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HomeClassic Car InvestTire Test: Is the value-priced X Comp H/P a 200tw contender? |...

Tire Test: Is the value-priced X Comp H/P a 200tw contender? | Articles

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What happens when you own a tire company and want some appropriate rubber for your own sports cars? You get it done. 

Since 1982, X Comp and its associated brands have been successfully building a variety of tires for a wide range of markets: tractor-trailers and golf carts, ATVs and off-road trucks. In 2016, the company entered the off-road motorsports arena …

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71RS

Fastest Lap: 1:20.4

On the Road: Very progressive steering response that’s strong on center. The stiff carcass transmits bumps, although the softer compound damps the finer impacts. Some drone, but for the performance, a minor concession.

On the Track: First lap out, we hit some traffic, but the second lap delivered a flyer that’s very indicative of the tire’s full potential. In fact, that lap was the fastest that car has ever lapped the FIRM. The Bridgestone delivered excellent grip, especially at off-corner power-up, a key ingredient for our 300-horsepower hot hatch.

Given those two hard push laps, the RE-71RS began to heat soak and lost some grip on subsequent circuits. Unlike our usual test mules, the GTI really punishes its front tires with big asks of cornering, braking and acceleration. It’s a heavy car with small wheel wells, meaning a bit too small of a footprint. With lap times now consistently upward of a full second slower, it was time to pit.

X Comp H/P

Fastest Lap: 1:23.5

On the Road: Similar to other Super 200s: Biased toward some hum with the occasional rock fling but the tradeoff is good steering feel that’s solid on center. When presented with a lot of road crown, a bit of pull.

On the Track: The X Comp delivered some fairly consistent laps, although heat built up throughout the exercise slowed our pace. The tire was simply not in the same ballpark as the Bridgestone, however, easily 3 seconds a lap slower. 

Data analysis showed similar braking distances between the two tires, but apex speed was much lower with the X Comp. More importantly, the Bridgestone could simply accelerate better off each corner–essentially, the RE-71RS allowed each straight to start sooner and at a higher speed. Now multiply that by each turn.

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71RS (retest)

Fastest Lap: 1:20.6

To verify that neither the driver nor track surface had changed significantly over the course of the day, we returned to the track on the RE-71RS to bracket our efforts. Off and on throughout the session, we encountered some traffic, but we used those laps as mini-cooldowns that allowed for more full-pace laps in between. The times shown are the clean laps, two of which are very close to our earlier best. Satisfied with the veracity of our data, we packed up.

What Did We Learn?

The X Comp isn’t a Super 200. It’s not going to win at Solo Nats. Based on pace, it’s clearly much more of an endurance-focused tire–still, even in that category, it ranks near the bottom. 

It is, however, a value-priced option for those seeking the larger sizes common on modern performance cars. Need to put sporty, value-priced tires on a later Mustang, Cayman or Camaro? This could be your bogey.



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