BFGoodrich's original G-Force Sport Ultra High Performance summer tires have been a very well-regarded serious sport tire for quite a while now. They get excellent marks for top-notch performance in both dry and wet conditions. Now along comes the G-Force Sport Comp 2, and BFGoodrich naturally claims that it's even better. Well, of course they do. Who ever thought “Worse Than The Original!” would be a great marketing slogan?
- Sidewall inserts give great responsiveness.
- Stiffened structure means a wide, flat contact patch and major grip.
- Hugely fun to drive.
- I worry about potential wear pattern issues.
The Comp 2 in the name stands for Composition 2, BFGoodrich's silica-enhanced rubber compound, which they claim “gives better grip without sacrificing treadwear.” Silica-based compounds have been spreading like wildfire throughout the industry for just this reason. Grippy compounds tend to wear faster, but using silica as a filler material seems to act as a wear-retardant, making it possible to use grippier compounds without giving up treadwear.
Besides the grooves designed to evacuate water from under the tire, the G-Force Sport Comp 2 has an unusual pattern of sharply curved “hook” grooves molded into the tread. BFGoodrich claims that these “G-Hooks” provide biting edges at every possible tread angle to ensure grip no matter what forces are acting on the tire.
Performance Racing Core
BFGoodrich calls the internal structure of the Comp 2 the Performance Racing Core, or PRC. The PRC has three elements to it.
- Equal TEnsion Containment System
As in the original G-Force Sport, ETEC is a system of internal steel belts tightly spiral-wound with nylon cord to provide extra stability at high speeds.
- Dynamic Suspension System
Layers of stiffened rubber that help the tire keep a flat and rigid profile along the contact patch.
- G-Control Sidewall Inserts
Highly stiffened layers of rubber at the center of the sidewall and wrapped around the wire beads of the tire. The stiffened sidewalls provide quicker lateral response and more precise cornering.
Overall, these elements work together to square off the profile of the tire and make it more rigid, crating a very wide and flat contact patch. Combined with a grippy compound, the effect is to provide exceptional grip, stability and responsiveness. This makes for a tire that does not want to let go of the road.
I took the Comp 2's out four laps on a VW GTI at BFGoodrich's “Awesomecross” event on a night autocross track. They were an absolute blast to drive. Dry handling is excellent in all directions, and they handled both hard braking and the quick acceleration of the GTI with ease. Although four laps is not quite enough to get a complete picture of their handling, I was very impressed. I also had a chance to talk to several reviewers whose opinions I trust, who had been at the launch event that I missed, and driven the tires under a wider range of conditions. The consensus was very clear. These tires are considerably not worse than the originals.
My only real issue with the BFG Comp 2 is rather more potential than concrete. That is whether the extremely stiff casing and square profile of the tire will have a negative effect on things like treadwear and treadwear patterns. A flat contact patch doesn't always mean even wear, and squared-off shoulders can lead to irregular wear on the tread edges. I don't know that this would be the case, but it's my job to worry about these things.
The Bottom Line:
The BFG Comp 2's are definitely weapons of mass distraction. They're going to do best on cars that can take advantage of the outer limits of their performance envelope. So unless you go to work at a motor speedway, these are not your daily drivers. These tires are for the autocross track, or for that special car you take out on twisty roads to try to scare your friends.
The Comp 2's seem to more about agility, responsiveness and lateral grip than all-out speed, and this may distinguish somewhat from “supercar” tires like the Michelin Pilot Supersport and other extremely high-performance tires. They seem more ideal for muscle and rally-style cars than for European highway predators.