As far as Winter tire technology has come, snow boots are still a performance let down for those who truly enjoy the driving aspect of owning a sporting car. It would be great to be able to leave Summer rubber on the car until the first snowfall, but the sad reality is that high performance tires don’t work below about 7 degrees Celsius and that temperature often arrives much earlier than the white stuff in many parts of Canada. BF Goodrich know all of this and have launched a new tire called the g-Force COMP-2 A/S, aimed at American muscle cars along with European and Asian performance luxury cars.
Considered an all-season tire for those in the south, the COMP-2 is really a three season tire here in the north, one which allows owners to keep their Summer tires on later in the Fall and install them earlier in the Spring without worrying about being caught out by a light snowfall.
With a rich motorsport history behind them, BFG chose to do the Canadian launch of the COMP=2 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and brought along Canadian rally star Andrew Comrie-Picard to share some of his knowledge.
The tire itself has been designed with the company’s signature large tread blocks, that have been engineered with a focus on keeping the tire’s contact patch level with the pavement at all times. The theory being that when the tire “feels the pain” equally across the tread, it will provide better grip in all conditions. In practice, it works.
During the day, we drove the BFG alongside competing tires from Yokohama and Continental. The performance car tire segment is populated by some serious competitors, and in each exercise, each tire had its strengths.
On the wet autocross in Audi sedans, the BFG was the clear winner. While cornering and braking loads were higher than both of the competing tires, what struck me the most was the COMP-2’s ability to handle the transition of a fast direction change. While the Yokohama felt a bit squishy in transitions, the Conti allowed the chassis to be tossed around like a rally car, while the BFG stayed planted throughout the entire exercise. Had we been timing laps, the BFG would have come out ahead.
Again, on the dry autocross in Ecoboost powered Ford Mustangs, it was the same story: confidence and consistency for the BFG and more loose for the competitors. Of course there are different trains of thought in high performance driving and a couple of journalists preferred the more permissive grip level of the Conti as it was easier to slide around. The reality however is that most consumers want confidence on their daily commute, not the ability to drift through intersections.
Our group finished up our testing with a 70-0 km/h braking test, which again showed the BFG to be tire with the most control. In the dry, I managed to slow the Nissan Altima in 20.8 metres, with the Conti at 21.2 and the Yokohama trailing at 21.7. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but one metre can make a big difference in an emergency. Where things got really interesting was when they soaked the braking area. In that test, the BFG matched the Continental’s dry time, which was impressive in itself, but the performance of the Yokohama was a shocking 25.8 metres. That is a car length difference at just 70 km/h!
Consistency and confidence were words that we kept hearing during the day, from just about everyone who drove. That in itself is a reason to have a look at the BFG when shopping for new boots for your performance car.