General’s G-Max RS May Change The Way UHP Tires Are Made!

The promise is real—better grip, better life, and lower cost all in one incredible UHP tire.

Earlier this year, we got wind of a new tire from General called the G-Max RS, which seemed to have some spectacular claims attached to it. General claimed for its new Ultra High Performance (UHP) tire that its dry handling would be light years ahead of its B-segment competitors, have up to 35 percent better tread life, a class-leading 50,000-mile warranty, a segment-busting 360 UTGQ treadwear rating, and an unprecedented 45-day free trial period.


We got to test General’s new G-Max RS UHP tire at NOLA Motorsports Park. The new tire line offers impressive grip and tread life at an affordable price.

What’s more, the G-Max RS just looks the part. Arguably, it’s the best-looking UHP tire in the hotly contested B-market UHP segment, with an aggressive tread pattern, a rounded shoulder, and a smooth, unadorned sidewall. When it hits dealerships in late February of 2018, it will be available in 50 SKUs, many of them in late-model domestic rear-drive performance sizes, such as those for Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, and Charger. Moreover, because of its high grip, owners of pro touring, auto cross, and road-course track rats will be taking a keen interest in the G-Max RS as a safer alternative to higher-priced R-compound race tires. General Tire clearly has HOT ROD readers in their crosshairs, and with such boastful claims, we were eager to experience the G-Max RS for ourselves.


The G-Max RS looks great, but it’s “goldielocks” combination of construction, compounding, tread design, sizing, and price will push this tire onto the radar of enthusiasts in the coming months.

Our chance came sooner than we expected when General invited us to NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana to dig deep into their new UHP tire behind the wheel of Saleen’s new 715hp Mustang and General’s own Petty-built 650hp supercharged 392 Shaker-edition Challenger. It’s worth noting here that Steve Saleen was so impressed with the G-Max RS that he made it original equipment on his Mustangs, an arrangement that has its roots more than 30 years ago when Saleen first stormed onto the SCCA scene with his trademark package cars and General XP-2000 tires.

We’ll cut to the chase and tell you that General’s performance claims are right on the money, and with the exception of the treadwear (they wanted their cars back at day’s end!), we found it all to be true, and then some. General also had an array of vehicles on hand besides the Saleen and Challenger, and we took spells in all of them. This encompassed high-speed on-track dry handling, a lower-speed safety course (Miatas), and a longer wet/dry course with both front-wheel drive Mini Coopers and rear-wheel drive BMWs.


The author rides shotgun around NOLA with Chip Ganassi LeMan racer, Billy Johnson, in a 715hp Saleen Mustang shod with G-Max RS tires. The G-Max RS is standard equipment on the Saleen.

First, some background. The “B segment” in tire lingo refers to the replacement tire market as opposed to the original-equipment market. General Tire’s parent company, Continental, is a major world supplier for the OE market, so unlike some B-segment players, has the know-how, resources, and manufacturing volume to develop technically sophisticated products at a competitive price, which is exactly what has been done with the G-Max RS.

No evaluation would be worth its salt without competitive tires on hand. As a reference, General supplied us with identical cars shod with what are widely recognized as some of the best competitive B-segment UHP tires in the marketplace today. On tap was the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2, the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500, and the Hankook Ventus V12 evo2. All three competitors (all of whom either are OEM manufacturers outright or who are owned by OEM tire builders) stand heads above in a field of dozens of competitors that compete tooth and nail for the aftermarket performance dollar.


Perhaps the biggest litmus test of the G-Max RS was seeing how well it worked on the heaviest car in our group: the 650hp supercharged Petty’s Garage 392 Challenger. The better grip and faster transient response of the G-Max RS have the effect of making the car feel far lighter under cornering and braking.

To be clear, an ultra-high-performance summer tire like the G-Max RS is not the same as a DOT-legal race tire. If you demand take-no-prisoners dry grip at all costs, you’ll want to look at R-compound tires along the lines of the Yokohama Advan A048, Toyo Proxes R888, BF Goodrich g-Force Rival S, Nitto NT01, or Falken Azenis RT615K. R-compound tires will give you more dry grip than a three-season UHP, but all of them come with warnings against highway use, not to mention a higher price and typically no mileage warranty. That said, let’s look at what we found.

