The purpose of an Ultra High Performance tyre is simple. It has to be excellent in the wet, grippy in the dry and practical to live with everyday. Look no further, the Falken Azenis FK510 will serve each of those criterias. The FK510 takes over from the FK453, and rather than just updating the model, Falken spent over 3 years engineering the replacement UHP tyre to be a true market contender. Head to the end of this article to watch our video review of the FK510 on a BMW F30.
During the launch of the FK510, I had the chance to test its wet and dry weather performance on a slalom course and wet braking area but I needed a real world test in natural conditions over a period of time because that is where you find the true strengths of a tyre. So Falken very kindly obliged by giving me a four pieces of their finest rubber to slap on a BMW F30 328i. The sizes used in this case are 225/40 R19 for the fronts and 255/35 R19 at the rear.
First thing I realised after driving it around for a couple of days was the way this compound has an exceptionally low amount of tyre roar. Given the low profile nature, usually tyres of this size need to be hard and unforgiving but the FK510 is the opposite of that. It does a superb job at soaking up the harsh malaysian roads thanks to its Tension Control Technology that provides a more flexible middle sidewall to absorb shock while driving. No doubt it improves the handling as well but it does wonders for the comfort aspect. Even at highway speeds I heard nothing but a whisper from the tyres and the rest was down the car itself.
In order to test the performance, clearly driving it on the road would not surfice, legally that is, so what I did was setup a little slalom course in a closed area and decided to really put the FK510 through its paces. You can enjoy the full video on that at the Hypertune Youtube channel but long story short, Falkens flagship rubber has nothing to worry about as it can handle the twisty business without breaking a sweat. The Adaptive Constant Pressure (ACP) pattern design maximises the contact patch and helps the driver feel in control while improving stability. I was pitching it into the tight slalom course at speeds of above 50kmh and the most I got from the tyres were chirrups but not sense of understeer or oversteer. It stayed true to its course and in the event of an emergency manoeuvre, can be expected to do so as well.
Now we come to the piece de resistance of the Falken UHP name. Wet weather performance. The FK510 boasts circumferential grooves and lanes in its design to channel water OUT of the contact patch and reduce the risk of hydroplaning. Luckily for me, looked like God was on my side because not long after, the heavens opened. Driving at legal highway speeds was no tall task thanks to the stability the FK510 provides, nor are hitting sudden puddles of water at speed. Emergency braking scenarios are much less frantic as well because the FK510 simply, grips. It’s tough to explain this but experiencing it is the best demonstration.
No matter how good a driver is, he/she is only as good as the things connecting the car to the road. That’s why choosing the right tyre for your car is crucial. Having used the FK510 for almost half a year now since it went on sale, it has not put a foot wrong. This, is what an Ultra High Performance tyre is all about. The tyre has already won multiple awards in Europe and is seen as a real contender in the battle for the performance tyre throne. Stamford Tyres Ltd, the local Falken tyre distributor is bringing in a total of 88 sizes, from 17 to 22 inch, catering for all cars. For more details on the Azenis FK510, head to the Falken website or visit any Falken tyre dealership to get your Raya journey done right.