The newest addition of Firestone is the Firehawk Indy 500 – a summer tire of ultra-high performance. This could possibly be one of their best models so far. There is no denying that Firehawk Indy 500 is a great upgrade and improvement compared to the Wide Oval Indy 500 which was allright, but nothing about it stood out.
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 has the design suitable for all sports car types, sedans, and coupes. The technology is quite interesting, race-inspired (more below), and exactly this technology improves the cornering and traction too.
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 Review: Features
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 is the ultra high-performance summer tire of Firestone, and it was designed for sporty coupes, sports cars, as well as some performance sedans – all with the goal of increasing the pleasure during sports driving, of course, with the help of technology that was race-inspired. This surely makes the sports car driving more pleasant.
With Firehawk Indy 500, expect a good eprformance for dry and wet conditions.
As with all summer tires, Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 are not meant for snowy or icy (near-freezing) conditions.
Also, these tires have the relatively new, silica-enhanced, and high-performance Long Link Carbon tread with rubber, with molding and shape of a fierce-looking tread design with asymmetry. The design also features separate shoulder blocks, made specially for improvement of the handling and cornering during dry weather conditions. The center groove (circumferential one) has the special Pulse Groove Technology for better evacuation of water, combined together with the new tread, as well as two extra circumferential grooves – for short stopping distances on wet roads.
The internal structure of the tire has a high-turnup casing of polyester (some sizes have it in 2-ply), under the double high-tensile belts of steel and reinforcement with nylon – for better handling, responsivenes, high-speed capability, and stability.
If you happen to be into fun and extreme performance rides, this is the right choice.
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500: Performance
Usually, the high-performance tires are made with just the crucial summer weather attributes, but the ones that have all-weather purposes are more popular on the market. They give the wet, dry, and winter traction for a guaranteed year-round safety.
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 is fit for all seasons, except extremely snow or ice during the winter. It has an optimal tread design with asymmetry for better road grip. The compound L.L.Carbon has good quality silica, and this makes the tire stronger against damages caused by weather, while at the same time the weather flexibility is enhanced.
This exact model has good hydroplaning resistance, and we all know how hydroplaning is a major road hazard. The circumferential grooves on the tread, as well as the open shoulder will remove water and let it kinda ‘slush’ under the footprint of the tire. Factors like these improve the performance of this model, at least for wet weather.
Firehawk Indy 500 is not well designed for off-road driving, and this is not its primary purpose as well. It doesn’t have enough depth of the tread for such road sections, and it can also be damaged during such drives. Compared to grand-tour tires, Indy 500 is not good for gravel either.
Excellent! It performs even better than expected for this price. Very responsive even on tight roads, and traction is great too.
Firehawk Indy 500 is great for this too. Because of the Pulse Groove Technology on the circumferential groove, this tire is amazing during the braking and speeding up.
Firehawk Indy 500 is definitely not meant for snowy or icy roads. Don’t even think about using it in near freezing temperatures or deep snow! From November untill March, use special winter tires, and save the Indy 500 for the rest of the year.
The tires are affected by the strong pressure during any high-speed performance. In fact, the tire might even deform during driving, and it is possible that the tread can get some damages (or wear out) soon due to building up of heat. So, because of this, the manufacturers aim for prevention of such issues and improving the speed-drive safety of the tires.
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 has the casing of polyester with nylon, enhanced with two steel belts for preserving the great shape of the tires during motion. They are the factors that prevent deformities from high-speed performances. With an optimized tire like this, there will always be secure and constant road contact, and a safe high-performance motion.
The special feature of this tire is the L.L.Carbon compound which can pretty much resist the build-up of heat nicely. How? If we explain this in ‘molecules’, it means the driving pressure is spread evenly across the tread section, and this section avoids the tread pressure on just one side. Such a feature also allows Firehawk Indy 500 to have perfect capability at high speed, without the risks of deforming.
Controlability and handling
Tires have to allow for easy controlling in order to give a pleasant drive with safety too. The tires are the only thing between our vehicle and the road, so they have to be easy to handle, or more importantly, fast to follow the instructions by the driver. When there is driving at high speed even a second of delay for the steer responses can be fatal.
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 has steady increase of the steering responsiveness as well as the dive stability, and this is because of the internal structure and the asymettric pattern of the tread. That construction has a polyester casing, and double (twin) belts of steel that is reinforced with nylon. Such a construction keeps the optimal shape of the tire when there is driving pressure.
With such an improved and optimized shape, the steering response is much better, and there is precision and accuracy in the instructions given by the driver. At the same time, the structure is secure and firm against the presure of the driving. With better controlability like this, the performance capabiliy of the tire is great at high speed.
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 also offers amazing maneuvering and braking the wide pattern of the shoulder only improves, i.e., gives a boost to the maneuvering and cornering. With increasing number of the biting edges that grip the surface, the traction and road contact establish security during cornering. The detailed pattern in the tread, with the L.L.Carbon, and silica, all contribute to flawless braking; they cause friction in the very moment of braking, so this makes the braking distance shorter, and enhances the power of braking.
Firestone gives a limited warranty on the tread of Firehawk Indy 500. The uniformity of the tire is under a guarantee for the first 1/32 inch of the wear. The workmanship and materials will also be warranted for a 5-year period, and there is also free replacement during the span of the first 3 years. There is a prorated amount which is given for the rest of the time left, i.e., to the final 2/32 depth of tread.
Additionally, there is a 30 days ‘buy-and-try’ guarantee where you choose a refund or buying another tire, should you dislike this one.
One thing is certain; Firestone did spend lots of time to design and develop the Firehawk Indy 500, and this is obvious. And, not surprisingly, this model became one of the best in the category, and very fast too.
The performance resembles the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, however at a lower price. On dry roads, you might need to put in some efforts to kinda ‘break em loose’. So, this tire is similar or the same to most of the ultra-high performance tires on the market today. The wet traction is quite impressive!
The grip of this tire is superb on wet roads, and the braking is much better than the Wide Oval Indy 500.
All in all, you will like this tire, even if you weren’t a big fan of Firestone in the past. This tire is a good summer ultra-high performance tire, and it ranks among the best ones in the category such as: Bridgestone RE760, and BFG Sport Comp-2, so we definitely recommend it.
- Flawless wet and dry traction
- Quick reaction to steer input
- Great grip during cornering, and great stability
- Comfy ride
- Amazing performance
- Good value for the price
- Not good for snow and ice
- The competition brands offer slightly better performance
List of Firestone tires review
Alvin Reyes has expertise in automotive evaluation. He collaborated with famous newspapers and is still making efforts in tire review for DrivingPress.com
1 thought on “Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 Review & Rating for 2023”
I got these for my 92 Toyota Celica gt (205/50/R16), and for a 30 year old car they really brought it to life. I need a new rack and probably could use some fresh suspension, but even with that it drives and carves amazing!