Avon ZZ5 tyre review
Earlier this year, Avon announced the release of their new flagship tyre, the ZZ5. With 50 years of motorsport experience and racing heritage in British GT and Formula 2, Avon are now pushing forward with a big drive in road tyre development.
Exclusively Y rated and available only in 18 and 19 inch, the manufacturer has focused on balancing performance between dry conditions and wear rates with an emphasis on maximum control in the wet.
The ZZ5 uses Avon's Intelligent Asymmetric Tread Design, allowing for optimum water clearance out of the central grooves and a wide outer shoulder for more confidence in cornering. Tested for tens of thousands of miles on differing surfaces, the Melksham produced tyre has responded well to aqua-planing, durability and noise tests.
So, how does it feel? Autoblog travelled to the Monteblanco circuit in Southern Spain to find out where new ZZ5 rubber was fitted to a fleet of Audi S5's.
Boasting a high FIA grading, the 2751m outer circuit has a mixture of fast with varying undulations and some tight apexes.
In the dry, the tyres coped well and gave excellent traction considering how keen the S5 is to understeer. Despite some four wheel drifts, the rigid side walls did well not to deteriorate and go spongey, even after a good eight laps on the limit.
Next up was the 1429m wet track. Jets had been spraying the surface, leaving large puddles of standing water and overtly slippery rumble strips.
It was here that the extra testing and development in the wet really showed.
The ZZ5 responded extremely well in the corners, with progressive braking and lateral grip. At no point did it feel like they were going to let go.
When turning in, the tyre communicated quickly, allowing you to push on earlier. Even in a slide, the stiff side walls help to catch at the track surface, enabling a fast recovery.
At speed, they gave plenty of feedback and I felt completely safe braking very late into corners.
Later in the day, when the temperature soared to 32 degrees, the cars started to suffer. Severe brake fade plagued the Audi on the now dry inner track, yet the ZZ5's were able to cope with being chucked into a corner at the expense of little to no braking at all.
Overall, then, this tyre is more than competent. It is clearly marketed to give the best communication and response, instilling high levels of confidence in driver ability, particularly in bad weather conditions.
With the likes of Kumho and Hankook stealing the limelight with the Ecsta KU19 and Optimo K415, Avon has now brought a worthy alternative to the table that can combine performance and safety.
Check out the gallery below to see more of the tyres in action: