Best Brake Pads for 2014? It Could Be Brembo's New Offering

Monday, March 31, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

All brake pads produce dust as they wear. However, there are some pad materials that create a less noticeable dust and don't make your wheels look like they're covered in tar. A newer form of friction material, called ceramic composite, creates a light-colored dust that's much less noticeable and is less likely to stick to your wheels. Ceramic pads are quieter and easier on brake rotors. These pads can also extend brake life beyond a semi-metallic pad.

New this year are the Ceramic Brake Pads from Brembo. The pads are available to fit most popular sporty sedans and coupes like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Designed and engineered to enhance braking power, Brembo Ceramic Brake Pads minimize braking distances while offering a quiet and safe braking experience on a variety of road conditions. Original Equipment Direct Moulding Pressing Process provides a proper and accurate fit. The positive molding process uses extreme pressure to compress friction materials and provide balanced bonding to the backing plate. Each pad is then thermal scorched following Brembo's O.E. specifications to lessen running-in and fading.

Brembo's multi-layer ESE (Elastomer - Steel - Elastomer) red shim, clearly identifying the pads as Brembo pads, dampens noise and minimizes vibrations. Additional noise dampening is handled by the backing plate which also acts as a heat shield to reduce heat transfer to the caliper.

If you're looking to change the pads on your vehicle and want an alternative to black brake dust, take a look at the Brembo Ceramic Brake Pads. When changing brake pads, it's a good time to change brake wear sensors and maybe time to consider changing your brake fluid. Don't forget you'll get free shipping on all brakes, suspension and other parts and accessories on your order over $50.

Looking for Lightweight Track Wheels at a Great Price? The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is Your Answer

Monday, March 24, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

Autocross and track season are quickly approaching and many racers have already begun to plan for upcoming races and events. As most enthusiasts know, switching out your vehicle's heavy, factory steel or alloy wheels is one of the easiest performance upgrades to your track vehicle. By switching to a lighter weight wheel, your car will instantly feel quicker and respond better compared to your stock wheels. The rotational force to get a lighter weight wheel to move and stop is less, therefore the engine and braking system of the car can respond quicker. Reducing the unsprung weight will also reap benefits when cornering, as the shocks and springs will have less weight to dampen during rebound and compression.

Typically, the answer to a lighter wheel is purchasing a fully forged alloy wheel, however, this option can become expensive for some. There are many highly engineered cast alloy options that are more affordable and provide a great bang for your buck.


Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Black Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Bright Silver Paint

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Gold Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Special Brilliant Coating


Enkei Racing Series' RPF1 uses a revolutionary MAT Process to make lighter weight wheels. MAT is a technology for producing an aluminum wheel by combining Enkei's MAP (Most Advanced Production) and flow-forming forging technology. MAP is a highly automated system. Each process is connected in a single-piece flow system that transports wheels from the melting process, through heat treatment and on to machining. The process of spinning the rim vs. casting it to both shape and elongate it produces a finer, more even aluminum structure and ensures the wheel will remain lightweight and strong. The complete MAT process has a drastic impact on the microstructure of aluminum and results in outstanding improvement of the mechanical property of the material.

As wheels and tires become larger, use of the MAT process to manufacture wheels becomes even more important. In order to reduce weight under a vehicle's suspension, larger wheels must remain light. Enkei Racing Series' new generation of 10% - 15% lighter weight, forged MAT wheels are strong and retain optimum anti-flex properties.

