Atlas Force UHP Detailed Review


Atlas Force UHP as the name suggests, is a great budget pick, when it comes to entry-level ultra high performance all season tires. But is it still worth it? Well, let’s find out.

Audi A8
Atlas Force UHP on Audi A8.

Quick Highlights

Overall, the Atlas Force UHP excels in:

  • Strong directional grip on dry surfaces, providing a stable driving experience.
  • Effective braking capabilities, which is comparable to premium options.
  • Decent winter performance thanks to its abundance of sipes, ensuring adequate grip.

However, the tire could use a little bump in:

  • Wet condition handling, where it struggles with steering responsiveness.
  • Overall ride comfort, as its firmer composition leads to a jittery experience and noticeable road noise.
  • Tread longevity and fuel efficiency, where the heavy build compromise its performance over time.

Tire Specs

Here’s a summary of the tire characteristics:

  • Total Number of Sizes: 94 different tire sizes available.
  • Speed Ratings: The speed ratings for these tires include W (up to 270 km/h), V (up to 240 km/h), Y (up to 300 km/h), and H (up to 210 km/h). Learn all about speed ratings here.
  • Load Ratings: SL, and XL.
  • Tread Depth: The tread depth of these tires varies between 10 to 11/32″, (or 7.7 to 8.5 mm, to be more specific).
  • Weight: 22 to 35 lbs.
  • UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading): 520 AA A.
  • Treadwear Warranty: 40k miles.

Tread Structure

The Atlas Force UHP features a unique asymmetric tread design, marked by five prominent ribs or block columns.

Atlas Force UHP
Atlas Force UHP tread reminds me of Michelin PSAS 4.

Here, the 3 ribs in the middle, are designed for consistent contact with the road, thanks to their continuous-running structures, without proper lateral voids, enhancing grip.

Though, the 4 circumferential grooves, they make, aren’t interconnected to each other, laterally, and that limits water evacuation.

The middle (most) rib is uniquely designed with dual lateral notches that facing outwards.

And while the adjacent ribs also feature similar notches, they vary in terms of siping.

Here one rib showcases a wave-like pattern, while the other mirrors the linear sipes of the central rib.

The shoulder lugs on each side of the tire also vary similarly in terms of sipes (where one side has linear pattern, while the other side comes with wave-like sipes).

However, these shoulder lugs have proper lateral voids in between them.

Finding the right all-season tire? start here.
And also make sure to check out the top 10 UHP tires, here:

Overall Dry Performance

When evaluating a tire’s dry road capabilities, we focus on three primary areas: grip strength, maneuverability, and steering precision.

Let’s explore each of these aspects.

Directional Grip

Directional grip is the traction a tire provides while moving in a straight line. This aspect is influenced by various elements such as the tread design, material composition, and most importantly, the central footprint of the tire.

Now, the Atlas Force UHP offers a stable and adherent rubber composition, with a densely structured central area, providing great results here.

As previously discussed in the tread design section, it features three continuous circumferential ribs that ensure consistent contact between the rubber and the road.

Additionally, its angular, chunky lugs with in-groove notches effectively bite into the road surface, enhancing its overall linear grip.

These combined features result in a appreciable dry braking distance, typically measured by the average stopping time from 60 mph.

To contextualize its performance, the dry braking capability of the Atlas Force UHP is on par with the Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3, which is a big deal, since we are comparing one of the cheapest ultra high performance tire with a premium option

Review Pirelli’s AS+ 3 here:

Overall Handling

Handling measures the tire’s sideways traction, which gets defined by the tire’s outer edges.

This is because as the tire turns, these edges of the tread, compress more against the road, essentially making greater/firmer contact with the ground. So, their contact patch is pretty significant here.

That’s why here, it can be seen why the Atlas Force UHP, with packed up shoulders, and effective biters there, is able to provide one of the best lateral grip values, on average (as seen by its top-tier lateral g forces).

Though the tire still lacks in overall handling.

I mean in my comparative testing with UHPs, the Atlas tire although offered better lateral grip compared to Vredestein HyperTrac, it still lacked to it by half of a second in overall handling lap time tests (on average).

This has to do with the tire’s slightly sluggish steering response, where there’s a noticeable delay in the tire’s response to steering inputs.

This lagging steering feedback basically is due to the tire’s heavier construction, which causes the lugs to bend more during cornering.

This bending not only wastes time and energy but also disrupts the balance between understeering and oversteering.

Wet Performance

The assessment of wet performance revolves around tire’s resist hydroplaning, and its overall wet grip and handling.

Let’s explore these aspects in detail.

Wet Grip and Handling

The Atlas Force UHP doesn’t quite match up to other leading all-season high-performance tires in handling wet conditions and maintaining grip.

The steering is satisfactory, similar to its performance on dry roads. However, there’s a noticeable shortfall in overall traction, particularly evident with the tire’s tendency to slip in corners.

From my evaluations, a key issue is the tire’s slow recovery after losing front-end grip and beginning to skid. It takes a considerable amount of time to regain control, which is a significant drawback.

Although, there’s a fair balance between the tire’s front and rear, pushing the tire too hard, (especially on wet surfaces, with few mm deep water), it can easily lose this balance, resulting in some of the slowest lap times on the track.

Additionally, the tire’s braking performance is also not impressive enough, which also affects overall handling, as it necessitates slowing down more, before entering corners.

