Results of the latest Which? summer tyre test report
The independent UK consumer group Which? carries out comparative tests on tyres on a regular basis and the results of their latest tests are in the April 2012 issue of their magazine. The tests covered two tyre sizes - 165/70 R14T and 205/55 R16V - and Continental tyres came out well in both tyre sizes.

Test results on Summer tyres
165/70 R14T
Test score
Continental Eco Contact5
72%
Michelin Energy Saver
70%
Pirelli Cinturato P1
68%
205/55 R16V
Continental Premium Contact5
70%
Dunlop SP Sport Fast Response
69%
Goodyear OptiGrip
69%

How well do these tyre test results help a V8 enthusiast choose replacement tyres for an MGV8?
The tyre reviews carried out by independent bodies like consumer groups or specialist motor magazines are based on comparative tyre tests of dry and wet handling, braking performance and wear. But how well can these results be applied to a classic car like an MGV8?

Well firstly we understand the tests are carried out with the tyres fitted to modern popular saloons or hatchbacks, for example a VW Fox/Polo, Ford Focus, Audi A6 and TT, and BMW series 1 and 3, so there is inevitably some uncertainty over how well those test results and recommendations translate from a modern car with a modern suspension package to an MGV8 with suspension from an earlier age. Also the tests are usually on a slightly different tyre size to that fitted to an MGBGTV8 or RV8.

The second area of criticism occasionally raised by one or two V8 members is over how the test score for each tyre is determined because the scores under each test category are weighted. The Which? weightings are - 40% wet grip, 20% dry grip, 20% wear, 10% fuel economy and 10% noise. As the "driving feel" of a classic car is part of the pleasure of the car, the ride and handling factors are of particular importance to a V8 enthusiast rather than wear. As most classic cars have very modest annual mileages, the wear rate is usually rarely a real concern as the tyres age and require replacement long before they wear out. So generally V8 enthusiasts place a higher weighting on comfort and wet and dry handling and braking performance.

So the Which? magazine test results may not be a perfect guide for V8 enthusiasts but it is fair to say the results do provide useful comparative tyre performance information which many V8 members feel offers some help in deciding on replacement tyre choices. The reports from fellow members of their experience with particular tyre brands are also very useful too.
What's in the latest Which? report?
Three key points appear when compared with the last report on the Which? magazine's tests on summer tyres in October 2011:

Continental tyres continue to head the tables for both tyre sizes although they have used a slightly different tyre size in each case compared with the last test on summer tyres.

Michelin Energy Saver continues to rank well in the 165/70 R14T size.

New tyre types have appeared in the top rankings - Pirreli Cinturato P1 (a popular tyre in the 165 size) and two tyres in the 205 size - Dunlop SP Sport FastReponse and Goodyear OpiGrip.

Replacement tyres for a classic sportscar like the MGBGTV8 and MG RV8 has been a topic often discussed by V8 enthusiasts. This note provides links to comments from several V8 Bulletin Board threads on the topic.

Continental tyres have been rated well in previous tests and many V8 members have fitted them to their MGBGTV8 and MG RV8 models reporting satisfaction with roadholding and ride characteristics.

Tyre technology constantly improves in terms of tyre structures, rubber compounds and tread patterns producing new tyres with enhanced levels of grip, roadholding and ride.


Wet grip
Which? notes in its report "the wet grip rating is based on a standardised wet braking test. Actual braking distances will depend on many factors, such as the efficiency of the anti-lock braking system and the tyre loadings for example." Choosing a tyre with a lower wet grip rating "could result in a 30% reduction in stopping distances." Well MGV8s don't have the anti-lock factor but wet grip and braking performance are important as well as the suppleness of the rubber and tyre design to help provide a more comfortable ride whilst retaining the crisp handling characteristics you want with a tyre on a classic sportscar.

Source: Which? magazine April 2012 acknowledged. Posted: 230312
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