Are you a snowbelt driver with a new Audi Quattro A5, S5 or RS5 with Original Equipment 255/35R19 XL (Extra Load) summer tires? This winter will you encounter your fair share of packed snow and ice on your daily commute? Your best solution is a set of dedicated Studless Ice & Snow tires. Compared to Performance Winter / Snow tires, you'll give up some dry road handling to achieve outstanding grip in the worst winter conditions.
Your Original Equipment 255/35R19 tires have a 26" overall diameter. In a perfect tire world we'd want winter / snow tires with a comparable diameter. This winter season, take a look at Dunlop's 235/40R19 Graspic DS-3 (26.3"). This size will fit on your O.E. Audi 19x8.5" wheels or you can build a Winter Wheel & Tire Package to get the exact look you want.
Many of you may wonder what the "XL" on your tires stand for. Extra Load (XL) means a tire has reinforced construction allowing it to carry more weight than a Standard Load tire of the same size. For instance, the 235/40R19 XL Dunlop Graspic DS-3 and 235/40R19 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 N-Spec, both have the same air volume, however Dunlop's XL construction allows it to carry a max load of 1,565 lbs. per tire compared to Michelin's max load of 1,389 lbs.
Many Audi's are equipped with XL tires as Original Equipment, so it's critical that your winter / snow tires meet or surpass factory load carrying requirements.
Are you in the blue? Then it's time to find the winter / snow tire that works best for your vehicle. In order to purchase the correct snow tire, you should decide which performance category works best for your driving style and the winter weather you experience. There are three winter performance categories: Studless Ice & Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow and Performance Winter / Snow.
Studless Ice & Snow
Tires from this category give you optimum ice and packed snow grip, but are less responsive on dry roads. The tires trade a little handling for excellent ice and snow traction. On dry roads, your vehicle will not respond as crisply or quickly to steering inputs. Studless Ice & Snow tires are available in higher profile sizes and include the following:
- Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
- Michelin X-Ice Xi3
- Continental ExtremeWinterContact
- Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT
- Dunlop Graspic DS-3
- Dunlop Winter Maxx
If you go with a Studless Ice & Snow tire, you should consider going with a narrower tire as it cuts through deeper snow better. This is especially true for a lighter car like the MINI Cooper.
Studdable Winter / Snow
Studdable Winter / Snow tires can be run studded or unstudded. When studded, they'll give good ice and packed snow grip, but will be less responsive on dry roads. When unstudded, they'll perform well in moderate and deep snow. It's important to note that the use of studded tires may be prohibited or restricted in your area, be sure to check with local authorities to confirm legality. If you're looking for the traditional security of winter tire studs for enhanced traction on ice, consider the following Studdable Winter / Snow options:
The AltiMAX Arctic is slightly better on ice and packed snow and quieter than the the Winterforce. Winterforce tires will provide more effectiveness in deeper snow.
Performance Winter / Snow
These tires will exhibit the above dry road deficiencies to a much lesser degree. If your vehicle came with summer performance tires, the Performance Winter / Snow tires will be more comparable in steering response, acceleration, grip, braking and cornering grip. They will give up some ice and packed snow grip. Tires in this category will wear slightly better compared to Studless Ice & Snow tires, especially during the early and late winter days when temperatures are a little warmer. All winter / snow tires will have more tread noise and this will vary from tire to tire. Performance Winter / Snow tires do tend to be quieter than the other performance categories.
Available in lower profile sizes, the following Performance Winter / Snow tires are great options:
- Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
- Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D
- Pirelli Winter Snowsport
- Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
- Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
- Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
Is a Studless Ice & Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow or a Performance Winter / Snow tire right for your vehicle? It depends on your car, where you live, how you drive on dry roads and how you want to balance the above compromises. For example, my brother lives in Marion, Indiana, which is about an hour northeast of Indianapolis. He got the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 Studless Ice & Snow tire in 235/40R18 on Sport Edition A7 wheels for his 2008 BMW M3. He chose this tire because central Indiana is more apt to get ice storms and there's the potential for heavier snow that wouldn't be quickly cleared from the country roads between his offices. He's willing to drive slower on dry roads.