The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered in black painted, bright silver paint, gold painted and special brilliant coating finishes for a wide assortment of vehicles like BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Honda. Shop by vehicle to see if the Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered as a performance upgrade for your track car.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4

Friday, February 28, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.45
 
 

2002 BMW 525i Sport Wagon
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Miles driven on tires: 1,500
Location: La Crescent, MN
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,500 Miles on Tires
February 27, 2014

Like how PA4 communicates to driver in ice or snow conditions. First winter on the PA4 but has proved grippy and secure. Can tell when tire will break away on fresh or packed snow and what it takes to bring it back. More sophisticated than an average snow tire. In times past used Nokian, Blizzack, Dunlop, and many standard or high performance snow tires on various vehicles. Thus high expectations, even though there are few reviews of PA4. Interesting that Porsche had been involved with development too. We usually have traction control devices engaged in cars --on mode– when entering harsh weather. Recently, however, have been turning off DSC in Bimmer sport-wagon, as control and performance of vehicle seems even better with PA4's. Car handled better without using DSC. Added control with such throttle response has been fun and added new dynamic. Generally enhanced winter driving experience in the 5 Series wagon with sports suspension. Rear wheel drive BMW has been easier to drive fast in snow and ice latley, yet with more control. Car more predicable now. Cornering to date has been superb in dry/wet conditions and the sidewall feels firm while offering quiet, comfortable ride. Have not pushed tires too hard yet, as want to give belts and rubber break in period. Yet already feels like an Ultra High Performance tire with intriguing winter capability. Have not yet finished testing and haven’t been in really deep, heavy snow, but if these are first indications of what to expect then we're excited. For higher performance, lower clearance vehicles this should be a serious candidate for winter consideration. Looking forward to also trying the Michelin Xi-3 on other cars, as we are also big fans of the Conti Extreme Winter Contact which was very impressive on a Saab we own. That and the PA4 seem like the real leaders currently. Shall report back as we find out more about PA4 on BMW. Thus far does seem like a game changer in winter segment. Thanks Tirerack.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Super Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.62
 
 

2006 BMW M3 Coupe Competition Package
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Miles driven on tires: 9,500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 9,500 Miles on Tires
November 26, 2013

Use these as my street tires, in 255/35R19 front and 275/30R19 rear, mounted on a set of Volk TE37SL wheels (19x9.5" & 19x11") on my extensively modified M3. For reference, track tires are usually PS Cups, or Nitto/Hoosier R-comps.

First off, these are the ONLY Street Tires I have run on this car that aren't immediately overpowered by the brakes, which are StopTech Trophy 6P/4P 380mm/355mm 2pc that I use for competition. Braking distance is better with these than anything else that is daily driveable, and in the wet I have more traction than I would have ever thought possible especially from these widths!

With a quite stiff race suspension, these tires have improved ride quality and decreased noise, with no perceptible change in NVH since new.

Control is phenomenal, with very good feedback and they are very communicative as to their limits, while allowing throttle on oversteer but being perfectly easy to reign back in.

Since going with these for my M3, I have also swapped to them on my GT3 RS and they're every bit as good there.

Another benefit is that they weigh in at about 2.5lbs less than other comparable tires, and in my pursuit of decreasing drivetrain loss as much as absolutely possible, the extra 10lbs of unsprung weight combined with the 28lb from the wheels is immense.

11/10.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

Monday, January 27, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DW Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.71
 
 

2006 BMW Z4 3.0si Roadster
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Miles driven on tires: 15,000
Location: Irving, TX
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 15,000 Miles on Tires
January 13, 2014

I spend so many hours buffing and polishing this little sports car, we don't take it out in the rain unless absolutely necessary so not much experience in the rain. I don't drive "spirited" on wet pavement.
These tires replaced the OEM run-flats. So much of an improvement!
Really quiet. That was my main requirement.
They ride very softly and quietly. Yet they turn on a dime. Not much sidewall flex.
This cars suspension is "sporty" to begin with. I didn't want to add to the harsh ride with stiff tires.
This tire model surpassed all my expectations. I would definitely buy them again.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE050A Pole Position

Friday, November 8, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Potenza RE050A Pole Position Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.8
 
 

2012 BMW 335i xDrive Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Entiat WA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
April 09, 2013

