From a street perspective, the new DRs definitely are as good at holding the road as their street siblings. We put extensive mileage on the tires in normal street-driving, freeway, and desolate-area/full-blast conditions. They performed well-the only thing we'd be a little reserved about is driving on the NT05R drag radials beyond 5,000 miles (the new tires have a 0 treadware rating) and in extremely wet conditions.
The NT05R's soft compound really is not conducive to the same type of regular operation as the street version, so the tires may be more "limited-use" for budget-conscious enthusiasts than those with deeper pockets. Pricing for the NT05Rs is said to be comparable to the cost of Triple 5s.
Comparative photos of the NT555R, NT05, and new NT05R Nitto tires are next, along with our critical 60-foot and 330-foot dragstrip data for the company's original drag radial and its long-anticipated NT05R DRs.
On The Dragstrip
Jerome heats the hides! Heavy-smoke...
Jerome heats the hides! Heavy-smoke burnouts are recommended for brand-new Nitto DRs. The NT555R drag radials are mounted in this photo.
While we acknowledge the object of a drag race is to cover the quarter-mile as quickly as possible, the primary focus of this test is to evaluate the type of traction that Nitto's first-generation and latest drag-radial tires promote in the first 60 feet and 330 feet of the track.
"How does it hook?" is a drag racer's biggest question whenever a new racing tire is introduced. To find out just how well the Nittos hook, we called on Jerome Citrolo of Simi Valley, California, and his '03 Mach 1. Jerome's daily driven Mach is impressively modded with a stout DOHC bullet that features Ford Racing Performance Parts' aluminum big-bore block, a Mach 1 crank, Manley rods, Diamond pistons (10.2:1), '03 heads worked by Boss330 Racing, custom cams designed by Modular Performance, and a trick Nazty Performance short-runner intake manifold.
The combination is good for putting 475 hp to the feet, and Jerome is borderline obsessive about taking his Pony to the dragstrip whenever possible, attempting to achieve new personal-best e.t. and mph results at every outing. One of the good things about using Jerome for this particular exercise is his consistency as a driver. He knows his car and has extensive experience driving it on drag radials.
Track and tire temperatures...
Track and tire temperatures were measured using Actron's hand-held IR thermometer (PN CP7875; $30). The budget-friendly, pocket-sized instrument records temps ranging from -27ºF to +480ºF and provides more than 30 hours of continued service on a single battery. On Sunday, with ambient trackside temperature in the mid-70s, we saw track-surface temperature of 94 degrees and tires as hot as 187 degrees when Jerome completed his burnouts.
Nitto's first-gen drag radials...
Nitto's first-gen drag radials yielded "best" 60- and 330-foot times of 1.672 and 1.659, and 5.183 and 5.202 seconds, respectively, in two attempts on the well-prepped Auto Club Dragway. "I used to run this tire religiously on the street and track," says Jerome. "This was the first time running the NT555Rs at a track that was as well-prepped as Auto Club Dragway. I believe I could have netted a 1.620 with more practice."
We closed our test with Nitto...
We closed our test with Nitto NT05R drag radials bolted to the rear of Jerome's 'Stang. The new-style, street/'strip tires showed improved short times over the Triple-5 DRs. In two more laps, Jerome's Mach 1 covered the 60- and 330-footers in 1.643 and 1.630, and 5.120 and 5.050 seconds. "Even though this was the first time I used this tire, I believe I could have managed a 1.590 with more practice," says Jerome. "Based on the data and how the car felt when I launched, I find the NT05R to be comparable to the Mickey Thompson ET Street Radial of the same diameter."
The interesting results of our test are included in the table. We definitely intend to do more track testing with the NT05Rs, because the impressive results of our session prove that Nitto is onto something with the new drag radials. It will be interesting to see how they perform when more horsepower is applied.
|1||555R||5,000||14||1.672||5.183||Hooked and bogged|
|2||555R||6,000||13||1.659||5.202||Hooked and bogged|
|3||NT05R||6,500||15||1.643||5.120||Spun a little|
|4||NT05R||6,600||14||1.630||5.050||Simply hooked|Size Matters
Since Jerome's Mach 1 also...
Since Jerome's Mach 1 also rides on 17-inch rear wheels, we stayed with the 17x10.5-inch FR500s by AmericanMuscle.com and 315/35R17 NT05s that we selected for our test.
With late-model, hard-core street/strip 'Stangs being its target, Nitto will be rolling out its newest drag radial in 17- to 20-inch diameters throughout 2010, and included in the size lineup is a P345/30R19-the world's first 19-inch drag radial!
|Tread||Inflated Dimensions||Approved Rim||Max.|
|Depth||Overall (IN)||(Measuring Rim)||Load||Press.|
|Tire Size||(1/32-Inch)||Width||Dia.||Width (IN)||(LBS)||(PSI)|