After seeing the Yokohama YK580 review by Bob Faieta on YouTube.com, I was extremely pleased to find out I would be going to Miami, Florida to push the YK580 to it's limits at Homestead Miami Speedway. Here's what Bob had to say about the new Yokohama YK580.
YOKAHAMA YK580 REVIEW - YouTube
I arrived in Miami Monday, April 9th late in the afternoon and after a nice dinner at Tarpon Bend in Corral Gables, I went to bed early in anticipation of the following day's action. With the three hour time zone difference I would be getting up at 3 AM Arizona time so a good night's rest was in order.
After a quick continental breakfast at our hotel we arrived at Homestead Miami Speedway around 8:30 AM. After passing through security we pulled into the center of the track where a couple of Mitsubishi Evolutions were sitting with YK580 tires installed. Seeing these vehicles immediately got my adrenaline flowing. I would come to find out later that the Evolution would be one of five different vehicles we would be testing the YK580 on.
From the bus the Yokohama Representatives led us through the paddock to the drivers meeting room where we would get a run down on the day's events and what makes the YK580, the YK580.
The first thing we were told from the Yokohama Representative in charge of product development was that the YK580 is the new benchmark for future Yokohama products and is one of the best tires Yokohama has ever produced. Needless to say, this was quite a statement which made me even more enthusiastic about testing the YK580 and pushing it to the limits.
But what makes the YK580 one of the best tires ever produced by Yokohama? It's predecessor, the YK520, was a good model. So what did Yokohama do to make the new YK580 even better? Compounding and enhancing the tread design were part of it, but it was the testing, testing, and more testing that led to these changes and elevates this tire to the top. The YK580 was put through it's paces two times the regular amount a tire is usually tested to ensure it lives up to the expectations set by Yokohama and Discount Tire. The YK580 was tested under aggressive driving conditions, on severe test courses, for a significant number of miles and through every test Yokohama learned from it and made appropriate changes. Through this rigorous testing utilizing multiple vehicles, Yokohama can confidently say that the YK580 will not only reach it's prescribed tread life but will provide predictable handling and superior ride quality while doing so.
After our briefing we were split into four groups and sent out to test the YK580. We were going to test the tire on multiple courses and my group was headed for the 0-60-0 braking course first. Here we tested the YK580's braking ability on the Evolution and Nissan 350Z.
I do not have any stopping distances to report as the vehicles were not equipped with data loggers. What I can tell you is that the YK580 gripped extremely well off the line (much to my surprise) with the peddle straight to the floor and had very limited pull when I slammed on the brakes. Granted the vehicles we were driving were Brembo equipped, but none the less I was very pleased with the grip the YK580 offered from a dig.
Next up, the dry autoX course. Dry autoX courses are my favorite for testing a tires ability to corner and respond to my steering inputs. The YK580 didn't let me down. We challenged this course in a brand new Mustang (v6) and Scion TC. The RWD Mustang weighs more than the FWD TC which allowed us to test the YK580 on two vehicles with completely different dynamics.
I noticed entering the first turn how quickly the front tires responded to my input which allowed me to drive the course with less input throughout in both vehicles. Taking corners the YK580 held tight and gave me ample notice when pushed to the limit. This was surprising as most all-season performance tires I've tested in the past gave me very little to no notice before the limit was reached. I contribute the YK580's responsiveness and predictability to the uniblock shoulder and large notched blocks which adds stiffness, grip, and support to the tire under hard cornering pressure.