|Photos by Ulysses Ang|
Ever since we were young, the Goodyear Eagle F1 has always been synonymous with ultra-high performance vehicles, requiring the very pinnacle of tire technology. Cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette, Ford GT and even the McLaren F1 have all made the Eagle F1 as their O.E. or Original Equipment tire of choice. Drivers such as Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher have won championships on cars with nothing less than Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. It comes as no surprise that it’s won numerous awards across the globe including six in Asia during the past two years alone.
Of course, as car manufacturers continue to push the speed envelope and drivers demanding more and more out of their tires, Goodyear has kept in stride; developing tires that satisfy every want and need. After launching or revamping no less than five tire lines in the past two years, Goodyear has come full circle by launching their brand-new line of ultra-high performance radials: the Eagle F1 Directional 5 and the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2.
Eagle F1 Directional 5: Continuing the Winning Tradition
Developed to replace the almost-decade old, but still applauded Eagle F1 GSD-3, the Eagle F1 Directional 5 or D5 for short, is meant for car enthusiasts and tuners who’re after added performance without breaking the bank. Still incorporating the iconic V-Tred design, the D5 has been re-engineered to offer much more style while upping the ante in handling, performance and overall comfort.
The secret is down to Goodyear’s SportGrip Technology, a combination of computer-modeled tread design and “race-inspired” tire compound. The Eagle F1 D5 features a uni-directional tread pattern with a solid center line rib and continuous shoulder rib providing maximum rigidity while reducing deformation under rapid steering movements and heavy cornering. Flanking the sides of the solid center line rib and continuous shoulder rib is a closed shoulder design with a squarer footprint to provide better wear and reduced road noise. And by using high molecular weight polymers, the Eagle F1 D5 also benefits from a longer tread life and more even wear, especially compared to its immediate predecessor, the GSD-3.
On the Kaeng Krachan Racing Circuit in Hua Hin, a province north of Bangkok, Thailand, the Eagle F1 D5 was put to the test in a series of exercises touting its improvements over both the GSD-3 as well as the leading Japanese competitors. Using a stock Mitsubishi Lancer EX and some pretty high-tech instruments, the Eagle F1 D5 scored remarkable improvements in both new/worn tire noise (it’s quieter by 4-5 decibels) and enhanced grip in both dry and wet braking.
Designed primarily for those interested in kitting up to a Plus One or Plus Two fitment, the Goodyear Eagle F1 Directional 5 is made available in no less than 14 tire sizes from 195/50R15 all the way to 255/35R20 with prices ranging from P6,000 to P10,000.
Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2: The Best or Nothing
A mere three years after the launch of the universally praised Asymmetric tire, Goodyear engineers have outdone themselves by launching the “ultra-high performance tire for the sports car of tomorrow”, the Asymmetric 2. Taking what is regarded as the best-in-class tire, the Asymmetric 2 or A2 for short, utilizes Goodyear’s ActiveBraking Technology which helps deliver shorter stopping distances in both dry (up to two meters shorter) and wet (up to three meters shorter) conditions against the leading competitors during both Goodyear’s internal and independent tests from organizations such as TÜV SÜD Automotive in France and Germany.
The Eagle F1 A2 uses a three-dimensional block design that actually transforms its shape during heavy braking, hence the name ‘ActiveBraking Technology’. Unlike a typical block design which shows little or no transformation during braking, the A2’s tire block shape actually deforms during braking, increasing the tire’s available surface area and in turn, the available road contact patch for shorter stopping distances on dry or wet roads. In addition, the A2’s sidewall rigidity has been improved by using a new 86-degree crossed-plies carcass structure while a new high silica tread compound with a race-inspired resin brings enhanced adhesion on wet road surfaces.
Thanks to the various improvements in its tread design and tire compound, Goodyear engineers says that the Eagle F1 A2 is up to five percent lighter while offering seven percent better rolling resistance and ten percent more mileage versus its leading competitors. Apparently, several car manufacturers have begun to notice the Goodyear Eagle F1 A2’s superior performance and are starting to offer them as O.E. on their line-up. Brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz will offer them as standard fitment on several high-end cars by mid to end of this year.
On the same Kaeng Krachan Racing Circuit, it was time to switch gears from the Eagle F1 Directional 5 and the Mitsubishi Lancer EX to the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 and the BMW 325i. On the wet course, the A2 tires performed beautifully, displaying plenty of grip through the tight and high-speed corners while providing surefooted stopping performance. And even on the open road, where the convoy of Porsche Caymans and Audi TT-S fitted with Eagle F1 A2s blasted at speeds past 210 km/h waking up the sleepy country side—all in full confidence and control.
Of course, you don’t have to own a European sports car to enjoy the benefits of the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2. With a wide range of fitments in 20 sizes starting from a 215/45R17 all the way to a 255/35R20, the Asymmetric 2 is designed for those who want nothing less than the best tire in the world. And the price of admission isn’t so bad: starting at P8,000 to P15,000.