When my Hankook RS3 was on their last legs on their life, I was looking for another tire in the same category. Specifically in the 200 tread wear category.
I really liked my old Hankook RS3 becuase of the consistent grip which improved as the tire wore down. The tire life of the RS3 lasted for a long time, roughly 6k miles with 8 track weekends! So naturally I was leaning towards Hankook new tire that replaces the RS3… Hankook RS4.
But in the end, I chose Bridgestone RE71R becuase I simply want to try a different brand, and Bridgestone was having a $70 rebate sale hahaha. This made the RE71R in the same price range as the Hankook RS4 just $100 more.
I first put the RE71R through its pace at Circuit of the Americas. Immediately I can get a night and day difference in grip compared to the RS3! I could carry more speed on the corners. I could tell the lateral g’s I felt is more than the RS3.
Bridgestone RE71R seems to run wider than Hankook RS3, because on the track I was rubbing my rear tires despite the same 275/35/18 spec rubber. The rubbing wasn’t terrible but latter on the rubber was building on the fender. I didn’t notice adverse effects from the rubbing.
Then I went to MSRH, which is the track I frequent the most. Some sections of the course my exit speed was 5mph faster then in the RS3! First session and I managed to beat my PR by 0.7 seconds! I wasn’t really pushing the car either and I knew I had more grip to spare. I didn’t trust myself to push the car more becuase I still had to drive my M3 home. I need more time to get used the extra grip. When the car did get loose, it was predictable and the noise from the tires tells you when you are at the limit of grip. Very communicative tire. People say “its a R-comp with treads”, or “cheater tire” and I believe them.
With such a high grip tire, I did notice a couple of draw backs. First is the road noise. It’s considerably louder then normal street tires. Think of off road tires loud. I didn’t mind it becuase the RE71R is strictly my track tire, but something to thing about if you planning to daily it. The other drawback is how fast it wears out! After 3 track days you can tell not much tread it left on the outside portion of the tire. Im guessing I have maybe 3 more track days left. I really like grip but with such fast wear rate its going to start hurting the wallet. I’m not sure if I’ll buy another set because of this but its a tire to try at least once. If you want high grip but willing to sacrifice some comfort and tire life then this is the tire for you.