A conversation with a Torque reader sparked the topic for this story.
He mentioned that when he regularly hears other drivers say that they want a “do-it-all tyre”, he ends up telling them that it’s impossible.
Is he wrong? Do do-it-all tyres actually exist?
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY “DO-IT-ALL”?
We literally mean a tyre that is everything to every driver.
It has high-grip, delivers great handling/cornering, shortens braking distances, is good in wet conditions, is quiet and promotes good ride quality.
It also has low rolling resistance to help you save fuel.
If you’re an enthusiast, you’re probably shouting, “Cannot lah!”
THAT’S RIGHT, NO SUCH TYRE EXISTS!
A do-it-all tyre is mere fantasy. There is no such thing.
No matter how advanced tyres and tyre manufacturing becomes, there will always be different tyres for different applications.
Think of it this way: You don’t have a single pair of shoes that are suited for every occasion and purpose!
WHY CAN’T THERE BE A HIGH-PERFORMANCE YET ECO-FRIENDLY TYRE?
At this point in time, this is really impossible to achieve. High-performance and eco-friendly are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
You cannot have a tyre with very high grip levels and low rolling resistance. Nobody has found the materials and/or compounds to make one.
WHAT ABOUT A HIGH-PERFORMANCE COMFORT TYRE?
Again, these goals are diametrically opposed.
Drivers looking for high-performance are willing to sacrifice ride comfort because the tyres’ stiffer sidewalls enhances cornering abilities.
Comfort tyres have softer compounds and more pliant sidewalls to absorb undulations and help dampen these forces before they reach the wheels, suspension components and cabin.
WHY CAN’T HIGH-PERFORMANCE TYRES LAST AS LONG AS ECO-FRIENDLY TYRES?
Because the former offers very high levels of grip, there is more friction between the contact patch and road.
By default, these tyres won’t last very long. Especially since the driver behind the wheel will drive enthusiastically each chance they get.
Eco-friendly tyres, on the other hand, are designed with low rolling resistance. So, they’re not as sticky as their sportier counterparts.
WHAT’S THE NEXT BEST THING TO A DO-IT-ALL TYRE?
That would be an all-rounder tyre, which usually means a touring tyre.
These tyres have a good mix of abilities, which include comfort, lower rolling resistance and better levels of grip compared to a dedicated eco-tyre.
However, they also don’t excel in any particular area. Think of them as the most balanced type of tyre.
A good example of a touring tyre is the Bridgestone Turanza T005A.