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Old 05-06-2017, 04:25 PM   #1
DiCaprio
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First impression - Hankook Ventus S1 Evo

Introduction:

Recently i read "Tamago's guide to ultimate yaris handling", which is basically a guide which informs you about what you should and shouldn't do to a Yaris to make it corner better for autocross. It is really helpful for a newbie like myself who has literally no experience with coilovers, tires, wheels, struts and braces.

Anyways i wanted to start slow and began with the tires and rims first, because that is what most people in the car community recommend. There are actually many videos on what mods you should do first and tires are recommended in almost everyone of these.

How did i choose the tires?

Since i'm not really planning on going to a trackday or autocross with this car i immediately eliminated semi slick from the list of tires to choose.
I just wanted to drive the car a little faster on windy roads in my area, which may sound ridiculous to normal people, but since this is a Yaris Forum most of you will get my point. So i went for UHP ( Ultra High Performance ) tires and was let down a bit because i always do a lot of research before buying stuff and the tests and reviews i read about UHP tires usually said something like dry performance very good, but wet not so much. Since the Yaris is a daily driver - not only for me, but also for my step dad and my mom who occasionally borrow the car - i needed a tire that also performs in the wet. The next hassle was the tires size. In Germany the law is very strict and even changing the wheels and tires can lead to trouble with the police.
You have to make sure the tire don't exceed the fender otherwise you have to roll them, or install wider fenders. You also have to make sure nothing rubs at any circumstances, which means even when cornering at high loads there is no rubbing allowed. So when buying wheels and tires you need to consider that. And the rims i bought in 7x16" were only allowed in combination with 195/45 or 205/45 tires. You could go to TÜV or DEKRA in Germany which are associations for technical inspection and there you can get a certificate that allows you to run other tires on these specific rims, but that is very expensive. It costs around 320€ for four wheels.
So in the end with considering all of the mentioned above i went with the Hankook Ventus S1 EVO K107 because they were relatively cheap compared to more premium tires like Michelins and they scored pretty high in tests even when i comes to wet performance.

First impression:

I only drove the Yaris with brand new Fulda winter tires before, so i'm a little biased. Of course high performance summer tires are going to perform way better in the dry than winter tires. Nevertheless i want to describe how Hankook tires changed how the car drives.

The first thing i noticed during my test drive was that there is indeed more noise coming from the tires and the ride is a little rougher than before with the winter tires. I upgraded from 185/65 to 205/45 so this is probably pretty self explanatory. But since winter tires aren't that quite anyways and i was used to that, I don't really mind that little extra noise and the Yaris isn't a quite car in the first place. That the ride is rougher than before is no problem to me. You now feel better what is going on on the road and how good the surface of the asphalt is. For example i can now feel the patches where a crack in the road was fixed, when i drive over them. However my parents yet have to drive the car and report how they feel about the comfort. I probably shouldn't have told them about the ride quality with the new tires, they wouldn't have noticed it and thought the roads just got worse haha.

Now to the performance aspect and the main reasons why i got these tires.
I noticed a huge difference in cornering speeds and i couldn't reach the limits of the tires during my test drive. Since i'm only used to winter tires i didn't want to push too hard, but eventually i got more confident. But the grip these tires develop is beyond my abilities for now. I could not make them squeal even though i took corners with roughly 15-20 km/h more than before.
Note this i tested the tires in perfectly dry conditions, i don't know how they perform in the wet yet. However in tests from Sportscars.de the tire was best in class for wet braking and driving performance, so i guess it's pretty good in the wet as well. The tire doesn't perform all that well when it comes to aquaplaning from what i read though.

On top of that the car didn't really understeer that much anymore under hard driving. Liftoff oversteer got less as well. What i noticed with the winter tires is that when you are cornering already and you want to apply a little bit more steering angle is that the winter tires responded very slow and the car began to understeer quite tremendously. With the Hankooks i could easily apply more steering angle in a corner, the car reacted very direct and didn't understeer all that much.

Furthermore the braking performance in dry improved tremendously.
You can bring the car to a stand still a lot faster, since the tires have a lot of grip and thus you can apply way more pressure to the brakes. It really pushes you into the seat belt when you brake, also the ABS needs to work a lot less, when braking very hard.

With all of the improved handling characteristics you probably think more traction also means more fuel consumption, but while driving like a normal person in city traffic or on the highway the fuel consumption wasn't any different to what i had before with the winter tires. I'm sure if you run summer tires that are improved for fuel saving that you can obviously save some fuel, but there is literally no difference to the winter tires.

Summary:

I bought the Hankook Ventus S1 EVO to get better handling and they certainly delivered for a very affordable price in it's class. Yet i have to find out how good the tires are really in the long run. How is the wear, do they still grip after 10k kilometers ? For now i'm happy with my purchase and i see forward to many more driving hours with my Yaris.


