215/45-17 Tires for Your Toyobaru

Thursday, December 8, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
After what seems like decades on the concept car show circuit, Toyota and Subaru are beginning to release production versions of the Toyobaru. The Subaru BRZ and Toyota FT-86 (Scion FR-S in North America) are premiering at the Tokyo Auto Show. On paper, the Toyobaru checks all the right boxes with rear-wheel drive for proper handling, proper engine placement for balance and low weight for overall performance. 

Along with showing the car at the Tokyo Auto Show, the Toyobaru partnership lent out a few test cars. The consensus is that Toyota and Subaru have really hit one out of the park, way out of the park, like beyond Waveland Avenue. 

Right now, hundreds of driving enthusiasts are dreaming of the Toyobaru that'll soon be parked in their garage. If they're truly hardcore, then they are already dreaming about the vehicle's tires, too. We know the Toyobaru will run 215/45-17, but it isn't clear what Original Equipment tire will be picked.

What if the 215/45-17 O.E. tire chosen for the Toyobaru isn't what I'm looking for, what should I purchase as a replacement? Subaru plans to sell the BRZ at a higher price point relative to the FR-S. Hopefully, this will allow Subaru to equip the vehicle with a set of the Dunlop SP Sport 600 on the production BRZ. These Dunlop performance tires are the Original Equipment on the 2011-2012 Subaru Impreza STI and their reputation was honed as the O.E. on the 2008 Nissan GT-R, and Nissan used the SP Sport 600 on their record-breaking Nurburgring runs.

The Scion FR-S will be priced more aggressively so Toyota may try keep the car in budget by using the 215/45-17 Grand Touring All-Season Michelin Primacy MXM4, O.E. on the Lexus CT 200h. Fortunately, there are several 215/45-17 tires suitable for the Scion FR-S. If I'm going to spend money on a new car, I'd want to great tires at a good price.

215/45-17 Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec
215/45-17 Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec
215/45-17 Hankook RS-3
215/45-17 Hankook
R-S3
215/45-17 Kumho Ecsta XS
215/45-17 Kumho
Ecsta XS

The Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec ($143*), Hankook R-S3 ($129*) and Kumho Ecsta XS ($129*) are all good choices but I'd select the Z1 Star Spec for it's versatility. It has great steering response, awesome dry grip and it performs decently in the wet. The Hankook RS-3 is slightly quicker in dry conditions, but gives up a lot when it comes to wet grip. The Kumho has great dry grip but has a numb steering response relative to the RS-3 and the Z1 Star Spec. They also suffer from average wet grip. 

Thank you Toyobaru for taking the road less traveled and letting us take our roads a little bit faster.

*Prices subject to change

When Should I Put on My Winter / Snow Tires?

Thursday, December 1, 2011 by Gary Stanley
While winter is not quite hWinter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packageere for most, it is coming. Is it too early to install your winter / snow tires? I get this question often and the answer varies depending on a few factors. In my opinion, the most important issues to consider are climate and the type of winter / snow tire that you're using. 

Climate is arguably the most important factor in deciding when to install your winter snow tires. A driver in Alaska would install their winter tires earlier in the year than a driver in Illinois (and leave them on longer into the spring, as well). This is not only because some areas get snow before other parts of the country, but due to the fact that temperature also plays a role. It's a good time to consider installing your winter / snow tires when average highs are consistently below 50º Fahrenheit. 

Most winter tires are designed to operate in lower ambient temperatures and may wear more rapidly when driven aggressively on warm pavement. This is especially true for more severe-duty winter / snow tires that we categorize as Studless Ice and Snow, including the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 and Michelin X-Ice Xi2

As mentioned above, Studless Ice and Snow tires like the Blizzak WS70 tend to wear more rapidly in warmer temperatures due to their soft compound and heavily siped tread patterns. Performance Winter / Snow tires like the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 can handle higher temperatures with less rapid tread wear compared to Studless Ice and Snow tires. Therefore, one can install Performance Winter / Snow tires earlier in the year and leave them on longer with less effect on wear. And to see how these winter performance tires perform, check out our Tire Survey Results.

