When it comes to performance on track, tires are one of the most important factors of a car. We install what is arguably the fastest 200-treadwear “Street” tire on the market, the Yokohama ADVAN A052. We also change the spring rates on our KW coilovers with a set of Swift Springs to improve the balance of our NSX. We then take this new setup to Buttonwillow to see how it performs and if we are able to go faster than our previous lap times.
Regular readers already understand that treadwear ratings are all but pointless. But if you missed that, you can read up on why in the article How to PROPERLY select and size TIRES for PERFORMANCE. Despite this reality, the 200-treadwear tire rating continues to be the hotly contested battleground for tire manufacturers due to the number of competitions, sanctioning bodies, and events that drive a significant demand for tires with this rating.
Debuting in 2017, the Yokohama ADVAN A052 still reigns as one of the, if not the fastest tire in the 200-treadwear category at the time of this writing in early 2022. If you look up the results from any Time Attack event, track competition, autocross, One Lap of America, or Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car event, the A052 usually populates most if not the fastest time of the street tire class.
Yokohama markets the A052 as faster than their A048 “R-compound” tire and even the 60-treadwear Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R! This just goes to show how insane the tire wars for ‘street’ class tires have become, as we discussed in a recent article about “street” and “R-compound” tires.
The outer half of the A052 features a wide shoulder and high-stability compound rib that delivers powerful cornering grip. The thin ‘micro-groove’ further helps to enhance heat dissipation with a lot of rubber on the outer shoulder to handle heavy cornering loads. Yokohama has taken their motorsports technology and has infused it into the compounding of the A052.
The inner half of the A052 features two wide grooves for straight-line stability and superior wet traction. The A052 actually does quite well in the wet and with some standing water.
Our Project NSX has been running around the street for a while on a set of 18×8.5 +51 front and 19×10 +35 rear Advan Racing RS-II wheels and 235/40-18 front, 275/35-19 rear Nitto NT05 tires. We will review this setup in a future article but we are going back to the tried and true, 17×8+38 front 18×9.5+40 rear Volk CE28 track wheels for this track tire test.
Our stack of brand-new Yokohama ADVAN A052 tires arrived and we were excited to put them on and test them out for ourselves. Over the last 12-15 years, the standard track tire package for the NSX has been 235/40-17 front, and 265 (or 275)/35-18 rear.