595s if going more than 40mph or so.
I had a chance to finally pound on the Firestone Indy 500s today at a meet with 90 degree turns and some runabouts. These are some of the best tires I have owned, and I have been through so many through the years of ownership. The stiff sidewall and the feedback from these tires makes driving fun again. Also there was so much grip that I thought would not be there because these are considered a category below extreme performance from what I had before. I just hope when these wear out they continue to sell this tire.
Luckily, I can stay on summer tires all year round. And if it's not my daily driver, I can be on track-ish tires all year as well. Thanks for posting the video though. I like seeing these types of comparisons.
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