Compare my brother's driving situation with another driver from Louisville with the same car but a heavier foot, he would be better served with the Performance Winter / Snow Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D tires in 235/40R18 front and 255/40R18 rear. Louisville's milder weather allows him to emphasize dry road performance, but still have emergency snow capability.
Let it snow.
In between owning my BRZ and Civic Si, I thought about purchasing a Volkswagen MK6 Golf 2.5. Yes, the MK7 is right around the corner, but newer isn't always better. Naturally I started to wonder what 225/45R17 Max Performance Summer tires would be a good choice for my hypothetical MK6?
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport would still be my first choice for its crisp, immediate and linear response. I'd also look at the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 as a great value option, as it's currently on special.
225/45R17 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2
225/45R17 Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Both tires tested well with the Michelin coming in first overall. The Goodyear option had impressive traction and was especially strong in the wet. If you drive your vehicle to its full potential, then the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is the tire for you. If you take it a little easier but want a great tire, you can't beat the value of the Goodyear option. Many MK6 2.5 drivers will be happy with this tire for its combination of value and steering response.
Shop by vehicle to view all options available for your Volkswagen MK6.
*Prices subject to change
Have you been tempted by great test results and feedback of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, but need light snow traction, longer treadwear and more emphasis on lower tread noise? Sounds like you're looking for the Ultra High Performance All-Season version of the Pilot Super Sport -- the new Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3.
Michelin's internal testing shows marked improvement in dry and wet grip compared to its predecessor, the Pilot Sport A/S Plus. We've just completed our comprehensive comparison testing of the tire and the consensus is the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 beat its three main rivals, the Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position, Continental ExtremeContact DWS and Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetrical All-Season. For a complete recap of our test, read "Testing the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 - Can It Set a New Performance Benchmark for All-Season Tires?"
What about the tire's snow traction? Michelin engineers have added biting edges in the grooves to improve snow grip and used their Helio compound to keep the compound more malleable at cold temperatures. For most drivers, especially those with milder winters, the new Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 is the optimal Ultra High Performance All-Season choice.
Michelin has gone from a directional (V-shaped) tread pattern in the Pilot Sport A/S Plus to a non-directional asymmetrical (bigger outside shoulder) tread design with the Pilot Sport A/S 3. Their engineers use a varying number of longitudinal grooves to create a tread design that will resist hydroplaning and allow for cross-rotation, leading to more even wear. 205 or narrower tires have four ribs (rows of tread blocks), 205-255 width tires have five ribs and 295-265 width tires have six ribs. In the photo below, you can see some examples of the tread design differences. Pictured from left to right are 195/55R16, 235/45R17 and 275/35R20.
With millions of vehicles sold in the United States last year ranging from FIAT 500s to Ford F-150s, drivers have a myriad of choices. Shouldn't they also be able to have their tires their way, too? In a perfect tire world, every tire manufacturer would engineer the optimal tire for every car and driver. However, the market is very large and competitive, and instead of a few brands dominating all segments, there are all-stars that excel in their niches.
Even though Michelin was the first tire company to commercialize the radial tire back in 1948, all major tire manufacturers have the same core technology, such as radial ply construction, steel belts, etc. They often use the same or similar materials with some noteworthy exceptions, for example polyamide. As you research tires, judge a tire by how well it's been engineered for your specific needs.
Taking a look at the hypothetical case of Maria from Burnsville, Minnesota, she drives 16,000 miles per year in her 2009 Honda Civic EX Sedan which came with the 205/55R16 Original Equipment size. Her daily commute consists of two miles of suburban roads before hopping on the interstate for 25 miles of highway driving to reach work. She normally drives about five miles above the posted speed limit and has never received a speeding ticket.
What does Maria need in her tires?
- Snow grip - It's Minnesota! Running dedicate winter / snow tires during the winter is the best choice for her during the colder months.
- Wet grip - Spring showers will cause her to need adequate wet grip to brake, corner and accelerate properly in the rain.
