Performance street tires are a necessity for muscle and sports cars, and they provide superior cornering and high-speed performance.
The best performance summer and all-season street tires are the Firestone FT140 A/S, the Firestone FR710 A/S, the Nexen NFERA SU1, the Toyo Proxes Sport, and the Toyo Proxes R1R.
In this article, we’ll review five of the best tires for performance cars. This list includes a mix of all-season and summer tires, so we’ll cover the differences, benefits, and drawbacks of each type as well.
We sourced tire specifications from their respective manufacturers and distributors to ensure accuracy.
Performance Street Tires Vs. Performance Track Tires
There are a few notable differences between street and track tires, and it goes beyond DOT approval. Track tires are designed primarily for running on clean, flat asphalt at high speeds. This would be fine if every road in the country was perfectly paved and dry, but that’s not often the case.
Performance street tires include extra tread patterning that track tires simply don’t have. Even though tread voids reduce road contact (which reduces performance), they’re still advantageous to street tires. Tread helps shed water on rainy days and absorb road debris.
Performance track tires don’t have the same lifespan that performance street tires do. This is due in partprozes to the different rubber compounds used in street and track tires. Street tires have tougher rubber that’s more suitable for the actual conditions of the road.
Are Performance Street Tires Good For Winter Driving?
Generally speaking, even the trendiest performance street tires perform abysmally in the snow. Street tires are usually classified as summer tires, as they perform best in warm weather and in mildly wet conditions, such as summer rain.
However, there are a few street tires designed for winter use. These tires use rubber compounds that are softer in cold weather, as summer tires become hard and lose traction easily when the thermometer dips below freezing.
Some performance street tires are classified as A/S or all-season. These tires are a good medium between summer and winter tires, and they perform safely in most conditions (including light snow and rain). A/S tires are increasingly common on performance vehicles.
Best High-Performance Street Tires
What makes a great street tire? The best performance street tires are designed for powerful cars and have high traction and a long lifespan.
We scoured the market for the best street tires and chose five examples based on durability, quality, traction, handling, and high-speed performance. Here are our top picks.
1. Firestone FT140 A/S Street Tire
The Firestone FT140 A/S is a high-performance all-season street tire designed specifically for sports cars. This tire is affordable, durable, and comes with a high customer satisfaction rating.
The Firestone FT140 A/S has a speed rating of H, which means it can be used at speeds of about 130 mph or 210 kph. This means that your Firestone FT140 A/S tires can be used for daily driving, highway driving, and the occasional high-speed run at the local drag strip.
All-season tires like the Firestone FT140 A/S come with several advantages over summer tires. Although they don’t perform quite as well, A/S street tires have a longer lifespan and offer superior traction in wet conditions.
The Firestone FT140 A/S has a short sidewall and a wide stance, which mimics many performance car factory tires. The tread is uniform, and the voids between tread blocks are minimum, which increases grip and increases stability around turns.
But how is this tire different than summer tires? For one, it uses a rubber compound that’s more suitable for wet surfaces and cold weather. Additionally, the large void channels allow the tire to shed water efficiently, which reduces the risk of hydroplaning.
You can buy a set of Firestone FT140 A/S tires from Discount Tire for between $99.00 and $141.00 each, depending on the size you need.
The Firestone FT140 A/S tire is a safe and affordable replacement tire for sports cars and muscle cars in mild climates that experience some winter weather.
2. Firestone FR710 A/S Street Tire
Firestone makes the list again with its highly affordable FR710 street tire. This performance tire is one of the best entry-level all-season tires on the market, and it performs surprisingly well on the street and on the drag strip.
The Firestone FR710 is not a track tire or a drag tire. Instead, it’s a high-traction street tire that makes a great replacement for OEM tires on your muscle car or performance vehicle. This tire is popular on older performance cars that use smaller wheels and beefier tires.
What sets the Firestone FR710 apart from other budget tires is its superior street performance. The tire has wide tread bands and narrow voids, which increases road contact and reduces slip. Additionally, it has just enough void space to shed water in slippery conditions.
