tyre test - dunlop sp sport maxx
top tyres tried
The right set of tyres can produce a massive improvement in the way a car performs and, by the same token, the wrong tyres can deal a hammer blow to a vehicle's dynamics. It's hard to overemphasise the importance of tyre selection whatever type of car you drive but if you want to get the most out of a high performance model, fitting suitable rubber is imperative. Dunlop's SP Sport Maxx tyre has been created for exactly this type of application, it's designed specifically for luxury and sports-orientated vehicles and we tested it at the Colmar Berg tyre testing facility in Luxembourg.
The SP Sport Maxx tyre has been created predominantly with dry handling performance in mind for the simple reason that it's in the dry that owners of performance cars expect the most from their tyres. That's not to say, however, that compromises were made on other aspects of the tyre's performance. To be deemed a success, the SP Sport Maxx tyre needed to be selected for standard fitment on new models produced by leading car manufacturers around the globe and to achieve this, all round excellence was a necessity.
The Dunlop SP Sport Maxx achieves its impressive dry and wet handling attributes through the use of advanced compounds and the latest technology. Dunlop's Multi Radius Tread technology was utilised to calculate the optimum tread shape for balanced pressure deployment and a greater proportion of the tyre's surface area contacting the road at any given time. This bigger 'contact patch' enhances the tyre's dry handling capabilities and the improved pressure distribution aids in the transition from straight driving to cornering manoeuvres.
The various constituent parts of a high-performance tyre's make up are specially designed to influence different aspects of the vehicle's performance and the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx is no exception. Examine the tyre's tread pattern and you'll spot the continuous central strip featuring the brand and product name. This rigid addition to the tyre's middle acts to improve high-speed stability and steering precision, while also serving as the most distinctive design feature of the tyre.
The SP Sport Maxx itself is spilt into five tread blocks of different lengths specially designed to reduce noise and boost the ride comfort provided. The materials used in its construction have been specially adapted by Dunlop engineers to optimise performance with the Sport Maxx featuring a higher than normal level of Silica in its make-up to produce low rolling resistance and improved traction in wet conditions. The Silica accounts for 88% of the filler used for the tread compound with the remaining 12% being comprised of carbon black which comes directly from the racing tyres that Dunlop have successfully used in the DTM German touring car championships. The compound is known as Silica Plus and it insures that the tyre delivers the best possible acceleration and braking performance.
Car manufacturers ask a lot of the tyre manufacturers who supply the rubber for their performance cars and as well as offering superior dry handling abilities, the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx needed to display a high aquaplaning safety level. This is achieved through a directional tread pattern with two rows of wave shaped groves - a layout that Dunlop call Twin Hydro Paddle technology. It produces fast and turbulence-free water drainage for greater control and stability in the wet.
On our test, the Sport Maxx stood up well to scrutiny. We fitted the tyres to a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR FQ-340 and they were well up to the stresses and strains that this 340bhp performance saloon was able to put them under. Both dry handling and braking were impressive and the noise levels inside the cab were far from intrusive when they were fitted. It looks as though Dunlop have produced another top quality performance tyre and it's available in 32 different specifications, so there will be a model that's suitable for a good proportion of the UK market's performance cars.
As we've said already, it's vitally important to get your tyre selection right but Dunlop SP Sport Maxx Tyres represent the sharp end of modern tyre technology and with these it's difficult to go too far wrong.