BFGoodrich g-Force Rival S (Extreme Performance Summer 245/40R18 88W)
•What We Liked: Very civilized on the road for an Extreme Performance Summer tire
•What We'd Improve: Brighten up steering response and add a little ultimate dry performance
•Conclusion: Good blend of track performance plus manners you can live with during everyday driving
Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R (Extreme Performance Summer 245/40R18 97W)
•What We Liked: Impressive traction and handling makes it easy to drive fast
•What We'd Improve: Reduce road noise level
•Conclusion: The most capable Extreme Performance Summer tire to date
Hankook Ventus R-S3 (Version 2) (Extreme Performance Summer 245/40R18 97W)
•What We Liked: Balanced road manners and longer treadlife during hard driving
•What We'd Improve: Bump up traction a little
•Conclusion: Solid performance, but can't quite keep up with the latest tires
Kumho Ecsta V720 (Extreme Performance Summer 245/40R18 97W)
•What We Liked: Impressive traction and stable handling
•What We'd Improve: Reduce high level of tread noise
•Conclusion: A great performer that puts Kumho back in the Extreme Performance tire game
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If you want the highest level of traction and handling in a true street tire and are willing to give up civilized manners to get it, then an Extreme Performance Summer tire fits the bill. All four of the tires in our test deliver amazing traction and handling in dry conditions along with impressive wet grip. The newest designs offer the best outright performance, but are evolving to be much less street-friendly in the process.
Subjectively the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival S outscores the other tires by a small margin, combining strong performance with reasonable road manners. But when it comes to ultimate dry and wet performance among this group, the Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R is the top rung on the evolutionary ladder. The Kumho Ecsta V720 gives the Potenza RE-71R a run for its money by delivering impressive dry performance, but brings along road manners so extreme that it's not for the faint of heart and not well suited to daily commuter duty. The Hankook Ventus R-S3 (Version 2) holds its own against tough competition, but from an outright performance perspective it's clear that newer designs are a little faster.