Nankang AR 1

The Nankang AR 1 is a Trackday and Competition Summer tyre designed to be fitted to Passenger Cars.

Tyre Reviews

Dry Grip 91%
Wet Grip 47%
Road Feedback 86%
Handling 89%
Wear 75%
Comfort 68%
Buy again 87%

Tyre review data from 29 tyre reviews averaging 77% over 58,491 miles driven.

The AR 1 is ranked 16th of 29 Summer Trackday and Competition tyres.

Latest Tyre Test Results

2022 Sport Auto UHP, UUHP and Semi Slick Tyre Test - 1st of 10 tyres

  • Positive - Race tyre typical, rather soft turn in, high level of grip dependant on temperature, understeer balance which is easy to control.
  • Negative - Critical handling and high aquaplaning in the wet, very loud noise and vibrations.
  • Overall - The slick like Nankang AR-1 is top on track, but nothing for the street, and loud as hell.
View Full Test >>

Size Fuel Wet Noise Weight
235/45 R13 91V XL   E E 72  
235/45 R13 87V   F E 71  
175/50 R13 72V          
175/50 R13 72V   X X    
185/60 R13 80V   E F 71  
205/60 R13 86V   E E 72  
205/60 R13 86V   E F 70  
185/60 R14 82V   E F 70  
245/40 R15 88W XL   F E 71  
225/45 R15 87W   E F 71  
195/50 R15 82V   F E 70  
195/50 R15 82V   E E 72  
205/50 R15 86W   F E 71  
205/45 R16 83W   F E 71  
225/45 R16 89W   F E 71  
225/45 R16 93W XL   E E 72  
195/50 R16 88W   E E 72  
195/50 R16 84W   F E 70  
205/40 R17 80W   E E 72  
205/40 R17 80W   F E 71  
215/40 R17 87W XL   E E 72  
215/40 R17 83W   F E 71  
235/40 R17 94W XL   E E 72  
235/40 R17 90W   F E 71  
245/40 R17 91W   E F 71  
255/40 R17 98W XL   E E 73  
215/45 R17 87W   F E 71  
215/45 R17 91W XL   E E 72  
225/45 R17 94W XL   F E 72  
235/45 R17 97Y XL   F E 72  
235/45 R17 97Y XL   E E 72  
295/30 R18 98Y XL   F E 75  
295/30 R18 98Y XL   E E 74  
315/30 R18 98Y XL   E E 74  
255/35 R18 90Y   E F 71  
255/35 R18 94Y XL   E E 73  
265/35 R18 97Y XL   E E 73  
265/35 R18 97Y   E E 73  
275/35 R18 99Y XL   E E 73  
225/40 R18 92Y XL   F E 72  
225/40 R18 92Y XL   E E 72  
235/40 R18 95Y XL   E F 71  
245/40 R18 93Y   E F 71  
305/30 R19 102Y XL   E E 74  
235/35 R19 91Y XL   E E 72  
265/35 R19 98Y XL   E E 73  
275/35 R19 100Y XL   E E 73  
305/30 R20 103Y XL   E E 74  
305/30 R20 103Y XL   F E 75  
245/35 R20 95Y XL   E E 72  
265/35 R20 99Y XL   F E 74  
265/35 R20 99Y XL   E E 73  
285/35 R20 104Y XL   E E 74  

Questions and Answers for the Nankang AR 1

2019-09-27 - It would be great to have a big review on track tyres with this tyre + all other semi slicks/track tyres like the Michelin PS Cup 2, Toyo R888, Federals and so on!

Definitely working on it!


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Top 3 Nankang AR 1 Reviews

Given 73% while driving a BMW M3 (265/35 R18) on track for 150 spirited miles
I got a set of four 265/35/18 tyres for track use and first got a chance to test them last week at Bedford on the GT Circuit. It was my first time on track tyres and since my last track day, I'd also got HSD Monopro coilovers, with professional geometry, corner weighting, and a full alignment.

To say that the new setup made a difference would be the understatement of the century. I'm glad I have bucket seats, as otherwise I'd have fallen off my seat round every corner. The tyres felt predictable, gave good feedback, and were quite progressive on the limit. While learning the circuit and getting the feel for the limit, I went sideways quite a lot, and it was FUN! However, I didn't but these to go sideways, obviously, I wanted to be fast. During the whole track day, the only car to pass me was another e46 M3, which was fully track prepped, stripped to the shell with a cage, Nitron coilvers, BBK, and Toyo R888R tyres. He was 3 seconds a lap quicker than my 2min : 52sec best.

I'll definitely buy these again when the time comes.
Helpful 100 - tyre reviewed on May 24, 2016
Given 50% while driving a Lotus Elan S2 (225/60 R13) on a combination of roads for 240 spirited miles
Sidewalls are sponge, inaccurate tactile grip sensing due to excessive sidewall flex at any pressures.
Helpful 71 - tyre reviewed on May 18, 2019
Given 34% while driving a Toyota GT86 (265/35 R18 W) on track for 200 spirited miles
Very surprised to see so many positive reviews. I mean, yeah it's cheap, so I understand the good rating, considering the aspect of bang for buck. But some reviews stated it's a superb tire in absolute terms. IMHO, it isn't. It's a cheap and slow tire, not a cheap and A050 fast tire.

