• Track tire shootout - Toyo R888R vs. Nankang AR-1 vs. Maxxis RC-1

      Speed Academy did a great 100 treadwear track tire shootout between the Toyo R888R, Nankang AR-1, and Maxxis RC-1 tires. What was the test vehicle? A Scion FR-S. The issue there is the tire sizing does not apply to most of the cars on the BoostAddict network sites.

      The Nankang AR-1 for example is an issue sizing wise. First of all, the Nankang USA site does not even list these tires as available or in existence. When going to select model year their site only goes up until 2016 so I could not even see what fitments they have for my 2017 Carrera. This looks sloppy and unprofessional.

      So while the USA site does not show fitments for any tires that fit 305/30/20 sizing the Australian Nankang site does show an AR-1 in that size but their US distribution seems to need some work.

      The Maxxis RC-1 only comes in sizes up to 18 inches so that takes it off the list for many of us but for those looking for a 275/18 it may fit the bill. The tire basically looks like a slick though so it is probably best to leave it to the track.

      The Toyo R888R offers far more sizes than the other two tires and it is relatively cheap and easy to get. This is the tire currently on the Project E92 M3. It is fairly sticky and offers enough tread to make it useable daily in California but from personal experience it does not offer too much traction in winter weather and definitely needs heat. We will have to see how it does on the street in the summer.

      What were the Speed Academy impressions?

      Nankang AR-1:

      Maxxis RC-1:

      Toyo R888R:

      Lap times:


      Quote Originally Posted by Speed Academy
      Alright, let’s get right down to the nitty gritty. As you can see from the above summary data, it was a close fight between the Nankang AR-1 and the Maxxis RC-1 for fastest lap of the day, with the AR-1 edging out the RC-1 by a little over a 10th of a second. The Toyo R888R was further back, almost a full second behind the AR-1. This single fastest lap time only tells part of the story, however, since over the two sessions the Nankang AR-1 were remarkably consistent, with lap times clustered tightly in the 1:19.1 to 1:19.3 range, while the Maxxis RC-1 were less consistent because of their tendency to understeer when pushed hard on corner entry and also also due to their lack of feel or feedback at the limit of available grip. This resulted in the RC-1 lap time spread covering a full second (from 1:19.3 to 1:20.3) from best to worst lap amongst its data set. The Toyo R888R were also less consistent than the Nankang but more consistent than the RC-1, perhaps in part due to my familiarity with the compound, with lap times ranging from 1:20.0 to 1:20.4.

      In the end, the Nankang AR-1 came out on top in terms of lap times and its advantage over the Maxxis RC-1 and Toyo R888R was clearly in the braking zones and into the first half of the corners. The Nankang AR-1 also had the most neutral handling balance from turn-in to the apex followed by gradual and predictable breakaway characteristics as it transitioned towards oversteer balance on corner exit.

      That said, I would put the Toyo R888R at the top of the group with respect to breakaway characteristics and its compound’s willingness to allow some playful oversteer, and the Toyo was also the most “talkative” tire of the bunch with very audible feedback (tire squeal) with an increasing pitch that makes it easy to tell when you’re approaching the limit of adhesion. This makes the R888R what I would consider the most beginner-friendly tire in the group, plus they operate well within a wider range of temps and pressures and are known to be very good in the rain by semi-slick standards.

      The Maxxis RC-1 wasn’t nearly as playful a tire, requiring what I considered a bit of a deliberate driving style in the aforementioned “slow in, fast out” style and any departure from this would result in speed-robbing understeer. But the Maxxis really impressed with its grip from apex to corner exit, providing a lot of confidence to mat the throttle once you get the car turned in.
      There you have it. The Nankang AR-1 is the performance champ while the R888R is the best all around tire for beginners as well as its ability to deal with some rain meaning likely the best choice for the street of the group.

      The Maxxis RC-1 offers nice grip but seems unpredictable with little communication.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Track tire shootout - Toyo R888R vs. Nankang AR-1 vs. Maxxis RC-1 started by Sticky View original post