- Treadwear - Since Maria drives quite a bit, she's needs a tire that combines good treadwear and has enough grip to stop quickly.
- Low tread noise and a good ride - She's in her car over one hour each day, she needs a tire with low tread noise and the ability to ride well over bumps. Tire noise is heavily dependent on vehicle design and ride compliance will inherently be challenged in short wheelbase cars.
- Relative efficiency - One reason she got the Civic was because of its fuel efficiency. It would be helpful to have a tire that's engineered for efficiency even though tire choice is only a partial factor of fuel economy with speed, air pressure and other things coming into play.
Although Extreme Performance Summer tires have stepped up their game, the old stalwarts of the category still provide great dry grip for your fun car. Like all Extreme Performance Summer tires, the Hankook R-S3 emphasizes dry grip and steering response at the expense of wear, ride compliance and tread noise. It's a great tire for spirited drivers. The R-S3 has always provided a great mix of dry performance and value. Now, closeout pricing in select sizes has made a great deal even better.
Do you have a PCA lapping day coming up for your 911? 285/35ZR18 tires have been marked down to $159*, 235/35ZR19s to $182 and 305/30ZR19s to $229*. Did you just pick up a Nissan 370Z? The 225/40ZR19 is currently available for $149* and the 245/40ZR19 for $159*.
You may also notice that some R-S3 tire specs show a 140 UTQG Treadwear rating, where others are now 200 rated. When the Ventus R-S3 was introduced in the spring of 2009, Hankook assigned the 140 rating to match the UTQG Treadwear rating required by existing competition rules. However, subsequent Hankook wear data revealed the tire line provided equivalent wear to its predecessor (Ventus R-S2) and earned the same 200 Treadwear rating. This has also been supported by Tire Rack survey results and customer feedback that indicate Ventus R-S3 tires provide equivalent wear to other tires already featuring similar UTQG Treadwear ratings. Where there was no change in compound or internal construction, some of the 140 rated tires are now discounted a little to help clear them out.
*Prices subject to change
Ranking the top three quarterback in the NFL is tough. Is Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady the best? Answers may vary across the country, but even neutral observers will be hard pressed to say who's the best.
That's how I felt after finishing our widely anticipated Extreme Performance Summer test. They're all great across the board and it's pretty hard to declare a clear number one.
Yokohama ADVAN Neova
The BFGoodrich g-Force Rival, Dunlop Direzza ZII and Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 R were the top three tires and all provided crisp, immediate and linear steering response that really performed well through the five-cone slalom section of our test. Compared to these three, the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A's steering response wasn't quite as crisp. Our opinions varied, however I like the predictability of both the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival and Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 R.
Our test writer had the difficult task of sorting through subjective assessments and data to anoint a winner. Our official results show the g-Force Rival taking first, the Dunlop Direzza ZII in second and Yokohama's AD08 R finishing third. Amongst those three, it's a photo finish when it comes to overall dry lap times as .22 seconds separated them.
If the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival isn't made in your vehicle's size, the Dunlop Direzza ZII and Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 R are both more than capable. The RE-11A is a worthy competitor that could use a little more dry traction, but overall it's a great Extreme Performance Sumer tire.
For complete test results, read "Testing Extreme Performance Summer Tires: The Boys of Summer Are Here."
Great handling, fast enough to get to work on time, a dipstick, sunroof and the ability to run 225/45R17 tires as a natural size, that's what I wanted in my next car that was replacing my BRZ.
I just got back from Cocoa, Florida in my new 2013 polished metal metallic Honda Civic Si Sedan, so everything is good to go with my new Honda, right? Not quite, as I'm not a huge fan of the 17x7 45mm offset Original Equipment wheels. I also have a set of 225/45ZR17 Michelin Pilot Super Sports in my basement, which leaves me halfway to the set-up I desire. How do I know when I've found the right wheel? It's the option that provides a combination of function, style and finish.