My car is a BMW 335xi Dinan 3. Dinan Stage2 suspension, Dinan exhaust system and Dinan stage 2 computer download. Most likely the best handling car I've ever owned and great in the snow as well.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Thursday, July 18, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.4
 
 

1995 BMW M3
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Wichita, KS
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
March 13, 2013

Amazing treadwear, after 10,000 miles, including two driving schools and two autocross days, the tires look great -- D, W, S markings all clearly visible and no chunking of tread blocks. With that wear resistance, the tires do not keep up with sticky rubber on the track, but that's not my objective. Tires are confident on wet asphalt and light snow, very predictable in all conditions.
The car is actually a BMW 318ti, with an M3 engine and front suspension, running staggered tires -- 225/45R17 front and 245/40R17 rear.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DW Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.4
 
 

2007 BMW 328i Sedan Sport Package
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Miles driven on tires: 38,000
Location: Odessa, FL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 38,000 Miles on Tires
April 01, 2013

I live in Florida, where the roads are pretty good.

At 38,000 miles, my back tires are nearly done, near the wear marks. Front tires still have the "DW" mark. Overall, I'm very happy with the treadlife; I've done suspension mods recently, driven the car hard and treadlife is still good.

For a summer performance tire, DWs are a nice balance of price, ride quality, traction, tread life, and wet performance.

When pushed hard, my car has plenty of grip and everything is predictable. Car feels very composed in the rain and we get plenty of rain here in Tampa.

I'm looking to buy replacement tires now and DWs are on my short list. Only reason I might pass on them would be to splurge on something finer like Michelin PSS.

***UPDATE - just bought them again today. They're just a great value with many good qualities. Mich PSS may have better responsiveness and traction but the DW's have longer UTOG, lighter weight and cost 25%+ less.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 ZP

Monday, March 25, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 ZP Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7
 
 

2006 BMW Z4 M Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Loveland, CO
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
March 05, 2013


I have this tire on a BMW Z4 so it is hard to evaluate. Z4 steering is as vague as a Honda so I wanted every advantage I could get. Steering is still vague. The back end does not kick out any more, can not make it do so. Rears stick like glue. These tires do not get caught in road ruts like other run flats. When warm they ride well, pretty harsh when cold. I do get road noise from the rear tires, but this Z4 is a hardtop coupe and they seem to funnel noise into the cockpit from the rear of the car. Never hear the front tires. Driver's seat is near the rear axle. I will not spend this much money on a tire again. Just put Defenders on my Suburu and they are terrific, for $600. I do not know how to rate this tire as I can not separate it from the Z4 steering, suspension and chasis, all of which are flawed. Far better the the OEM Potenzas, but they were --- awful.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.09
 
 

1998 BMW 323is
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Miles driven on tires: 25,000
Location: Waukesha, WI
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 25,000 Miles on Tires
March 06, 2013

The only reason I would possibly buy these again is because I believe the performance is worth the extra money on the Blizzaks. These tires, though, are impressive in their own right as they have worn EXTREMELY well. I have had these exact tires mounted on a '95 //M3 as well as this '98 323 for most of the use. Believe it or not, the difference in suspension setups still provided for similar commentary:
These tires are quite noisy (expected with winter tires) but corner extremely well. They ride quite harshly as compared to a more pricey Blizzak or Vatiiva, but for the extended wear I'll take it! All in all, I still have about 6/32 of tread after literally 6 seasons of use. This is with SPIRITED driving style. The tires have shown some rot along the sidewalls, so it is now time to replace. Overall I am happy with these considering the money spent. If you have some more cash to lay down, I would recommend some Blizzaks. Beware more frequent replacement however.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Primacy MXM4 ZP

Thursday, January 31, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Michelin Primacy MXM4 ZPReviewer's Overall Rating: Not Rated

2008 BMW 328xi Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 100
Location: Denver, CO
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 100 Miles on Tires
January 04, 2013