I've never managed to get a close time to A050 GS with this tire. It's not even in the same league, since it was always slower A052 by a good margin. It's more like a RE-71R class tire in terms of lap time on proper tracks, and it's not even one of the fast tire in that group too (it's one of the slow one)! So you can't really expect to get some lap times of proper semi slicks (like A050, 03g). Also, this tire is very heavy in all sizes (which may explain why it's so slow). There are only two good things about this tire in absolute term I can think of, which are its price and sidewall strength.

These are very cheap in Japan (less than half of RE-71R or less than 1/3 of A052), so it makes sense in Japan (or anywhere else with that big difference in the price tag). However, in some countries, AR-1 is priced pretty close to RE-71R or ZIII (or slightly pricier than R-S4). In that case, I think the tire makes no sense to buy these tire, since it effectively becomes a slower AND more expensive AND shorter life tire. If it's dirt cheap, adjust your expectation and you'll be fine.
Helpful 46 - tyre reviewed on February 7, 2019
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Latest Nankang AR 1 Reviews

Porsche 911 992 GT3 (225/45 R17) on track for 500 spirited miles
Has anyone else experienced explosive detonation like some one hit you and popped the car into the air with these AR1tires from Nankang? I experienced this just after turning in at a high speed corner of the nordschliefe at Nürburg. Needless to say at 100 mph entering this turn in a 992 GT3 it was quite frightening. Luckily escaped without damage to car or injury but a 100 mph off in this corner can be deadly so watch out if using these for multiple hot laps. No mechanical damage or failure was found and the car is brand new practically.
Helpful 1 - tyre reviewed on July 16, 2022
Given 76% while driving a Mazda MX5 (205/50 R15) on track for 500 spirited miles
These replaced outgoing R888R’s. Initially feel is they warm up very quickly which is great, very responsive on the turn in but felt a bit more understeer than I got with the Toyo’s. Feedback through steering wheel is great and can feel where the car is at all time. Outright grip I’d say initially Toyo seems better BUT I’ve only put about 500 miles on them and a travkday at abingdon which is very poor tarmac/concrete surface so not a fair test. Would I buy again? I’ll have to do another 2 or 3 trackdays on them as the Toyo’s gave me around 5000 road miles and 3 trackdays (averaging around 200 miles driving each trackday). But initially I’d say yes.
Helpful 2 - tyre reviewed on June 26, 2022
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Given 76% while driving a Lotus Elise (225/45 R17) on mostly country roads for 1,500 spirited miles
prefer them to the Toyo R888R's I had before. Less tramlining and similar to more grip and more confidence in it's abilities.
Helpful 5 - tyre reviewed on October 18, 2021
Given 70% while driving a Mazda MX5 2.0 SE (ND 2015 onwards) (215/45 R17) on track for 2,000 spirited miles
these are trackday tyres and i use them only on track or transfers from home to track. the grip is great, even better than Toyo R888R i have used before, consistent performance lap after lap. cornering speed is great! on wet surface it is better to stay at home or cruise at low speed. street usability is fine as long as you use them for short distances, you can feel every pothole, even the smallest my car is a 2016 Mazda MX-5 with no mods other than Tein dampers
Helpful 2 - tyre reviewed on October 15, 2021
Given 63% while driving a Toyota GR Yaris (255/35 R18) on track for 200 spirited miles
Would be really nice to get a comparison of Semi Slicks. Drove the AR1 two times now on the GR Yaris and the Cup2 previously on the M2. Was not so impressed with the Cup2s overall. Going from stock PS4S 225/40 18 to AR1 in 255/35 18 (-3 camber in the front) is a different world. But wear is pretty high. Would be nice to see how they stack up versus other Semi slicks, like 888R, Federals or Yokohams or even slicks. There really is no up to date semi slicks track test. Tire sizes could differ from the spec sheet... what matters more is the real width in MM... i.e. Cup2s 255s are much wider then AR-1 255s etc. What matters more for track is what's available and what fits. Thanks for all the great work. Enjoying the channel :)
Helpful 25 - tyre reviewed on October 12, 2021
Renault (225/45 R17) on track for 0 spirited miles
We run a proffesional motorsport team in terms of how it operated and amatuer in terms of the FIA motorsport coffee drinking, price increasing stamp duty dudes. Our car is Renault Twingo R2 EVO homalated fromt RS133 Apart from the shell of cup there is not much cariierd over from the cup rs133. The dry weight is 650 kg but ballasted to 1250 for FIA event @ 205 HP @ 2WD Front. We have spent alot of time on tyres and suspension and we very inpressed with these tyres and that of the Toyo R888R. The Nankings A1 do have the edge on the track where as Toyo R888R have the edge on the country roads We run a full coil over Ohlins kit weighted and balanced. The A1 are perfect for track days and offer a super glue grip but they need a bit of suspension set up and fixed suspension systems will not release the full potential of the the tyre. A perfect track for testing a car setup is Cadwell Park. In regards to price they are well priced for what they offer We do pre heat them to what we feel is best on the day and tyre pressure is critical for these tyres. In regards to comment of they cheap tyres, well when your using 2 or 3 sets a weekend it can be costly tyre. If your really chasing points and seconds then these would be ok but you would be better of with the Perrelli RK5 tyre compound. As I tell my kids who drive the R2- As driver we can set it up the best we can but you have to learn to drive it into its limits. Feed back from the tyres are good unlike the scary R888R that seem to stick like glue but then let go in rapido mode.
Helpful 8 - tyre reviewed on March 15, 2021
Given 92% while driving a Honda FK2 type r (235/35 R19) on track for 0 spirited miles
Ecxcellent grip on dry weather
Helpful 11 - tyre reviewed on July 16, 2020
Given 78% while driving a Porsche 987 Boxster S (275/35 R18) on track for 0 spirited miles
Been tracking a 944 and a Boxster for years. Both cars highly modified for track work. I just want to have fun and buy whatever r-comps or similar that are on sale. Had sets of re71r’s, Toyota r888r’s, nitto nt01’s. Then saw nangang ar1s on sale. Wow!, as much or more grip as all the above and unlike a review above, I Did not find the tires going any greasier earlier than the others. If you overdrive your car, a specially if it’s heavy, ALL tires will get greasy. And I got more track sessions out of AR1 than any of the above, except Maby the nitto’s. Super tire
Helpful 6 - tyre reviewed on July 1, 2020
Given 90% while driving a BMW 328i Coupe (235/40 R17) on for 3,000 miles
I bought this tires set for my E36 328i and mainly used this tires on track, sometimes daily commute to work if I feel lucky ;) So far, this tires is simple excellent on the track. Great feedback, turn in sharp. It will tell you once it is at its limit. Even if you slightly oversteer, it will grip back as long as you have are sensitive on gas pedal. I managed to cut down 3 seconds from 47s to 44s on one of the local track and around 5s from 1.31s to 1.26s on another local track (worth to mention that also my previous tires is just summer performance tires RE003 - but it is still a really good one). Once it is at the right temperature, it grips like shit on toilet. One more thing I really like from this tires is that it only take 1 2 turns to warm up, so you can go pretty much all in right from the beginning. My car is 1300kg so normally I start at 28 psi cold and usually ends up at around 34-35 psi.