If you don't yet have a winter tire setup, check out our snow tire prices and create a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for the ultimate in convenience, as you can install them yourself without waiting in line at auto tire stores. 

Best Tires for Winter Snow and Ice Traction

Friday, November 4, 2011 by Wes .
Tire Survey Results - WinterWith the first real snowstorm of the season under our belts in many parts of the country, a few of the best tires to tackle the snow and ice this winter are the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 and the Michelin X-Ice Xi2. For people who are willing to trade some handling on dry roads, a set of these Bridgestone winter tires and a set of these Michelin auto tires offer amazing snow and ice traction.

The Bridgestone's famous Multicell compound offers escape routes for water that are created from the pressure of the tire on ice and snow to prevent hydroplaning and exploit cohesion. The latest generation features tiny bite particles embedded into the tread that serve as millions of small studs benefitting both snow and ice traction. Due to its high tech compound and tread design, I recommend it highly as the tire offers the best snow traction according to our Tire Survey Results.

The ice and wet focused FleX-Ice silica compound found in the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 was engineered to retain more dry road stability, while still offering amazing traction levels in cold weather. Because of this, it purposefully gives up some deep snow traction when compared to the Bridgestone. However, for areas where 4" or more is not normal, such as urban environments, the Xi2 excels in controlling a car at slippery intersections where ice tends to form due to traffic patterns.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Michelin X-Ice Xi2
Michelin X-Ice Xi2

Naturally, as with all winter / snow tires and especially with all-wheel drive vehicles, tires should be installed on all four corners, not just two. Watch "Why Gamble With Winter Tire Selection When Four of a Kind Always Beats Two Pair?" to see the benefits of installing four winter / snow tires this winter season.

Finding the Quietest Tires for Your Vehicle

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 by Hunter Leffel
Do you find yourself increasing the radio volume because your tires are making too much noise? If so, take a look at some of the quietest tires available in ascending order by performance category. The lower down the list you go the more noise you are likely to hear. However, you will notice an increase in traction levels (wet and dry) as well as hydroplaning resistance.

Michelin Energy Saver A/S Passenger All-Season

Michelin Energy Saver A/S
- In addition to being rated the quietest, we also found it to be the most economical on fuel.

Hankook Optimo H727Standard Touring All-Season

Hankook Optimo H727 - Developed for drivers of coupes, sedans, minivans and crossover vehicles, this tire has been a favorite since it was introduced because of its long wear and quiet ride. Offering good comfort, low noise and all-season traction, even in light snow, the Optimo H727 delivers a premium appearance with enhanced traction and tread life.

Goodyear Assurance ComforTred TouringGrand Touring All-Season

Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring - Designed for mid-range and upscale coupes, sedans and minivans, the Assurance ComforTred Touring offers all-season traction, even in light snow. The internal construction includes a shock absorbent Comfort Layer of rubber that provides on average, 20% more cushion than standard auto tires.

Yokohama AVID ENVigorHigh Performance All-Season

Yokohama AVID ENVigor - I have this tire installed on one of my vehicles. With this set, I have been satisfied with the performance and the fact the tires keep road noise to a minimum. Combining comfort and treadlife with year-round traction, even on light snow-covered roads, the AVID ENVigor meets the driving needs of sports car, coupe sedan and crossover drivers.

Continental Tire ExtremeContact DWSUltra High Performance All-Season

Continental ExtremeContact DWS - Currently the number one rated tire in its category, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS receives high ratings in the ride comfort, noise comfort, treadwear and hydroplaning resistance categories. With over 7 million miles of testing reported, customers have enjoyed this tire for quite some time. Take a look at the Consumer Reviews to view what other drivers are saying about their experience with this Ultra High Performance All-Season tire from Continental.

Are you having trouble finding the performance category that suits your driving needs? View all performance categories and shop by vehicle to find the tires that work best for your vehicle.

Michelin LTX Tires

Thursday, August 26, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Michelin has established itself as one of the premium brands in the market today by offering long lasting tread life with a smooth comfortable ride -- Michelin Auto Tires.

