Three attributes you expect the best autocross tires to possess? Huge amounts of grip and traction is a non-negotiable requirement, especially considering the short braking distances a vehicle needs to have to slalom past cones strategically placed on the course.
Extreme steering responsiveness is another feature you cannot compromise on. To perform well on the autocross course, handling and stability at high speeds are crucial. Both of which you cannot expect from a set of tires that wouldn’t make its presence felt to the steering.
High cornering performance is yet another crucial feature that can’t be ignored. A car on the autocross course takes more turns in a few minutes than another car on the street in a month. Without high cornering performance, say goodbye to your dream of beating the ticking clock.
Want to hear some good news? All the tires reviewed below possess these attributes. How can we be so sure about this? We have seen these tires in action on the track. In situations where other tires were slowing down their vehicles, these tires gave their drivers the confidence to go faster.
#1. Toyo Proxes R1R – Best Tire Overall
Toyo tires are the go-to option for motorsport enthusiasts, with the R1R in particular built for the course. An aggressive tread design, excellent cornering grip at high speeds and durable construction. This tire has everything that defines the best autocross tires.
The R1R’s aggressive tread design provides it with exceptional straight-line stability. An arrowhead shape means that the tread’s eye-catching looks can compete with its functionality. And the presence of multiple grooves means you can count on the tread to resist hydroplaning.
Cornering grip is another area where this tire shines. The credit for this goes to its footprint, which Toyo has widened to ensure the R1R’s contact with the road stays intact at all times. Plus, large, stiffened tread blocks latch onto the road to deliver maximum stability at high speeds.
I was also impressed with how evenly this tire wears, the credit for which goes to its ‘Stability Control Slits’. These are lateral groove patterns built into the tread design. By shielding the tire from uneven wear, these patterns give way to a more smooth driving experience.
The R1R’s interior consists of high-end construction materials only seen in autocross tires. You can count on them to prevent any shifting, a major risk during aggressive cornering. Also, thanks to its race-inspired radial design, this tire could retain its original shape for long, ensuring a long road life.
- Provides brilliant traction at high speeds
- Has a smooth, straight release
- Less rolling resistance translates to better fuel efficiency
- Road noise can get pretty loud at high speeds
#2. Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 Radial – Best Runner Up
The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 offers the best of both words. This tire’s uncompromising traction and handling makes it a must-have for racers, while its quality riding comfort helps this tire take care of your everyday driving needs.
Goodyear has provided this tire’s tread compound with its proprietary race traction resins. They are the reason why the F1 Asymmetric 2 boasts an enviable combination of exquisite dry surface traction and exquisite cornering power.
Tread design also plays a major role in this tire’s course performance. Made of unique polymers and boasting lightweight construction, the tread design has managed to reduce the tire’s unsprung mass, while also enhancing the steering response and control.
Wet surface handling isn’t bad either. The use of four circumferential grooves and high-surface silica allows this tire to evacuate water from beneath its tread area. At the same time, it enables the Asymmetric 2 to retain its dry surface traction in wet conditions.
Goodyear’s decision to add 3-D tread elements has done wonders for this tire’s braking performance, both on wet and dry roads. Outside road noise is also minimal, though this tire’s treadlife is significantly lower than most of its competitors.
- Best in-class wet and dry traction
- Very good braking abilities
- Sure footed and stable cornering
- Excellent ride quality
- Treadlife could have been longer
#3. Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R
The Bridgestone Potenza RE-71Rs are another exciting option for autocross racing. At the same time, they aren’t slouches on the highway. This makes them a perfect choice for anyone who loves their track day but cannot afford to spend extra on a set of tires for everyday driving.
With the Potenza, you’ll get exceptionally high levels of traction and grip on an autocross course. The responsiveness and steering feel are also second to none, with the tire’s internal construction enabling it to withstand hard acceleration sessions with minimal wear.
Unlike most other racing tires, the RE-71Rs aren’t temperature sensitive. That is to say that you can start using them right from the off. Additionally, it offers decent-enough grip on the road too, even when driving on moderately wet roads.
Weight is the only area this tire could have done a bit better on. I didn’t get the chance to weigh the RE-71Rs, but having lifted this tire to install it on my Honda CRX, there is no doubt in my mind that this tire is much heavier than its counterparts sitting idly in my garage.
Yet another thing that might put you off is that this tire is no longer in production. Having said that, retailers have stocked it in large amounts for the RE-71R to remain an option for the coming years.