I hope you liked this post and first impression. Please excuse my mediocre English skills.



Comparison Summer vs. Winter



New look of the Yaris

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Old 05-06-2017, 06:24 PM   #2
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thanks for the review, good to see someones perspective from normal to UHP tires
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:41 PM   #3
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Update:

So last time i told you that i couldn't reach the limits of the tire, because i'm not comfortable to push the car hard enough.
This changed however and i want to talk about things that i notice when driving the car really hard.

The car felt really springy when i went hard into a corner at above 40 mph and at even higher speeds it's actually quite scary. The problem however is not the tire it's the soft stock suspension. I also have no strut bars or braces installed on the car. So basically the car is too soft to handle well at higher speed. Which is kinda sad, because the tires would allow you to achieve even higher corner speeds, but the Suspension is holding you back from it.

So for example when braking hard the car dips in a lot in the front, which takes weight from the back tires so they can't grip that well anymore. The braking still is a lot better then before, but a stiffer suspension would make the tires even more effective.

Also lift off oversteer still is a major thing. I almost lost control when i got off the throttle mid corner, because i got scared when the car started to wobble around because of the soft suspension. When i got off the throttle that cause the rear tires to loose grip since there was less weight on them. So basically the same trouble that i had with braking hard, not enough weight on the rear tires to work really well.

However this problem only applies to an extreme scenario. I do really think that most people who drive a Yaris will ever drive this hard.
I don't recommend anyone being a total maniac, please drive safe.
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:46 PM   #4
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Old 06-04-2017, 11:16 AM   #5
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Update:

I went out driving yesterday evening, when the roads were wet, to test the wet performance. I pretty much rained the whole day and the roads were soaked, so i guess it was a pretty good scenario to test the tires abilities.

As i said before i read many reviews about the tire and all of them said that this tires was best in class in wet braking and cornering, which for me was probably the most important aspect in choosing what tires i'm going for, because my parents occasionally borough the car and i wanted it to be save to drive.

Though i was skeptical. How would an UHP tires handle the wet ? I knew from various videos on the internet that semi slicks should be avoided in the rain, but what about tires one class lower than semis ?

So i went out in the rain and slowly increased my cornering speeds. I have to say this tire is really confidence inspiring in the wet. I'm not exactly sure, but i think in the end i took corners with the same speed i usually take them in the dry. There was a little understeer thought, nothing major. The Yaris is a really light car, i wonder what impact more weight would have.

I notice something which for me felt kinda weird. I never really experienced such thing. The car felt more direct in the wet. You know the feeling when a car drives like it's on rails ? In the dry the steering usually feels a little dull, while is the wet it felt more direct and it was like the back wheels were following the front wheels more precisely. I don't really know how to explain this. Either the tires are primarily meant for wet roads, or it's just a placebo effect :D

In conclusion if you are looking for better performance tires you should really worry about wet performance. The UHPs are probably all pretty decent, if you choose one of the better and well known tire companies. Anyways with semi slicks i'd be more careful.

I hope i can give you an insight of what it feels like from switching from normal/winter tires to UHP tires.
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Old 06-04-2017, 12:13 PM   #6
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UHP tires which exhibit excellent wet/dry characteristics when new are pretty much toast by the end of season two. I used to run them, but got real tired of buying new tires every two years.

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Old 06-04-2017, 12:26 PM   #7
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Well i expected them to wear faster, but i hope to get 3 seasons out of them.
What tires do you run ? Like economy tires, with high treadwear ?
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Old 06-04-2017, 12:55 PM   #8
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Now that both myself and my car are getting somewhat older, I no longer ask it to do what I used to. When my last set of Kumho UHP class tires died, I decided to go for tread life over stickiness. My summer wheels are currently wrapped with Motomaster AWII which I've been quite satisfied with. There is the odd occasion when I throw the car into a corner and quickly remember I'm not running Kumho anymore.

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Old 06-04-2017, 01:21 PM   #9
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My last Kumho Ecsta after 2 summers and maybe 35,000 km. Still fantastic in fair weather conditions at that point. Scary as hell in the rain.

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Old 06-04-2017, 05:02 PM   #10
DiCaprio
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I don't drive as much as you per season. Last summer season i only drove 10.000 km. But this was before i took the car to the twisties to have some fun.
Hopefully they will last 3 seasons with that occasional hard driving i do.

But on the other hand i got a really good deal on these UHP and even economy tires would have cost me more than those. I was really lucky with that deal.
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:57 PM   #11
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Interesting review, curious how long these last you
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:43 AM   #12
DiCaprio
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I'll definitely keep you updated on the wear. I plan on going to the Nürburgring this year though and do one lap. That'll probably wear out the tires a little haha :D
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:09 AM   #13
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I'm new to the forum, but doesn't it make sense to have a set of street wheels/tires and track wheels/tires?
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