Features

Cooper Zeon 4XS Sport - performance SUV tyre review

We test Cooper's new UHP tyre at Austria's Red Bull Ring

High performance SUVs. You either love them or you hate them – and, since you’re reading evo, there’s a good chance you’re leaning towards the latter. But while a two-ton off-roader on stiff suspension and low-profile tyres appears completely at odds with itself, there’s no denying today’s top crop of super-SUVs are remarkably capable machines.

They also provide tyre-makers with a unique set of challenges, and Cooper Tires believes its new Zeon 4XS Sport is able to effectively meet them all. To test those claims, we headed over to the Red Bull Ring, home of the Austrian GP, to sample a Cooper-shod SUV.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Our Mercedes ML63 AMG test car couldn’t have looked much further from home than it did parked in the pits of a Grand Prix circuit (the big SUV stands 1.8 metres tall), and it only served to emphasise how tricky a job the tyres faced – they’d soon be juggling 518bhp and 516lb ft of torque between them, with a hefty 2270kg to make matters significantly harder. That’s a serious workout on the road, let alone on a track…

A two-ply Rayon casing and extra layers of sidewall reinforcement are key ingredients that Cooper claims give the Zeon 4XS Sports enough strength to cope with such an ordeal, and their effects are immediately noticeable as turn one is dispatched without any of that wallowy feeling conventional SUV tyres give under hard driving. It’s also pretty clear that Cooper’s new rubber has no intention of ever venturing off-road, but no off-road claims are made for the tyre.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The Zeon 4XS Sports were also able to effectively manage a car that, to put it bluntly, struggled to contain its own mass. The body ducked, dived and leaned through corners, while hard braking sent a worrying, slow-motion wobble through the whole car as the suspension fought to keep the body flat. But, even in these conditions, the car braked straight and true, with no intervention from the ESP to keep things pointing ahead.

A morning of hard laps on track not only confirmed that these tyres offered consistent, dependable grip, they were also  proving very durable, with minimal signs of wear on all four corners.

Admittedly, this durability did appear to be slightly at the expense of ultimate grip, as the tyre’s adhesion to the asphalt was more comparable with a sports summer tyre than the stickiest of ultra-high-performance products. But this sort of compromise makes sense in the performance SUV sector – the vast majority of Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport SVR and Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 (the ML63 AMG’s successor) owners will never venture on track, so a tyre with consistent and dependable grip will likely appeal over one that chases the ultimate lap-time.

Though we weren’t able to test it during our dry session, Cooper also claims that the tyre’s silica-rich tread helps it achieve a Grade A for wet grip, emphasising the security 4XSs could provide. With all of this in mind, if you must own a high-powered SUV, a set of Cooper Zeon 4XS Sports deserves a place on your replacement tyre short-list. Sizes range from 215/70/R16 to 295/35/R21; maximum load rating is 825kg per tyre and maximum speed rating is 186mph. Pricing is to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/tyre-reviews/202733/michelin-pilot-sport-cup-2-connect-tyre-revealed
tyre reviews

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tyre revealed

12 Jun 2020
Visit/tyre-reviews/13761/best-winter-tyres-2020
tyre reviews

Best winter tyres 2020

20 Jan 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/m4/22869/new-2020-bmw-m4-throws-off-more-disguise-ahead-of-reveal
BMW M4

New 2020 BMW M4 throws off more disguise ahead of reveal

BMW’s next M4 coupe promises much, but will it deliver? Here’s everything we know so far
7 Aug 2020
Visit/bugatti/21646/new-bugatti-divo-deliveries-begin-ps44m-hypercar-hits-the-road
Bugatti

New Bugatti Divo deliveries begin - £4.4m hypercar hits the road

The very first examples of Bugatti’s Divo hypercar have rolled out of its Molsheim HQ gates
7 Aug 2020
Visit/news/20376/scuderia-cameron-glickenhaus-004s-order-books-open-for-674bhp-three-seater
News

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S: order books open for 674bhp three-seater

Announced in 2017, the road-legal Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S is now set to enter production later this year
6 Aug 2020
Visit/best-cars/15315/best-cars-to-buy-for-ps20000-evo-garage
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £20,000 – evo garage

The evo team pick their favourite used performance cars
4 Aug 2020