The Hankook Ventus RS4 is a more affordable way to experience ultimate dry grip in a summer tire. It’s a known fact that summer tires (especially high/ultra-high performance rubber) are pricier than most all-season tires. But with the Hankook Ventus RS4, your vehicle can achieve the same level of handling, acceleration, cornering, and braking without costing a fortune.
But the lower price is not the only reason why the Hankook Ventus RS4 is one of the best summer tires for street and track applications. It manages to deliver acceptable levels of grip in the wet along with agreeable levels of comfort and refinement for daily use. This means you can drive your vehicle to the racetrack, take a couple of laps, and drive on the way home without changing tires. Pretty cool, right?
But there are certain drawbacks, and we’ll tackle them in this Hankook Ventus RS4 review. And while this tire is perfect for fast sedans or tuned/modified vehicles, it may not be the best choice for your humble Corolla, Civic, or Chevy Sonic.
One of the most noticeable features is the aggressive directional tread design. The tire has extra-wide shoulders, a wider center block, and twin main grooves. It looks like a racing tire, and it borders close to being mistaken for a slick tire. Whether this is a good or bad thing, it’s entirely up to you. But when paired with a fast sedan or coupe with a lowered stance, the Hankook Ventus RS4 will double or triple the sporty vibe in your vehicle.
The wide center block is ridiculously wide. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a similar tire with this kind of center block. Due to the width of the center block, the tire benefits from two main channeling grooves to disperse water from the contact patch. Since the Ventus RS4 is a summer tire, Hankook didn’t pay much attention to wet performance, which is evident due to the absence of additional grooves or water channels. With a semi-click directional tread design, you have to keep in mind that tires like the Ventus RS4 are more talented in dry roads, which makes them less than ideal for all-weather driving.
The next main feature is the variable angle grooves. This design is optimized to stiffen the block without shaking. The result is a solid and confident ride with exceptional steering feel, handling, and high-speed stability. The high-stiffness shoulder blocks are also engineered to improve steering response while enhancing cornering grip.
The Hankook Ventus RS4 is constructed from a revolutionary carbon-black and silica racing compound. This mixture increases the stiffness of the tire to deliver lasting performance in the hottest racing conditions.
How does it perform in the dry?
The Hankook Ventus RS4 is a revelation in the dry. It offers tenacious levels of grip with extremely sporty handling. This tire will push you to drive like a loon by braking late and attacking a corner with mild oversteer. It also happens to be extremely responsive to steering inputs, which is not exactly brilliant if you want to cruise on the highway. But if you need a tire that offers precision when attacking tight bends and winding corners, the Hankook Ventus RS4 is more than willing to oblige.
Braking performance is also top-notch, even if the hot tarmac is peppered with sand, dust, and dirt. The Ventus RS4 begs to be driven hard and will readily oblige to your whims. It really feels like the Hankook Ventus RS4 can handle more horsepower and torque, which is exactly what a modified muscle car or sports car needs.
Does it behave similarly in the wet?
Not quite. We’ve driven all-season tires touring tires that offer better performance in the wet, but it’s not that bad. In all fairness to the Hankook Ventus RS4, it can still perform well in a light drizzle, but only in a straight line. Moisture, oil, contaminants, and puddled rain will have a detrimental effect on the handling, braking, and cornering abilities of the Hankook Ventus RS4, so keep this in mind.
It’s not exactly a big deal since we’re talking about a summer tire for racing/performance applications. But if you’re eyeing this tire for an everyday driver, there are better options for all-weather driving.
So it’s not good in snow either?
Yes, and it’s not exactly the best choice for cold weather driving, too. The problem with summer tires is they need heat to deliver advanced grip. This is tricky if you’re driving in a cold winter morning, even in the absence of heavy snow and hard ice.
How about comfort and road noise?
I’ll give it to you straight: if you’re looking for comfort in a new set of tires, the Hankook Ventus RS4 is not the best option. But compared to other extreme-performance summer tires, the Ventus RS4 offers acceptable levels of comfort and road noise.
The keyword here is ‘acceptable.’ The firm ride and bothersome tire roar is not an issue in the race track, but it can be annoying in the streets or highways. We’ve driven Chinese-made tires that are noisier or less comfortable than the Hankook Ventus RS4, but the sporty behavior or lack of refinement may bother some owners of European sport-luxury sedans.
Extreme performance comes at a price. But luckily in the case of the Hankook Ventus RS4, it came with a reasonable amount of refinement considering the lower price.
Should I buy the Hankook Ventus RS4?
If you have a sports sedan or sports cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Subaru WRX STI, Jaguar F-Type, Audi TT, BMW 3-Series, or Nissan GT-R, the Hankook Ventus RS4 is a popular choice. It delivers maximum performance and relentless grip at a fraction of the price.
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