A Guide To Federal SS595 Replacements
April 21, 2021
We get it. The Federal SS595 is backordered literally everywhere you look. We are feelin’ it too.
But don’t get too worked up quite yet. Believe it or not, but the SS595 is not a top-tier tire despite its popularity.
Yes, it offers decent grip around the corners, is an easy tire to stretch, and has a pretty damn good-looking tread pattern at its price point, but it’s not the end all be all tire in the summer performance category—we’ll cover that shortly.
Here’s a complete guide to some budget-friendly tires that are similar to the Federal SS595 in terms of the grip-to-cost ratio. Grab 'em fast!
Why Is The Federal SS595 Backordered Everywhere?
The Federal SS595 has consistently been the go-to budget-friendly tire/cheap track tire since its inception, but the SS595 is not the end-all-be-all cheapo tire. Don’t get me wrong, the SS595 has decent performance, but it's lacking in a lot of areas that people seem to overlook.
Now, the Federal SS595, among other tires from similar manufacturers, is backordered up the yin-yang right now because of this little annoying thing called tire tax which has hit the tire industry very hard.
The current tax climate surrounding tires has become very intense recently meaning the government is taxing manufacturers like Federal and Atturo some +100% in antidumping duties. Why? Well, the government, EPA, and others are essentially punishing these foreign companies for participating in something called "dumping".
Dumping refers to when companies, like Federal and Atturo, sell their tires significantly below market value. I mean, one of the biggest reasons why the SS595 has been so popular is because it’s cheap and easy to throw on at the track if you wanted. Well, not anymore…
What’s happened is all the shipping containers with the SS595 and others were sitting at the ports ready to enter the US when all of a sudden, everyone said “Mmmm yes, we like money and you are selling tires that are too cheap, so we will flood you taxes and make all the car enthusiasts cry”. *Que the evil laugh*.
So everything was shipped back to their country of origin because these companies were faced with crazy high antidumping and countervailing duties.
In all seriousness, these antidumping/dumping investigations by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the EPA, among others, have finally put their foot down on these tire manufacturers who are battling to produce tires based on volume rather than margins and who aren't following the strict guidelines on tire production, handling, molding, disposal, so on and so forth. This immediately raises and a red flag for the DOC and EPA.
As we all know, manufacturing tires isn't the most environmentally friendly job and some of these manufacturers don't invest in sustainable manufacturing and disposal processes like Michelin does, for example. That's changing now.
So, this is the unfortunate situation that has caused the SS595 to be severely backordered. We can promise you that the SS595 isn’t going to be back in the states for upwards of 2 years from now.
BUT, don’t be too upset because there are actually a lot of other options out there that are similar in price and performance or, better yet, offer even better performance. I mean, I almost never saw the SS595 at the autocross track for a reason.
Lexani LXUHP-207 Review
Our first SS595 tire alternative is the Lexani LXHUP-207 which is an ultra-high performance summer tire with an aggressive "V" shaped tread pattern. This tire is very similar to the Federal SS595 due to its incredibly low price point and aggressive tread pattern. It really hits that grip-to-cost ratio right on the head, better than the Federal SS595.
Yes, the Federal SS595 has a decent grip for what it is. I mean, it's been a popular, cheap drift tire for what seems like forever, but the Lexani LXUHP-207 does a little better in that department.
Since it's a dedicated summer tire, the compound is a little softer like the SS595 but is known to perform consistently instead of becoming too hot and slippery on the track.
As far as the price goes, the Lexani LXUHP-207 starts at only $442 for a 245/40/18 which is incredibly low for a tire the performs pretty well in every category. The most popular size of this tire is a 235/40/18 at $452 and maxes out at $752 for a 285/35/18!
That's where most of the top-tier, big boy tires start at...
For daily drivers who visit the track every now and then and are on a budget, this is seriously a great option you to consider. It has just about everything you need to keep you happy including tolerable, low road-noise, a comfortable, smooth drive, and great dry traction.
Toyo Extensa HP II Review
The Toyo Extensa HP II is our second replacement for the Federal SS595 because it checks about every box. Just like the SS595, the Extensa HP II is a performance-oriented all-season tire with an emphasis on the warmer months of the year.
This tire is definitely better to look at with its semi-aggressive, uni-directional tread pattern compared to some other all-season tires. It's generally a pretty quiet tire and offers good handling on the road with its exorbitant siping, and features double-cut tapered lines that improve hard braking.
If you're hitting up the track every now and then like some of the Federal SS595 lovers, this tire would keep you really comfortable.
Additionally, the fact that this is a Toyo tire means that its build quality is pretty good. I mean, the Extensa HP II isn't top-tier worthy, but it performs pretty damn well based on what we've seen, researched, and discussed with fellow enthusiasts. This would be a great replacement option for those who originally were looking for the Federal SS595.
Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 Review
Lastly, we have the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 which is also a performance-oriented all-season tire like the Federal SS595 and the Toyo Extensa HP II. This is another really great option because it's incredibly affordable and provides a great driving experience.
Since the Ventus V2 Concept 2 is an all-season, it doesn't perform super well in any particular category because of its tire compound and the number of grooves in the tread, but it does consistently provide good steering response, handling, traction, and low road noise consistently which definitely means something.
One major downside of the Ventus V2 Concept 2 is that it doesn't have the most appealing tread pattern which a lot of show and track cars like to have for looks. It also contributes to the function and performance of the handling, braking distance, and grip through the corners.
Aside from that, the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 is a 500 treadwear tire so it should last you quite a while if you don't beat the heck out of it on the track. But this also means it just won't warm up like a dedicated summer tire does so as far as it being a good track tire...they aren't the best option; if you are an avid, frequent track enthusiast, that is.
Overall, the Ventus V2 Concept 2 is a pretty damn good tire for what it is and is manufactured in the USA which is awesome!
A set of these starts at $339 for a 195/50/15. One of the most popular sizes, the 225/10/18, starts at $503 is priced around $503 which is also where this model maxes out for the price. That's crazy cheap for a tire that has a long tread life, a little bit of summer performance-worthy grip, and still has low road noise.