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What Are Performance Tires?

Auto Attitude blog car truckPerformance tires are designed to give owners of sports cars and other vehicles increased handling response and traction, particularly in wet and dry conditions. They are key to delivering the exhilarating driving experience sporting drivers are looking for. Performance tires feature unique tread patterns, construction features, and rubber compounds to provide enhanced precision, responsiveness, and traction.

More and more American drivers are seeking the benefits of performance tires. The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association reported that in 2017, the popularity of performance tires had risen for the eighth consecutive year.

Are performance tires right for me?

If you’re not sure if performance tires are the right fit for you, consider your priorities behind the wheel. Different drivers expect different things from their vehicle, and the tires you choose can make all the difference. Performance tires may be the right choice for:


Before You Speed Away on Performance Tires

Like the top speed on your speedometer, tire speed ratings are almost always above legal speed limits but are not a permission slip to drive fast. Certainly, we do not recommend driving in an unsafe manner or faster than the law allows, no matter what you drive.

So what are tire speed ratings, and what are they used for?

Letter symbols are used to designate the speed rating of the tire, which is determined by standardized laboratory tests. Speed ratings were initially used for sports cars decades ago, particularly those from Europe where some roads did not have speed limits. Vehicle manufacturers use tire speed ratings to ensure that vehicles and tires are compatible. Generally, the higher the speed rating of a tire, the more performance-oriented it is.

Typical speed ratings found on various levels of performance tires are H, V, W and Y letter symbols. While there is no industry standard, tire buyers will generally find:

To find the recommended tire speed rating for your vehicle, check the owner’s manual. It may also be shown on the tire information placard (label) affixed to the driver’s side door jamb. Tire manufacturers mark the letter speed symbol on the sidewall in the size/service description code. We can help you find the tire speed rating information you need.

Tips for Selecting Performance Tires

When shopping for performance tires:

No matter how sleek and fast your car is, you can’t expect it to deliver all of the performance it’s capable of without tires that are up to the task.


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