The General G-Max RS is a brand new Ultra High Performance (UHP) tire offering from General Tire Co. For those who are unaware, General Tires is a subsidiary of Continental Tires. Continental is a huge name in the industry, handling OEM Tires for several large automotive manufacturers, and well as producing several beloved aftermarket offerings (The Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 for example is one of our favorite all-season tires). With such prestigious backing it’s easy to see why we’re excited about this new tire offering in the UHP Summer category. Some of you may be familiar with the old General Exclaim UHP tires that were discontinued about 7 years ago. The Exclaims were a fan favorite among enthusiasts for years so the G-Max RS are sure to be a huge hit with a lot of people.
We’d like to preface this by saying this tire is in the Ultra High Performance Summer category which sits below the Max Summer Performance category. If you’re looking for the very best in summer performance tires your best bet is still the Michelin PS4S (for more information on this tire see our recent blog post) but for the more moderate UHP class the General G-Max RS is a solid contender. We’ll be going through some of the cool features of this tire and why we think it’s a good choice for those shopping in the Ultra High Performance category.
Starting off with the basics, the Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) rating of the G-Max RS is:
- Treadwear: 360
- Traction: AA
- Temperature: A
Understanding UTQG Treadwear, Traction, and Temperature Ratings:
Treadwear – A standardized test of how quickly a tire wears down over 7200 miles (with tire rotations, alignment checks, and pressure checks every 400 miles). The tire is tested against a standardized “Course Monitoring Tire” and its grade is assigned based on the relative wear. 100 would indicate it would last as long as the test tire, while 200 would indicate that it would last twice as long as the Course Monitoring Tire. This still only tells us so much because we don’t know exactly how long the “Course Monitoring Tire” lasts. Also, treadwear is subject to some interpretation as the wear experienced on the tire being tested is open to some interpretation by the manufacturer. In general though, the higher the number, the longer it will last.
Traction – UTQG traction tests do not evaluate traction in relation to dry braking, dry cornering, wet cornering, or high speed hydroplaning resistance. The test is simply a representation of the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement as the tire skids. So this test really only applies to those without ABS in wet conditions.
Temperature – The temperature grades are a scale that indicates a tire’s ability to resist the heat buildup produced by speed. A is good enough for speeds over 115 mph, B is between 100-115 mph, and C is between 85-100 mph.
Basically, the UTQG rating is not standardized enough to use as a good metric for comparing most tires, especially summer performance tires. It gives you a rough idea of the capabilities but that’s about as much as you get from it. For reference all the top contenders in the UHP Summer category will, like the G-Max RS, have an AA Traction rating and an A Temperature rating, making that metric pretty much useless to us for comparison.
Now that we’ve covered the basics we’re going to spend a bit of time going over what features General has included in this tire that set them apart from the competition. Then we’ll be translating their vague terminology into language humans actually use.
Smartgrip Technology is General’s term for the combination of their rubber compound and their tread pattern design. Rubber compound is what will give a tire its primary wet and dry grip properties. Super sticky compounds are great for dry weather and performance but usually suffer in colder weather. All seasons are usually made to withstand colder temperatures but do not have the same level of dry grip as a softer compound. In the G-Max RS they utilize a silica-rich summer compound to maximize grip while preserving treadwear and reducing rolling resistance. Their directional tread pattern works to direct water outwards and improve the tire’s grip in wet conditions. Additionally this tire features a reinforced center rib for crisp steering response and sturdy shoulder blocks which remain more stable during hard cornering and maximize grip. What this “Smartgrip Technology” ultimately translates to is a tire that can adapt itself to both wet and dry conditions thanks to its composition.
General’s StabiliTread Technology is a little bit more straightforward. It is what it sounds like, the tire’s treads are designed to be stable under pressure. What this means is that the tire treads and reinforcements are designed to exhibit even pressure between the treads. This promotes better tire wear in daily driving conditions and subsequently leads to better grip under more extreme conditions. The more evenly a tire’s pressure is distributed the better the tire’s contact patch performs at speed. This combined with General’s Smartgrip Technology makes for a very stable tire at high speeds.
This feature is technically not a “handling” feature, but it is a nice touch and is a positive addition for those who are conscious of the condition of their tires. As tires wear down the treads become worn down and the grooves become shallow. This limits the tire’s ability to adapt to road imperfections and reduces overall grip. It also increases the risk of high temperature buildup in the tire because it does not have as much material to dissipate heat. To help avoid this situation General has designed a wear indicator band on the tire’s center rib so that when the G-Max RS is worn down to 2/32 tread depth you will see the band saying “replace tire” so you know it is time for new tires.
Is the G-Max RS right for me?
As with all things, that depends. If you’re looking for the ultimate track tire built uncompromisingly for speed then no, this is not the tire for you. If you want a fantastic DOT Racing tire then we recommend the Toyo R888R. If you’re looking for the ultimate in street tires for occasional track use then we recommend the Michelin PS4S (again, see our recent blog post for more info). The G-Max RS is for the rest of us. You want a good tire, doesn’t have to be the best, just a solid performance tire for your performance car. It’s not trying to convince anyone that it’s going to outperform Max Performance Summer or DOT/Competition tires, General just wanted to bring consumers a great Ultra High Performance Summer tire, and that’s what they’ve done. In independent tests the G-Max RS has performed comparably to the Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 which is one of our favorite tires in the UHP category. What the G-Max offers is an even better treadwear rating and lower price, and testers have noted that the G-Max RS performs particularly well in the wet. If you’re looking for an affordable but outstanding UHP Summer tire that can give you that little bit of extra confidence in the rain then these are an absolutely perfect choice. Users of the old Exclaim series will remember that longevity was always a strong suit for General so their treadwear rating should entice a lot of buyers who remember the Exclaim UHP fondly.
If you think the General G-Max RS sounds like a good fit for you and want to find out what sizes you need, our Mod Experts are always happy to help. If you’re not sure if they are what you want that’s fine too, our Mod Experts will work with you to find the perfect tire to match your needs. They can be reached at 714-582-3330 or by email [email protected]. We also have mounting and road-balancing services available if you’re looking to pick up some new wheels with your tires for added style and performance.