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Consumer Reports ranks speed-rated tires in November issue

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Performance tests conducted by the Consumer Reports staff rank a Falken and an Eagle tops in their respective categories.

In its November issue, Consumer Reports tested H-rated high performance all-season tires and Z-rated ultra-high performance tires.

The Falken Ziex ZX 512 finished first out of 18 different models in the H-rated category. The Bridgestone Turanza LS-H finished second.

Fifteen different brands, in size P195/65R15, were represented (P195/65R15 is the standard size on CR's 2002 Honda Accord EX test car).

CR says its engineers tested both "sport" (handling and grip) and "touring" (ride comfort) models at its 327-acre Auto

Test facility in East Haddam, Conn.

Thirteen different Z-rated tires also were tested, with the Goodyear Eagle F1 GSD3 finishing on top. The Toyo Proxes T1-S finished a close second.

The ContiSportContact2 was ranked third in the magazine's Z-rated tire tests. The tires tested were size P215/45R17 to fit CR's 2002 Ford SVT Focus test car.

"CR's top-scoring Z-rated tire, the Goodyear Eagle F1 GSD3, delivers superb wet dry grip, and hydroplaning resistance," says Eugene Petersen, a senior automotive engineer for the magazine. "But many others compromised wet or dry performance.

"The low sidewalls that help give ultra-high performance tires their responsive handling make most ride more harshly. What's more, their grippier tread tends to wear more quickly."

All tests and ratings of the H-rated high performance all-season tires and the Z-rated tires appear in the November issue of Consumer Reports. The complete report also is available to subscribers of ConsumerReports.org.

The issue also includes a special report on aftermarket tire-pressure monitoring systems.

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