Two of Michelin's top pickup tires and SUV tires include the Michelin LTX A/T 2 and the Michelin LTX M/S 2.

Michelin LTX M/S 2 Michelin LTX M/S 2
  • Available in 40 load range, sidewall and size configurations from 15-20 inch
  • Developed to combine long life with all-season capabilities while blending a smooth comfortable ride with year-round traction
  • When compared to the original LTX M/S the new LTX M/S 2 is an evolution in looks and a leap forward in performance with Green X Technology and 3-D Active Sipes
  • Highway All-Season Tire
Michelin LTX A/T 2Michelin LTX A/T 2
  • Available in 36 load range, sidewall and size configurations from 15-20 inch
  • Developed to provide even wear and low noise with year-round traction and the durability expected from rugged off-road tires without forsaking on-road comfort and handling
  • Maximum biting edges dig into nearly any surface for better off-road traction on dirt, mud, gravel and wet grass
  • On-/Off-Road All-Terrain Tire

Should I go SLOTTED for my rotors?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 by Mac McNabb
Cryo-Stop RotorSo you just purchased a new Mustang or BMW 335...a new sports car. You have upgraded your tires to the best Bridgestone or Michelin, and have your new wheels on order. Next stop...upgrading brakes!

Now there are some technical decisions to make. Solid, dripped, slotted, 2-piece, big brake kit...too many options. Let's tackle slotted/drilled versus solid first.

Do you drive aggressively? Check. Do you plan take the car auto crossing...check. Do you get to the road course...not planning to do that. If this describes you, a solid rotor actually will be the best choice. Here are the physics behind that:

The more mass that you have the more quickly a rotor can disperse heat. This leads us in two directions. First it doesn't pay to turn rotors (takes away valuable mass) and second if you don't need slots and holes (drilled) your brakes will actually cool faster!DBA 4000 Series Rotor

Now if you are looking to run on the track and have successive high-speed stops, then racing rotors are for you. The purpose of a drilled/slotted rotor was actually to dispel gasses that can build up with repeated hard hot laps from high speeds to low speeds. Not necessary for 99% of the road driving we do. 

Now, there always is the aesthetic factor. Drilled/slotted looks are different, and some people find that desirable. That's fine, it isn't going to be greatly detrimental to your stopping power, just remember it is not a performance upgrade as much as it is an aesthetic upgrade!

The Power of a Porsche—and Porsche tires.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
First, there was the Boxster. Then came the Cayenne. And now, Porsche enters the sedan market with the all-new Panamera. This luxury vehicle has all the bells and whistles, but you'll want to add just one more: aftermarket Porsche tires from Tire Rack.

Consider Michelin auto tires. We picked Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires for the Panamera shown here because they offer world-class dry road traction, handling and cornering capabilities. After all, a Porsche is meant to be driven. (Side note: these tires appear as Original Equipment on a number of performance sedans.)

But before you buy Michelin tires, you may wish to check out a complete Tire & Wheel Package. For example, we paired the Max Performance Summer tires above with a set of O.Z. Botticelli III wheels. A part of the O.Z. Tuner System, they're custom-assembled for an impressive fit.

Build your Tire & Wheel Package, or simply search for Porsche tires. Whatever approach you take, aftermarket tire performance is yours for the driving.






Find A4 tires for your Audi. It's easy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 by Tire Rack Team
If you need to find A4 tires, the process is quite simple. Enter your vehicle specifications and let Tire Rack do the rest. We'll give you a detailed list of A4 tires suited to your Audi. Consumer reviews, survey results and our performance test results (where applicable) can add to the information found in specification charts. Trust us, we'll have you driving on new auto tires in no time at all.

For example, here are the best selling tires for the 2009 Audi A4 2.0 Quattro Premium with 225/50/17 Original Equipment tires:

Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3
Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport
Goodyear Assurance TripleTred

But our services don't stop there. We can also help you find Audi wheels, Audi brake pads and more. Enter the Upgrade Garage and you'll find all the parts and pieces suited to your vehicle.