Track Test: Nitto NT05 Review

On June 25, 2010, in 350Z, Review, Track, by admin

Nitto NT05:

This review was done in the Dallas, TX and surrounding area in the month of July and August weather, 2009 – temp ranges in 90’s to 102 primarily:

From the very beginning, I mean moments after mounting the NT05’s on my 2004 Nissan 350Z I instantly became excited. (Normally I’m NOT raving over trying new tires, as I have had many many many different tires on my 350z, being an avid drifter and local autocross entrant.) Reason being, my 350z is equipped with a full two-way clutch locking differential and simply backing out of my garage after installation and turning out of my driveway I heard my rear differential clunk and pop a lot louder and more pronounced than ever.

Nitto NT05

Nitto NT05

Definitely much more versus diff lock and tire slip and squeal. That alone was a clear sign that these tires were very sticky and is what got me excited to run these tires.

I had a great amount of time daily driving them in dry weather, so for the remaining section of the review (until noted) will be dry contact driving over multiple outings.

The NT05’s stick greatly, point the car in the direction your aiming and holding true is very confidence inspiring with these tires. I would honestly have to say a notch above some of the best tires I have tried. Grip is definitely noticeable and in general the NT05’s give you a great overall sense of “hugging” the street.

I then went to a remote road section and was able do switch backs and overly aggressive grip U-turns in order to see if I could feel or loose the NT05’s and was able to do so, but only on wildly aggressive maneuvers so in my book they preformed amazing. The sidewalls held great and I can’t say these tires are a hard sidewall but they are definitely not soft. I did specifically try to rim check with these tires going over horrible protruding railroad crossings and I was never able to hit wheel so the sidewalls held up great. Comfort level was great and never any harsh shock or jerk to prove otherwise.

Highway driving is smooth, quiet and effortless, there is no “humm” or “burr burr burr” sound while cruising. Lane changes over uneven road/highway surfaces were smooth and clean, no sudden jerks or stiff sidewalls pulling one way or the other. There were no loud sounds or noticeable unwanted steering wheel pull/vibrations. I was able to drive on both asphalt and concrete sectional highway surfaces when testing the NT05’s.

I was able to track (Autocross) the NTO5’s and was happy with them and never once lost confidence on where I was pointing or where I wanted to go………grip was evident through out the entire event on the front mounted NT05’s.

For the rear im certain my two way differential had a lot of influence on the following but I was able to feel “give” but very controllable and smooth. There was no instant loss of traction or fishtail action at all. The NT05’s were very predictable and confidence inspiring and I was able to progressively improve my times as the event continued which is a clear sign of conform ability and adaptability for me being someone who has run many good tires before. I quickly knew how they handled and was overall extremely happy with their autocross performance for a street tire. They were definitely very very comparable to a running a full no thread R-compound tire.

WET WEATHER TEST:

My wet weather assessment consist of about 25 percent of the time over dry daily driving:

I did get to briefly test the NT05’s in wet weather daily driving. They did defiantly perform well. I will admit they are amazing in dry conditions, yet they are nearly as awesome in wet. I use the word “nearly” purposely to ensure everyone knows that they are a better dry tire. I was able to maintain grip in mild speed u-turns, faster main road exits and off ramps. It took aggressive driving for them to loose grip.

I find that more than acceptable since that type of driving shouldn’t be done and was honestly asking for trouble. However, I figured for me I want to know the limits and aimed to push them regardless. Overall I drive responsibly in wet and have no problem or worry daily driving NT05’s in wet condition weather after my assessment of them in those conditions.

Drifting:

Yes I did get a chance to take the car out to a safe open spot and drift.
This was the last thing I wanted to do, not knowing weather or not the tires would chunk and get destroyed.

The rear NT05’s have way too much grip that it did take a lot for me to initiate drift. The front NT05’s were amazing…………..one more time…Amazing! I was able to control drift, counter steer and once again stay confident in where I was pointed and wanted to go. I loved the NTO5’s for this greatly!

The tires wore evenly and no horrible damage was done to the tread that would keep me from driving home. Unless of course I stayed drifting on them till they needed replacement.

In the end I’m overall really excited about driving the NT05’s and plan on getting more for my Z and my wife’s Saturn Sky. I must say it once again “The NT05’s are full of grip and very confidence inspiring.” Try them out if you get a chance I would find it hard for anyone to be disappointed with them.

-JasonZ-YA

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