Tires are a deeply un-sexy thing to 99-percent of people. Even amongst car know-it-alls, tires are just deeply boring to talk about. That is, unless it’s a tire with an indescribable brand and culture around it. Enter the Yokohama ADVAN. Specifically the brand-new Neova AD09.
Let’s be real here though, tires are exciting to me and approximately four other people. I spend a lot of time experimenting with different kinds of tires, even going so far as to test different variants of the same tire so I could achieve the right feel and response on my GTI. When you boil tires down to just lap times and subjective grip, many finer points are being missed. Tires influence the entire feel and driving balance of a car.
Because of that, I get excited any time there is a new tire to try out, especially one as storied as the ADVAN Neova. Yokohama is one of a few tire brands with deep roots in motorsports and most of us have seen that iconic red and black ADVAN livery. You’ll even see Yokohama tires on the very best and coolest of the Japanese tuner cars. Take a look at any HKS-built car and you’ll see Yokohama rubber shod on its Yokohama wheels.
The problem that Yokohama has had for the past few years is that its lineup isn’t particularly competitive, save for the ADVAN A052. Still, there is a gap in the comfortable high-performance summer tire category that Michelin practically owns and a bigger gap in the middle ground between that and the monster 200 treadwear DOT-legal tires of today. Sure, the Falken RT660s on my GTI are streetable… with considerable discomfort and significantly worse fuel economy.
The new Neova AD09 comes after a particularly long 13-year gap since the release of the AD08. Considering that the entire Neova brand was launched in 1995, that is more than half of the entire history of the tire sub-brand. It began with the AD05, a funky asymmetric tire with some serious ‘90s style, into the updated AD06, then a major update for the AD07, and finally the outgoing 2008 AD08 and AD08R. The AD09 is a serious new release from a huge brand like this.
Takamitsu Omae from the Product Planning Department of Yokohama hosted a short video on the development of the new tire. He says that the AD09 development began “from scratch” and they reviewed every aspect of the AD08R. There is a new asymmetric tread pattern with some fresh tech that gives tire tread blocks more rigidity, as well as a “newly developed special compound” of rubber that should give the new tire more grip than before.
Comfort was a focus of the new tire as well, one that will “give [drivers] a comfortable ride on city streets while also enabling [drivers] to enjoy faster and more exhilarating drives on many more trips to the circuit.” The curious part of the AD09 will be how Yokohama balances grip and comfort on a street tire.
Don’t mind me, though. I just want to get some bronze TE37s and put some ADVANs on them for maximum JDM clout. No word yet on when the AD09 will come stateside, but I hope that it is soon.
What to read next:
- Watch Peter Nelson participate in Land Rover’s Trophy Competition driving all-new Defenders in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.
- Why drift fans are mourning Japan’s Ebisu Minami drift circuit.
- It’s a major deal that iRacing put a factory-supported Mercedes F1 car into its simulator, and Chris Rosales tested it out.
- If you weren’t able to check out Autopia 2099, we attended the EV car show and took a bunch of photos.
- Find out why downgrading from coilovers back to conventional suspension can be the right move for the right situation.