Just got these on my 2008 328xi to replace the stock Continentals. Honestly wish I would have done this sooner. The Conti's are very hard and rough in comparison. Since the car has sport suspension I know I'll still feel every bump in the road, but at least now on the big potholes jar your teeth lose. And as anyone in Denver will attest there are plenty of potholes to test this out on. The ride is also a lot quieter now as well. I'll update again once I get more miles on it, but for now they seem great. Hats off to Southeast Auto for the great install job!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Thursday, January 31, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Super Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.75
 
 

2005 Mazda Miata Mazdaspeed
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Miles driven on tires: 8,500
Location: Huntsville, AL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 8,500 Miles on Tires
January 21, 2013

Great tire. I have had Toyos, Yokohama, and Generals on this car. (Daily Driven)
I have moded this car with suspension change, springs, shocks, sway bar, and alignment. Oh yeah, the power is up another 60+ hp
Previous tires just did not work as well, These Michelin's are wonderful on this car. Grippy, predictable, reasonably quiet, they hold the road. I have tried them, more than once in the mountains of Georgia, Tenn, and the Carolinas. Jan 2013 Here in North Bama we had 7" of rain and 3" of snow. I put on ~250 miles and not a problem, went through some serious standing water and slushy roads. Wear is great, much better than previous tires. If I had to find a fault is the ride comfort is not like your 15 inch tires. But they are pretty darned good for a performance tire.

These are with out a doubt the best tire I have owned. Yes I have had several Cars prior to the MSM, Porsche, BMW, Mazda

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110

Monday, January 28, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.25

2008 BMW 550i Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 16,000
Location: Arlington, TX
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 16,000 Miles on Tires
January 24, 2013

Just had service done to my car and was told that the inside of my current Hankook Ventus rear tires are worn to the belts after 16K miles. Absolutely not surprised considering the low tread rating and the excessive camber of the BMW's sport suspension setup. Front tires still have enough life left to probably last as long as the 2 new rears. Performance-wise, these tires are outstanding. Very quiet ride and they provide very good feedback. The soft compound really does strike a good balance between a compliant ride with a low profile, quite operation, and fantastic grip, unfortunately at the expense of tire wear. I plan on adjusting out some of the camber to as neutral as possible but still within spec for my replacement tires and I should see an improvement in tire life. Otherwise, you can't beat this tire for the price. I may try something different next time (Continental or Michelin, both with better treadwear ratings and equal performance, but more $$), but I'll always keep these as an option.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7
 
 

2001 BMW 330Ci Sport Package
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Miles driven on tires: 6,000
Location: Vancouver, BC
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 6,000 Miles on Tires
January 12, 2013

I have used these tires over 3 seasons driving around Vancouver, and to whistler. Here is what you need to know: dry, wet, light snow at temperatures between -10 and +7 these are fantastic. However, because of the temperature here, rear tread wear is the worst I have ever experienced on any tire summer or winter, and the worst of any Pirelli winter tire I have used. The problem is exacerbated by the suspension design and the fact that wear occurs primarilly at the location of the two vertical grooves leaving you with little or no traction in the rear of the car during winter conditions.
On the front of the car, the grip and precision is excellent, as is the wear.
I will be replacing the rear tires with sotto zero series ones which have a harder compound, and only one grove. I am assuming this should balance out tire wear, and improve long term t.raction in the rear. My previous experience with these out here was good, and sadly Pirellis advice to change to the newer softer tire was not well thought out.
If you reside in a place with real winter, cold temps for several months, these tires could be an excellent choice. However, if you are on the west coast where the weather typically provides above zero temps, and a bit below zero in the mountains, tread wear will be a significant problem on the rear of a rear drive car. The tires are useless in winter conditions when they are at 4 mm or 40%. Rear tires previously typically lasted 2 winters and when worn, front tires are moved to the back (last one season) and new rubber goes on the front to maintain maximum grip on the front of the car. Sotto 2s last 1 1/4 on the back if you are lucky here. That's 20 round trips per season to whistler and some limited local driving, or 40% less than series 1 in my experience. Or in real money terms: these tires have added 1000 dollars of additional expense to replace due wear in the last 3 years.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Eagle GT (W-Speed Rated)

