Mustang Tire Comparison: Continental, Goodyear, and BFGoodrich

Top Tire Contenders Put to the Test

Photo © Jonathan P. Lamas

Tires are the conduit through which your Mustang’s power reaches the pavement. If poorly designed, tires can impact ride quality, fuel economy, and the performance characteristics of your car. Even worse, they can get you into some serious trouble when you're out there behind the wheel. That said, back in 2009 I spent a day at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. testing out several performance tires for the Ford Mustang.

This included Continental’s new ExtremeContact DW and DWS tires as well as Goodyear Eagle F1 all-season tires. I also compared these tires to my daily driver Mustang’s BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDWS tires. In all, the tests included:

  • Dry Handling
  • Wet Test
  • Oval
  • Road Course - Time Attack Style
  • Road Test

What follows are my findings after testing each tire in the specified conditions.

Dry Handling

This test was conducted on a coned-off road course set up in a parking lot at the Auto Club Speedway. Using several 2008 Ford Mustang GTs, I drove aggressively around the course for a total of three laps on each set of tires. The asphalt pavement was dry with no moisture present. The most impressive tire used on this course was the Continental ExtremeContact DWs. Let me explain. Although the Goodyear Eagle F1 tires provided more initial grip than the DWs, Continental’s tires provided more control during a spinout, allowing me to successfully regain control of the car.

When the Goodyear Eagle’s F1 tires lost their grip, it was all over. I had an extremely difficult time regaining control. That said I really had to push the car hard to make the Goodyear tires lose their grip. Still, I found Continental’s tires to be a better overall deal in this category. The folks at Continental told me, "The tires feature chamfered edges and a solid outer shoulder to enhance dry performance." As for my BFGoodrich tires, they provided solid grip with impressive recovery characteristics.

I’d rank the BFGoodrich tires slightly below the Goodyear Eagle in dry performance.

Winner: Continental ExtremeContact DWS

2nd Place: Goodyear Eagle F1

3rd Place: BFGoodrich g-Force

Wet Test

This test was conducted on a separate coned-off road course set up in a parking lot at the Auto Club Speedway. Trucks were brought in to add water to the asphalt, keeping the surface slick, with puddles in some spots and a few dry patches in others.

Using several 2008 Mustang GT test cars, I drove aggressively through the road course for a total of three laps on each set of tires. When it comes to grip, the Goodyear Eagle F1 tires performed best, followed by the ExtremeContact DW tires, then the BFGoodrich g-Force tires.

In all, the differences in grip were minimal, although I experienced less slippage with the Goodyear Eagles. The Goodyear tires feature carved Aquachutes which work to direct rain away from between the tread and the road. This is designed to reduce hydroplaning and enhances traction. The Continental ExtremeContact tires resulted in one spin out, although recovery required minimal effort. The BFGoodrich g-Force tires showed more of a decrease in grip on wet surfaces than the other two tires.

Winner: Goodyear Eagle F1

2nd place: Continental ExtremeContact DWS

3rd Place: BFGoodrich g-Force

 

Oval

This test was conducted on the 2-mile Fontana oval at the Auto Club Speedway. This is the same track used in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series. I noticed very little fade in performance of the ExtremeContact DW tires even after running quite a few laps around the track at speeds in excess of 100 mph. No doubt, the Continental tires left me feeling confident, which is extremely important when you’re barreling down that back straightaway with your foot to the floor.

Continental says, "The tires utilize dynamic temperature distribution which reduces distortion for enhanced energy delivery, lower rolling resistance, and improved tread-life."

Unfortunately, there was no clear winner in this category. The Continental ExtremeContact tires had just as much staying power at the Goodyear Eagles and the BFGoodrich g-Force tires.

All of the tires were impressive. Of note, this track was used to test the endurance characteristics of these tires at high speeds. The Fontana oval did not require continual braking or hard cornering. I saved that for the Time Attack Style Road Course.

Winner: All tires performed equally well

Road Course - Time Attack Style

This test was conducted at the Auto Club Speedway’s Road Course which resides in the infield. It is made up of 13 turns for a total of 1.45 miles per lap. This test allowed me to put the tires to the test in extreme driving conditions. This included high-speed cornering, heavy braking, and overall endurance.

While many tires begin to fade after several laps of hard driving, the Continental ExtremeContact tires held on to their grip.

No matter what I served up (and believe me I was pretty abusive at times), the tires continued to impress. The clear winner here was the Continental tires. Next up was the Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, followed by BFGoodrich tires. As can be expected, the Goodyear Eagle and BFGoodrich tires began to fade on me after numerous laps of hard driving. After 20 laps on the Continental tires, I felt no significant reduction in traction during cornering or acceleration. Impressive to say the least.

Winner: Continental ExtremeContact DW

2nd Place: Goodyear Eagle F1

3rd Place: BFGoodrich g-Force

 

Road Test

The road test was conducted on public streets surrounding the Auto Club Speedway. Road conditions varied, from smooth surfaces all the way to areas with rough patches and pot holes. I used this test to determine road noise and overall interior comfort when riding on these tires.

My favorite tire out of the bunch was the BFGoodrich g-Force tires, followed by the Continental ExtremeContact DWS and the Goodyear Eagle F1.

I use BFGoodrich tires on a daily basis and admire them for their versatility. The Continental tires provided minimal road noise as well, resulting in a nice ride overall. The Goodyear Eagle tires emitted a bit more road noise than the other two tires. In all, each tire makes for a quality ride on public streets.

Winner: BFGoodrich g-Force

2nd Place: Continental ExtremeContact DWS

3rd Place: Goodyear Eagle F1

Overall

As my day of testing came to an end, I walked away from my test car with a better understanding of these three performance tires. Although I noticed clear winners in almost every category tested, all of these tires are worthy of being mounted on a performance Ford Mustang. The perfect tire for you depends on what you’re looking for.

When it comes to the Continental ExtremeContact tire, I found this tire capable of offering up extreme performance in a variety of different driving conditions.

This is great if you're a true road warrior. Pricing has yet to be released for this new tire. I found the Goodyear Eagles to be a good overall performance tire which is great if you enjoy driving your Mustang hard, but be prepared to pay the price. These tires are priced upwards of $180 a piece. Lastly, I believe the BFGoodrich g-Force tires, which go for around $130 a piece, are a great all around deal. That’s probably why I use them on my daily driver Mustang. It’s likely the same reason Ford offered these tires as standard equipment on some of their Mustangs.

The Tires

BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDWS
(Ultra High Performance All-Season)
Estimated Price: $131
The g-Force T/A KDWS (Key benefits: Dry, Wet and Snow) is BFGoodrich's Ultra High Performance All-Season tire developed for sports cars, sporty coupes and high performance sedans. The g-Force T/A KDWS is designed to provide performance driving fun year-round, even in light snow.

Continental ExtremeContact DW and DWS
(Ultra-High Performance and Ultra-High Performance All-Season)
Estimated Price: $125+
The ExtremeContact DW is the ultra-high performance tire featuring new technology to deliver extreme levels of performance on both wet and dry roads, while still maintaining excellent ride comfort and improved gas mileage.

The ExtremeContact DWS is Continental’s fine-tuned, ultra-high performance all-season tire.

Goodyear Eagle F1 All Season
(Ultra High Performance All-Season)
Estimated Price: $180
The Eagle F1 All Season featuring Carbon Fiber Technology is Goodyear's Ultra High Performance All-Season tire designed to give sports car, sporty coupe and performance sedan drivers piece of mind in virtually any weather condition. It was developed to combine crisp responsiveness and confident handling with year-round traction, including in light snow.