The dry grip limit of the G-Max RS was tenacious on NOLA’s high-speed road course. When driven at 10/10ths in cars with ludicrous amounts of power (the supercharged 715hp Saleen and supercharged Petty 392 Challenger), the RS tolerates hard late braking and takes the throttle confidently early after the apex. What’s more is how linear and progressive the G-Max RS is at the limit, transmitting its audible warnings well in advance of, and in proportion to, loss of grip. In this category, only the Hankook Ventus V12 evo2 came close.

Our experience was not unique. Also on hand was NASCAR driver, Greg Biffle, who drove a number of G-Max RS-equipped cars on NOLA’s high-speed track. Riding shotgun with Biffle—and also with Chip Ganassi Le Mans racer Billy Johnson—we got to see, feel, and hear every nuance of the G-Max RS at full tilt. We spent some time with Biffle after our laps and got his take: “The car is braking like you would not believe down through the corner. I’m super impressed with it. The tires stayed pretty consistent for me. You could tell they weren’t giving up significant grip as we were sliding them and drifting them a little bit. Two corners later, the tires would come right back.

“To come out and do that with a 50,000-mile tire really in my opinion is unheard of. They wanted to do some drifting shots and they were filming out of the minivan. I was drifting about 50, 60 mph not far off their door and it was difficult to get them to drift to start with. They’ve got so much grip. I had to yank the wheel and really pin it. And if that car didn’t have 700 hp I really couldn’t get this car into a drift like that. I was surprised and impressed with the amount of grip it had.”

Grip, however, isn’t the whole story. Transient performance—how quickly the tire reacts to steering input—is impressive as well. A solid center rib with a silica-rich summer compound reacts lightning quick to turning. Faster handling is also accomplished with solid shoulder blocks in what General calls “Smart Grip” technology. The overall tread pattern and stiffness is optimized for a larger effective footprint that besides providing quicker turning also adds significantly to tread life—up to 35 percent more compared to the Hankook Ventus V12 evo2 we mentioned previously. (Note: This is obviously a claim we have yet to prove, so take it on face value. That said, we have no reason to disbelieve it based on the UTQG treadwear rating of 360.)


Driving a front-wheel drive car on a tight course is a lesson in both understeer and patience. Adding water to the equation only makes matters worse. This is where we saw the biggest differences in all four tires, with the G-Max RS coming out on top.

The surprise of the day actually came not in the dry, but on the wet handling course. Here, tires that are maximized for dry performance show their Achilles’ heel—a lack of grip due to less tread void compared with all-season performance tires. Here, the G-Max RS was our favorite over the Hankook, BFG, and Firestone. And while it was possible to break the Generals loose in the wet, it happened with a much higher degree of predictability. In the case of the BFG g-Force Sport COMP-2, wet grip was decent as well, but loss of traction was sudden—like flipping a switch. Not fun. The Firestone Indy 500 was somewhere in between the BFG and Hankook.

To prove the point about wet traction, Biffle—ever the showman—jumped in the RS-shod Miata on our safety handling course, put it in reverse, and ran the course backwards at high speed through the emergency lane change, slalom, and high-speed wet sweeper—without spinning or knocking over any cones. Once we stopped howling with laughter, we realized what had just transpired. If you’ve ever driven fast in reverse, you know how unstable steering from the “rear” is, yet the G-Max RS delivered the traction. (Oh, and please don’t do this at home folks.)

We give a lot of credit to General for letting us beat their cars hard on track; it takes confidence in your product to let a merry band of journalists pound on your expensive iron all day long on a race track, and even more guts to lay it on the line with your top competitors in the segment. (That can go really wrong if you haven’t done your homework!) The Firestone, Hankook, and BFGoodrich tires we tested are some of the best in the marketplace—that’s why General selected them as benchmarks. The performance of the G-Max RS alone is enough to recommend it, but if what we’re told is true, the low pricing will be the knock-out punch. Add to that the highest treadwear rating and mileage warranty in the UHP class, a 45-day trial period, and the fact that the G-Max RS is made right here in the U.S.A., and you get a tire that’s hard to walk away from.


Source:

General Tire
www.GeneralTire.com

The post General’s G-Max RS May Change The Way UHP Tires Are Made! appeared first on Hot Rod Network.