Monday, January 14, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Goodyear Eagle GT (W-Speed Rated)Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.43

2008 BMW 328i Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Kansas City, KS
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
December 30, 2012

These tires really livened up my car's responsiveness. Not only do they corner nicely, but the car feels quicker accelerating as well. These are as quiet as the OEM Dunlop run-flats, but handle better. They really complement the 328's suspension. I was somewhat taking a leap of faith buying these as I havent had Goodyears for 20 years, but so far I am happy with them... will update when I get more miles on them.

Save on 225/45R17 and 205/45R17 Run-Flats for Your E90 BMW and MINI Cooper S

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Regardless of how much they're liked or disliked, run-flat tires are here to stay. Are you a BMW or MINI driver who loves his or her car and has decided to stay with run-flats? Then you need to take advantage of the specials currently on the 225/45R17 size for your E90 BMW and 205/45R17 for your MINI Cooper S.

The 225/45R17 Michelin Primacy MXM4 ZP is marked down from $200 to $129*. If you're already looking for a summer tire, consider the 205/45R17 Pirelli P Zero Run Flat which is now listed for $131*.

225/45R17 Michelin Primacy MXM4 ZP
225/45R17 Michelin Primacy MXM4 ZP
205/45R17 Pirelli P Zero Run Flat
205/45R17 Pirelli P Zero Run Flat


Not only are you getting a great deal, you're also getting some awesome tires. The non-run-flat version of the Michelin Primacy MXM4 delivers a great combination of wet grip, steering response and low tread noise for its class. Pirelli P Zero Run Flat's crisp steering response and high grip level make it a good choice for a spirited Mini Cooper S driver. Derived from 100 years of motorsport experience, this Max Performance Summer tire offers a great combination of wet and dry traction with the convenience of temporary extended mobility in the event of complete air pressure loss.

It's also possible to change from run-flat tires to non-run-flat options. These conventional tires will fit your Original Equipment wheels with your driveline, suspension and traction working as normal. To find the best tire option for your BMW or MINI Cooper S, shop by vehicle.  

*Limited stock, prices subject to change

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT

Thursday, November 15, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFTReviewer's Overall Rating: Not Rated

2011 BMW 335d Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
November 09, 2012

my 2011 335d w/sports pkg shipped with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 ZP rft summer tires, an amazing tire (my favorite rft for summer) but harsh on the ride quality in terms of impact when hitting bumps and such. it was time for new tires and i wanted an all-season tire that i could use in cold conditions (35F-60F), rain, and possibly light snow. i also needed an rft tire as my car does not have room for a spare. i got very frustrated in my search and was close to just buying non-rft tires, Continental ExtremeContact DWS to be exact, because i couldn't find any high performance all-season rfts that had a softer ride and positive reviews. the only tire i could find were the Bridgestone Potenza RE050A RFT, which i read had harsh ride quality and they were not all-season.

i hesitantly ordered these Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT tires hoping that i would not have wasted $1200. they were very new and i couldn't find any specific reviews concerning these tires on an E90 335d. boy was i pleasantly surprised when i drove away with these tires. they honestly feel/act like non-rft tires!! the ride is just perfect, not too soft, not too harsh. with the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 ZP, every time i hit a bump, i clenched my teeth and my body would tense up because of the impact on my car...i felt like every bump was damaging my rims or suspension...i hated it.

i have driven in rain and cold ( 34F-104F wet and dry) at both city and highway speeds, and these tires have done great. i don't feel like i have compromised the awesome performance characteristics of my car, yet i get a little bit softer rft ride quality. honestly, these tires don't ride like other rfts. again, they ride like non-rft tires. i gotta hand it to Bridgestone….fantastic engineering with these tires. the only thing i have not done is drive in snow with the new tires, and i'm not sure i feel safe doing so with 425 lb of torque at the rear wheels. i highly recommend.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4DReviewer's Overall Rating: 9

