High Performance Tire Characteristics

  • Typically have aspect ratios of 60
  • Have an H speed rating
  • Provide improved traction and handling as compared to non-performance tires
  • Often provide all-season capabilities – but some are not built for snow and ice
  • Are generally less expensive than Ultra High Performance products

Ultra High Performance Tire Characteristics

  • Typically have aspect ratios of 55 or lower
  • Have speed ratings of V or above
  • Typically are designed for rim diameters of 16″ and above
  • Provide excellent traction, cornering and overall handling
  • Have stiffer sidewalls to maximize contact with the road during cornering
  • Not designed for snow and ice – although there are exceptions

Aspect Ratio

  • The aspect ratio is the section height of the tire divided by its section width
  • Low aspect ratio tires are wider and have shorter, stiffer sidewalls
  • Low aspect ratios deliver enhanced performance attributes such as hard cornering and improved handling
  • Low aspect ratio tires also impart a sporty, modern look

Example of Sidewall Markings:

  • P = passenger
  • 215 = section width (mm)
  • 45 = aspect ratio (section height/section width)
  • R = radial construction
  • 17 = rim diameter

Speed Rating

A tire with the proper speed rating is important for a vehicle’s overall performance capability.
When replacing a tire, always match or exceed the speed rating of the vehicle’s original equipment to preserve the performance capabilities of your vehicle.
A speed rating indicates the maximum speed at which a tire can perform based on controlled tests – but it does not sanction operating speeds beyond what’s permissible by law.
A speed rating is identified within an alphanumeric “service description” code.

Example of Service Description (load index + speed rating) 99H

99 = load index, equating to a max load carrying capacity of 1,709 lbs.
H = speed rating, indicating a maximum safe speed of 130 mph