What is the better way to test and review the Falken Azenis RT615k+ than doing that in a proper V8 muscle car! In my case, I was given the privilege to test drive a 2013 Ford Mustang GT with the Coyote 5.0-liter V8 motor. My test car was fitted with 18-inch racing wheels and the Falken Azenis RT615k tires.
Not all tires can boast of extreme performance and still remain affordable for the average buyer. Depending on the specs, the Falken Azenis RT615K+ is a bit more reasonable compared to similar offerings like the Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R or the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. It’s now what you call cheap, but it’s good to know it still undercuts the competition in terms of price.
Another thing about the Falken Azenis RT615K+ is the gorgeous and aggressive asymmetric tread design. This tire definitely has the looks, and it did make my test car look a bit more muscular on the track. This tire can boast of racing-bred performance since it is based on the winning formula of the RT615K competition tire.
The ‘+’ is important since the Falken Azenis RT615K+ utilizes a digitally-engineered nanotech tread compound to deliver extreme levels of grip on both the street and the race track. In other words, it is an extreme performance summer tire that manages to retain a certain level of refinement on normal roads.
The nanotech tread compound utilized in the Falken Azenis RT615K+ is engineered to improve tread flexibility while reducing heat to deliver relentless performance on dry pavement. The asymmetric design features massive side shoulder blocks that provide high levels of grip and adhesion to drastically improve the cornering prowess of your ride.
This tire is also equipped with a solid center rib that purportedly reduces wheel spin under hard acceleration. This feature is designed to minimize the contact-patch void ratio of the tire under extreme duress. This results in faster acceleration and better lap times.
The Falken Azenis RT615K+ is constructed using a high-tension carcass to improve durability, handling, and high-speed stability on all types of roads.
I drove the Mustang for a couple of hot laps. I also got the chance to drive on normal roads. Let’s see how the Falken Azenis RT615K+ performs under a variety of road surfaces.
Similar to other extreme performance tires, the Falken Azen is RT615K+ will need to be warmed up properly before expecting the promise of competition-levels of grip. Once the tires are warm, traction and grip are at the highest level. The tires felt like they were glued to the road, and you can tell it by how the steering feels as I navigated around the track.
It literally took a heavy stab at the gas pedal and a bit of Scandinavian flick to provoke the Mustang to perform a smoky donut. The tires were that sticky. The steering even felt heftier at low speeds. In my opinion, the Falken Azenis RT615K+ is a real track weapon for extreme cars.
The rain started to drizzle by the early afternoon. I took the Mustang for a spin to determine the wet performance of the Falken Azenis RT615K+. The advanced levels of traction and grip were still there, but the car felt a bit looser this time. I guess it would take the nerves of steel of a racing driver to fully exploit the capabilities of the Azenis RT615K+ on a wet track. I wasn’t brave enough to unleash all the450-plus horsepower of my test car on a greasy surface so I took it out for a drive on normal roads.
Even as the highway was soaked in rain, the tires remained calm and composed with no hints of hydroplaning. I did feel the rear tires break traction as I stabbed the gas pedal to overtake a slow vehicle ahead, but it was nothing too worrying to make me feel that I was losing control.
The Falken Azenis RT615K+ is not designed to be used on the snow or in cold weather. If you want a Falken tire that can handle a bit of snow, you should be looking at the Azenis FK450 A/S. I will not include the snow performance in the final score of this review.
My test car was fitted with aftermarket coilover suspension that is designed for the track. With that in mind, I didn’t expect the car to be as comfortable as it was riding on the stock suspension. It’s the same story when I took the car out on normal roads. The ride was stiff but it wasn’t too bad for me to puke my guts out. Regardless of the case, comfort is not one of the strong points of the Falken Azenis RT615K+.
Since the Falken Azenis RT615K+ were designed for maximum adhesion to the road, you can expect a higher level of tire roar compared to a comparable high-performance or a touring tire, and I’m being kind here. It suffices to say that if you want your tires to be silent as you drive, the Falken Azenis RT615K+ is not for you.
Since the level of adhesion is top notch, it is also foolish to expect the Falken Azenis RT615K+ tires to have admirable wear characteristics. The Azenis RT615K+ tires on my Mustang were purchased a week ago for a special track event. Unfortunately, the fun run was canceled due to bad weather. The car was used for as a daily driver for a week before my test drive, which was scheduled on the same day as the actual event. During that time, the tires already had visible signs of wear.
I’m not surprised at the low score of the Falken Azenis RT615K+ in terms of noise, comfort, and tread wear. The tires will unveil their true talents on the track or on a deserted piece of dry tarmac. During that time, you will find yourself grinning from ear to ear since the dry traction was simply top notch.
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Alvin Reyes has expertise in automotive evaluation. He collaborated with famous newspapers and is still making efforts in tire review for DrivingPress.com