Last Updated on April 2, 2020 by Stephen Tillman
If you are a performance or sports vehicle owner then you are probably not looking at all-season touring tires. Instead, you are looking for something that could extract more from your car and provide exceptional traction, grip and handling performance. One such example is the Cooper Zeon RS3-S. This is an ultra-high performance summer driving tire that promises to be the perfect choice for spirited drivers and owners of sports cars. This tire also has a credible race track reputation, so let’s see.
The company describes the Zeon RS3-S as a high-performance summer tire for performance vehicle owners, that require world-class dry asphalt traction and handling, great cornering and reliable wet performance. Looks pretty good and these tires cost a considerable amount, so I expect a lot in terms of performance and traction. I want to see whether or not these tires can handle themselves on the track, and will the lap times be improved over its competitors.
Specs and Features
Like I said these are premium tires that are designed for sports and muscle car drivers, that are looking for more and more, and for that purpose the manufacturer ahs packed these tires with excellent high-end features that we will see in a moment. First off I have to mention that these tires come with a 20,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is pretty good for an ultra-high performance tire in this category. But then again it is pretty low when you consider overall, a thing you have to sacrifice for performance. It comes in different sizes ranging from 17 to 20 inches in rim diameter size with different widths and speed ratings of W and Y.
The most important feature and quality of this tire is the newly made specialized silica tread compound which is engineered to deliver a perfect performance in dry asphalt, cornering speeding and braking, without forgetting the wet surface performance. On top of that, it has a futuristic tread mold profile that creates a bigger tread contact with the road which is the biggest quality of this tire when it comes to delivering better traction overall, but then again without extensive testing, we can’t confirm.
This tire has an asymmetric tread design with outer shoulder blocks and intermediate tread elements. All these features are fine-tuned and placed to deliver a better grip and handling, specifically on dry pavement. The wide circumferential grooves and the void ratio improvement should also enhance traction and grip on wet asphalt. Also, the inside grooves expel water from under the tire to reduce hydroplaning risk. I should also mention that the tire has two steel belts which are enhanced with spirally wrapped nylon to give it better stability and durability. Before moving on I should mention that this tire has a dual pitch tread sequence which is done to keep things quiet.
I have to say that I am a major fan of the looks of this tire, with a nice sidewall, great tread design, and impressive width, that looks like it is ready to get things going. I reckon that it will look excellent in most sports cars, especially muscle ones.
I installed these tires on the Nissan 370Z to test its full capabilities and see its race track prowess, and I have to say that they looked excellent on it. The first spin around the block felt pretty good and I expect good things from this set.
Well, I have to say right from the get-go that these tires provide exceptional performance. But there are some downsides that you need to consider. I drove 13,000 miles with these tires and I saw that the tread life is really poor, it may reach the 20,000 miles but it will not exceed it. Then again this is a necessary sacrifice when you are buying a performance tire. I can note that the tire feels pretty comfortable to drive on, but with a minor stiffness than your normal touring tires, but that will help in the track. The noise levels we are also a little bit higher than normal, then again you should expect these drawbacks.
In the racetrack, these tires are the best I have tested in a while. The extra grip is apparent from the get-go, and I can say that you will feel perfect. I can confirm that these tires are pretty fun to drive on, high speed and sharp cornering were perfect and I didn’t feel looking for more traction. It is one of the most agile and most responsive tires I have ever tested. You will see that the harder you push these tires the better they will feel.
Moving on you should note that all this was expected from this tire since this is branded as an ultra-high performance summer tire that is designed for the very best. In the rain, it is mediocre at best, but then again I don’t feel like that was the focus of the manufacturer. Solely summer tires, designed as racing slicks.
I will try to be honest here. These are not your regular touring all-season tires, these are designed for a specific purpose. Allow you to go fast, brake hard, and corner smoothly in the summer and on wet asphalt. If you need such tires, then the Cooper Zeon RS3-S is an excellent choice, but only if you have a sports car or something similar. If you drive a passenger vehicle than these are overkill for you.