In a perfect world, I'd want the same offset as the Original Equipment, because in theory, a lower offset wheel will add torque steer to a front-wheel drive Civic Si. I prefer a 45mm offset wheel, however it'll knock me out of the stock autocross class (those heading to Nationals in Lincoln are no doubt relieved). A wider wheel will enhance steering response. Lighter wheels will effect braking and acceleration. With respect to function, I want a lightweight, 45mm offset wheel.
Wheel preference is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, therefore I need to pick a style I like. If I had to pick a few words to describe the overall styling theme of the 2013 Honda Civic Si, they'd be: angular, edgy and sharp. Wheels with rounded, organic styling that might look great on an Audi TT won't work on my Civic Si.
The polished metal metallic Civic is essentially a medium shade of metallic grey. My vehicle's color will play a major factor in the wheel I ultimately end up choosing.
As of right now, I'm leaning towards the 17x8 45ET Enkei Tuning Series Tenjin with a gunmetal with machined lip finish. It's wider, has the same offset as the Original Equipment and doesn't weigh more than the wheel currently on the vehicle. The spoke's edges are squared, not rounded. Its gunmetal finished center almost matches the color of my Honda. Also, the wheel gives me the function, style and finish I'm looking for!
We know the Focus ST has enough power to be fast, but can it use a style infusion?
My colleague Joe recently picked up a tangerine scream Ford Focus ST. It's a great color for the car, but Joe wasn't equally thrilled with the Original Equipment wheels from day one. After scanning his options in our Upgrade Garage, he narrowed down is choices to the following 18x8 5-108 45ET options:
- Hyper Silver Bremmer Kraft BR09
- Matte Graphite Silver Sparco Assetto Gara
- Matte Grey MSW Type 25
- Black Painted Sparco Assetto Gara
They're all good options, however Joe decided on the Sparco Assetto Gara with a matte graphite silver finish. The wheel provides the perfect contrast to the car's bright tangerine scream finish while matching up with the vehicle's black trim. Joe now has the combination of speed and style he was truly looking for.
2013 Ford Focus ST FAQ:
1. What's the width and offset of my Original Equipment Focus ST wheels? The wheels are 18x8 with a 55mm offset (ET).
2. How do I add a new set of tires to my wheel purchase? Create a Tire & Wheel Package. First, pick the wheels you would like for your Focus ST. Next, you will be given tires that are a match for your vehicle. It's that simple! Also, mounting, balancing and any required hardware are included at no additional cost.
3. Will my Focus ST automatically recognize my new TPMS sensors? We offer O.E. TPMS sensors, however you'll need to initialize them since each sensor has a unique serial number. You can either have your dealer do this (labor charges may apply), or use the FORDTRIGGER tool.
Buy your vehicle and hold onto it for as long as possible. That's typically the best way to get the most out of your car and budget. Obviously, you'll need to maintain and take care of it as best you can.
If your vehicle originally came with chrome wheels and you live in snow country, one challenge you'll probably face is peeling chrome. Eventually this peeling chrome will prevent your wheels from properly sealing against the tire beads. One way of fixing this is by having an installer clean the wheel and use a bead sealant to reduce or eliminate the air loss.
If leaks persist to the point you're still adding air to your tires every morning, then it's time to replace your wheels. A great option to consider is a set of Sport Edition F7 wheels. This five-spoke wheel is available in both a 16" and 17" rim diameter. Sport Edition wheels combine quality, style and price to offer an exceptional value. Using the latest production standards, Sport Edition wheels complement the appearance of many popular vehicles.
Not only could new wheels fix your leaking problem, but your vehicle will look better, too!
An Audi Q7 with Audi's quattro® all-wheel drive should have zero problems in the snow, right? Not if your Q7 came with 21" Original Equipment wheels and 295/35R21 summer tires. Unfortunately, none of the major tire manufacturers make an all-season in this size and there's not a good alternative 21" tire.
If you live in an area outside the Snowbelt, you may not need a set of dedicated winter / snow tires. However, the summer tires currently on your vehicle aren't going to be much help once the temperature begins to drop. The solution? Downsize to 275/45ZR20 Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires on 20" Andros Spec P wheels.