The Firestone FR710 also has an exceptionally good reputation for dry traction, which makes it a fantastic summer performance tire for budget-minded drivers. And if you’re known to burn tires fast, you’ll probably be satisfied with the price.
A Firestone FR710 A/S tire costs just $78.00 to $79.00 per tire on Discount Tire, which makes it highly affordable. Additionally, it comes with a 65,000-mile warranty.
The Firestone FR710 A/S tire is the most affordable street tire on our list and the perfect factory replacement for performance cars.
3. Nexen NFERA SU1 Performance Street Tire
Summer tires are still the kings of the performance world, and the Nexen NFERA SU1 is one of the best and most affordable examples on the market. The Nexen NFERA SU1 closely resembles the shape of a drag tire but with precision tread cuts to make street driving safer.
Nexen NFERA SU1 tires are wide and flat, which increases their road contact and handling stability. The sidewalls are gently rounded, and tread voids are barely indented to reduce lost traction. The wide channels between the tread shed water well.
As a summer tire, the Nexen NFERA SU1 has better handling characteristics than the typical all-season performance tire. As a result, it offers better handling on dry pavement for most sports and muscle cars.
However, the Nexen NFERA SU1 is not designed to be used in winter conditions. It’s unsuitable for snow and cold weather, so these tires are best used in hot and dry climates. But for the occasional warm rainstorm, the Nexen NFERA is safe and handles well.
You can purchase a set of Nexen NFERA SU1 performance street tires from Discount Tire for between $86.00 and $289.00 each, which is a reasonably affordable price for a good performance tire.
The Nexen NFERA SU1 is a good entry-level performance tire for summer driving, and it handles better than most comparable A/S on the track and dry roads.
4. Toyo Proxes Sport Performance Summer Tire
The Toyo Proxes Sport is a popular tire on the street and the strip, which makes it a perfect choice for high-performance vehicles in warm climates. This summer tire is well known for its excellent cornering and road-gripping abilities.
As a performance summer tire, the Toyo Proxes Sport has a lower tread life than most A/S tires. You can expect to replace these tires between 30,000 and 40,000 miles. But during that time, you’ll enjoy true performance handling and high-speed stability.
Toyo Proxes Sport tires four grooves for water evacuation on rainy days. But other than that, there are very few void spaces to reduce road contact. The rubber compound used by Toyo is flexible enough to mold to the road under heavy acceleration and strong enough to resist hard braking on hot pavement.
Toyo Proxes Sport tires are designed specifically for sports cars, so they offer a level of confidence that you can’t get with cheap highway tires. These tires are also popular on modern muscle cars, as they’re available in typical 19-inch and 20-inch sizes.
You can get a set of Toyo Proxes Sport tires from Discount Tire for $116.00 to $317.00 apiece, and they come with a standard 25,000-mile warranty.
The Toyo Proxes Sport is a true performance tire for warm weather, and it’s great for racing as well.
5. Toyo Proxes R1R Performance Summer Tire
The Toyo Proxes R1R is the most track-like street tire on our list, and it’s easy to see why. A quick look at the tread reveals a series of slash marks and no uniform void rings, which is unique among street tires. The tread is designed specifically for high-traction performance.
Toyo Proxes R1R tires use directional tread cuts for high traction and performance. These tires are inspired by autocross racing tires and gain many of the same performance benefits of drag slicks. These tires also evacuate water well, especially for a performance summer tire.
So, what are the benefits of a wide tire with minimal tread voids? One primary advantage offered by the Toyo Proxes R1R is superior responsiveness to steering, which is a key element of a good performance street tire.
Additionally, these tires handle well under heavy acceleration and braking. Toyo Proxes R1R tires are popular for drag and track racing. These tires are not designed for winter use and don’t handle well on the snow.
A set of Toyo Proxes R1R performance street tires will run you between $140.00 and $195.00 on Discount Tire.
The Toyo Proxes R1R is a perfect tire for warm weather racing, and it handles well on most roads (provided the weather is warm).
About THE AUTHOR
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding