Monday, March 03, 2008
There are many tire choices out there and it’s always a tough decision to figure out which set to go with. Nitto was nice enough to send us a set of their new Invo tires to review on the Project Evo. Our size of choice, 255/35ZR -18, mounted on our SSR GT7’s. The original street tires we had on the project car were, Yokohama ES 100’s 255/35ZR – 18 that were used on daily basis along with a few track events. With the new Invo tires mounted and installed on the car, it was time to see how they perform.
Street impressions is what we feel is the most important aspect when it comes to choosing a tire that can be used on a daily basis. Keeping that in mind, we exposed these tires to the same conditions we exposed our ES-100 tires, which included the following:
- Dry Conditions
- Wet Conditions
(Both tires are classified as Ultra High performance, However the Nitto carries a tread wear rating of 260 as compared to ES-100’s 280.)
Within the first 30 seconds of driving around town, we could notice a difference between the Invo and our old tires. The difference being noise. The Invo’s are surprisingly quieter compared to the ES-100 which is a plus if you drive your Evo on a daily basis. Turn in while going through an exit ramp is more precise and carries less of that “gummy” delayed turn in feeling we had before. Grip feels to be about the same but the better turn in gives the driver more confidence to push harder. Under heavy braking the grip is on par with the previous tires so nothing out of the ordinary, which was something we liked with the older tires. With traffic conditions being pretty light during our test on the highway, we decided to do quick lane changes (at highway speed limit) to get an idea of higher speed stability. The stability of the car felt noticeably better, again removing that “gummy” feeling we had with the older setup.
Our wet conditions test consisted of normal amounts of rain, heavy downpours, and light drizzles. During our test the Invo’s seemed to be lacking what the ES-100 could provide in wet conditions. The old tires had better stability at highway speeds and generally felt better in all wet conditions. Turn in was better, braking, lane changes, and even starts with the ES-100. The Invo did hold its’ own by being very close in performance but the ES-100 wet weather ability is likely due to it’s more wet condition oriented tread pattern.
The Nitto Invo is a good tire. Choosing the right tire to do everything is hard to do. We feel that the Invo had better performance in dry weather compared to what we had before. Wet weather conditions were still very good and never once did we feel that these tires couldn’t handle themselves. Icy/Snowy conditions was a difficult test to conduct because these tires are not at all intended for this use, but with an experience driver that knows how to handle slippery conditions, these tires worked as well as could be expected.
One point to mention is that these tires are not the cheapest set around but they are not the most expensive. When choosing a tire that can pretty much do it all, you do have to make some sacrifices for performance in certain conditions. Being that we care more about dry & wet conditions then anything else, we believe these tires are the way to go. Of course we haven’t tested all the tire options available out there with this specific category, but until we do we are sticking with the Invo.
**Special note to mention, the stock tires that come with the Evo are great tires but are in a different category of tire. The Advan’s are more of an extreme performance tire (low tread wear) that performs better in dry conditions then anything else. The tires we reviewed are more an all in one.