Finding the right tire to perform those massive burnouts, with huge plumes of smoke is a challenging task.
Therefore, we have compiled this comprehensive guide to the best tires for burnouts.
Whether you are looking for those special sets of drag radials, or just looking to upgrade the tires on your new sports car, we’ve got you covered.
What are burnout tires?
No production tires are rated for burnouts, they are usually racing or drifting tires and burnout is just a byproduct of racing.
These tires are also high-performance tires sporting a lot of extra features than your normal family car tire. Unfortunately, when it comes to doing a proper burnout your regular car tire just isn’t going to cut it.
The tread on these tires is made out of special rubber mixes that are able to withstand high temperatures during burnouts.
Ultra-high performance ones also feature stiff sidewall construction and special reinforcement materials in their body ply.
All this leads to tires that can deliver burnout performance in sports cars (or in some cases even regular ones) when traction control is turned off and proper technique is applied.
But achieving good results will depend on more than just your tires though. A good burnout is a combination of the tires, car, surface, weather conditions, and technique.
Get these five factors correct and you can burn out anyone to dust.
What kind of tires do drift cars use?
It should be no surprise by now that drift cars use special tires that are designed specifically for that purpose.
By following the steps mentioned earlier in this article, a daily driver may be able to pull off burnouts or even donuts on their regular tires.
But they would most certainly end up causing accidents as these shenanigans tend to damage the inner structures of regular road tires.
The best drift car tires generally offer a wide contact patch for maximum grip and a low profile to boost handling characteristics. They also use bigger rims that help with traction loss which is desirable for drifting.
Drift racers will also select tires based on the surface they are racing on.
Drifting in a parking lot or gravel or on wet surfaces will all require different tires to provide optimal performance in terms of handling and grip.
The best tires for burnouts
1. Pirelli P ZERO High-Performance Tire
The Pirelli P Zeros are specifically constructed to perform best in high-temperature situations which makes them perfect for burnouts.
They are also a crowd favorite on various Google threads and come with generous ratings due to their long history.
2. Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire
Another fan favorite, and a tire with a lot of history in the sport of amateur drag racing. Over the years this range of tires has gone through a lot of different iterations and modifications.
So the Eagle Sport All-Season is the next best budget-friendly option, that will suit most use-cases.
Not only do they provide outstanding traction control during normal driving conditions, but when switched off can deliver mad burnouts as well.
3. Michelin 39527 Pilot Super Sport Performance Radial Tire
The most expensive tire on the list but also the one with the most amount of sporting pedigree.
It’s is based on the same tire engineering used in the GTE category of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Michelin Pilot Supre Sport is optimized for an even wear of the contact patch, so it is perfectly suited for performing burnouts.
These tires also have a good performance on most trucks making an all-around winner in this category.
4. Toyo Tires PROXES R888R Automotive-Racing Radial Tire
Toyo Tires give you that Japanese quality in manufacturing, which leads to tires with great cornering performance.
Although you can get these tires to fit on smaller rims, they are best suited for 16-inch rims.
These tires give excellent traction on dry surfaces which makes them great for carrying out composed drifts. But the excess grip can also be very slippery in wet conditions.
The tread depth of these tires is 6.3/32 inches, which is not only good for drifting but also great for all-weather use (can be used as snow tires as well).
Finally, priced at just over $150, the Toyo Tires PROXES R88R is a great choice if your goal is to mainly drift every now and then for fun.
5. YOKOHAMA XL ADVAN APEX V601
Another Japanese tire, designed specifically for use in performance cars and high-end sedans.
The most attractive aspect of the Yokohama ADVAN APEX is its tread depth of 9/32 inches.
This is great news for casual drifters as the tread depth promises longer tread life, meaning more drifts and burnouts.
Anticipating this use case, Yokohama has incorporated micro-silica rubber compounds and competition-inspired tread patterns to give these tires an even tread under extreme conditions.
The Advan is just over $170, and it is an ideal summer drift tire.
6. Falken Azenis RT615K+
The Falken Azenis falls in the middle of the earlier two tires mentioned on this list, both in its price and performance.
It is a good intermediate tire choice for those who wish to drift in mid-engined performance vehicles with a good amount of horsepower.
These tires strike a nice balance between racing performance and being daily drivers.
The only slight niggle is that the Falken Azenis are designed around 17-inch rims, which is not the most common rim size in the drifting world.
However, they make up for it with a deeper tread (7.9/32 inches) and sound overall performance.
7. Federal 595RS-RR Performance Radial Tire
The Federal 595RS-RR Performance Radial is a tire designed for racers. It is ideal for track usage, with even stiffness in both center and shoulder areas maximizing grip and wear.
At $187 this is the first tire on this list specifically made for wet weather use as well.
Its flame-shaped grooves allow for a larger displacement of water and reduce the risks of aquaplaning while drifting in rainy conditions.