The ExtremeContact DWS features Tuned Performance Indicators -- visible letters molded into the second rib from the outboard shoulder to alert drivers of their tire's performance levels. A visible "DWS" indicates the tire has sufficient tread depth for dry conditions, as well as wet roads and light snow. After the "S" has worn away, the remaining "DW" indicates the tire has sufficient tread depth for dry and wet roads only. After the "W" and "S" have worn away, the remaining "D" indicates the tire has proper tread depth for dry conditions only.
20x10 Andros Spec P
275/45ZR20 Continental ExtremeContact DWS
275/45R20 has the same overall diameter as the 295/35R21 and is 1/2" narrower. The 275/45R20 is an Original Equipment size that Audi uses on certain Q7 trim levels and is compatible. Since your Q7 uses the Indirect ABS-based TPMS system, there are no direct TPMS sensors to purchase. We'll include our free mount and balance, therefore your Tire & Wheel Package ($1156* plus shipping) will arrive ready to install.
*Prices subject to change
In the Scion family, the FR-S gets the most buzz, the xB evokes the most polarizing opinions, the iQ draws the most attention and the tC typically sells the best. The Scion xD gets overlooked as it provides practicality, dependability and efficiency, while simply getting the job done.
If you drive an xD, I'm sure you've been happy with its reliability, efficiency and ease of maintenance. The only area where things get a little tough is in choosing replacement tires. Scion has equipped the xD with the rare 195/60-16 size as Original Equipment. There are only six options available, with two of them being winter / snow tires. This severely limits your chances of finding the tire you may be looking for.
No worries, you can run the 205/55R16 alternate size instead. It fits on your original wheels, doesn't rub on the wheel wells, has a comparable overall diameter and won't affect overall performance. In the 205/55R16 size, you'll find 166 choices to choose from.
Search by size and find the best tire for how and where you drive your xD.
We all know the rule, if Punxsutawney Phil doesn't see his shadow, then we can look forward to an early spring. On Groundhog Day, Phil saw no shadow, yet we saw plenty of snow on the first day of spring.
Even though most of us our wanting warmer weather, winter conditions are going to appear later this year and we need to be prepared. Why not get ready now by taking advantage of some great closeout savings on Michelin winter / snow tires available in select sizes?
There are a few great Michelin tires available with closeout pricing, including select sizes of the Primacy Alpin PA3, Latitude Alpin and Pilot Alpin PA3; however, I particularly like the X-Ice Xi2 for its ability to combine good snow grip with decent handling. We were fortunate to receive the X-Ice Xi2 in a wide variety of sizes:
What should you do with all the money you've saved? The Punxsutawney Phil Legal Defense Fund might be a worthy cause.
*Prices subject to change, limited stock
This past Saturday, I watched my niece play in her youth basketball league. I ended up running the scoreboard and used my close proximity to the court to offer words of wisdom, such as "use the backboard" and "shoot it." Kids, you got to love them!
Inevitably these kids will get bigger, their jump shots will start falling and they'll be teenagers driving themselves to practice. When that time comes, preparing them to be the best drivers they can be will be extremely important. One of the ways to do that is to take your teen driver to a one-day Tire Rack Street Survival class.
Classes are held at our headquarters in South Bend, Indiana, as well as locations across the country. Tire Rack Street Survival classes allow your teen to learn how to properly control his/her car so they don't panic during an emergency, along with helping improve their overall driving skills.
In addition to proper training, teenagers (and all drivers) need the safest tires. If you're in a snowbelt region, then dedicated winter / snow tires are the way to go. If you live in a warmer climate, an Ultra High Performance All-Season tire could work best because of how unpredictable weather can be. For example, in Dallas, Texas, it's not uncommon to receive some light snow, and the all-season option will come in handy compared to a summer tire.
View more information on the Tire Rack Street Survival program and find a class for your teen driver!
If your family hauler is a second-generation (2001-2007) Volvo XC70 AWD, you probably bought it for the safety it provides. Safety also requires focused driving and equipping your Volvo with the best tires for the conditions. Does tire choice make that much of a difference? Yes, consider the difference in wet braking distance between the top tires and the fourth place tire observed in this Grand Touring All-Season comparison test.
