I was fortunate enough to acquire a 2007 Honda S2000 for this Toyo Proxes 4 Plus review. My test car happens to be the second generation model S2000 fitted with the bigger and more powerful F22C1 2.2-liter inline-four.
Since the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus is an ultra-high performance all-season tire, I naturally needed a sports car to take advantage of the capabilities of the tires. But the Proxes 4 Plus II is not just about outright performance. In fact, Toyo claims that this tire can deliver surprising levels of comfort along with a quiet ride. Toyo also engineered the tire to have a long tread life.
It sounds too good to be true, right? Here is a high-performance tire with the DNA of a touring tire. I wonder if there were any compromises in terms of all-weather performance considering the fact that it is hard to get all the nice attributes of a summer and touring tire in an affordable package. That’s what I intend to find out in this Toyo Proxes 4 Plus Review.
In terms of price, the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus is in the average price range. My Honda S2000 came fitted with stock 17-inch wheels and the owner told me the tires cost approximately $125 each. That’s a pretty good bargain if you’ll ask me. It’s not as cheap as other brands, but you have to understand that you are buying an ultra-high performance tire with all-season capabilities.
Unsurprisingly enough, the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus is engineered with an asymmetrical tread design. The inside tread has wide grooves with a higher number of sipes to enhance traction on the wet and in the snow while improving the braking performance of your sports car.
The outside tread is a different story. There are wider ribs and a closed shoulder design that improves vehicle stability while allowing you to corner harder at higher speeds.
This tire was constructed using a high-grip silica compound to deliver impressive braking performance and excellent handling on wet and dry pavement. The special formula of the tread compound was also formulated to produce a longer tread life.
While the tread design looks bland from my point of view, I was hoping that Toyo was kind enough to give the tire a more aggressive or sportier tread design, but you can’t have it all, right?
I’m a huge fan of Japanese sports cars, and the Honda S2000 is one of my favorites. In street racing culture, you are presumed to be the king of all Honda cars if you show up in a tuned S2000. My test vehicle is bone stock except for the addition of an APC cold air intake kit to replace the restrictive air filter and airbox.
Would you believe it was raining when I took the Honda S2000 for a test drive? There I was in a sprightly Japanese convertible and the weather decided to take a turn for the worst. This gave me more than enough time to assess the wet capabilities of the car, but more on that later.
The roads were still a bit damp when I was on my way to return the car, but I presumed they were dry enough to test the capabilities of the tires in the dry.
Of course, I tried to wring out every ounce of power from the motor before changing gears whenever the roads were clear. I explored the upper reaches of the lofty 8,200 rpm rev range while smiling like a loon since the tires were definitely equipped for the task.
Traction and grip were admirable despite the damp nature of the roads. I was able to throw the S2000 into a sweeping left corner without feeling the tires break traction.
I was driving mostly in the rain (what a bummer) so I had more than enough time to assess the wet performance of the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus. The tires were still gripping hard despite my wobbly steering movements and I never felt the car aquaplaning on the slightest hint of a puddle.
There was no time for me to test the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus in the snow, and the owner has no idea on how the tires performed in cold weather. However, the tire guys at the local tire depot told me that the Proxes Plus 4 offered acceptable levels of traction and grip, but only on very light snow. That’s good to know since Toyo is marketing this tire as an all-season derivative.
The Honda S2000 is not what you would call a comfortable car, especially when driven in the city. The stiff nature of the suspension can also be blamed for this, but the car manages to settle down on the highway. This is where the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus truly shines. It manages to deliver acceptable levels of comfort without robbing the driver of actual road feel.
The Toyo Proxes 4 Plus was also pretty silent as the little Honda cruised on the highway. This is high praise indeed since the Honda S2000 was not designed to have Lexus-like levels of noise, vibration, and harshness. Even the owner of the car agreed with me since his old tires emitted more tire roar compared to the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus.
The Toyo Proxes 4 Plus tires on my Honda were approximately eight months old and had roughly 6,000 miles under its belt. The tires were already showing signs of wear, but this is normal given the mileage acquired during that time. This is good enough given the affordable price of the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus, and it is certainly good value since each tire is backed by a 45,000-mile to 50,000-mile warranty.
It seems the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus lives up to the promise of offering high levels of all-season traction and grip while still remaining comfortable and silent enough for the daily drive. This is truly an ultra-high performance tire that has the amenable qualities of a proper touring tire.
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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