Nitto NT05 Review: High-performance Summer Tires

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  • Exceptional dry traction
  • Solid handling and stability
  • Superior high-speed performance
  • Ideal for drag or racing applications
  • Can be paired with NT05R drag radials


  • Mediocre comfort
  • Expensive price

Do you know what’s tougher than choosing the right wheels for your car? It will have to be choosing the right tire combination, most especially in staggered wheel applications. If you have wider or bigger wheels in the rear than in the front, you can search hard and long finding tires designed for such applications.

Luckily for you, the search ends here with the Nitto NT05.

The Nitto NT05 can be paired with the NT05R drag radial tire. Nitto worked hard to match the tread design and sizing of both tires. This is perfect if you have a modified muscle car fitted with aftermarket wheels. Purchasing the NT05 together with the NT05R will not only maximize the grip and traction in your vehicle, but it will also improve the racing style of your vehicle.

In this review, we’ll look into the features and benefits of the Nitto NT05R. We’ll also discuss the drawbacks of installing a set of max performance drag tires in your everyday ride.

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What are the features of the Nitto NT05?

If we were all driving in racetracks instead of normal roads, our vehicles will be fitted with slick tires. The Nitto NT05 has a semi-slick tread design, which means more of the rubber is in contact with the road. The primary reason tires are designed with grooves and siping to assist in water dissipation.

But in designing the NT05, Nitto’s goal is to provide extreme performance in high-horsepower vehicles. The NT05 is equipped with an extra-wide continuous center rib and oversized shoulder blocks. This design enables more of the tire to make contact with the ground. This not only enhances the stance of your ride, but it also results in superior dry traction and grip.

The continuous center rib and reinforced tread blocks provide outstanding stability and rigidity. The Nitto NT05 is constructed from a specially formulated tread compound with reinforced internal construction for maximum stability and durability.

Nitto NT05 Review

What are the drawbacks of drag tires?

It’s not clear if Nitto is classifying the NT05 as an all-season or summer tire. But in general, drag tires or racing tires are not particularly ideal in the street. Drag tires are not only stiffer and less refined, but they don’t perform as well in the wet than in the dry.

There’s a reason why full-on racing cars are towed or trailered on the way to the track, most especially when fitted with drag radials. And this is because racing tires are not designed to cope with changing weather conditions. Some are particularly dangerous to drive on a wet highway as the tires may succumb to hydroplaning or aquaplaning.

But the Nitto NT05 is different. Sure, it’s a racing tire designed for the dragstrip. But with two circumferential grooves to assist in water dissipation, the NT05 can handle a wet run as long as you’re careful with the throttle and steering inputs.

It also happens to be refined and comfortable enough to be driven on the highway, but don’t get your hopes up. If your intention is to make your vehicle look good by installing racing tires, you can expect the ride comfort and road noise to suffer due to the inherent lack of refinement.

How does it perform in the dry?

As long as the tires are hot enough, the Nitto NT05 hooks on the tarmac with the tenacity of a hungry lion. The handling is also solid as the tire is capable of responding to the minutest steering corrections. But similar to summer tires, the Nitto NT05 needs to be heated or warmed up to produce ridiculous amounts of grip.

You can also expect stronger braking and better stability, which is necessary if you’re behind the wheel of a serious performance machine. It takes a lot of prodding (or insane amounts of horsepower) to disrupt the composure of the Nitto NT05, but this tire seems to beg for more as you attack a dead straight at maximum velocity.

Is it really that bad in the wet?

Racing tires, in general, are not good in the wet. But the Nitto NT05 is better in the wet than most racing tires, and that’s a fact. But remember it doesn’t take much to unsettle these tires on a wet highway, most especially in colder weather.

So it’s not good in the snow?

Yes, you are correct. Also, the Nitto NT05 is not ideal for cold weather in general.

How about comfort and refinement?

Considering the racing attributes of the Nitto NT05, it performs rather well in terms of comfort and refinement. But if you’re expecting a comfortable and silent ride like in a touring tire, you will be disappointed.

However, this has nothing to do with the tire itself. What’s impressive is Nitto was able to tone down the stiffness and road noise without sacrificing an extreme grip. But if you really need to ask, the Nitto NT05 is noisy at medium to high speed while the ride comfort is stiff yet compliant enough to avoid a visit to the chiropractor.

You can see more Nitto NT05 Review here: videos created by Bryan

Should I buy the Nitto NT05?

Yes, but only if your car really needs a set of performance drag radials. It also happens the Nitto NT05 is rather pricey. You can expect to spend around $900 to $1200 for a set of 19-inch Nitto NT05 tires.

But when it comes to transferring extreme amounts of power and torque to the ground, you can count on the sticky compound of the Nitto NT05. This is one of the best choices in the aftermarket racing scene and is only rivaled by the Yokohama Advan A052 and Falken Azenis RT615K+.

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