- Best-in class grip in the corners
- Can be used in light rain conditions
- No longer in production
#4. Toyo Proxes RR – Best Budget
The Toyo Proxes RR is routinely touted as the best autocross tire overall, which is a testament to this tire’s amazing performance on the track and the course. Yet, its inclusion at the 4th spot means this tire does have a few shortcomings you need to be wary about.
Start with the positives. The Proxes RR demolishes the lie propagated by tire manufacturing companies that racing tires cannot be cheap and cheap tires cannot be used for racing. This tire is much cheaper than most tires in our review, which is never a bad thing in our book.
Its performance won’t give anyone who isn’t aware about the tire’s original price how little it cost you. Aggressive cornering performance, incredibly short braking distances and high levels of traction and grip on dry surfaces. These are some of the bells-and-whistles this tire offers.
Responsiveness, too, is high-quality, while the steering feel is unrivaled. Autocross drivers will be happy to know that the tire doesn’t take long to reach operating temperatures. Also, even in very hot weather, this tire will keep giving your vehicle the grip needed to dominate the course.
As far as shortcomings are concerned, the RR isn’t as grippier as the tires mentioned above. Furthermore, this tire isn’t approved for highway use. So while it is cheaper than your average racing tire, you’d have to purchase an extra set of tires for daily use.
- Cheap price
- Incredibly short braking distances
- High levels of traction and grip on dry surfaces
- Could have been more grippy
#5. Hossier A7
The Hoosier A7 is one of the most popular tires among the autocross community and for plenty of good reasons. This tire has proven itself in autocross racing tournaments worldwide, and it is also routinely seen on race tracks around the world.
Compared with the Hoosier R7, another popular autocross tire, the A7 has a sticker tread compound that makes it a better choice for autocross. Also, while the A7 takes some time to achieve the operating temperature, the A7 does so quickly, even when it’s extremely hot out there.
Ride comfort is another strong forte of this tire. This tire’s tread blocks perform an admirable job of absorbing road vibrations and bumps. Together with the firmness of the shoulder blocks, which improves traction and grip, they help this tire last longer than competitors.
All in all, you can expect the R7 to stick to the road like few other tires. Its responsiveness is also outstanding, and you won’t have any complaints about high-speed handling either. Super-high levels of traction and grip, especially on dry surfaces, would also be on offer.
Unfortunately, there is one area on which the R7 could have done a bit better. While this tire is similar to the Toyo Proxes RR in the sense that both aren’t approved for highway use, its price is much higher, an inexplicable decision by Hoosier given that this tire can only be used on tracks.
- Outstanding responsiveness
- Softer and stickier tread compound
- High levels of traction and grip
- Pricier than the Proxes RR
#6. Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar 3
The Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar 3 perfectly fits the description of extreme performance summer tires. This tire boasts an AAtrax tread compound famous for its AA-rated wet traction grade. For those of you who don’t know, this is the highest traction grade any tire could get.
Small wonder then that, when used in rainy conditions, it stops flawlessly at every corner, on every speed-breaker and before every pothole. Not once did I feel that it was slipping on the road, with any skidding noise virtually non-existent, remarkable achievements for an extreme performance tire.
Goodyear has mixed two designs on its tread pattern.
On the outside edge, the tread pattern features large tread blocks which increase the tire’s contact area with the road, improving dry handling. On the inside, the tread pattern has been deliberately kept on the smaller side to offer a better grip.
Multiple lateral grooves are hidden underneath the tread pattern’s inner edge. These channels effectively disperse water from underneath the tire’s footprint, enhancing the tire’s wet performance by minimizing the risk of hydroplaning. You can reliably use the F1 SuperCar3 in light rain conditions.
Its built in-rim protector ensures minimal damage gets to the wheels. The shoulder block design is such that it ensures reliable braking in all sorts of conditions. And the unique placement of the tire’s inner belts – at an angle lower than passenger tires – help it offer better responsiveness at high speeds.
- Best-in-class dry traction
- Cornering grip couldn’t have been better
- Wet handling and braking are supreme
- Ride comfort is slightly on the lower side
#7. Falken Azenis RT615K+ – Best for Sporty Performance
Similar to the Toyo Proxes RR and Goodyear Hoosier A7, the Falken Azenis RT615k+ is another tires that doesn’t cost a fortune. Yet another similarities the three tires share is exceptional performance, both on the street as well as on the autocross course.
