09 February 2012|
It seems like every year or so another tire manufacturer comes out with a new tire that’s supposed to change everything we know about driving. For the most part, they are right. With all the new technological advancements in the world, making a better handling tire is pretty realistic. Different tread design, softer compound, or stiffer sidewalls are usually among the updates put into a new tire. According to BFGoodrich, every aspect has been improved upon with the g-Force Comp-2.
We started off on a very early morning at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California or “Fontucky” for anyone who isn’t from Southern California. Sitting in a freezing garage, we listened to how the Comp-2 is going to revolutionize driving for the hardcore enthusiast. According to the spider chart, the Comp-2 vastly outperforms its predecessor the g-Force Sport with up to 33% improvements in wet handling and 8% in dry. While those numbers look significant, the only true test is to put them on the track or the street. In this case, the track was a lot safer.
The BFG crew had four stations set up: Wet Autocross, Dry Autocross, Road Course, and 0-60-0 Braking. Since I was representing PASMAG, I was put in the international group with other Canadian journalists who didn’t know who I was. I just played along like I belonged with them and set out for the Wet Autocross course with world-renowned rally driver Andrew Comrie-Picard, aka ACP. The Wet Autocross was setup with Volkswagen GTIs that were equipped with the BFG Comp-2s and competitor tires, the Kumho Ecsta SPT KU31 and the Hankook Ventus V12 Evo. With the Comp-2s, I was able to push the car through the wetted down course without having to compensate for a loss of traction. The competitor tires held up as well, but there was more give through the tighter turns where I felt I had to lift off of the throttle a little to maintain control. Suddenly the 33% increase seemed pretty accurate and I’m glad that our group started on this course because of the substantial difference in grip.
On the Dry Autocross, I could definitely notice extra traction with the Comp-2 compared to the Kumho Ecsta SPT KU31 and Yokohama S.Drive but it’s hard to gauge an 8% increase just from the seat of my pants. It was a similar story on the 0-60-0 braking area where I only stopped 2 feet shorter with the Comp-2s than I did with the S.Drives. Though, as a group we stopped an average of 7 feet shorter in the BFG equipped car, which could easily be the difference between a near miss and a crash. People worry so much about handling and acceleration, that they often forget about how important braking is in every day driving situations. When we switched to the Road Course on the Fontucky infield, it was quite noticeable that the Chevy Camaros hugged the track a lot better with the Comp-2s as opposed to the Cooper Zeon RS3-S tires. I’ve never been much of a road racer and I didn’t want to be the one guy who spun out or went off track so once I felt the competitor tires give out a bit, I lifted on the throttle to avoid being “that guy.”
The scenarios set up by BFG did a good job of illustrating the benefits of the Comp-2. Although they weren’t real-world scenarios, being on a closed course makes is a lot safer than driving on the road trying to dodge idiots on city streets. BFG will offer a huge range of sizes for this tire, so you can pick a pair up if you consider yourself a hardcore driver or just happen to like the new tread and cleaner sidewall designs. Don’t worry, we won’t judge.