As I noted on Friday, I was out of town for the launch of a new Extreme Performance Summer tire. I flew down to New Orleans to attend the launch event at NOLA Motorsports Park hosted by BF Goodrich. BF Goodrich pretty much invented the Extreme Performance Summer category with the g-Force TA KD, but by their own admission had not followed up on their early success as the category grew more popular and more competitive. Their new tire for this segment is the g-Force Rival.
We started with a presentation on the new tire, and then had the opportunity to take part in 4 driving demonstrations: skidpad, short autocross, long autocross, and road course. These were not official tests, more along the lines of demonstrations, but they were set up with competitor tires on an even playing field in identical cars.
The most impressive characteristics of the Rival that I found:
Precise turn-in - thanks to very stiff sidewalls initial turn-in and transitional response were direct and immediate. Stiff sidewalls are something that I especially like in a performance tire so this was a big plus to me
Excellent longevity - we were able to inspect the tread before and after each event. The Rival seemed to wear very well, and was especially impressive for how evenly it wore. We were encouraged to push them to and past their limits to test their ability to recover, so they had ample opportunity to showcase their ability to take the punishment we could dish out. Tread life in straight ahead driving street driving likely won't be all that special because they are plenty sticky, but they seem to be engineered to wear well in autocross or track environments.
Usable grip - Think about grip vs slip angle as similar to engine torque vs RPM. You want a broad, flat plateau that doesn't drop off too suddenly if you miss the sweet spot. The Rival had a forgiving nature that indicates a pretty wide band of usable grip.
We now have a video posted from my time down at the track:
Sizes are somewhat limited right now, but hoping to see some 19" and more 18" in the future. Best M3 sizes available right now are 245/40R8 (stock front) and 275/35R18 (rear or square track setup). They expect to roll out the first 15 sizes in the Spring and Summer of this year.
There are no 19" at launch, but they do have a couple of 20" sizes so with luck we might see them fill in the blanks as time goes by.
Size list here, which will automatically add any new sizes that are announced: