“So, what’d you think?” asks Andrew Comrie-Picard after I finish a wet autocross run at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, in a Volkswagen GTI that’s been fitted with BFGoodrich’s new g-Force Sport Comp-2 ultra-high-performance street tires.
“It’s an interesting comparison,” I mutter. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to say next, but I figure my vague response buys me a few seconds to come up with a more substantial answer to his question.
See, talking tires with ACP is like discussing lingerie with Joanna Krupa: your opinion couldn’t matter less. A number of other journalists and I were invited by BFGoodrich to weigh in on the Comp-2’s performance, but how could our input matter when the company could rely on ACP for feedback? I’d watched him compete in his Scion xD at the Sno*Drift Rally in Michigan a couple days before I landed at LAX. He throttled through snow-covered corners in his front-wheel-drive rally car and stayed at the front of the pack all weekend.
Still, I have to try saying something of value. “I don’t know if it’s in a league of its own, but the g-Force Sport Comp-2 definitely hangs on in the wet,” I say. Comrie-Picard takes a second and agrees that one of the competitive tires seems "willowy” on the watered-down course. Hey! Maybe I do have something to bring to the table.
Or maybe I simply have good ears. I’ve just spent my morning listening to Andy Koury, brand category manager for BFGoodrich’s ultra-high-performance rubber, claimed that the new Comp-2’s will help a car “accelerate faster, corner harder, and brake shorter” than the competition. He had elaborate charts and graphs that showed a 33-percent improvement in the Comp-2’s damp autocross abilities over the outgoing g-Force tire.
Can I vouch for any improvement? No, because I don’t get to compare the new tire to its predecessor.
But I know someone who has. Woody Rogers, product information specialist at Tire Rack, had the chance to drive the Comp-2 side-by-side with BFGoodrich’s original g-Force tire. “From my lap data and seat of the pants, BFG’s claimed gains of the Comp-2 over the original appear pretty accurate, and the difference in the wet between old and new is significant,” says Rogers. The fact I don’t spin, hit a single cone, or maim my driving instructor during my first time out on a wet track supports Tire Rack’s expert opinion.
Later, I’m behind the wheel of a Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 for a braking test. The BFGoodrich rubber helps stop the car 4.7 feet shorter than a competitor’s tire does.
We move on to dry autocross and road-course laps, where it’s harder to decipher small discrepancies among different tires. On breakaway, I find the Comp-2’s quick recovery notable. BFGoodrich says this is because of the tire’s silica-infused compound and sturdy sidewall construction. If you say so…
The test day ends when food trucks pull into the speedway parking lot. As I sit and eat my “Yum Yum Lamb Sandwich” from The Lime Truck, I think about the Comp-2.
Here’s what I should’ve told ACP earlier: The Comp-2 is a sticky tire meant for the street. Plenty of other tire companies offer products with comparable performance. Pick from Kumho’s Ecsta SPT, Dunlop’s Direzza, Yokohama’s S.drive, this Comp-2, or a similar summer tire, and you’re looking at about $650 to $750 for a set of four. The market for grippy wheel-wrapping rubber is flooded with good choices, and the g-Force Sport Comp-2 is certainly one of them.