So, why does the tire fall short in these areas despite having plenty of sipes? Well to understand that, you need to know how sipes work.

Simply put, sipes are tiny slits that help absorb moisture, sucking up water particles into their slits, and this requires tread flexibility.

And this is exactly where the Atlas tire lacks. The tire comes with a stiffer rubber composition, which limits the sipes’ ability to absorb and release water effectively, thus reducing wet traction.

As a result, its performance in wet conditions is lacking, though interestingly, it performs similarly to the General G Max AS 05 (review), in terms of overall braking and steering.

Aquaplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning, or floating (of a tire), occurs when a thin layer of water forms a barrier between the tread and the road, resulting in a loss of traction. To prevent this, tires are designed with grooves that create channels to evacuate water.

The Atlas Force UHP handles this well, featuring multiple voids across the tread that effectively disperse water and maintain reliable float speeds. However, the tire’s water evacuation is primarily efficient in longitudinal direction (and not lateral).

This is due to its design of three continuous/unbroken ribs in the middle not allowing the four circumferential grooves (they make) to be properly interconnected with each other.

This limits/restricts the tire’s lateral water escaping abilities, lowering overall float speeds (as seen on curved hydroplaning tests).

Tread Longevity

The tire stands out with its strong build and sophisticated design, contributing to its durability.

It features a dual-ply polyester internal structure, with wide steel belts on top and an additional full-width nylon cap ply, spirally wound, at the very top. This construction ensures a high level of toughness within its category.

But then why the tire is only average when it comes to its overall tread longevity?

Well this is because with extra durability, comes extra weight.

The added weight increases pressure on the lugs during road contact, leading to accelerated wear.

So, although the tire offers a 40k-mile warranty, which seems reassuring, it often struggles to reach this milestone without compromising, its performance (especially when it comes to wet traction).

I mean at best, its only able to give you with 25k miles. But still given its price tag, the tire still provides you with the best value, among other UHPAS tires.

Out of all the ultra-high performance all-season tires, I’ve reviewed so far (and I think I covered them all), the Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S+ provides longest lasting tread, (review in highlighted text).

Winter Performance

All-season tires often integrate features typically found in winter tires to improve traction in cold and snowy conditions.

And this is very true for Atlas tire here. This tire features:

  • Softer Compound: Offering a pliable composition, which remains flexible even in the cold temperatures. This flexibility keeps the biters supple and effective.
  • Abundance of Sipes: These small slits cater to grip on icy surfaces particularly, where they provide the needed bite on a micro level.
  • Snow grabbing elements: The tire’s design incorporates grooves and notches that can trap and hold snow. This leverages the concept of “snow-on-snow traction,” where snow packed within the tire treads bonds better with snow on the road, thereby improving grip.

So although the Force UHP doesn’t come with 3 peak rating, it still provides a decent enough traction, especially among other budget picks in its category of ultra-high-performance tires.

Overall Ride Comfort

Overall ride quality depends on the tire’s noise reduction and bumps absorption capabilities. Let’s check out both of these aspects.

Road Smoothness

Road smoothness in a tire is largely influenced by its ability to absorb and smooth out road imperfections, which in turn depends on the tire’s overall construction.

In this aspect, the Atlas tire, having a relatively harder tread compound, falls short.

Although it provides stable steering, the ride quality tends to be jittery due to this firmer composition. Additionally, the tire’s stiffer internal cap ply further contributes to this lack of smoothness.

Noise Reduction

When it comes to road noise, the Atlas Force UHP isn’t excessively loud but does emit a distinct, higher-pitched sound that varies depending on the road surface.

This noise primarily originates from air circulation, within the tread.

As the air enters predominantly through the shoulder area, the tire, lacking ridge placement unlike other quieter tires in its category, tends to be somewhat louder, as indicated by its greater average decibel readings (on tests).

Though on a positive note, the tire incorporates variable pitch technology, which at least keeps its tread vibrations low.

With this variable pitch tread, the tire is able to generate various sound frequencies that counterbalance each other, aiding in noise reduction to a certain degree.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency in tires is directly linked to their rolling resistance, and the Atlas Force UHP could see improvements in this area.

The primary reason is its denser internal and outer design, which adds to its overall weight, increasing pressure on the lugs and thereby increasing notable rolling resistance.

Yet, its overall fuel economy remains average within its class. And so being less expensive all-season tire, this improves its overall value.

This is partly due to its stiffer rubber composition and longitudinally streamlined, densely packed lugs. Both these features help reduce lug bending, despite the greater weight pressure on them.

Why does this matter? When lugs bend, they dissipate energy, mainly as heat, instead of conserving it for the tire’s rotation. This leads to increased fuel consumption, making the tire’s design pivotal in its impact on fuel efficiency.

Concluding Thoughts

Starting with dry performance, the Atlas Force UHP provides pretty decent braking and handling capabilities. Though the tire could use some enhancements in terms of its steering responsiveness.

Moreover, it also provides you with decent winter performance, especially considering other budget options in its category.

Though in wet conditions, its performance is less impressive, where the tire really struggles with traction, particularly in corners.

And speaking of other drawbacks, the tire doesn’t excel in overall ride comfort too.

Though it does offer good enough durability and with it an okay tread longevity and fuel economy.

3 thoughts on “Atlas Force UHP Detailed Review”

  1. Can you review the Atlas Force HP tire? It gets high ratings from Consumer Reports, despite being less than half the price of the other tires in its class.


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