Dunlop's Star Spec reaching new heights; racks-up praise on Tire Rack test track

Jan. 1, 2020
In crowning Dunlop's Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec tire as the overall winner of a four-tire shootout, Tire Rack has proclaimed that "a new extreme performance summer star is born."
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In crowning Dunlop’s Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec tire as the overall winner of a four-tire shootout, Tire Rack has proclaimed that “a new extreme performance summer star is born.”

In an extensive test that combined real-world ride evaluations with performance data collected at its test track in South Bend, Ind., Tire Rack gave the new Dunlop extreme-performance tire top billing over the Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R, Yokohama Advan Neova AD07 and Hankook Ventus R-S2 Z212 tires.

The tires, 225/45R17 mounted on 17-inch-by-8-inch wheels, were fitted on a 2008 BMW 335i coupe.

The tire garnered high praise from the Tire Rack test drivers. “We liked it all,” they declared, “handling, dry grip and especially wet traction.” The online retailer and largest independent tire tester even praised the road manners of the extreme performance tire, stating that it did “a good job minimizing the harshness of small to medium-sized impacts.”

Matt Neidert, performance tire brand manager for Dunlop in North America, says, “Tire Rack’s recent test results, combined with several SCCA SOLO National Tour victories in 2008, validate the performance capabilities of the new ‘Star Spec’ tread compound, which helps initial dry grip during sanctioned amateur driving events.”

The tire is a DOT-approved summer performance tire for hard-core driving enthusiasts and car-club members. It helps deliver superb dry traction and handling at regional car-club events like track days, driving schools, and autocross,” he notes.

A high-response directional tread pattern with circumferential grooves helps create a consistent contact patch on the pavement for a smooth feel and seamless transition, he adds. An “optimal mold shape” helps provide a consistent footprint shape and uniform pressure distribution across the footprint for enhanced cornering, Neidert continues.

The tire also features JointLess Band technology to help enable smooth performance at highway speeds, he says. They are available in 20 sizes with rim diameters from 15 to 18 inches.

For more information, visit To read more about Tire Rack’s testing, go to

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