In the early 1990s General Motors set the performance car world ablaze with its astonishingly quick GMC Typhoon, the progenitor of the now-widespread sporty SUV segment. Based on the two-door body Jimmy model, GMC shoved a giant turbocharger under the hood, boosting output from the 4.3-liter V6 to a then-astonishing 280 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. With the added benefit of all-wheel traction, the Typhoon was quicker from 0-60 (5.3 seconds) than almost any other car on the market at the time, including Ferrari’s 348, and GM’s own Chevrolet Corvette.
It’s safe to say that SUVs have become quite a bit more common on the road since the GMC made its bow in 1992. For decades they were seen as oddities driven by farmers or off-road enthusiasts, and have become commonplace in every parking lot from sea to shining sea. With that rise in popularity came diversification of purpose. While the majority aimed to provide comfort for the whole family, others focused on track performance numbers and power delivery. There are now SUVs cutting 0-60 times in the low three-second range, and running quarter-mile times you never thought possible.
Thanks to trick computers, improved chassis dynamics, and monumentally advanced tire technology, your average sporty SUV is capable of putting down performance stats once only reached by the highest-tier sports cars. The tires—literally where the rubber meets the road—are the foundation of any good performance chassis. If you don’t have the right tires at each corner of your vehicle, the driving experience will fall totally flat.
A performance SUV is the kind of thing you buy when you don’t want to sacrifice comfort for speed. You also don’t want to sacrifice safety for the sake of speed, either. You want to get a tire for your vehicle that will deliver you home safely in all weather, while still delivering exceptional cornering and braking—no compromise. Featuring best-in-class wet and dry braking, plus best-in-class snow traction1, that tire is the General Tires G-MAX AS-07.
The fact that some of these big SUVs are now packing in the realm of 700 horsepower while weighing between two and three tons means you’re driving around a rocket-propelled Clydesdale. When the weather skews inclement these big beasts can become unwieldy, or even downright dangerous, on their factory-fit summer-only or three-season tires. With the seasons beginning to turn, it’s time to start thinking about whether your fast SUV’s tires will make it through the winter safely.
Here’s the long and short of it; If you’re considering trying to risk it through the season on the original equipment summer tires, don’t even think about it. If you bought one of these sporty SUVs this spring and you live somewhere with cold weather winters, it’s getting time to think about setting an appointment with the ferrier to get it re-shod. Having the wrong tires will absolutely prevent you from enjoying the great outdoors this winter.
A big sporty crossover is going to be inherently hard on its tires. Between the weight demands, cornering requirements, and power delivery, the tires are transferring a lot of energy. In the world of tires, energy is heat, and heat is wear. That’s why it’s so important to find a nice performance tire with good wear characteristics. General Tires is so confident it got the mix right with the G-MAX AS-07, it comes with a 50,000-mile warranty!
My favorite feature of the new G-MAX AS-07 is the Replacement Tire Monitor technology. To make it easy for you, General Tires molded a tire wear gauge into the tread of each tire. The company’s exclusive RTM technology will quickly and easily tell you where you stand. When the tire’s new, the tread reads “Replacement Tire Monitor” and after it has worn down to a tread depth of 3mm, it will read “Replace Tire.” This is a very simple way to tell if you need new tires at a glance. How cool is that?
Forget about snow for a moment, many of these vehicles have been delivered on tires that simply can’t handle colder weather. If your regular winter driving sees temperatures below 40 degrees, even if the roads are completely dry, you should absolutely change out your tires for a performance-oriented all-season.
If you’re looking for a tire that will maintain your vehicle’s performance character while improving winter traction and longevity, you’ll want to get a set of the new-for-2023 General Tires G-MAX AS-07. This dynamic, all-season, ultra-high performance tire delivers superior all-season traction and long-lasting treadwear in 77 different sizes ranging from 16 to 24-inch diameters, ensuring there’s one to fit your family-sized performance machine.
1Based on internal testing of G-MAX AS-07 versus BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S Plus, Hankook Ventus S1 AS, Cooper Zeon RS3-G1, Goodyear Eagle Sport All Season, and Falken Azenis FK460 A/S in size 235/50 ZR18.