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Getting Traction - Mickey Thompson UHP Street Tire
We try out the new Mickey Thompson UHP street tire, and it does not disappoint
Mickey Thompson Tires (MT) has long been known for its premium off-road and competition tires. Many street/strip Stangs wear MT drag radials, and we even use them for much of our dragstrip testing. But when it comes to high- performance street tires, our friends at MT haven't had an offering—at least not since the Competitor was discontinued in the mid-'90s.
With the recent release of its all-new Street Comp tire line, not only has it re-entered the market, but it rolled into town guns-a-blazin'. Simply put, these tires are freaking awesome. It's like the Mickey Thompson team read our minds on what we wanted out of an ultra high performance (UHP) street tire—excellent dry traction, good wet traction, and stunning good looks.
Let's go into what actually gives the Street Comp its edge. In the world of UHP tires, it seems that every tire company has its hand in the pot. In an effort to meet price-point criteria of the consumer, many sacrifice the tread design, performance, or treadwear ratings. With the Street Comp, none of those are sacrificed, nor is your checkbook. With a starting price of just $149.99, "you get Tier 1 performance at a Tier 2 price," says Jason Moulton of Mickey Thompson. Sizes range from 245/45R17 to 245/45R20, with more sizes coming in 2013.
"We have taken the best of the best performing UHP tires on the market and enhanced the design focusing on performance," says Moulton. "The asymmetric design, large elements, strategic groove placement, as well as wide grooves in the right location have improved wet and dry traction along with reduced heel/toe wear."
So to get our hands on a set as quickly as possible, we called our friends at www.americanmuscle.com. It has a slew of wheels, tires, and wheel/tire combos. And since it had one of the first shipments of the Street Comp in stock, we jumped on the opportunity. And to save us the hassle, AmericanMuscle wanted to throw in a set of its new AMR wheels, including mounting and balancing.
Since the charcoal finish is the most popular, we ordered up a set of those. Starting at just $149.99 each, these 18- or 19-inch wheels offer stylish looks without breaking the bank. Other color options include machined face, chrome, and black.
Brad Adler, our go-to videographer, offered up his '11 GT for the install. Since it's equipped with the Brembo brake package, we indicated that on our order. Our contact at AM ensured us that the 19-inch AMR wheels would have no problem clearing the Brembos. Sure enough, there was plenty of clearance, and the fitment was perfect—like it could've come that way from the factory.
But looks aren't everything. Our next stop was Auto Plus Raceway at Gainesville to test out the Street Comps. The 1.1-mile course is hard on tires, and we didn't give any mercy during testing. The result was a full-second improvement, even in poor weather, over the stock tires/wheels. Our 100-mile ride up to Gainesville was quiet and smooth, and on-track performance was equally impressive. Steering response was vastly improved, and is now quick and concise. And even after a couple of sessions, there was no sign of abnormal wear anywhere on the tires.