Choosing the right tires for your Volvo XC70 can be tricky. Most second-generation Volvo XC70 vehicles came with the relatively obscure 215/65R16 size. If wet braking is important to you, and it should be, you may want to consider one of the top three tires referenced above (Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus, Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology, Michelin Primacy MXV4). The problem is that they're not made in your size, therefore you'll need to look at the 225/60R16 alternate size. 225/60R16 is about 1/2" wider, 3/10" smaller in diameter and fits the Original Equipment 7" wide rim without rubbing.
Now that you know what size to look at, what tire should you purchase? Obviously, if you live in a dry area like Phoenix, Arizona, you'll want to choose your tire based on variables such as dry braking and steering response. With these parameters in mind, I'd recommend choosing between the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus, Michelin Primacy MXV4 and Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus.
225/60R16 Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus
225/60R16 Michelin Primacy MXV4
225/60R16 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus
The Turanza Serenity Plus provides good wet grip, decent road manners and relatively long treadwear. Michelin's Primacy MXV4 shares theses traits, however the Serenity Plus offers a little more wet grip capability. Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus' strengths of crisp steering response and better dry grip make it appropriate for faster drivers.
Recently, we received our first batch of Extreme Performance Summer BFGoodrich g-Force Rival tires. The first shipment from BFGoodrich's Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant consisted of the 225/45R17 and 245/40R18 sizes, with 13 additional sizes to come. Unfortunately, it's too cold here at our Indiana headquarters to test the tire, however based on current data, it looks like this BFGoodrich tire will rise to the top.
Our test drivers were particularly impressed with the g-Force Rival's combination of consistent, extreme grip with a high degree of predictability. Instead of "peaky" grip levels which leave the driver wondering what their tire and car are doing, BFGoodrich has endowed the Rival with more progressive grip levels. This allows for better control because the driver has no doubt what's happening with his/her car and tires.
The NOLA Motorsports Park launch test featured some good competitors, but how will the g-Force Rival do against the newest rivals in its class? Dunlop has launched the new Direzza ZII. Bridgestone's rolling out the new Potenza RE-11A. Yokohama has the ADVAN Neova AD08. Who's the king of that group? With all due apologies to Dennis Green, we won't crown it now. We'll crown the champ in early June after completing our comprehensive in-house test.
By all accounts, the 2013 Ford Focus ST has been a universal hit. It goes fast, handles well and doesn't break the bank. Much of the current Focus' success is due to groundwork done by earlier models.
The previous generation Focus combined affordability, decent handling and efficiency, so it's not surprising that many second-generation Focus drivers are staying with their current Focus. Are you happy with your Focus but want to freshen it up? Why not take advantage of some extraordinary savings on clearance 4-108 wheels and special buy Fuzion tires to create a Tire and Wheel Package for less than $600?*
Building your Tire and Wheel Package is quick and easy. Simply click on the wheel you like, add it to your cart, add tires, review TPMS options and receive the tires and wheels ready to install!
Ford Focus Tire & Wheel Package FAQ:
1. I'd rather have more emphasis on grip and steering response instead of focusing on wear and ride compliance, can I choose a different tire?
2. What torque setting should I use on my new wheels?
Use the same as factory, 100 ft-lbs. See complete installation instructions here.
*Prices subject to change, limited stock
Thumbing through the March round of car magazines, I came across an interesting comparison between C7 launch articles. Sweet car, by the way, that C7. The comparison test? My Subaru BRZ versus another favorite of mind, the 2013 Ford Focus ST.
A lightweight rear-wheel drive junior Cayman against a roomy, practical and powerful front-wheel drive hatch? Kind of an odd couple to test with their only real commonality being their $25,000-$30,000 price point. Both cars tested well, but at the end of the day, the BRZ was about a second slower than the Focus ST on a 1.6-mile road course.
