Rear-drive rub­ber

Evo - - INBOX -

Once again your tyre test ( evo 238) was con­ducted with a front-wheel- drive car. I have owned hot hatches with frontand four-wheel- drive and they were great, but I re­ally needed an up-to- date tyre ap­praisal for my rear- drive AMG. In­stead I had to read else­where for tests re­flect­ing my kind of car.

I’m not say­ing front-wheel drive should be elim­i­nated any more than evo is say­ing the ma­jor­ity of its read­ers pre­fer front- drive cars. All I am ask­ing is, next time, please also show some sup­port for us rear- drive and four­wheel- drive own­ers who want to know what be­hav­iour we can ex­pect. Maya Ostrom, Lon­don

We have en­deav­oured to con­duct our tyre tests on cars other than front­drive cars. The is­sue with rear- drive per­for­mance cars is that most have dif­fer­ent sized front and rear tyres and these sizes may be unique to that car, lim­it­ing the test’s rel­e­vance. Many man­u­fac­tur­ers have tyres specif­i­cally tuned to their cars, too: Porsche, As­ton Martin, Mercedes and Jaguar do.

We used an MX-5 a few years ago but there were lim­ited tyre brands in its size, and we gen­er­ally se­lect best-sell­ing sizes for the great­est rel­e­vance. Also, many of the ob­jec­tive tests – wet and dry brak­ing, aqua­plan­ing, rolling re­sis­tance and weight – are in­de­pen­dent of the ve­hi­cle. The sub­jec­tive el­e­ments are more bound up with the ve­hi­cle, but how much dif­fer­ent is un­der­steer from over­steer? At heart, it’s the tyre at the limit.

Tyre tests aren’t per­fect. It’s a spe­cific tyre and the re­sults might not ex­trap­o­late, but it’s the best source of in­de­pen­dent info out there, which is why we in­vest in them. – JB

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