Why Performance Tires Are So Important to Performance Oriented Vehicles: NT555 G2 Tire Review
If you're into getting the best performance out of your vehicle, you have to have good tires. Period. It doesn't matter if your car has 1000hp or 100hp, if your wheels are spinning all the time, it's probably a good idea to check your tires for age, wear and hardness, and then upgrade to an ultra high performance tire like Nitto's NT555 G2.
Take it from someone who has kept old, hard rubber on their car for far too long—I had an old set of tires on my 1973 Mustang Mach 1 for over 15 years because, at the time, I rarely drove it. A few years ago I resurrected it for the umpteenth time, with the intention of driving it on a regular basis and getting back into drag racing. I knew my old tires had hardened with age because it was far easier to break the tires loose off the line and it would spin the tires with every hard gear shift, and I had not made any significant power gains. The biggest indicator that the tires were no longer performing as intended was the fact that the tires started to "chunk" after burnouts: meaning chunks of the treads would come off. I could put it off no longer, it was nigh time for a set of new, high performance tires if I wanted to use my V8's power in any kind of spirited driving.
Straight Line Speed
Let me put this in extremely clear language: there's no point to having a performance car on crappy tires. When I finally bit the bullet and purchased the new ultra high performance NT555 G2 tires for all four corners of my Mustang, I couldn't believe how much faster my car was of the line, and now instead of spinning the tires when shifting it now "chirped" the tires. Plus, burnouts didn't destroy the tire and I no longer experienced any "chunking" tire disintegration. My car was now functioning as it should, but in addition to the problems the new tire solved, they actually did even more for the performance of my car that I didn't anticipate.
The better compound of the NT555 G2 tire versus my old set not only improved acceleration, but it also improved deceleration. Where the old tires would lock up in hard braking situations, the new tires brought me to a stop quicker and without loss of control. Granted, I didn't do a skid pad braking test, but the improvement was completely obvious to someone with a lot of seat time in the car.
Handling Improved, Too
While the majority of my concern was straight line speed, another benefit I didn't anticipate was general handling. The car gripped in the corners like never before (I am not exaggerating here), and I was able to get on the throttle much earlier without fishtailing through a turn.
I'm not talking about ugly sweaters or fashion here—the wear on the tires after about 1000 miles has been minimal, and I have not been easy on them by any means.
I've done countless burnouts in the car with the new tires, driven it all over town and a few surrounding cities, was occasionally commuting to work in it, and competed in our Driver Battle series that included multiple trips down the eight-mile drag strip in Irwindale (and numerous smoky burnouts to prep the tires for racing). After a long day at the track and all the hard driving they're performing as if they were new, still.
But, How Do They Look?
In a word, great. The tires certainly don't look brand new anymore, but they look a million times better than the old tires. They fit with the theme of the vehicle (restomod), and aren't super low profile so you still get that "meaty rubber" look that, in my opinion, is key to muscle car appearance.
Plus, the NT555 G2 comes in a variety of staggered sizes that are common with both vintage and modern muscle cars. The tread pattern is aggressive and contemporary, and for American muscle car owners where American-made makes a difference, the tires are made in the USA.
If your performance oriented vehicle has been sitting on the same tires for ten years or more, I implore you to get new tires immediately. If you're sporting budget tires designed for high-mileage on your hot rod, muscle car, or sports car—you're wasting your vehicle's performance. Do yourself a favor and get a set of NT555 G2s.