Did I buy the wrong car? No, not at all. I bought the right car that happens to be sold with the wrong tires. The BRZ and FR-S come equipped with 215/45R17 Michelin Primacy HP tires, while the Focus ST has the 235/40R18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2. It's true the Focus ST boasts a huge power advantage, however stickier rubber would allow the BRZ to maximize its cornering grip. I suspect a simple swap to either a Max Performance Summer or Extreme Performance Summer tire would easily close that gap.
For those interested, before I got my BRZ, I had a set of Extreme Performance Summer tires in mind. After getting my new car, I was leaning towards the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11. After about 1,600 miles on my Original Equipment tires, I decided on the Michelin Pilot Super Sport in 225/45R17 on 17x7 48ET Sport Tuning T8 wheels. Michelin's Pilot Super Sport provides great wet grip and I wanted to avoid the harder ride of the Extreme Performance Summer tire. I noticed improvements across the board with the tires with no significant difference in ride or tread noise.
With the new 2014 Mazda6, Mazda has built the family sedan a mom and dad will want to drive.
Have you just brought home or ordered your new Mazda6? If so, you've made an excellent choice! Owners of this vehicle in a fair weather state may be looking to upgrade their Mazda6 with some new wheels. However, if you reside in the northern part of the country, you may want to consider adding some winter / snow tires to your purchase.
We were fortunate enough to bring a 2014 Mazda6 in for test fitting this past week. So expect it to appear as an option in our Upgrade Garage shortly. We'll have plenty of choices for both summer wheels, as well as winter options.
For example, Enkei Performance Series makes the Falcon in both a hyper silver with machined lip and gunmetal with machined lip finish. This clean, five-spoke design is an ideal complement to the 2014 Mazda6 Sport.
17x7 5-114 45ET Enkei Performance Series Falcon Hyper Silver with Machined Lip
17x7 5-114 45ET Enkei Performance Series Falcon Gunmetal with Machined Lip
Wheels are ultimately in the eye of the beholder, however I like how the hyper silver with machined lip finish looks on a black Mazda6. For the soul red, meteor gray, liquid silver and snowflake white pearl colors, I'd select the gunmetal with machined lip finish because it offers more contrast between wheel and vehicle colors.
Now you can zoom, zoom with a little bit more style!
Have you just picked up an E-Class Sedan, Coupe or Cabriolet? If so, and you live in the Snowbelt region, your E-Class is going to need to be equipped with a set of dedicated winter / snow tires. Given the wide variety of E-Class drivers, both Studless Ice and Snow and Performance Winter / Snow tires may be appropriate. Take a look at "Which Winter Performance Category is Right for You?" to see which winter tire is appropriate for how and where you drive.
Winter / Snow Tire Size
Depending on your exact model, Original Equipment sizes range between 17" and 19" including staggered (wider rear tire) fitments. An optimum winter size for most E350 drivers is 235/45R17. The heavier E550 excels with a 245/45R17 size. While the large brakes of the E63 require the use of either 18" or 19" wheels. Given the E63's prodigious horsepower and torque, most E63 drivers are best served by 255/40R18 in the front and 285/35R18 in the rear on 18" wheels or 255/35R19 in the front and 285/30R19 in the rear on 19" wheels.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
The E-Class uses valve-stem-mounted direct TPMS sensors priced at $62* each. You can register the TPMS sensors yourself by following the instructions in the owner's manual. There's no additional cost to install the sensors as part of our free mount and balance.
Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for E350 4MATIC
Since you've selected your E350 4MATIC for ultimate safety in the worst conditions, I recommend 235/45R17 Studless Ice and Snow Bridgestone Blizzak WS70s on 17x8 44mm offset bright silver Sport Edition ST3 wheels at $1440*.
235/45R17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
17x8 5-112 44ET Sport Edition ST3
Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for RWD E350
If you're a spirited driver who chose a rear-wheel drive E350 for its emphasis on handling, then the 245/45R17 Performance Winter / Snow Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II is a better choice. Four of these tires mounted and balanced on Sport Edition ST3 wheels is currently $1488*.
245/45R17 Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II
17x8 5-112 44 ET Sport Edition ST3