Nitto NT-01 Review
We recently got the opportunity to test out Nitto’s new DOT approved competition tire, the NT-01, on the Project Evo. With the tire sizes available we decided to go with a 275/35/18 sized tire (full tread (6/32”)). The Evo Tuner Shoot Out was around the corner and what better place to see what these tires can do than on the track.
The Evo Tuner Shoot Out was held at Carolina Motorsport Park. During the week leading up to the day of the event, the track went through countless downpours, which washed off most of the rubber laid down. This meant that the track would be a little more slippery then normal. With less traction available on track, this new tire would be put to the test. We had to break the tires in during the first few laps to ensure the longevity of the tire. After we broke in the set and tire pressures were checked, we decided to go for a few hot laps. Our first reaction to the performance of the NT-01 was total amazement. With the slippery conditions the tire didn’t seem to want to break loose even with full tread. As we completed each lap, we pushed the car more and more, hoping we could find the breaking point of these tires. Again to our surprise, these tires would not let loose. The levels of lateral grip are amazing. To give you an idea of the type of grip we experienced after a few sessions out we noticed that most of time we were practically pinned to the side of the seat. All you could see were smiles within the car as it zoomed by clocking faster and faster lap times.
After a full weekend of abuse, the tires proved to be able to handle whatever we threw at them. Usually when you run on tires that are not shaved (full tread), chunking can occur and this has happened on tires we’ve used before. With the NT-01’s we didn’t experience chunking or any abnormal tire wear. This is partially due to the fact that the NT-01’s have a more shallow tread depth and larger tread block then some of the competition. In fact, throughout the weekend as we wore down the tire tread the grip seemed to improve, giving us better lap times.
The NT-01’s were perfect on the track, so now we wanted to see how they performed on the street. Keep in mind these tires should not be purchased for street use only because they are rated for dry conditions. They should mainly be used on the track, but can be used on the street. Our street experience with these tires was only conducted coming back from the track event. During that time, we loved every minute of it. The grip was there and we really got a good feel for the road. Our only concern was picking up a nail or anything that could puncture the tire on the way back. The tires can heat up pretty quickly and will pick up most anything on the road. They’ll also be noticeably louder than stock so be prepared for a noisy ride.
Overall we were extremely pleased with these unique tires. Nitto has come up with a tire that can provide extraordinary grip without compromises. We were very happy with our set and we will continue to use the NT-01’s for our weekend track adventures. Our only complaint is the limited tires sizes available. According to Nitto representatives, this problem is being remedied.