Toyo Extensa HP 2 Review

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The Toyo Extensa HP 2 presents a balanced blend of comfort, control, and efficiency, making it a strong contender in the high-performance all-season tire category. Let’s check this tire out in greater details.

Benz S Class
Toyo Extensa HP 2 is a great pick for all sorts of sporty coupes.

Main Takeaway

Overall, the Toyo Extensa HP 2 tire offers great performance in terms of:

  • Directional Grip: Enhanced by its central rib.
  • Noise Comfort: Where, its design minimizes air entry.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Achieved through a lighter weight, and design features that reduce rolling resistance.
  • Light-Snow Performance: Shows appreciable capability in light snow conditions.
  • Hydroplaning Resistance: Effectively evacuates water, particularly in the longitudinal direction.

However, the tire could use some improvements in:

  • Wet Traction: Due to limited siping and stiffness in rubber composition.
  • Ice Performance: As its missing with intricate biters, needed here.
  • Ride Comfort: Where, it struggles with larger road imperfections.
  • Handling: Exhibits a tendency to understeer, affecting its overall dry and wet performance.

Tread Structure

By examining the tire’s design more intimately, we can better comprehend its operational characteristics, so its best we start here.

Toyo Extensa HP 2
Toyo Extensa HP 2 features consistent road contact from its middle, which makes sense, looking at its tread.

So, the Toyo Extensa HP 2 is equipped with a directional tread design.

At its center, the most prominent (middle-most) rib features a continuous-running design for sustained road contact, enhancing grip.

This rib is distinguished by sharp lateral notches angled outwards, aiding in lateral traction.

Moving outwards, the surrounding ribs display a more intricate pattern.

The lugs here are elongated with pronounced offset edges and linear sipes. These ribs incorporate notches similar to those on the central rib, but they are oriented towards the shoulders.

And talking about shoulders, the lugs here are designed with simplicity in mind.

They only feature smaller lateral voids, subtle chamfered edges, and linear lateral sipes, contributing to the tire’s overall handling and stability on the road.

Size Dimensions

The tire comes in 60 total sizes in 15 to 22 inches rims. They have following specs.

  • Speed ratings: V and W.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 8.9 to 9.9/32″.
  • Weight: 15 to 32 lbs.
  • UTQG: 500 A A.
  • Treadwear warranty: 45k miles.
  • Winter ratings: Only M+S.

Internally, the tire offers 2 ply polyester, 2 steel belts, and a singly ply nylon.

Hey folks! Looking for all-season tires? Start your search on this page and discover all the best options.

Overall Dry Performance

For a comprehensive assessment of dry performance, we consider the tire’s grip, its stability during rapid maneuvers, and its overall handling efficiency.

Let’s investigate these factors in detail.

Directional Grip

This grip refers to tire’s straight line traction, and is measured by braking distances.

And here, the Toyo Extensa HP 2 stands out, showcasing above average performance, comparing other tires in its high performance all season category.

This is attributed to the tire’s directional tread design, with continuous-running central most rib, and its rounded contact patch. Let me explain how each of these components help the tire here.

Basically, while the central most rib provides consistent rubber-to-road contact, the tire’s overall directional pattern further adds to the contact patch, allowing tread to align precisely with the road, adding to its longitudinal grip.

Moreover, as the tire comes with one of the lightest structures in its category, it keeps a low momentum, allowing for easier and more effective braking.

And here, the tire’s rounded contact patch further supports this, as it evenly distributes the weight pressure across the lugs, reducing momentum even further, adding to the tire’s braking efficacy.

To give you an idea about its performance, the tire stopping distances (on averaged tests), are very similar to Falken Azenis FK460 A/S, one of its direct competitor.

Lateral Grip and Steering

Lateral grip becomes particularly important when a tire is navigating turns. This grip is largely derived from the tire’s tread edges, including the shoulders and sidewalls.

As these areas are technically, the primary points of contact with the road during cornering, their design matters a lot here.

That’s why it can be explained why Toyo Extensa HP 2 excels here as well. The tire offers very compact shoulder lugs, with minimal voids, ensuring excellent rubber-to-road contact.

Needless to say, this design provides outstanding traction, as seen by lateral G force tests, on average.

However, the tire shows a slightly slower performance in overall handling, being about 0.5 seconds slower in lap times compared to the BFG G Force Comp 2 AS+ (review), in average tests (for example), even though it offered better lateral grip.

So why is it happening?

Well, this is because overall handling is a subtle balance between tire’s lateral grip and steering response, and Toyo lacks in later, where the tire is a little prone to understeering.

But don’t get me wrong, we’re kind of comparing apples with oranges here. I mean the Extensa comes in HP category, while BFG Comp 2 is a premium UHP.

So its still appreciable that the tire is able to compete with tires out of its league.

Although the tire is not able to give ample mid cornering feedback, it does really well in cornering entry and exiting thanks to its superior directional grip.

Meaning, it enters the corner quicker, as it brakes faster before entering, and exiting the corner it offers a great on-center feel, and superior acceleration. All of these elements directly add to the tire’s overall handling times.

Wet Performance

In wet environments, the key to a tire’s performance lies in its ability to maintain traction, steer accurately, and resist hydroplaning.

Let’s assess these critical components.

Hydroplaning Resistance

Water, being in-compressible, must be efficiently evacuated from a tire’s tread to prevent hydroplaning, because otherwise it would come in between the tread and the road, causing a tire to float and loose all its traction.

So tires have to provide an efficient enough groove structure, which could channel water away from the contact area, quickly.