Enough with the similarities. Let’s now focus on what sets this tire apart.
This tire’s 4D Nano Design summer tread compound is super aggressive. Its sidewalls, meanwhile, are super-stiff and made for autocross driving. The result? Outstanding controllability at the limit, precise steering input and exceptional responsiveness.
The Falken Azenis RE615K+ has a solid center rib and massive shoulder blocks to enable it to withstand all the abuse you can send its way. A nanotech formulated compound, meanwhile, gives this tire grip autocross tires need to cut corners while ensuring maximum stability.
Wet handling is one area where this tire does better than the Proxes RR and Hoosier A7. A combination of circumferential grooves and notched tread blocks help it latch on to the road in slippery conditions and remove water from beneath its footprint, respectively.
Bear in mind that comfort isn’t this tire’s forte. But that is something you won’t get from many other extreme performance tires either. An exceptional high-speed stability and high levels of traction and grip do more than enough to make up for this shortcoming.
- Has outstanding responsiveness
- Gives a precise steering input
- Offers excellent controllability at the limit
- Not the most comfortable tire out there
#8. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
Michelin has been making tires for well over a century. Models like the Pilot Sport 4S are the reason why. This tire features an exciting combination of cutting-edge technology and long warranty life to book its place among the best autocross tires.
Its tread inner part features silica to deliver extreme traction on dry roads. It also has functional elastomers to reduce the braking distances in wet conditions. This duo is the reason why Pilot Sport 4S can boast all-season utility on the highway and track.
An asymmetric tread pattern takes this model’s all-season performance to the next level. The tread pattern features a hard outer part to offer better performance in the summer. Its inner part, meanwhile, features a soft lining to offer high-speed stability in wet conditions.
A precise steering response and maximum lateral stability are guaranteed, thanks to its unique V-shaped tread design. A nylon-and-aramid-fiber inner belt won’t let this tire’s contact patch shrink at high speeds, a common issue with UHP tires. So you’d have full control over its movement.
Comfort is another area where this tire distinguishes itself from other UHP tires. This tire is remarkably quiet and comfortable in normal highway driving. Noise would stay low during racing, too, especially once you give this tire some leeway for being a UHP tire (which are usually notoriously loud).
- Traction on slippery roads couldn’t be any better
- Exceptional cornering grip and stability
- Better than expected treadlife
#9. Continental ContiSport Contact 5
Maximum high-performance summer tires will have a hard time competing with the Continental ContiSport Contact 5. Not only because this model boasts high-performance technology. But also because it offers high-performance technology in budget price.
Continental has equipped this tire with its unique Black Chilli tread compound. Ignoring the obvious reference to spices, the tread compound helps the ContiSport Contact 5 adapt to most conditions you could drive in, excluding deep snow and icy ones.
Responsiveness is outstanding with this high-performance tire – the asymmetric tread design ensures that you get maximum steering feel at every speed. High-speed controllability, too, is above-average. You’d always remain in full control over your vehicle’s movement.
While most autocross tires are only made for the course, the ContiSport Contact 5 is different. This tire is as good for everyday driving too. Its wet performance is also excellent, thanks to four circumferential grooves that keep the risk of hydroplaning at bay.
One thing you might not appreciate about this tire is that it doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty. That is the only shortcoming we could find about this model. But that isn’t that major a drawback once you consider that most high-performance tires aren’t backed with a warranty.
- Excellent responsiveness
- Excellent wet traction and grip
- Highly controllable at the limit
- Doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty
#10. Firestone Firehawk Indy 500
The Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 has all the credentials to be an excellent choice for the course, especially when you compare its price with other autocross tires.
Grip and traction are two features that are crucial for autocross racing. The Firehawk Indy 500 has both of these in abundance. With this tire, you count enter and exit corners at high speeds and take turns at impossible angles without the risk of it spinning out of control.
Wet driving is another forte of the Indy 500. A combination of circumferential and lateral grooves allow it to boast excellent hydroplaning resistance.
This, in turn, ensures that water particles don’t stay in the tread area for long, guaranteeing a safe and stable wet driving experience.
Inside the tire, you’d find two high-tensile steel belts encapsulated by a polyester casing. As if that wasn’t enough to lend sturdiness to this tire, Firestone reinforced the steel belts with spirally-wrapped nylon. The result? An enhanced ability to retain its original shape for long.
