The RE050 has an asymmetric pattern with two unbroken tread blocks one in the center and oddly enough one on the inside.
Five tread blocks are arranged such that there are four distinct drainage channels with numerous cross sipings.
The sidewall is fairly stiff as is the tread belting.
The tyre has pronounced square shoulders.
They have a high YR speed rating that is unusual for this class.
Scrub-in period: Needing only a short scrub in period (50km), the RE050s seem to perform well right out of the wrappers.
Steering: Not surprisingly the stiff sidewalls give the RE050 a sharp steering feel as well as incisive turn-in. The direct steering feel is reassuring and one pilots the car confidently on these tyres. There is just a touch of lightness near the straight-ahead position when travelling at high speeds but they load up nicely when cranked over for a turn. They communicate well right up to the limit where in addition to lightening up, they howl in protest at the torture. [8/10]
Lateral Grip: Good grip levels can be attained and the limit reveals itself progressively. Whilst certainly satisfying lateral grip is not quite at the level of the semi race compound types. [7/10]
Handling: Thankfully the stable handling and readability of the RE050 can be exploited to deliver decent levels of lateral g-force. The limit is reached progressively and is predictable. It tends to remain in mild understeer and resists oversteer well. [8/10]
Longitudinal Grip: Braking is also very good producing very consistent stops and they never activate the ABS too early.[8/10]
Steering: In the rain, the good steering feel is maintained and inspires confidence. Below the limit the RE050 maintains a positive feel. [7/10]
Lateral Grip: In the wet the RE050 have satisfactory levels of grip. good but not on par with the best. They need a gentle approach to reach the limit.[7/10]
Handling: Below the limit the RE050 seems sure footed. There is some breakaway when pushed right to the limit. If one enters too fast it will push the front wide over the center line. This trait has to remembered in order to make fast progress. However the breakaway is gentle only if one does not go in too fast. [6/10]
Longitudinal Grip: Aquaplaning resistance is good as is take off traction. While the tyre could deliver fairly high numbers, it needs to be coaxed gently to deliver. It does not like brutal treatment while it is raining. [8/10]
COMFORT & NOISE:
Comfort: While the steering benefits from the stiff sidewalls, the ride is consequently penalised. One can gain comfort at the expense of grip by using lower pressures like 30 psi. However it was judged that at least 33 psi needs to be used to have a decent performance and at that pressure ride was a bit jiggly.[6/10]
Noise: 66.5 dBA at 70 km/h coasting. Pattern noise remained rather low throughout.
Dry Cornering: 0.94g
Dry Braking 80-20 km/h: 1.81 sec in 24m
Average g: 0.94g
Peak g: 0.96g
Wet Cornering: 0.76g
Wet Braking 80-20 km/h: 2.24 sec in 31m
Average g: 0.76g
Peak g: 0.78g
Rolling Resistance: 0.0246g (average)
The RE050 has the status of a high performance OE tyre due to its well rounded ability. It does everything quite well and none poorly. The dry performance puts it sufficiently high up in this class but the wet performance needs some circumspect because though it feels very confident if treated roughly it will show some breakaway. Except for that it does well in the wet. Comfort is not class leading but at around 32 psi it is a good compromise between ride and handling. Level A