Black, round and grippy. That sums up almost every tyre review, as there’s little you can do to really get down to the fine details that separate one tyre from another.
But when you’re Goodyear, and you’re keen to showcase your new high-performance tyre, that’s not really good enough, which is why I found myself sat on a race track behind the wheel of a BMW M2 Competition coupe fitted with a new set of Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres.
The car is up to the task. The M TwinPower six-cylinder engine produces 410hp, which is enough to propel the coupe to 62mph in just 4.2 seconds.
A wide track, enhanced aerodynamics, and a slick DCT gearbox ensure the tyres will be tested thoroughly.
The tyres are the entry to the F1 SuperSport range. Designed to be entirely useable on the road, the SuperSport is a race-inspired tyre offering more grip and sharper handling on dry roads.
It’s perfectly suited to the BMW M2, where it’ll work well day to day, but still perform on track days thanks to a wide closed outside pattern and stiff sidewall.
SuperSport R tyres turn the wick up, providing superior levels of grip and steering precision, with a heavier track focus.
The tyre includes bridges in the first groove, helping to keep the tyre blocks stable and minimising the chances of overheating. Your Porsche 911 GT3 would sit well on these boots.
At the top of the range is the motorsport-ready SuperSport RS, which looks to be almost slick.
The bridges keep the blocks as static as possible, but as the tyre is mostly block rather than groove, there’s less to keep still. A tread deformation protector keeps the tyre rigid at high speeds, while a super-stiff sidewall ensures turn-in is as crisp as it can be.
While there’s little this side of a racing slick tyre that can compete with the RS, it’s the plain old SuperSport that I’m testing with the BMW M2 Competition.
It’s a damp track as I head out with cold tyres and the back end of the car already felt quite planted. However, as a dry line appeared and the tyres warmed up, they turned into something quite spectacular.
Braking action was strong and consistent, while turn-in was sharp and utterly predictable. On every corner, on every lap, there wasn’t a hint of understeer.
It was just brake, turn, feel the balance, and then ease in the power. I say ease, but it was quite possible to simply plant your foot and drive out of the corner. Only when being unreasonably indelicate did the BMW ask too much of the tyres.
Sixty miles in, I was running low on fuel. Each lap was quicker than the last but, eventually, the times started rising again and the rear tyres started struggling to extract every bit of grip from the circuit.
Pitting for a final time, it was clear that the centre band of the tyres had just started getting a little hot, explaining the extra movement.
While I’d run through a tank of fuel, and made the tyres looks a little second hand, there was still plenty of life in them. After resting for a little, the car was driven back home, across country roads and wide motorways, with no thought given to the conditions.
That a tyre can perform so well on track and be perfectly at home on the road is impressive. If you’ve got a hot hatch, sporty coupe or a fast wagon that you need to use every day, but also take part in occasional track days, the Eagle F1 SuperSport might just offer the perfect balance between cost, wear and outright ability.
Available in wheel sizes from 18 to 21-inches, there’ll be a SuperSport to fit most models. The more focused SuperSport R starts at 19-inches, while the track-ready SuperSport RS accommodates wheels from 20-inches.