Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6 - The Goodyear Eagle F1 legacy
The new Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6 is the latest in an award-winning line of ultra high performance (UHP) tires. It fits a vast range of high performance cars, from compact hot hatchbacks to sports saloons and coupes. Alongside the recently launched Eagle F1 SuperSport, SuperSport R and SuperSport RS tires, it gives Goodyear its widest ever range across the UHP and UUHP (ultra-ultra high performance) segments.
The genesis and legacy
The Goodyear Eagle F1 brand pays homage to the company’s incredible Formula 1 legacy. Goodyear tires were first seen in F1 in 1964 and took Richie Ginther to victory for Honda at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix. By 1966 they were the choice of World Champions, with Sir Jack Brabham taking his eponymous car to Goodyear’s first global title.
Goodyear won 368 Grands Prix and 26 World Constructors’ Championships in a 35-year run; a record that still stands unbeaten today. Even more significantly, and in contrast to the modern era, 28 of those seasons featured open tire competition, pushing Goodyear to develop new technologies against rivals on track.
On the road, the iconic McLaren F1 supercar, launched in 1992, featured specifically developed Goodyear Eagle F1 tires to manage the 620hp power output from its 6.1 litre V12 engine. The original McLaren press release highlighted the importance of Goodyear’s contribution: “Right from the McLaren F1’s initial design, the tire was considered as an intrinsic suspension element within the programme’s complex handling and comfort calculations. Weight, safety, noise and dynamic performance were all vital factors.”
From exotic to mainstream
In 1994, the Eagle F1 range was broadened to cover other supercar and sportscar fitments with the distinctive Eagle F1 GS-D2 (Grand Sport - Directional) and later the GS-D3. Their striking directional patterns became a firm favourite with performance car drivers and tuners, combining dry weather handling prowess with stunning wet weather grip.
From Directional to Asymmetric
In 2007, the Eagle F1 range made its most dramatic design shift, moving from the trademark directional pattern to an all-new Asymmetric construction.
Laurent Colantonio, Technology Director Consumer Tires EMEA, joined Goodyear as an engineer at the peak of Eagle F1’s directional era, a period when hot hatchbacks had 15” rims and supercars had smaller rim diameters than some compact cars do today. He explains the reason for the transition to an Asymmetric design: “The GS-D2 and GS-D3 were focused on wet performance and resisting aquaplaning. The distinctive tread pattern made it a real breakthrough in the market. It gave Goodyear a clear edge versus the UHP competition.
“The vehicle parc began to evolve, weight increased, 18 and 19 inch rim sizes became the norm and the cars of the mid-2000s had gained both weight and power. We looked for a tread design with a stronger shoulder strength to cope with the extra dynamic load. Our development teams realised that we could maintain our trademark wet performance and braking whilst improving grip and dry handling by moving to a distinctive Asymmetric design with a powerful shoulder construction.”
By the time the Eagle F1 Asymmetric reached its third generation in 2016, new design elements were introduced for both performance and environmental reasons, as Colantonio explains: “The introduction of the EU tire label meant that consumers began to consider factors such as rolling resistance and noise, even on a performance car. We were able to score highly on the label whilst pushing the performance forward.
“Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 introduced Goodyear innovations such as Active Braking Technology, which increased the contact surface and grip when braking, allowing for a shorter braking distance. At this generation, we also introduced new reinforced construction technology, which allows for a lighter construction without sacrificing strength. This focus on efficiency and performance became an Eagle F1 hallmark.
After the launch of Asymmetric 3 we immediately focused on developing technologies to boost handling and wet performance. With rim sizes over 20 inch being commonplace, we also developed more tire sizes to cover the dramatic shift in the vehicle parc.”
Goodyear prides itself on being a step ahead of the market. Just a few years later, the new Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 became a regular test winner, collecting accolades such as an ‘exemplary’ rating from Auto Bild sportscars in 20191. As recently as last year, it was declared UHP Test Winner by Tyre Reviews2. Tester Jon Benson concluded: “The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 is a tire with almost no weaknesses. It has excellent grip in the dry and wet, sporty handling, excellent aquaplaning resistance and low rolling resistance.”
The history of Goodyear’s Eagle F1 line means that such test wins aren’t a reason for complacency. As that Tyre Reviews test was published, the final pre-production versions of its successor were already being prepared.
Changing requirements, changing times: The brief for Asymmetric 6
The move towards increased power, torque and weight in the high performance car sector, accelerated by the move to electrification, has driven the development of the new Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6. It features a number of innovations such as an adaptive contact patch and optimised cavity that can adapt to load variations. Every tire in Goodyear’s range is EV-ready, but Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6 has been specifically designed with manufacturers’ EV requirements in mind. Its noise cancelling pattern results in a reduction of 1 dB, shown on the EU tire label, while its new compound technology reduces rolling resistance, to help increase electric range3. The result is a tire that is ready for the next generation of mobility.
Just like its predecessors, Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6 is now also a test winner. In early 2022, German magazines Auto Motor und Sport and Auto Bild both awarded the tire with wins in their summer tire tests, praising its balanced performance in dry and wet conditions.4 5 Auto Motor und Sport’s ‘überragend’ (outstanding) and Auto Bild’s ‘vorBildlich’ (exemplary) rating underline these premium publications’ findings from extensive testing.
The Goodyear Eagle F1 family now includes Asymmetric 6 and the UUHP Supersport, SuperSport R and SuperSport RS tires. This diverse range means that Goodyear can meet the specialised needs of different types of performance drivers.
By 2023, Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6 will be available in no fewer than 65 sizes from 17 to 22 inch fitments. Vividly showing the dramatic progress in vehicle design, the entry-level Asymmetric 6 rim dimension for compact performance cars is the same (17 inch) as the genre-defining McLaren F1 Supercar, exactly thirty years ago.
To read the rest of the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6 press kit, click here.
- Auto Bild sportscars (D), Issue 4 / 2019/03/08, tire size: 245/45R18
- Tyre Reviews’ summer 2021 ultra high performance (UHP) test featured 14 tires in the top-selling 225/40R18 size using a Volkswagen Golf GTI.
- Compared to Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 in internal tests
- Test size: 245/45R19. Test car: Audi A6. Issue: Auto Motor und Sport issue 7/2022.
- Test size: 245/40R19. Test car: BMW 5 Series. Issue: Auto Bild issue 13/2022.