Why Nitto’s NT555RII is the Ultimate Weekend Warrior Drag Radial
Rarely is the good fortune of making too much horsepower considered a problem in the automotive world, but if you’re struggling to hook at the track or on the street (or are on the verge of breaking traction), it’s time to get serious about tire choice. Given today’s easy access to high-horsepower right off the showroom floor, a D.O.T.-approved drag radial may be the tire for you. After all, we’re living in an age where even an entry level pony car can squash the fastest vehicles Detroit produced during the muscle car era. To capitalize on things in this golden age of horsepower, you need to run a tread pattern that complements what your steed of choice is capable of.
Whether it’s a late-model Mustang Shelby GT500, the raw power Challenger SRT Hellcat or even a highly-modified, four-wheel drive truck, Nitto’s latest competition tire, the NT555RII drag radial, is ripe for the picking. Featuring enhancements that go beyond the popular NT05R drag radial, the NT555RII’s sidewall construction has been specifically altered to improve 60-foot times. But that’s not all. Its large, circumferential grooves aid handling in wet weather, making it one of the a safest D.O.T.-compliant competition drag radials in the tire industry. To find out how the NT555RII can improve your visits to the track as well as enhance your driving experience on the street, check out the race-ready synopsis below.
D.O.T.-Compliant & Ready for Competition
Unlike a lot of other drag radials, Nitto’s NT555RII isn’t a tire that barely meets D.O.T. requirements or that can only be utilized on dry pavement. No, the NT555RII was developed to excel at the track while also being capable of safely getting you to and from your favorite drag strip—even in the rain. And with a 100 treadwear rating (UTQG), a rating that outperforms the NT05R (00), the NT555RII is a drag radial with considerable tread longevity built into it. It may even last 10,000 miles or more, just as the NT555R tends to do.
Advanced, High-Grip Compound
With horsepower continually on the rise at the OEM level, Nitto knew it had to design a tire that could plant all those ponies at the drag strip. This is why the NT555RII is manufactured using a race compound that was specially developed for increased traction at the starting line. But that’s not the whole story. Thanks to Nitto’s desire to create a more streetable and controllable drag radial than the NT05R, not only is it sticky enough to allow for peak performance at the track, but it handles great on the street and will always get you back home.
It’s All In The Launch
As compared to the NT05R, the NT555RII’s sidewall has been modified significantly in order to improve your 60-foot times. Add a little heat after passing through the burnout box and it’s easy to see how sticky the NT555RII becomes. If you’re bringing an all-wheel drive or 4x4 application to the drag strip, the step that precedes pre-staging may vary a little, with most owners avoiding the burnout box altogether. However, even without putting some heat into the NT555RII’s they will still provide traction that’s more than sufficient for four-wheel drive vehicles packing big horsepower.
Plenty of Contact Patch
A key point of traction on the NT555RII lies in the highlighted section in the middle of the version pictured above. These large twin center ribs provide a continuous contact patch for enhanced dry traction. This differs from the NT05R’s large single center rib that’s designed to maximize traction and is completely different from the design employed on the NT555R.
Further enhancing the NT555RII’s street cred, it’s a quieter tire than the other drag radials in the Nitto stable (the NT555R and NT05R). This has to do with the NT555RII’s large tread blocks, which resemble the tread pattern on its NT555 G2 summer ultra high performance tire to an extent. In fact, for a well-rounded combination of traction, ride quality, quietness and tread wear, Nitto recommends the NT555RII be employed on the driven axle, with a pair of NT555 G2’s on the non-driven axle.
In nearly every way, the NT555RII is a mixture of all the best ingredients of the NT05R and NT555R. This includes wet performance. Much of the reason the NT555RII shines in daily driving is due of its large, circumferential grooves, which offer better built-in hydroplane resistance (compared to the NT555R and NT05R). Incorporating this into the tread design allows you to navigate wet surfaces without compromising safety, even if you encounter rain on your way to or from the drag strip.
Accommodating both old-school racers and modern era car owners, the NT555RII is available in 28 different sizes, ranging from 15-inch wheels all the way up to 22-inch versions. The largest NT555RII, a 305/40R22 is shown above. They measure 31.61 inches in overall diameter, 12.32-inches wide, embody a 2,601-pound load carrying capacity and come with 6.3/32-inches of tread depth. Each tire also tips the scales at a weight-saving 38.5 pounds.
Perfect for Any High-Powered Street Car, Truck or SUV
With its competition-engineered sidewall, plenty of contact patch, great tread wear characteristics and the uniformity Nitto tires are known for, it’s easy to see why the NT555RII is a hit so far. For the weekend warrior, it’s the perfect drag radial—there is no need to change anything when going from daily driver to track mode. The days of swapping wheels and tires at the drag strip are over…and you can leave the truck and trailer at home, too.