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What are Performance Tires?

Performance tires give sports car owners better traction and handling response than traditional tires, especially in wet conditions. They are the key to delivering an exhilarating experience for sports car drivers. Performance tires have unique tread patterns as well as rubber compounds that enhance precision, traction, and responsiveness. More people are becoming aware of the benefits of performance tires as sales for them have been steadily increasing year after year.

Are performance tires right for my vehicle?

Consider what your priorities are when you are behind the wheel if you are unsure whether performance tires are right for you. Different drivers want different things from their vehicle, and the type of tires you choose will determine how your car drives. Performance tires might be right for you if you:

  • Do not mind losing some ride comfort, gas mileage, and tire lifespan to gain better control on the road
  • Are looking to improve your vehicle’s responsiveness and grip and want precise handling abilities
  • Want a heightened driving experience and do not want to simply get from point A to point B

Speed Ratings

Letters are used to assign a speed rating for a tire. It is determined by standardized lab tests and were initially used for sports cars from Europe where some roads do not have speed limits. Just as the top speed of your speedometer is not a permission slip to speed, neither is the speed rating on performance tires. You should never drive faster than the posted speed limits or in an unsafe matter no matter what type of vehicle you drive.

While there is no industry standard to speed ratings, typically performance tires are rated as H, V, W, or Y. Buyers typically notice that:

  • Performance tires usually have a speed rating of H, which is up to 200 km/h and could include winter tires for high-performance vehicles
  • Tires with a speed rating of H to V, which is up to 240 km/h are typically high-performance all-season tires
  • All-season and summer versions of ultra high-performance tires usually have speed ratings between V to Y, which is up to 300 km/h

You can check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find out what speed rating is recommended for your car. This information may also be on the driver’s side door jamb as an affixed label.


To select the right performance tires for your vehicle, consider these tips:

  • All four tires should have the same speed rating
  • Ensure the tires meet your vehicle’s manufacturer’s recommendations
  • Speed ratings are based on lab tests that are conducted under tightly controlled conditions. Road conditions will likely be different than those found in a lab

No matter how fast or sleek your car is, it will not perform at its peak without tires that are up to the job. The tire experts at 416 Wheels and Tires can help you pick the right performance tires for your vehicle. Call us today to book an appointment or to find out more about how performance tires can improve your ride.