Michelin North America's all-new BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Comp-2 tire seems to have entered the market at exactly the right time.
The new g-Force Sport Comp-2 is geared toward all sports cars - import and domestic "American muscle," according to Michelin.
Domestic sports cars currently about even in market share with import performance cars are projected to become the majority beginning in 2014. OE wheel size growth figures show an increasing trend toward larger, 18- to 20-inch diameters through at least 2015. And the Z-rated tire segment is projected to double from 2006 to 2016, making up 8% of the total market at the end of that period, according to the tiremaker’s figures.
Taking all that into account, MNA’s new UHP offering under the BFGoodrich umbrella introduced at the end of January in back-to-back media and dealer events at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. is well-positioned for growth. The tire, which replaces 2004’s BFGoodrich g-Force Sport, brings improvements in wet and dry handling and grip thanks to advancements in compound technologies and an improved internal structure, according to Andy Koury, the BFG UHP brand manager.
And unlike the original g-Force Sport, which was geared toward dry handling and was primarily for tuner vehicles, the new tire’s attributes make it ideal for wet and dry handling for all sports cars import and domestic “American muscle,” the company said.
Andy Koury, the BFG UHP brand manager, reviews the features of the g-Force Sport Comp-2.
At the events, select media and dealers were invited to put the g-Force Sport Comp-2 through its paces in braking, wet and dry autocross and a road course, comparing the new tire to competing tires from Kumho, Yokohama and Hankook. In line with the BFG brand’s target consumer the “adrenaline junkie” the tires were fitted to a Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, Chevrolet Camaro 2SS, Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen GTI for the demonstrations.
“While the tread design remains the same, we simplified the sidewall for a ‘racing’ look,” said Koury. “The new g-Force Sport Comp-2 provides a sleek look and, of course, upgraded performance.”
According to the company, the new tire offers a 30% increase in wet grip and an 8% improvement in dry grip compared to its predecessor.
“Advancements in compounding technologies enabled us to achieve large improvements in traction in both wet and dry performances,” added Koury. “We added a high horsepower compound and also upgraded the internal tire suspension…We strengthened, optimized and evolved the suspension system to increase steering response, rigidity and control to handle the new advanced compound.”
According to the tiremaker, the 340AAA UTQG-rated tire also features shallow shoulder blocks for better feedback at the grip limit; a solid center rib for stability at highway speeds; a hooked tread design that provides biting edges for grip at any cornering angle; and an off-set shoulder groove to maximize tread contact.
The tire's tread includes a hooked design that provides biting edges for grip at any cornering angle, among other attributes.
The “performance racing core” consists of an improved internal structure for increased steering response and control, and a sidewall insert to support precise cornering with up to 40% higher sidewall-stiffening structure, MNA added.
Available for purchase April 1, the Comp-2 will initially launch in 46 V- and W-speed-rated sizes ranging from 15- to 20-inch wheel diameters. Twelve additional sizes will enter the market in September. At its launch, the g-Force Sport Comp-2 will offer 82% market coverage, according to Koury.
The BFGoodrich brand in general and the g-Force Sport Comp-2 in particular is geared toward what Koury refers to as the “adrenaline junkie,” typically younger (35 years old, on average), diverse males who are social trendsetters. These consumers want a high performance tire and often are willing to pay above average prices to get a set of tires that meets their needs, according to MNA. About 67% of consumers in this segment have a new car the most of any segment and consider themselves car enthusiasts.
“So a brand known for engineering excellence and racing is a plus for this segment of consumers,” Koury noted.
In addition to the January rollout, the company will take the g-Force Sport Comp-2 exhibit on a seven-stop tour to give dealers throughout the U.S. the chance to experience the tire, said Duane Thomas, brand communications manager.
MNA also will support the launch with a $50 Mastercard gift card rebate that will run April 9 through May 7, he added.
To see exclusive photos from this event, click here.