What Are Performance Tires – The Criteria You Should Know

By David Barlow
Last updated: Nov 27, 2022
What Are Performance Tires

Performance tires feature unique treadwear, speed rating, traction parameters, and handling. These features will enhance the precision, effectiveness, and responsiveness of the vehicle.

The popularity of performance tires has been rising consecutively for eight years and showing no signs of waning. This means more and more people acknowledge the advantages of these tires. 

In today’s article, we want to give you an overview of performance tires, their characteristics, and their speed ratings.

Are Performance Tires Right For Your Car?

There are various choices for performance tires on the market focusing on different aspects such as weather conditions or driving experience. Depending on the purposes, each driver will have additional or desired requirements when selecting the tires.

For instance, drivers with the best interest in off-road or heightened driving experience will pick tires with high traction and outstanding tread wear. But the tires will most likely make the vehicle consume more fuel. 

On slippery and extremely wet surfaces, you will hardly maneuver your vehicle. Therefore, it is wise to look for performance tires with high traction and braking performance for better stability and safety. 

Also, drivers who don’t mind to sacrify in gas mileage and ride comfort to get better control on the road. They will likely look at the performance tires to give them the experience like that.  

In contrast, there are some drivers who do not like the simplicity of going from point A to point B. They tend to have a desire for heightened driving experience. Tires with better traction will give them more precision and feeling when the wheels are rolling on the road.

Performance Tires With Specific Desired Options
Performance Tires With Specific Desired Options

So what are high-performance tires for speed lovers? Let’s find out in the next section.  

See more: What are snows tire?

What Are Speed Ratings On Performance Tires?

The tire speed rating will virtually always exceed legal speed limits, but we do not advise driving faster than the law allows. Letter symbols are used to rate tires’ speed; the standard rating system lies on the laboratory test authorized and approved by the government. 

Firstly, the tires with initial “H” means it can reach 130 mph, and you can find this rating on specialty high-performance winter tires. The tires are assembly standard for almost all types of cars sold on the market, but you can upgrade to a higher level if you want.   

V” indicates the speed range between 130 mph and 149 mph, which is suitable for high performance all-season tires and affordable for every driver. 

Above 149 mph is an ultra-high performance, and letters “Z”, “W”, and “Y” are responsible for the speed indication. 

When picking the tires, you should answer the question “what is a performance tire for this vehicle?”, which means whether the tire’s specifications meet your car’s recommended speed rating or not. 

To get precise answers and requirements, it is advisable to consult the owner’s manual or the tire’s placard.

It is worth noting that the speed parameter printed or published on the label is tested in controlled lab conditions authorized and approved by the manufacturer’s government. It may not perform exactly like its indicated.

View more: What Does The TPMS Light Mean?


So, what are performance tires? They are specifically crafted to provide enhanced traction, responsiveness and handling for a better driving experience. Due to this distinct design, they trade fuel economy, tire longevity and comfort for better control on the road. Thus, carefully consider your needs to decide whether performance tires are the right fit for you and your vehicle.

Are High-Performance Tires Worth It? | The Fine Print

David Barlow

Automotive Experts at World Tire Review

Hi everyone, I’m David (Tireguy). I believe that finding tires can lead to a lot of confusion and frustration for almost every driver. That’s why I would like to bring my experiences and knowledges to develop World Tire Review blog, it will give people a deeper understanding of what choosing the right tire is really like!