I had a set of Nitto Invo tires put on my 350Z daily driver early this year, replacing the factory Bridgestone Potenza RE050A’s. I drove them through the spring, fall, and the beginning of winter, under pretty much every condition a tire like this would see. I’m happy to report that these are probably the best all around high-performance summer tire that I have driven on to date.
When I first started shopping for new tires, I wasn’t looking for a summer tire that would give the highest overall grip due to the trade-offs that brings. What I was looking for was a tire that was quite, comfortable, and had a good life span without giving up too much performance. My research lead me to Nitto, who advertised this tire as exactly what I was looking for. Their price was on par with a lot of other tires for my application, so I decided to give them a try.
I expected this tire to have a little softer sidewall than a typical high-performance summer tire, and it did. This softness was quite welcome on the long commutes I was driving at the time, but it did give up a little of the steering sharpness and added some body roll. I think that most people would find the amount lost negligible for everyday driving, and I feel this is a good compromise.
A lot of tires in this category advertise that they are quiet. Unfortunately, quiet is a subjective term similar to something like “male enhancement”. But, I was impressed with the Invo’s noise level; especially in my Z which is notorious for transmitting any tread sounds from the rear tires into the cockpit. These tires don’t produce anything more then a slight hum.
I also like the tread design of these tires, not from a looks standpoint (though, I do think they look really cool) but from a functionality perspective. A lot of tires have large tread blocks that are right on the outside edge of the tread. The problem I found with this is that under extremely hard cornering, these side blocks get torn up. The Invo’s outside edge has a tread which smoothly transitions into the tires sidewall and doesn’t provide the type of surface which can be easily torn off. These are the tires I ran at the Autobahn Country Club for an open track day, and I was impressed at how this part of the tire held up. This tread design also performs well in the rain, but that should be expected from a summer-only tire.
Like I said in the paragraph above, I did take these tires racing and pushed them as far as they would go. They definitely allowed for more slop in the handling, but I was able to counter a lot of this by adding more air pressure. I normally run abut 36 psi, but I found that around 38-40 psi helped out on the track. Like any fully treaded tire that’s raced on, the edges of the tread blocks did get a little feathering by the end of the day. But, it wasn’t bad and I saw no signs of chunking or anything really negative.
The Final Verdict:
I think these are some of the best, if not the best high performance street tires currently available. If your looking for a tire that will put you on the podium in your street tire race class, this is not the tire for you. But, if your looking for a sport tire for everyday use that has a great balance of performance and comfort, and can handle a track day; this is definitely your tire.