Neil Shore:

I use my car for everything. It is my daily drive, my dog car and track day weapon. I don't have any fancy kit and will use one set of tyres for everything. I enjoy driving and am a qualified driving instructor so appreciate a quiet tyre with forgiving character. I also have a reasonable understanding of tyre dynamics due to my trackday experience.

I also enjoy writing and have previously contributed articles to an owners club magazine.

Neil's Reviews

The Ecsta PS71 – Continues to impress

My Kumho PS71s continue to impress.  They are an extremely capable performance tyre easily capable of competing with the established premium brands.  Recently I participated in a track day at the world famous Oulton park race circuit owned by MVS.  The day was extremely damp and the track was very greasy.  Although I have driven many tracks around the UK I have never driven on one as slippy as Oulton Park was that weekend.

There were a plethora of hard-core track day machines from many manufactures all running different tyres in varying compounds of soft to very soft to try and increase the amount of traction they had on the greasy surface.  After 2 laps one thing was very evident.  In the wet very few cars could touch me and my GT86.  The amount of grip afforded by the PS71 tyres was huge.  While other cars where sliding off all over the track we had grip to push hard and post some extremely quick laps.  Never have I driven or raced on a tyre with so much wet grip.

As the track dried out the transition from dealing with water to dealing with heat being generated was great. Although the car now started to slide around the slides were progressive and controllable. The PS71s allow a confidence to play with the car at the limit of grip while still traveling extremely quickly.  The day was ended by my brakes starting to overheat way before the tyres had reached their potential.

As stated above, extremely impressive.

On the road they continue to perform at a level expected of the premium manufactures.  They are quiet on the road (the KU39 is even better noise wise on the motorway fitted to my other car) allowing for very relaxed cruising.  Unlike previous Kumho products I have driven on the wear rate is very good.  My PS71s have completed 7k miles 4 track days and 3 rounds of the Toyota sprint cup and still have 5mm of tread left at the rear and 6 at the front.

Summing this tyre up is not difficult as it impresses in all area and is likely to suit most cars.  My PS71s come with the extra load option on the side wall this gives great feedback to the driver letting you know if the tyre is at its limit or more then likely urging you to push a little harder.  It gives the driver so much confidence to work the car knowing the contact patch with the road is reliable.  One thing I would ask of Kumho is this “could I have another set before my time as a test comes to an end” I don’t need another set yet but I anticipate you will do a lot of business on these and would like a set in the bank before there is a waiting time.  

As you will have seen from the pictures I have sent in previously I have taken to driving round with a Kumho windscreen strip because I am totally converted to the performance offered by Kumho

I will be at Cadwell Park on the 17th March and I hope its wet as the tyres are that good when the surface is damp.

Nearly forgot the boring bit.  Fuel economy is great, I’m getting the same mpg on these sports tyres as I did on the eco tyres the GT86 is sold with.

More fun driving to come.

The Low Down

Miles completed

Weather

Main usage

The ECSTA PS71 versus the Yorkshire Moors

My latest adventure.

The most recent outing was in the PS71 equipped on my Toyota GT86. We travelled from Manchester to the Yorkshire moors with my partner Claire and Roxy the collie Sat in the back. The trip lasted 2 days and covered many types of road. The GT86 is superb for mixed road driving comfortably capable on the motorway doing responsible mpg but then comes alive as the tarmac becomes narrow and twisty. The car is easy to drive with sharp handling and a delightfully delicate wiggle when to want it from the rear end all without encroaching on the speed limit. Fitting the car with the Kumho PS71 tyres was a stroke of genius. From factory the car comes with a low grip economy tyres as found on the pristine hybrid car. By fitting the PS71 the grip and stability has been increased meaning gradually the car can now dance to the driver’s whims instead of having to be manhandled through turns.

The GT86 is very much a momentum car with a reasonable amount of power to get down the road quickly but can’t push you back in your chair like some German machinery. As suck the driver must learn to lean on the grip the car can generate through the tyres to make good progress. This can only be done when you trust the rubber connecting you with the road.

The weather changed from being overcast and damp to blinding winter sun shining at such an angle it reflects off the road under the sun visor. Winter driving with sunglasses. Positively cool.

The grip through the damp conditions was positive and lateral force could be built up progressively without fear of sliding. Thus let’s the driver sit back and relax into the enjoyment of linking bends and hitting appropriate apexes.

Great fun was had by all, including the dog. The next outing will be to Oulton park on the 9th December.

What conditions have you driven in?

I’ve driven in all conditions, sun, snow, rain and ice in various cars and have only finished in a ditch once. Since fitting the PS71s this summer gone they have coped with the steady reduction in temperature well even the first frosts of the year have not finding out how low the temperature can go and still have safe amounts of grip compared to winter tyres like the SOLUS.

