I have watched this programme two or three times now - in spite of the fact that Dom Littlewood is without doubt the most annoying human being in the history of mankind.
The programme DID present Accelera tyres as a fake - on the grounds that the tread pattern was virtually identical to the Continental Contact tyre. The warning to the public was that someone could pass this tyre off as being the equivalent of the Continental, even though its performance was worse. "I've got this one mate, you can see its just the same as the Continentals you had on, but its only half the price"
When they were examining the computer printouts towards the end of the piece, although they had concealed the name of the budget tyre, the camera moved slightly and you could clearly see the name Accelera.
The only test shown on the programme was an inline braking test from 70mph on a wet road. I genuinely believe the test to have been fairly conducted, and also I would expect Conti to have picked the test where the performance gap was the greatest. There may be another set of circumstances where a fully warmed up Accelera equals the performance of the Conti, or lasts twice as long.
However, its no good arguing that your Accelera tyres were within 2% of the dry cornering speed of a Continental Contact 3, when you are trapped under the tailboard of an artic on the M25 in the pouring rain waiting to be cut out.
As for doing other tests, the only ones with any validity are the ones done with sufficiently accurate intrumentation and skilled test drivers - the best that one of us can hope for is a subjective opinion on how it feels to drive, an area which is notoriously unreliable. Several authoritative bodies and journals have done comparative testing on vehicle tyres. In each and every case, premium brands come out on top, when taken across all categories, because the millions of £'s/Euros put into research actually DO improve the product. I can see no justification for choosing to disbelieve the tests shown on BBC just because it doesn't fit with what you WANT to believe.
Wynne71 - as for you being insulted, I can assure you that no offence was intended. I also have many years of professional driving experience and qualification and would agree with you that nobody would knowingly risk their own life and particularly the lives of their children. However, on the basis of the evidence, rather than on the basis of opinion, I would choose not to fit budget tyres to my car.
Twissler makes a very valid point - there is a judgement to be made between price and performance. Although it is safety-related, there is nothing in law at the moment to stop you economising on the cost of critical components and compromising the safety of your car. However, I would think most members bought their Alfas because they believed it was the best performance car in its sector and price - so why compromise?
Reading some of the prior comments related to the Accelera tyres, it is very clear that most members believed they had bought tyres that were the equivalent of the premium brands, but at a budget price. Hopefully, now that the shortfalls have been highlighted, people with these tyres will adjust their driving accordingly in severe conditions.
Last edited by ukmike2008; 09-07-10 at 10:29.