General’s G-Max RS May Change The Way UHP Tires Are Made!

The promise is real—better grip, better life, and lower cost all in one incredible UHP tire.

Earlier this year, we got wind of a new tire from General called the G-Max RS, which seemed to have some spectacular claims attached to it. General claimed for its new Ultra High Performance (UHP) tire that its dry handling would be light years ahead of its B-segment competitors, have up to 35 percent better tread life, a class-leading 50,000-mile warranty, a segment-busting 360 UTGQ treadwear rating, and an unprecedented 45-day free trial period.


We got to test General’s new G-Max RS UHP tire at NOLA Motorsports Park. The new tire line offers impressive grip and tread life at an affordable price.

What’s more, the G-Max RS just looks the part. Arguably, it’s the best-looking UHP tire in the hotly contested B-market UHP segment, with an aggressive tread pattern, a rounded shoulder, and a smooth, unadorned sidewall. When it hits dealerships in late February of 2018, it will be available in 50 SKUs, many of them in late-model domestic rear-drive performance sizes, such as those for Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, and Charger. Moreover, because of its high grip, owners of pro touring, auto cross, and road-course track rats will be taking a keen interest in the G-Max RS as a safer alternative to higher-priced R-compound race tires. General Tire clearly has HOT ROD readers in their crosshairs, and with such boastful claims, we were eager to experience the G-Max RS for ourselves.


The G-Max RS looks great, but it’s “goldielocks” combination of construction, compounding, tread design, sizing, and price will push this tire onto the radar of enthusiasts in the coming months.

Our chance came sooner than we expected when General invited us to NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana to dig deep into their new UHP tire behind the wheel of Saleen’s new 715hp Mustang and General’s own Petty-built 650hp supercharged 392 Shaker-edition Challenger. It’s worth noting here that Steve Saleen was so impressed with the G-Max RS that he made it original equipment on his Mustangs, an arrangement that has its roots more than 30 years ago when Saleen first stormed onto the SCCA scene with his trademark package cars and General XP-2000 tires.

We’ll cut to the chase and tell you that General’s performance claims are right on the money, and with the exception of the treadwear (they wanted their cars back at day’s end!), we found it all to be true, and then some. General also had an array of vehicles on hand besides the Saleen and Challenger, and we took spells in all of them. This encompassed high-speed on-track dry handling, a lower-speed safety course (Miatas), and a longer wet/dry course with both front-wheel drive Mini Coopers and rear-wheel drive BMWs.


The author rides shotgun around NOLA with Chip Ganassi LeMan racer, Billy Johnson, in a 715hp Saleen Mustang shod with G-Max RS tires. The G-Max RS is standard equipment on the Saleen.

First, some background. The “B segment” in tire lingo refers to the replacement tire market as opposed to the original-equipment market. General Tire’s parent company, Continental, is a major world supplier for the OE market, so unlike some B-segment players, has the know-how, resources, and manufacturing volume to develop technically sophisticated products at a competitive price, which is exactly what has been done with the G-Max RS.

No evaluation would be worth its salt without competitive tires on hand. As a reference, General supplied us with identical cars shod with what are widely recognized as some of the best competitive B-segment UHP tires in the marketplace today. On tap was the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2, the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500, and the Hankook Ventus V12 evo2. All three competitors (all of whom either are OEM manufacturers outright or who are owned by OEM tire builders) stand heads above in a field of dozens of competitors that compete tooth and nail for the aftermarket performance dollar.


Perhaps the biggest litmus test of the G-Max RS was seeing how well it worked on the heaviest car in our group: the 650hp supercharged Petty’s Garage 392 Challenger. The better grip and faster transient response of the G-Max RS have the effect of making the car feel far lighter under cornering and braking.

To be clear, an ultra-high-performance summer tire like the G-Max RS is not the same as a DOT-legal race tire. If you demand take-no-prisoners dry grip at all costs, you’ll want to look at R-compound tires along the lines of the Yokohama Advan A048, Toyo Proxes R888, BF Goodrich g-Force Rival S, Nitto NT01, or Falken Azenis RT615K. R-compound tires will give you more dry grip than a three-season UHP, but all of them come with warnings against highway use, not to mention a higher price and typically no mileage warranty. That said, let’s look at what we found.