What has been the main use of the tyres?

My PS71s have been used for everything. They have carried a full car up and down the length of the country in comfort and with relative quietness. The side-wall of the tyre is stiff so there is little noise. There’s a trade off between sharp handling on country roads and brilliant stability on the motorway.

What are the grip levels like?

The grip in all conditions is consistent and predictable. This really does inspire confidence when driving. The lateral grip is impressive but breaking is astonishing especially when wet. I am still waiting on a sub 0 chance to push the breaking to see how the grip feels.

What mileage has been covered on these tyres?

I have currently covered 6078 miles since fitting including track use. The tyres are coping brilliantly with 5mm of tread on the rear and 6.5 on the front which considering the punishment they have taken is impressive.

Comfort and noise of the ECSTA PS71.

The tyres are great for cruising. They have firm sidewalls but that doesn’t generate excessive noise even at high speed. It’s more then possible to have a sleep in the passenger seat while someone else drives.

Have you recommended them to friends and family?

I’m really impressed with the PS71s and as such am actively praising their abilities on social media and motoring related forums. I have also converted my employer to gradually change all the staff cars over to either the PS71 or the SOLUS range for all season security. Still waiting on a commission contract.

I have even gone as far as driving round with a permanent Kumho Tyres UK banner across the top of my windscreen.

The Low Down

Miles completed

6,077

Weather

Sunny & Rainy

Main usage

Country Road Driving & Motorways

The PS71 – Confidence Inspiring

What were your very first impressions of the tyres? Tell us how the first drive in your new tyres went.

The very first impressions were they very noisy with little dry grip. This faded over the first few miles. The tires are now very quiet and grip brilliantly. The shoulder is nice and firm so the change of direction is good giving confidence to push a car into a corner.

They have a good blend of economy and grip sticky enough to thrill without burning tank after tank of fuel.Wet grip feels more stable than dry grip. In the dry the grip builds up gradually inspiring confidence but then let’s go at the limit not as progressively as some but in a manageable manner. Wet grip is better than anything else I have driven offering so much lateral grip that progress can be very quick indeed.

How do your new tyres compare to your previous tyres?

I have run two sets of tyres previously on my GT86. The stock Michelin primacy hp and the Yokohama advan sport V105.

Compared to the Michelin everything is better with the PS71. The new tyre offers better economy less road noise and a better ride. The difference in grip is like chalk and cheese the primacy lets go at very slow speeds preventing some driving technics like trail braking as this provokes a spin every time. The PS71s offer plenty of grip when driven smoothly and are willing to play when provoked.

Compared to the Yokos. It’s much closer. The Yoko is softer so provides much high maximum grip levels in the dry and feeds more information back to the driver about the road surface. The PS71 offers more fuel economy through its harder compound yet maintains very high levels of grip. In the wet the PS71 exceeds the V105 for max grip. The Yoko is the quieter tyre also.

How have your new tyres faired during both dry conditions and wet?

Dry grip is excellent. It encourages confidence by building gradually to their limit but can be a little unpredictable when pushed past the limit not having much reserve grip.

They have a tendency to promote safe understeer which can bet tamed by moving the weight of the car around to press the front tyres on to the tarmac. This to me makes driving more engaging as the driver is more involved.

The PS71 is willing to break traction at low speeds when provoked allowing safe overseer when safe and appropriate.

Dry braking could be a little better when trying to trail brake the ABS would regularly kick in so there is a lack of either stability or outright braking grip.

In the wet they are simply the best tyre I have driven beating the KU39 which was my go to wet track tyre by a long way. The lateral grip is superb beating many premium tyres I have tried on previous cars. Wet breaking exceeded all expectations allowing very firm braking without setting off the ABS which means there is plenty of grip in reserve.

How would you describe the comfort levels of your new tyres?

Perfectly adequate for normal road use. After the first few miles they are very quiet and the ride comfort is great for long journeys. My personal preference would be a little more sidewall support but that would detract from the overall comfort level.

How have you found the tyres’ handling capabilities so far?

Handling is great. The turn in is sharp and the lateral grip is great. There is a tendency to understeer but this can be tamed by actually driving.

For the most part the grip is very predictable for what feels a hard compound tyre but the trade-off is better economy and that’s a hard balance to find.

Other tyres will generate better g forces but as an all-round tyres the PS71 is extremely impressive.

Tell us about an interesting journey you’ve had or an exciting destination you’ve been to recently in your tyres.

I used the tyres and my GT86 to enter a round of the Toyota sprint series and the PS71s performed brilliantly. All the other competitors were running Yoko v105s or Goodyear eagle f1s or Michelin PS4s.

 

The Low Down

Miles completed

5,000

Weather

Sunny

Main usage

Motorways & Dual Carriageways