Tire reviews almost alwaysÂ focus onÂ the sharp end of the market, that is, the extreme performance summer tire segment. While big sticky tires with rubber-band sidewalls are lots of fun to shred to a smoking hulk on a race track, such tires make up a notably small segment of industry sales and are rarely used on cars that are daily driven in most parts of the country.
While many Automobile readers own cars to take advantage of such a tire, itâ€™s also true that almost every Automobile reader has a more ordinary vehicleâ€”yes, a â€śboringâ€ť carâ€”needing a boring car tire that optimizes comfort and wet weather performance over ultimate dry grip. To that end, we recently mounted up a set of everyday tires, the Cooper Discoverer SRX, on a very everyday vehicle, a 2006 Saturn Vue CUV and noted some of our impressions.
First of all, a little backstory. The Cooper Discoverer SRX is a tire specifically designed for CUVs and SUVs and specifically those which will be seeing most of their miles being driven on plain old, everyday roads.
To that end, Cooper was less concerned about how the tire would perform on off-road trails as it was how quiet and comfortable the ride would be when doing perfectly ordinary driving: going grocery shopping, picking up the kids from school, or heading off on a weekend road trip.
Cooper incorporates a few nifty features into the Discoverer SRX tire, each coming with a little bit of hyperbole, as is the norm for the industry. The first is something it calls Stabledge technology, which refers to the sidewallâ€™s ability to resist twisting forces, providing better dry grip and stability.
Next, the silica compound is said to be a â€ścompetition-grade resinâ€ť which purports to give better traction and road feel in wet conditions. A Wear Square indicator, a square-shaped marking on the tire, offers at-a-glance feedback on how worn the tires are at any given time and 3D micro-gauge siping helps the tires tread blocks maintain their shape under heavy forces, such as cornering and braking.
If that all sounds like a bunch of manufacturer mumbo-jumbo, you may be right. That said, our impression of the tires on the road were very favorable. We ordered up four Cooper Discoverer SRX tires in the 215/70R16 size and had our local preferred tire store mount them up on our Saturn.
They were replacing a set of Michelins that were still within tread wear spec, but past their safe operating life at seven years old and showing signs of surface cracking. The shop had no trouble getting the tires balanced and mounted, so we put some miles on them to wear off the release lubricant and then put a lot of extra miles on them for impressions.
In our experience, the Cooper tires were actually a little quieter than the Michelins they replaced, though some of the noise from our old tires was likely due to their wear. We were also impressed with their dry grip. Hard cornering brought out squeals far sooner than your favorite set of sticky summer rubber, but for all-season tires on a CUV, they remained quiet in hard cornering for longer than weâ€™d expect them to.
Most of all, we appreciated their ride quality and lack of any tramlining or other undesirable qualitiesâ€”they tracked straight and true and generally did their job without alerting us to the fact. As passenger car tires go, the best ones are those you donâ€™t even notice. Unfortunately, we didnâ€™t get a chance to test their wet weather grip, as rain in Southern California is about as common as spots on a zebra.
Our takeaway is that you can do a lot worse than add a set of Cooper Discoverer SRX tires to your all-season machine and Cooperâ€™s prices are fairly competitive, meaning youâ€™ll spend a lot less cash than if you were to shop some of the other big brands.[ + ]
Go behind the wheel of the 592-hp Jaguar XE SV Project 8 with contributor Jethro Bovingdon, who set a lap record atÂ AutĂłdromo Internacional do Algarve during his first drive of the purpose-built sedan.
The post WATCH: Behind the Wheel of the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 appeared first on Automobile Magazine.[ + ]
HOT ROD Garage takes an old Chevy S-10 to the next level with a 357-hp V-8 swap. On this week’s episode, Tony Angelo and Lucky Costa take their High School Special S-10, a truck that had been upgraded to drive, look, and sound better in a previous episode, and cram a 375-hp Vortec V-8 in place of the original four-cylinder!
The Vortec V-8 is a perfect candidate for a budget buildup with tons of potential. Watch the guys modify a $600 junkyard engine, and nearly double the power while keeping the stock heads!
After the install, Angelo pilots the budget S-10 at the eighth-mile drags against some modern muscle and it more than holds his own!
Stream the full episode now on Motor Trend!
Cars and aquariums rarely go together, but episode 809 of the Animal Planet series â€śTankedâ€ť is making an exception. The show stars the team at Las Vegas-based aquarium builder Acrylic Tank Manufacturing, and on this episode, the shopâ€™s client is Henderson, Nevada-based Lusso Auto Spa.
The customization shop caters to a high-end clientele, as is evidenced by the pair of Pagani Huayras and the Bugatti Chiron that are parked inside the lobby. To go with the exquisite vehicles, Lusso Auto Spaâ€™s owners have commissioned Acrylic Tank Manufacturing to build a custom 14-foot aquarium to sit as the lobbyâ€™s centerpiece. And the fish inside the aquarium will, of course, be as exotic as the cars themselves.
While the idea of having hundreds of gallons of water in close proximity to seven-figure automobiles may not sit well with all of us, its definitely a different twist on the usual fancy showroom.
For those interested to see how a pair of Huayaras looks next to a giant fish tank, episode 809 of “Tanked” airs on Animal Planet on Friday, 5/25 at 9 PM Eastern and Pacific.
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Hot rod Porsches! On this week’s episode of “Head 2 Head” presented by Tire Rack,Â Automobile‘s Jethro Bovingdon and Motor Trend‘s Jonny Lieberman take a look at two California-built custom Porsche 911s: the Gunther Werks 400R and the Shark Werks GT3 4.1.
The Gunther is the dancer of the two, a prima ballerina that teaches a masterâ€™s course on the very notion of steering feel. Sharkie, on the other hand, is a sledgehammer, taking a naturally aspirated Porsche to a level of violence and fury never seen before.
The two takes on the classic Porsche formula are night and day, and show the amazing bandwidth inherent to the 911 platform.
To dive deeper into just what makes the 911 the ultimate hot rod starting point, the boys start the video in â€śThe Daddy,â€ť a brilliant, million-dollar Mexico Blue example built by Workshop 5001.
Can either modern 911 hold a candle to the Workshop 5001 car? And which one is the better custom 911? Watch and find out Wednesday, April 11 when the show goes live on Motor Trend!
The post Gunther Werks 400R and SharkWerks GT3 4.1 Go “Head 2 Head” appeared first on Automobile Magazine.[ + ]
Get ready to go fastâ€”really, really fast. On this new episode of “Ignition” presented by Tire Rack, raging bull apostle Jonny Lieberman sets out to convince doubting Jethro Bovingdon that the wind-cheating HuracĂˇn Performante really is as good as Lamborghini says it is.
Remember, Lambo showed the world a NĂĽrburgring lap time of 6:52.01, at the time a record-breaking run that was 4.99 seconds quicker than the Porsche 918 Spyder.
The plan is of course to hand the Performante over to pro driver Randy Pobstâ€”the man who set the Big Willow lap record of 1:23.54â€”to see what he can make of the bright green beastie.
If the Performante can beat the 918 on Big Willow, then surely it can (and did) do the deed on the â€™Ring. However, before they get to the track, Bovingdon and Lieberman have a little driving to do themselves.
Does the Performante do the numbers? Watch and find out when the 190th episode of “Ignition” goes live on Wednesday, April 4.
The post 2018 Lamborghini HuracĂˇn Performante by the Numbers appeared first on Automobile Magazine.[ + ]