The Federal is ideal for sporty coupes, and its large footprint means you can have peace of mind even at very high speeds.
8. Hankook Ventus V2 concept 2
In our opinion the Hankook Ventus V2 is a great sub $100, entry-level drift tire, that can work great on most lower horsepower sports coupes and sedans.
The tire has a long treadwear grade with lower rolling resistance that promotes fuel economy.
It is perfect for a driver who is mainly looking for a regular all-season performer but also wants to have the option of drifting without damaging the tires.
The tire’s internal construction features high-density nylon that helps keep the contact patch sable during hard cornering.
9. Kenda Kaiser KR20A
Another sub $100 entry on this list.
The Kenda Kaiser is a Chinese manufactured high-performance tire that has all the features to carry out drifting in all weather conditions.
But is on this list because it is a good budget-friendly option for people looking to get a drift tire before the rainy season hits.
10. OHTSU FP7000 Tire
The Ohtsu FP7000 is the cheapest tire on this list, at just over $70.
Ohtsu is a manufacturer known for its budget-friendly good designs, offering comfortable driving, along with responsive handling characteristics.
Although it is to be noted that excessive drifting is not recommended on these tires, you can definitely get away with some parking lot drifts and burnouts without hurting them too much.
Why High Performing Tires Matter for Burnouts
The best tires for burnouts are probably ultra-high-performance drag race tires.
These tires are racing slicks that are specially constructed to give excellent traction, and offer the largest contact patch between the tread and the surface.
Now put these on a 1000 horsepower drag race car and you have got yourself a recipe for a successful burnout.
But for most of us, that might be a dream, so we need to figure out a way to get massive burnout results within limited means.
In reality, though, burnouts are not just dependent on your tires, it is a combination of the car, the surface, technique, and then the tire.
So let’s begin by answering a few common questions that we get regularly regarding burnout tires and burnouts in general.
Detailed Guide To Tire Burnouts: How To’s & Top Questions
Are Cheap Tires the Best for Burnouts?
This depends on your definition of cheap. We all know that burnouts can shed a lot of rubber from tires, so if you are performing burnouts regularly it will be expensive.
Therefore conventional wisdom states that it is better to perform burnouts on cheaper tires. If you are trying it for the first time, used tires or old tires are perfect for you.
Once you have mastered your technique, you can get your hands on a professional drift at your local tire store.
Depending on their quality, drifting tires can range anywhere between $100 to $500.
How bad is burnout for your tires?
If you are trying to do burnouts on your regular family car tires, it is definitely a recipe for disaster.
Most people attempting to do this will usually end up flat-spotting their tires or at worst, totally damaging them beyond repair.
On the other hand, if you have put on special tires and your technique is right, then you might get away with a lot more than you expect.
How do I get more smoke out of my tires?
It is very easy to get smoke out of your tires, but it is totally different to perform a controlled burnout.
Swerving, or suddenly applying the brakes at higher speeds will result in your tires (or brakes) smoking. However, these methods are dangerous and can lead to a loss of control of your vehicle.
The smoke from tires that you witness in a burnout contest is performed very differently, using special drag race tires operating at an optimal temperature window.
How to do a perfect burnout?
Many people are of the impression that to do a burnout, all you need to do is hold your brakes as hard as possible and push the accelerator pedal until the real wheels lose their grip.
However, performing a perfect and safe burnout requires a bit more than just that.
Follow the following steps if you wish to do a perfect burnout.
Step 1: First of all, you need to be the right car. Manual transmission cars with higher horsepower are the best for burnouts. You can also do burnouts on an automatic transmission car, but it will be harder to pull off.
Step 2: Get the right tires. Regular road tires are designed keeping certain safety aspects in mind that will prevent you from doing a perfect burnout, or getting the same amount of smoke even if you are able to do a proper burnout.
So get yourself a high-performance slick tire with a bigger contact patch.
Step 3: Once you have the right car and tires, put your car in first gear (or D in case of an automatic transmission car), and start building up the revs by slowly depressing the accelerator pedal.
Step 4: Lock your handbrake as well, to stop your car from getting away from you. Once the rear tires are hot enough, pop the clutch and your rear wheels should rotate freely letting out a huge plume of smoke.
Step 5: Keep feathering the accelerator pedal to maintain the spin in the rear wheel and continue to the burnout. Apply the brake pedal only if you want to slow it down or stop it.
You can also release the handbrake to move away to perform a ‘peel out’ instead.
Whether you are a drifting enthusiast or just looking to impress your friend with a massive burnout, it definitely helps to put on new tires designed specifically for those purposes.
Good high-performance tires help reduce the risk of accidents during such extreme maneuvers.
So we hope this list will help you make an informed decision, the next time you find yourself in a tire shop looking to buy tires to do burnouts, drifting, or general racing.