2011 BMW 328i Sports Wagon
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Seattle, WA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
November 05, 2012

I recently traded a '10 335i xDrive for an '11 328i Touring (M-sport, 6MT), and needed a winter tire/wheel combo. I have the Dunlop Winter Sport 3Ds on a Saab 9-5 Aero wagon and have put 5k miles on them, the 3Ds are a fantastic compromise between dry handling and winter traction. I live in Seattle, where the temperatures at sea level don't really dictate the need for winter tires, but the surrounding mountainous terrain is usually snow-covered for most of the winter - having winter tires on my vehicles means I don't have to think about going to the mountains, it's also nice to have the security of having winter tires fitted in case the temps drop at home. On the Saab the 3Ds are brilliant, very good traction on cold and snow, better than my 335i xDrive with all-seasons - even on hills.

On the Saab I went down a size for the winter set (215/55/16), but for the e91 BMW I wanted to emulate my summer wheel/tire combo as much as possible as I love the feel of the RWD/sport suspension/manual combo. My M-sport has 225/40/18s F and 255/35/18s R, for the winter set I went with a square system of 18" O.Z. Ultraleggeras (ET35) and 225/40/18 WS 4Ds so I could rotate.

There is a bit less rear traction while cornering with the square 4Ds fitted as compared to the 255 width summer Bridgestone RE050 runflats, but the ride has improved and the car is still very well planted in high speed corners. These WS 4Ds are quieter than the Bridgestones (that have 9k on them), and I'm amazed at the steering feel and tracking ability of these winter tires. I know the size choice has something do to with that, but my reasoning was that I'd be on snow 4% of the time and needed a tire that was capable in the dry as well. I have not had a chance to see how these perform in the snow, it's supposed to snow in the passes this weekend so I'll endeavor to get up there to see how they do.

Overall, I'm very impressed by these tires in the dry, and they're a great combo for the O.Z's on a 328 w/ZSP.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H- or V-Speed Rated)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H- or V-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.67
 
 

2000 BMW 323i Sport Wagon
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Alexandria, VA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
October 21, 2012

When new, the tire appeared to be just as described by the ratings, however once the miles piled up, the noise began to kick in. Very loud especially when rolling to a stop.You may have to inflate to just about max to cut down the noise. This car has the sport suspension, so it may require a more premium tire, next time.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Continental ExtremeContact DWSReviewer's Overall Rating: 7.91

2004 BMW X5 4.8is
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Miles driven on tires: 25,000
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 25,000 Miles on Tires
October 18, 2012

This is a great tire, I'm on my 2nd set and having historically only run Michelin, I'm totally sold on these DWS. I'm a retired racing driver and drive my 4.8is very hard, regularly in the triple digits and weekly back road poundings. Its on HR sports over Bilstein HD, custom bars, 2.5 deg camber on all 4 corners, stoptech drilled cryo rotors with ebc redstuff pads, custom intake/exhaust, its faster than it should be and I don't feel that I need more tire than the DWS in stock spec. There is a still some understeer, but a large improvement over the stock setup air suspension, but of course its not as smooth. In the dry its hard to break it loose, totally solid in heavy rains, only hydroplaning when I'm really pushing it, and handles the worst tahoe snow storms no prob. They're wide spec, so its no snow tire, but I would have a snow setup if I thought I needed it, the DWS is enough. I get 25k mls out of a set, but there's a lot of tahoe/bay area trips in that. Add in the price, and I'm very happy with these tires. The ride quality and noise is on par with Michelin Latitude, but the DWS produces significantly more grip in all conditions. The only weakness is when you're in the last 10% of wear they're not as quiet/smooth as the Michelin.