The Goodyear Proving Grounds

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PRN Tests Goodyear's Lastest Offering

Blimp_optHaving a modified car as a daily driver is a balance between streetability and performance. To have a fast car that excels on the track, often the comfort of the car is sacrificed. The same compromises often have to be made when buying tires, for example buying a sticky R compound tire is great at the track until the drive home in the rain and you find yourself hydroplaning everywhere. The easy solution is to buy multiple sets of tires, unfortunately having a couple sets of rims and tires sitting around can get pretty expensive.

The crew over at Goodyear tires doesn’t believe that things have to be this way and have launched their new Eagle GT line up of tires. The Eagle GT was specifically designed for the daily driver who still wants a high performance tire in all conditions. The Eagle GT borrows technology from the Goodyear ultra high performance F1 tire line up, yet is still affordable enough to suit daily drivers. The tread on the new Eagle GT is designed to be a true all season tire, as it is effective in snow, rain and even has an 80 to 95 thousand kilometer wear rating, so you won’t be cashing your paycheck each week on a new set. As a tire designed for the enthusiast Goodyear is offering the tires in sizes from 15 to 22 inches with a V or W speed ratings, the W rating capable of 270km/h.

To celebrate the release of the new tire lineup PRN was invited down to Akron, OH, the location of the Goodyear North American Headquarters. We were treated to a tour of the huge Goodyear blimp hanger, the research and development building, testing facility and my favorite the Goodyear FINISH432_opt proving grounds where we got to test the new tires.

Next we moved on to the research and development facility which is truly state of the art. The designers use the most advanced computer models to accurately design and simulate the tires virtually before prototypes are made. To accurately model a tire before production virtually it takes over 1200 trillion calculations, which is the equivalent to 32 years of work with your standard calculator and paper. The prototype is then sent to the test facility where it is put through a battery of brutal tests. The test facility is consists of a series of robotic testing machines that test different aspects of tire integrity. One machine has the ability to spin tires to speeds up to 480km/h. These tires have seen it all by the time they leave the Goodyear test facility and are ready for just about anything the street and track can throw at them.

At the proving grounds we were able to test the tires on a closed autocross track which was half flooded, simulating rain conditions and wet to dry transitions. Goodyear definitely did not skimp on the rides as there were three BMW 328s set up, one with a set of Eagle GT’s one with a set of the older Goodyear HR’s a predecessor the Eagle GT’s and a final BMW had a set of the competitors tires. The new Eagle GT’s looked great in person and looked more like an ultra high performance tire, with an aggressive tread and clean sidewalls the GT does not look at all like your dads all season tire.

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Taking the older Eagle HR’s out for a spin first I found the track a bit slippery and was able to get the BMW fairly tail happy in the wet just by getting into the gas a bit. Next I tested a competitor’s tire which was quite competent and took a lot more work to upset than the older Eagle HR’s. Finally I tested the new Eagle GT’s and was really impressed at how the grip especially in the wet corners.

While I still managed to get the back end out a couple times the GT’s felt solid and interestingly were quieter in the corners also. Besides testing the GT’s on the BMW’s, Goodyear also supplied a Honda S2000, a R32 Golf and a Civic Si for the press to test the GT’s on. Flying through the cones in anEagle GT side 1475_opt S2000 with the GT’s was a real treat and more than a couple cones met the bumper of the S2000 as the limits of the car and Eagle GT’s were put to the test.

Overall, I was impressed with the low noise, aggressive traction both wet and dry and as a bonus the tire was easy on the eyes too. The cornering ability and low noise was on account of Tredloc technology which allows the edge of the tire under hard turns to actually form a single band, giving more grip and less shriek. For those in the market for a new set of performance tires for their modified ride the Eagle GT is a very
appealing option, especially in an area that has unpredictable weather or road conditions.



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