There are a lot of tyre companies manufacturing performance tyres, but at Ozzy Tyres we have backed the Nitto range because of their great performance and value for money.
Starting with the Nitto Invo, which are classified as ultra-performance street tires. Translation: they’re designed for both wet and dry traction – without sacrificing ride comfort and noise suppression. Competitors include the Michelin Pilots, Firestone Firehawks.
The Invo has a unique design. The tire incorporates standard tread design with a three channel-deep wide-rib, located on one side. Nitto claims that combining an inner rib with two circumferential grooves improves wet weather performance. The rest of the tire consists of a Silica-reinforced tread compound, variable pitched grooves and large inner and outer contact patches for improved dry handling.
The Invos come in sizes ranging from 225/45 17” to bling-sized 275/25 24” monsters. The tires are “Z” rated; good for speeds over 250kph. But they’re also limited by a “W” rating, which pegs the maximum safe speed at 260kph. More than suitable for street usage.
Sometimes the issue with performance tyres is the trade-off between comfort/noise/longevity versus performance and traction. Tyres that lean toward performance usually have comfort and noise issues. Softer, more compliant tires aid comfort but lose performance capabilities. The Invo definitely straddles both sides of the graph. Road noise is said to be extremely low (although this can be car and suspension dependent) and comparable with the best.
Ride comfort too is said to be comparable with the best, the Michelin Pilot. When it comes to performance and spirited driving in the wet or dry, the comparison is again close to the much more expensive Michelin.
We definitely agree that the tyre is comparable to the more expensive brand names, and suitable for all vehicles that are daily driven, whether you are cruising or pushing hard. The Invos are a great tyres and great value for money as an all rounder.
Going up a level in performance orientation, we find the Nitto NT05.
Nitto say that this tyre is a step up in driving performance, and as such, it has marginally higher road noise and loss in driver comfort compared to the Invo. The focus of this tyre is on dry grip, and wow does this tyre impress! Natural competitors for this tyre are the Kumho KU36, Pirelli P-Zeros and Toyo T888
Whilst still being a solid all round performer, the instant feeling you get is that you want to found your favourite twisty road and enjoy yourself. There is definitely more grip available most of the competition, and the trade offs only slight.
This tyre is really aimed at the performance car owners, and for those of you with Lancer Evos, Subaru WRXs and STis, GTIs and R Golfs, Nissan Silvias, Zeds and Skylines, HSVs and FPVs and any other performance car....this is a tyre you can drive on all week and then drive to the track, have a thrash, and drive home, all on the same set of tyres, without breaking your budget
It is also worth pointing out that these are the tyre of choice for the Nitto backed competitors in Formula Drift USA, including Matt Powers and Vaughn Gitten Jr due to their rigid sidewalls and fantastic grip
A further rung higher on the performance ladder comes the Nitto NT01.
The NT01 is even more agressively pointed at the circuit, but remains street legal in Australia. The usual trade off is there, the better the dry road performance, the higher the road noise and drop in comfort. But if it is high performance you want, this is a tyre that delivers in spades, and doesn't cost am arm and a leg to do it. Comparable to Advan A-050, Hankook RS-3 and Toyo RA-1s in performance, this tyre comes in at a friendlier price point, but with just as much performance. With better than average tyre wear, it is noted by many that the NT01 offers incredible grip for a number of track days.
Do note that this tyre is rated only for dry weather driving and whilst they are road legal, driving in the wet is not advised. A quick look at the aggressive lines in the tyre and the cars normally shod with NT01s will show why...
If you are in the market for a new set of rubbers, check out our range of Nitto Performance Tyres here http://www.ozzytyres.com.au/wordpress/store/tyres