Dunlop Direzza ZII Star Spec review
What is it?
The Dunlop Direzza ZII Star Spec is an extreme performance summer tire engineered for track use and autocross. Suitable for use on performance-oriented coupes and sedans, sports cars, and track cars.
This is the successor to the admired and ultra grippy Dunlop Direzza ZII.
The Direzza ZII Star Spec was designed to have a wider operating temperature window than the Direzza ZII, with superior initial grip (right out of the pits) and cooler temperature traction, as well as greater session longevity.
MinimumTread.com recommends that for a variety of reasons including road noise, comfort, (accelerated) wear, and sometimes edgy handling characteristics, extreme performance summer tires not be used everyday. Simply put, these tires are best suited for "extreme" conditions; track, autocross, and limited street performance contexts.
Strengths and weaknesses?
The Direzza ZII Star Spec picks up where the Direzza ZII left off, so it possesses top tier dry grip and cornering capability within the extreme performance summer category. It's also a very communicative and responsive tire with excellent turn in characteristics.
Treadlife is above average for the category as well.
Comfort characteristics have not evolved or changed very much, so think twice about the Direzza ZII Star Spec when it comes to street use. It's one of the noisiest tires in the class, and it gets louder as the miles accumulate.
How does the Direzza ZII Star Spec compare?
In 2014 comparison testing, the Direzza ZII Star Spec proved to be the quickest tire of the extreme performance summer tire group, and was favored from a subjective standpoint for track use due to its "very direct and linear steering response combined with powerful lateral grip."
Dunlop aimed for a wider operating temperature with the Direzza ZII Star Spec, and that was validated in Tire Rack testing where it logged very equal "warm" and "cool" day lap times.
Anything else to know?
The Direzza ZII Star Spec is one of the most expensive tires in the category, but those who prioritize dry grip, responsive handling, and turn in will probably accept the price premium.
If you want a blend of public road civility and performance, then Direzza ZII Star Spec is most likely not your tire. This is perhaps the most singularly-focused performance/track tire in the extreme performance summer tire category. Instead look toward the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11, or maybe even a max performance summer tire like the Michelin Pilot Super Sport.
And if sheer stick is your highest priority (comfort be damned), also see the Nitto NT01.
Before you buy...
Jump over to our Tire Deals section to take advantage of available tire coupons and rebates. Also, review our important Pre-Purchase Checklist for Tires to make sure you purchase a tire that fits your needs.