while driving a
Nissan GT R
(305/35 R20 W) on
a combination of roads
Cup2R takes everything great about the Cup2 and makes it better for the purpose you buy them for, extracting the performance out your car.
Make no mistake, this is a DRY day tyre, if you are using them in damp to wet conditions then extra caution is advised. It isn't the worst wet tyre I've ever driven in that it wont try to kill you if someone sneezes on the road 100 yards ahead, but the extremely shallow and narrow tread pattern lend no help in water dissipation and drivers need to be aware of this.
So onto the good, and, oh boy are these good.
After getting them fitted I made a few distance journeys to scrub them in, but right from the first couple of miles you could tell they were grippy. I resisted the urge to really give them a hammering for around 400 miles, but on my way back from a business meeting I took the back roads rather than motorway driving, a mix of long sweeping corners, some tight and twisty country roads and some dual carriageways. As with any performance tyre they need a bit of heat in them, soon after a few miles of spirited driving I opened up the taps and started making some time. The grip on the roads is insane, the confidence they give you is almost a sense of impunity, the feedback is spot on and the inputs to the steering wheel are delivered in an extremely precise and accurate manner. Every now and then I'd catch myself looking at the speed I went around a corner and wonder how come I'm still looking at a road instead of the various farm life living in the fields running alongside the route I was taking. Seriously impressive stuff.
Road driving in the dry 10/10.
The following weekend I had a day at silverstone, a circuit the GTR loves due to the ability to put that power down. As as above, the tyres loved it, they got upto temperature quickly and after a quick pit stop to adjust the pressures I went out for some laps. It was a quiet day out on track so I did 5-6 laps flat out, and from the get go they were incredible, I was braking later and getting on the power earlier than many of the other cars out there, a couple of other GTR drivers on R888Rs tyres were blown away by how much confidence I had in them. The only tyre I could imagine being a contender for the Cup2R would be the Trofeo R tyre.
Track Driving in the dry 10/10.
Now the "not so good", and I've put that in quotes because if you are buying this tyre you aren't buying them to go on for any other than performance reasons. As with any race-oriented tyre (and this is a, barely, road legal race tyre), the noise is noticeable, and these are a notch noisier then the Cup2, but no where near as bad as the R888.
The comfort is again on par with the Cup2, probably slightly less comfortable, but not to any degree a few clicks off the suspension settings dont compensate for.
The wear is fantastic, and despite several track days, and being my daily driver, still has plenty of life left.
In the wet....
Oh this is where I have to get a bit negative. I booked a day at Donnington and unfortunately, it was raining. Undeterred I went out for a few laps, and they sure were interesting... unfortunately in the wet these tyres are noticeably worse than their predecessor. I was unable to get any real power down, and when they did find purchase it was short lived. The craner curves went from being a flat out incredible bit of track to being a rollercoaster of pure terror as to if you were just going to slide off on the directional shifts. Even as the track started to dry off in the afternoon, the lack of ability was palpable, while those other GTR drivers on the MPS4S tyres were happily pounding around track, I resigned myself to getting some snaps and videos of their cars.
Wet Track driving 1/10.
The drive home in the wet was equally disappointing, puddles on the road looked like lakes, and any standing water unsettled the car considerably. I can usually make it to Donnington or back inside an hour from my house, the drive home took a good hour and a half. Having said that, I have driven worse, so in a pinch they will do if you have no alternatives.
Wet Road driving 3/10.
All in all, to finish this up with a TLDR:
If you are going to buy these tyres, then you will be buying them for one reason, going fast in the dry. You aren't buying these to be a long lasting 30,000 mile cruise around Europe tyre, they come with all the benefits and the pitfalls that can be expected from a near-slick tyre. The price is a little steep currently, but hopefully once they get production into full swing that will come down. The wear for such a tyre is fantastic and the general ride comfort is easily acceptable for the trade off in performance. As long as you set your expectations in the wet, I would find it difficult to criticize them for not performing amazingly in conditions they weren't designed to be used in.
Will I buy them again? Hell yes, a set of MPS4S are coming now we are getting to the cold end of the year, but soon as it starts warming up a set of these will be back on for 2019's adventures!