All of this isn’t to say that the Indy 500 delivers on all counts. Unlike some of the other autocross tires, its road noise is nowhere near quiet. Even when you’re driving well below the speed limit, there will be that audible hum everyone inside the cabin can easily hear.
- Highly responsive
- Usable in rainy conditions
- Delivers value for money
- Doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty
#11. Bridgestone Potenza RE050A
The Bridgestone Potenza RE050A comes as an OEM on supercharged Mercedes AMG models, a special version of the Ferrari Enzo, and some BMW models. This should give you all the assurance you need that the RE050A won’t let you down on the course.
A high-grip tread compound equips this tire with added wet surface performance and extended tread wear, a combo you don’t find often in autocross tires. Plus, a directional tread pattern gives this tire increased cornering performance and acceleration.
Wet performance is also exemplary, thanks in no small part to its circumferential grooves. Together with the lateral grooves, they eliminate water from underneath the tread. This results in increased wet traction and an enhanced driving confidence.
Bridgestone usually pulls out all the stops to make its tires durable. The presence of two steel belts that are reinforced with spirally wrapped nylon shows that the RE050A benefits from this approach. Moreover, a hard rubber filler in the sidewalls increased cornering grip.
There are two areas where this tire could have done a bit better. The first is that, while it is fairly quiet for the first few months, the onset of wear makes this tire noisy. Secondly, having reviewed other tires you see in this review, this tire’s tread life fails to impress us.
- Excellent cornering grip and traction
- High-end wet handling and performance
- Braking and acceleration defy its cheap asking price
- Tread life could have been better
- Gets noisier with the onset of wear
Factors to Consider When Buying Autocross Tires
Multiple factors would influence your decision when it comes to buying autocross tires. Most important among which is the tire’s type. Then comes the tire’s tread compound, braking power, speed rating, and construction. Let’s discuss all these factors in detail.
The following types of tires are usually preferred by Mini Cooper owners:
Summer performance tires are the best option for autocross driving. Unlike their all-season counterparts, these tires’ tread compound is extremely sticky. This allows them to grip the road better. At the same time, these tires are very stiff, giving you an excellent steering feel and responsive handling.
Bear in mind, though, that summer tires don’t usually last very long. While you could get around 50,000 miles out of an all-season performance tire, a summer one will last less than half that figure.
Ultra-high-performance summer tires offer much better handling, steering response, and dry grip and traction than the summer ones. They are also much more responsive and provide an excellent steering feel, providing you with an enjoyable driving experience.
However, while summer tires are good for almost every autocross driver, UHP summer ones might be a downgrade for anyone who is serious about autocross driving.
Extreme performance summer tires are hands down the best choice for autocross enthusiasts. Whether you’re testing the limits of your vehicle on a twisty mountain road, on an autocross course, or on a racetrack, these tires are a joy to drive on.
Autocross tires need to have a soft and sticky tread compound. It is because of the simple reason that autocross tires spend a lion’s share of their time on dedicated race tracks. Without a tread compound that helps them grip the road, say goodbye to your dream of winning races.
Wet traction, ride comfort, and noise. These three don’t matter much. As is defense against hydroplaning, especially if you have one set of tires for the track and another for everyday driving. Since that won’t be the case for most people, opt for a set of tires that offers something of everything.
Autocross racing requires quick reflexes. Drivers have to change from acceleration to deceleration, and back, real quick. That too while observing lane discipline and being responsive to emergencies. All of this would be impossible without a set of tires that offer high-end braking power.
Autocross racing is about two things. How much control you have over your vehicle and the highest speed limits your vehicle can hit. The second factor is the reason why almost all the best autocross tires have W-, Y-, and Z- speed ratings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are wider tires better for autocross?
Wider, low-profile tires are almost always better for autocross. The wider the tire, the bigger its contact area with the road, and the higher the levels of traction and grip on offer. Also, wider tires do a much better job of dissipating heat (preventing heat build-up) than their narrower counterparts.
Are slicks good for autocross?
Slicks are good for autocross but only after they hit their minimum operating temperature. Before hitting the minimum operating temp mark, they won’t be any good.
As you may have noticed, most of the tires mentioned above are pricey. That is because cheap tires rarely work well on an autocross course. Inexpensive tires rarely have the braking power, speed rating and tread compound needed to beat the clock on the course.
Do you mean R7 or A7? Very confusing.