Having said that, the Toyo Extensa HP 2, distinguished by its expertly engineered directional tread pattern, effectively addresses water evacuation.

The tire’s design, featuring numerous voids, is adept at removing water, particularly in the longitudinal direction.

However, its ability to displace water laterally is somewhat limited due to the densely packed shoulder design, which restricts horizontal water flow.

That’s why it only offers good enough straight float speeds, and not curved. In other words, its more prone to hydroplaning while cornering (as seen by tests on a few mm of water covered roads).

Wet traction and Handling

While most of the water is expelled out through the grooves, residual moisture beneath the tire lugs can still affect grip.

And this is where sipes, small cuts or slits in the tread, play a crucial role.

These sipes absorb the remaining water particles, preventing tire’s from slipping. They basically create a suction by flexing, effectively soaking up leftover water particles.

That’s why for optimal wet performance, tires need not only a sufficient number of sipes but also ones made from a flexible rubber compound. And this is where, the Toyo Extensa HP 2 faces some challenges.

If you consider its tread again, you’d note that it doesn’t offer too many sipes, particularly in its middle area. This explains why the tire lacks so much in wet braking.

And although you get ample sipes on shoulder lugs, their predominately linear structures, aren’t so effective at absorbing water particles.

This is because linear sipes tend to get stiffer, (especially with extreme cornering). And here the tire’s relatively stiffer rubber composition isn’t helping either. Both of these elements, reduce the sipes’ water absorbing abilities, affecting overall wet traction.

That’s why compared to one of its direct competitors, the Yokohama Advan Sport A/S+ (review), the Toyo lacks by over 2 seconds in wet handling lap times, and over 10 feet in braking distance tests, on average.

Side Note: If wet traction of this tire is bugging, you should know that you can improve its wet performance considering these points.

Noise Comfort

Tire noise primarily arises from air interactions, where air particles enter through shoulder gaps and collide with the tread walls, creating pattern noise and tread vibration.

Now, typically, tires with directional patterns are not the quietest, but the Extensa HP 2 defies this trend, standing out as one of the quietest all-season tires in its high-performance category.

This is due to the tire’s highly compacted shoulder lugs, which restrict the entry of most air particles, thereby addressing noise at its source.

Moreover, the tire features lugs with a multitude of angles and shapes in front of the shoulders, which manage the air that still manages to get in.

These lugs are capable of producing a range of tones with different frequencies as air passes through them.

And those varying frequencies effectively interact and neutralize each other, leading to a reduction in overall noise levels.

Additionally, since there aren’t many sipes (on Toyo’s tread), especially in the middle of the tire, it emits fewer growling sounds compared to many others in its category.

Winter Performance

The Toyo Extensa HP 2 excels in light snow conditions, particularly in acceleration, attributed to its robust longitudinal grip.

This performance stems from its distinctive V-shaped tread design, aimed at efficiently displacing snow, slush, and ice backwards, thus aiding forward movement, or I should say, acceleration.

However, it’s worth noting that this tire doesn’t qualify for the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake certification, which requires surpassing standard touring tires by at least 10% in snow acceleration. Just an FYI.

Though, the tire offering various in-groove biters, chamfered edges and notches provide pretty decent overall grip, on almost all types of winter terrains.

All of these elements basically promote snow-to-snow contact, crucial for sustained traction. This effectiveness is based on the tendency of snowflakes to stick together, forming a cohesive layer, that improves grip.

Nonetheless, the tire has a few drawbacks, especially regarding ice handling, where it comes with a tendency to oversteer.

Road Smoothness

The Toyo Extensa HP 2 provides reasonable ride comfort, adeptly cushioning minor road irregularities and impacts. However, it struggles with larger, more substantial bumps, where its adaptability seems somewhat restricted.

This limitation largely stems from the its design, where although the tire offers a flexible enough outer layer, it’s stiffer secondary rubber layer (underneath all lugs), and a more rigid internal structure are causing problems.

These although offer superb handling stability, they aren’t able to smoothen out road imperfections, as much, as one would want.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel economy is influenced by various factors, including tire characteristics such as weight, tread depth, and composition. These aspects have a direct impact on a tire’s rolling resistance, which is a key determinant of fuel efficiency.

Now, in the case of the Extensa HP 2, its design contributes significantly to fuel efficiency, through several features:

  • Stiffer Rubber Composition: Employing a rigid rubber, the tire reduces the flexing of its lugs. This conserves energy, as it’s not wasted in the form of heat.
  • Reinforced Lug Support: This design element again limits lug flexing, which optimizes the use of the tire’s energy for propulsion instead of wasting it.
  • Lighter Weight: The reduced weight of the tire lowers the overall rolling resistance.
  • Rounded Contact Patch: This distribute the tire’s weight more evenly, reducing the pressure on the lugs, minimizing rolling resistance further.

So overall, Toyo HP2 is a great fuel efficient option, when it comes to high performance AS tires.

Wrapping Up

Summing up, the Toyo HP2 presents various performance characteristics, making it important to align it with your specific driving preferences and conditions.

It offers a strong strong dry directional grip, enhanced by its central rib and rounded contact patch. Though it could use a little assistance in the steering department.

On wet roads, although the tire offers decent resistance to hydroplaning, it lacks a lot when it comes to wet braking.

And in winter conditions, it performs well in light snow but lacks the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake certification, indicating room for improvement in harsher winter scenarios.

The ride comfort is reasonable, effectively handling minor road imperfections, but struggles with larger bumps due to its stiffer internal structure. Though it offers superb noise reduction.

Finally, in terms of fuel efficiency, the Extensa excels, thanks to its lighter weight construction, predominately.

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