Daily drive, it is super noisy. But it is semi-slick so you can't complain much about it. Tires make the whole car feels heavy - yes this tires is super heavy.

Also, I like the tread pattern design.
Helpful 16 - tyre reviewed on November 29, 2019
Given 57% while driving a BMW M3 (295/30 R18) on track for 1,000 miles
Like others said in other reviews
I ve used 3sets of Nankang AR1 brefore i write this review on F80 M3 with 490RWHP set up.
My sizes were 265 35 18 front and 295 30 18 rear.
The only problem with AR1 is that it starts to get heat soaked pretty quick for a semi slick tire. You will have to cool down after a consecutive attack, if not it has tendency to become very greasy.

It doesnt last that long obviously but It does provide more grip than most of Extreme summer tires.

If you are limited on tire expense,i would go with something that lasts a little longer.
However if you are not limited, AR1 will provide more DRY grip for a limited time.

Break away characteristic is adequate. I would say it is on the liniar progressive side.

Helpful 11 - tyre reviewed on November 24, 2019
Given 76% while driving a Subaru Impreza WRX STI (225/45 R17) on track for 200 miles
Very strong grip, one of the best semi-slick tire on the market I ‘ve tried (dry road)
Take one turn to warm it
Use at 29 psi hot tire pressure
I recommend it for sure and I will buy it again


Didn’t try on the wet but I won’t recommend
Helpful 7 - tyre reviewed on November 3, 2019
Given 70% while driving a Datsun 180B (225/45 R17) on for 5 average miles
Loved these tyres on the dry racetrack. Grip, wear and speed were good. But...It started to shower for a short time, as I rolled out for the last race. After four 180-360 degree violent spin-outs mid-corner during 3 laps, I retired vowing not to do that again. Only going 3/4 speed and with absolutely no warning. Talked to my retailer next day about the weird tread pattern which seems to push water towards the centre of one front tyre. Tyres are identical with "outside " written on one side... which causes one tread to be opposite of the other ie the "V" pointing backwards on one of them. He too was befuddled. The Nankang rep just said to us what I knew already... "they are good in the dry... and not so good in the wet" sigh
Helpful 8 - tyre reviewed on August 15, 2019