As many of you may know, Steeda has a long-standing relationship with Nitto Tire – we run their tires on many of our street/strip cars and recently had the exciting opportunity to perform track-testing for their all new Nitto NT555 G2 tires at Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR).
We brought out two S550 Performance Pack GT’s with equal entry-level mods (Steeda springs, Steeda IRS subframe bushing support system, Steeda cold air intake, Steeda tune) to perform an apples-to-apples test comparing their existing NT555 tire to their all-new NT555 G2 tire.
This kind of testing solely reflects the capabilities of the tires, brakes, and suspension equipped on the vehicle. From a driver-standpoint, it’s imperative to ensure the brakes are hit at the same point on the track at the same speed with max pressure applied to the brake pedal. This technique allows the vehicle’s Anti-Lock Brake system to do its job at peak performance. Considering both vehicles were identical in brakes and suspension, the only variable left was the tires being used. Data we gathered shows the NT555 G2 stopping the car in 76.5’ from 60mph, which is far superior than the current generation NT555 at 96.75’. One thing that these numbers do not show is directional control while applying the brakes – the NT555 G2 had a much more confidence-inspiring feeling transmitted through the steering wheel while the brakes were applied.
The NT555 never inspired the high-level of confidence that the G2 did while turning into and exiting the corner. What we mean by that is, the G2 – when turning into a corner – transmitted a feeling of the tires gripping sooner than the NT555 by the vehicle actually turning. When the driver feels that the vehicle is now changing in the intended direction that the driver planned, then the driver can place their focus on the exit of the corner maximizing the speed to the next corner; it’s at this point that the driver usually applies throttle to begin the acceleration process. During the acceleration process out of the turn is when forward grip is imperative to achieving a good lap time. The G2 allowed us to not only apply more throttle input, but also had less slip while exiting the corner. When tires slip during exiting a corner, it is usually the rear tires on a rear wheel drive vehicle (such as the S550) resulting in oversteer. When the rear tires slip while coming out of a corner, they are no longer propelling the vehicle forward and instead usually the rear of the vehicle begins to slide in the opposite direction of the turn. If the tires are sliding, usually the driver has to react and either reduce the throttle, or alter the intended direction of the vehicle to compensate – neither of which help to reduce lap times. As we mentioned above, it is also worth noting that braking feel was considerably different between the NT555 vs G2. The G2 seemed to require less pedal pressure to achieve the same desired braking effect as the NT555 – this resulted in less weight transfer while under braking, and a more stabilized feeling while cornering the vehicle as the weight was not all transferred to the nose at turn-in or corner entry.
NT555 Key Benefits:
- compound that offers balance between tread wear and traction
- stable cornering due to reinforced tread blocks
- wide contact patch
NT555 G2 Key Benefits:
- cornering stability due to directional tread pattern
- increased wet traction performance
- increased braking performance
- wide contact patch
We’re really excited for the release of Nitto’s NT555 G2 line and highly recommend them for the S550! Here are some photos from the event!
Steeda – Speed Matters