The dry grip limit of the G-Max RS was tenacious on NOLA’s high-speed road course. When driven at 10/10ths in cars with ludicrous amounts of power (the supercharged 715hp Saleen and supercharged Petty 392 Challenger), the RS tolerates hard late braking and takes the throttle confidently early after the apex. What’s more is how linear and progressive the G-Max RS is at the limit, transmitting its audible warnings well in advance of, and in proportion to, loss of grip. In this category, only the Hankook Ventus V12 evo2 came close.

Our experience was not unique. Also on hand was NASCAR driver, Greg Biffle, who drove a number of G-Max RS-equipped cars on NOLA’s high-speed track. Riding shotgun with Biffle—and also with Chip Ganassi Le Mans racer Billy Johnson—we got to see, feel, and hear every nuance of the G-Max RS at full tilt. We spent some time with Biffle after our laps and got his take: “The car is braking like you would not believe down through the corner. I’m super impressed with it. The tires stayed pretty consistent for me. You could tell they weren’t giving up significant grip as we were sliding them and drifting them a little bit. Two corners later, the tires would come right back.

“To come out and do that with a 50,000-mile tire really in my opinion is unheard of. They wanted to do some drifting shots and they were filming out of the minivan. I was drifting about 50, 60 mph not far off their door and it was difficult to get them to drift to start with. They’ve got so much grip. I had to yank the wheel and really pin it. And if that car didn’t have 700 hp I really couldn’t get this car into a drift like that. I was surprised and impressed with the amount of grip it had.”

Grip, however, isn’t the whole story. Transient performance—how quickly the tire reacts to steering input—is impressive as well. A solid center rib with a silica-rich summer compound reacts lightning quick to turning. Faster handling is also accomplished with solid shoulder blocks in what General calls “Smart Grip” technology. The overall tread pattern and stiffness is optimized for a larger effective footprint that besides providing quicker turning also adds significantly to tread life—up to 35 percent more compared to the Hankook Ventus V12 evo2 we mentioned previously. (Note: This is obviously a claim we have yet to prove, so take it on face value. That said, we have no reason to disbelieve it based on the UTQG treadwear rating of 360.)


Driving a front-wheel drive car on a tight course is a lesson in both understeer and patience. Adding water to the equation only makes matters worse. This is where we saw the biggest differences in all four tires, with the G-Max RS coming out on top.

The surprise of the day actually came not in the dry, but on the wet handling course. Here, tires that are maximized for dry performance show their Achilles’ heel—a lack of grip due to less tread void compared with all-season performance tires. Here, the G-Max RS was our favorite over the Hankook, BFG, and Firestone. And while it was possible to break the Generals loose in the wet, it happened with a much higher degree of predictability. In the case of the BFG g-Force Sport COMP-2, wet grip was decent as well, but loss of traction was sudden—like flipping a switch. Not fun. The Firestone Indy 500 was somewhere in between the BFG and Hankook.

To prove the point about wet traction, Biffle—ever the showman—jumped in the RS-shod Miata on our safety handling course, put it in reverse, and ran the course backwards at high speed through the emergency lane change, slalom, and high-speed wet sweeper—without spinning or knocking over any cones. Once we stopped howling with laughter, we realized what had just transpired. If you’ve ever driven fast in reverse, you know how unstable steering from the “rear” is, yet the G-Max RS delivered the traction. (Oh, and please don’t do this at home folks.)

We give a lot of credit to General for letting us beat their cars hard on track; it takes confidence in your product to let a merry band of journalists pound on your expensive iron all day long on a race track, and even more guts to lay it on the line with your top competitors in the segment. (That can go really wrong if you haven’t done your homework!) The Firestone, Hankook, and BFGoodrich tires we tested are some of the best in the marketplace—that’s why General selected them as benchmarks. The performance of the G-Max RS alone is enough to recommend it, but if what we’re told is true, the low pricing will be the knock-out punch. Add to that the highest treadwear rating and mileage warranty in the UHP class, a 45-day trial period, and the fact that the G-Max RS is made right here in the U.S.A., and you get a tire that’s hard to walk away from.


Source:

General Tire
www.GeneralTire.com

The post General’s G-Max RS May Change The Way UHP Tires Are Made! appeared first on Hot Rod Network.

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