While the Yokohama ADVAN A052 extreme performance tire might have had a soft-launch earlier this year, SEMA 2019 was the successful return of the tire with a few changes to the design. Yokohama put on quite the stunning display at the show with a Porsche Cup Car and a new A90 Supra widebody decorated with the ‘ADVAN’ racing livery.
We checked in with Yokohama to see what was up with the new tire (and met Yokohama driver, Travis Pastrana) at their display, which was one of the higher impact booths outside SEMA.
“We did a soft-launch of the ADVAN A052 earlier this year,” says PR Manager, Bill Groake. “However, we increased the tread depth to 7/32nds to meet the requirements of certain racing [series] and expand the sizes just in time for SEMA.”
With that, we wanted to take a closer look to investigate why the latest Yokohama ADVAN product is a winner over the A048 it replaces. The ADVAN A052 is a tire ready for autocross, track days, and high-performance schools but at the same time can be driven on the street safely and reliably. It should be noted, though, this is a one-season tire for street use. It is not intended to be driven (or stored) at, near, or below-freezing temperatures — even if it is completely dry outside. But, when hitting a warm-to-hot dry track, the ADVAN A052 aims to be an absolute weapon, and Yokohama shared with us how they made it happen.
The ADVAN A052 is a tire that molds its exclusive MS Compound from motorsports into a capable wet and dry asymmetrical-tread pattern. The aggressive-tread looks do serve a purpose, with the wide center ribs and beefy outside shoulder to provide plenty of rubber in contact with the road. The rounded tread profile is said to flatten out, providing more contact patch.
There are also notches on the outboard groove to aid with cooling, which keeps the grip from falling off at the track. The wide circumferential grooves are optimized to maintain the most water evacuation and hydroplaning resistance possible, while at the same time, featuring the most amount of rubber on the pavement.
To reduce the tire flex, Yokohama specifically designed the belting for strength. There are two-plies of nylon-belting supporting steel belts under the tread for crisp, responsive handling. The two spirally-wound nylon plies ensure high-speed durability and, of course, on-track responsiveness.
What does this all translate to? A solid street performer that can be taken to the track for several events and open track days. All the enjoyment from the tire will keep on coming with a respectable 200-AA treadwear rating for extended life. Ranging in sizes from a 185/55R14 up to domestic-muscle wheel sizing of 285/35R20, the ADVAN A052 has the applications to meet track enthusiast needs, especially in 17- and 18-inch sizes many of us run.
Earlier this year, Yokohama partnered with Porsche and Pikes Peak to form the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama event. Travis Pastrana campaigned a spec Cayman GT4 Clubsport on the Yokohama ADVAN A052 that was subjected to a nearly 5,000-mile vertical climb, with no tire warm-up and a temperature drop of up to 50-degrees F!
‘The Yokohama tire allowed us to push so hard, right off the bat,’ said Pastrana. “It stayed predictable, even when it started snowing at the top of the mountain!”
It seems Yokohama has a winner here in the ADVAN A052 with capable track rubber that can be an “arrive-and-drive” tire, eliminating the need to lug an extra set of track wheels and R-Comps around. We recently tested the Yokohama ADVAN Apex v601 and took to the autocross with impressive results, but we are eager to check this tire out and bust those lap times wide open.