Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Tuesday, July 22, 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 DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.91
 
 

2007 Mini Cooper S
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Miles driven on tires: 30,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 30,000 Miles on Tires
April 20, 2014

These tires are a much softer compound than most tires. If you have any issues with alignment or bearings going, fix them immediately otherwise these tires are prone to uneven wear quickly. After 30000 miles on them within 4 seasons, these tires show definite wear and might not make 50000 before I replace them. They did great in the winter on my small car, but wont make the next winter unfortunately. If you have a small car with tight suspension, these tires might not be a good fit for you.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology

Tuesday, July 22, 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 PureContact with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.43
 
 

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI
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Miles driven on tires: 2,500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 2,500 Miles on Tires
May 05, 2014

Purchased these tires to replace the OE Bridgestone Turanza EL 400-2 marginally worn tires, because of their poor wet handling performance in standing water at highway speeds. In my first 2500 miles with the Continental Pure Contacts, they performed flawlessly in heavy downpours at 70 MPH, and in dry conditions are smoother and quieter-riding than the OE Bridgestones, confirming what others had reported in spite of an agressive tread pattern. Fuel economy so far appears slightly better as well based on a 2500 mile road trip for which I kept detailed records. I was also considering the Pirelli Cinturato P7 A/S Plus, but was concerned that the treadpattern didn't appear to have as significant lateral grooves to evacuate water as the Continentals. I find they are notably more responsive than the OE tires, and would recommend them to anyone who appreciates a quiet, smooth riding tire that also has a high performance capability. My performance reference is based on many years of driving BMWs with high performance tires, and while the Passat does not have the balance and suspension of a BMW, these tires make it a much better car.
I cannot comment on treadware or winter driving characteristics at this point. I have snow tires on dedicated rims, but the "shoulder" seasons give us early or late snow events that are a reality where we live, and I have interrupted a return home trip, stopping overnight at a hotel when an early Fall snowstorm of only 2" made continuing with the OE Turanzas, a hazardous undertaking. From other reviewers' comments respecting snow performance of the Continental Pure Contacts, I would likely have been able to safely continue in a moderate to light snowfall. Extremely pleased so far.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Monday, July 21, 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: 9.71
 
 

2006 Mini Cooper S
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Belleair Bluffs, FL
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
May 16, 2014

The PSS is a tire well worth the price. I have a modified MINI Cooper S that I took to The Dragon this year, and the tires earned their keep. Super sticky in the corners yet firm enough to prevent any hint of body roll. I was a tad hesitant when purchasing the tires last year because of the price, but they're worth every penny and proved their value on the Dragon, Hellbender, and other pure driver's roads in NC/TN. SO glad I had them thru wicked switchbacks with a rock wall on one side and a severe drop-off on the other. My nerves gave out before the tires did.

The PSS has also proved to be solid in the wet. Year-round life in Florida includes torrential summer storms, but these tires have yet to hydroplane or get squirrelly on me.

These tires are also very quiet and offer a pleasant ride for a performance tire. Face it: if dry & wet handling are top priorities, you'll probably be willing to give a little on the ride quality, especially if you've invested in a performance suspension.

All around the Pilot Super Sport is a superior tire. Would not hesitate to recommend it to others or buy again myself.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum

Monday, July 21, 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.

Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.25
 
 

1998 Lexus LS400
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Miles driven on tires: 61,000
Location: Parrish, FL
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 61,000 Miles on Tires
May 19, 2014

I bought this tire to replace worn OEM-like Bridgestone's. I could not be happier about how this tire has performed: Quiet ride, premium look, improved steering response, and stable in wet or dry, and better than expected wear. If I don't upgrade the wheels and suspension this time around, then I will be replacing these Kumho's with a new set of Platinum LX's. Great tire!

OG by Axis Oldskool Wheels for BMW, Honda and VW

Friday, May 30, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Are you the proud owner of a classic BMW 3 Series or Volkswagen Golf from the 1980s or early 1990s? If so, you may have found that some of the modern wheel styles do not look quite "right" on these cars. Available in a 15x8 size with a machined with black accent and gold with machined lip, the Axis OG Oldskool wheel is a great option to give your vehicle that classic look.  

 OG Old Skool by Axis Black Machined
OG by Axis Oldskool Machined with Black
Accent
 OG Old Skool by Axis Gold Machined
OG by Axis Oldskool Gold with Machined
Lip


The OG by Axis Oldskool is available in size 15x8 only, with a 25mm offset with a 4-100 bolt pattern. These wheels can fit more than just BMW and VWs, some other common vehicle fitments include:

  • Acura Integra
  • Honda Civic
  • Honda CRX
  • BMW 2002tii
  • 1977-1991 BMW 3 series
  • VW Cabriolet
  • VW Golf
  • VW Jetta
  • VW Rabbit
  • VW Scirocco 

Please note that while these wheels will bolt up to many of the vehicles listed above, some fender modification and/or suspension changes may be needed due to this wheel's width and relatively aggressive offset. Visit our Upgrade Garage to see if the OG by Axis Oldskool wheel is available for your vehicle.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ContiProContact ContiSeal

Thursday, May 15, 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 ContiProContact ContiSeal Reviewer's Overall Rating: Not Rated
 
 

2013 Volkswagen CC Sport
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Miles driven on tires: 17,500
Location: Madison, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 17,500 Miles on Tires
May 12, 2014

Had these OE tires rotated on my new '13 VV CC at the first service interval at 10,000 miles Tires rotated front to back and they started making noise. Thought maybe they would settle in after a bit. Switched to my dedicated snow set up for the winter about a month after having them rotated and forgot about it during the long winter we had in NE Ohio. Just switched them back last month as spring is here and temps are up and whomp whomp whop, most terrible at 25-30 mph. Rotated back to front and it was worse. Car has 17,500 miles on it and two winters I ran the dedicated snow set up. So the tires maybe have 10K on them?? VW and Conti would not provide any warranty or good faith credit but dealership is helping me out on the mount and balance of new set. The ruling was that it is not the fault of the car or the tire but a combination of both because of the sport suspension. With a treadwear of 500 I would think 30K miles would be reasonable with my spirited driving but I didn't get even half taht. I got more tread life out of my 911 rears and I frequented the track with it! The first 10K before rotation the tires were OK for an all season, I can't say good or bad they were adequate. The forums say to rotate these tires much earlier than the first service interval of 10K, pehaps that would have gotten me to 30K if I rotated at 5,000. I've got about a year left on my lease so I'm putting some BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2's on the CC. At $100 per corner I feel they will be much better than the OE tires and hopefully they last until I turn them in at lease end and the price was great.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2

Wednesday, April 30, 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.

Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.4
 
 

2005 Acura Acura TL
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Miles driven on tires: 700
Location: Calgary, AB
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 700 Miles on Tires
April 21, 2014

Live in Calgary but had tires shipped to Great Falls and installed there. I wanted a quiet tire that had great handling and these certainly fit the bill. Had Michelin Pilot Sport A/S on before and although a great tire , don't work well with the TL suspension. ( Outside edges wear off rapidly) . These tires handle every bit as good and are quieter . Thats important to me given our lousy roads here. Comfortable ride too. Haven't driven in the wet yet and I have winter tires.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama Parada Spec-X

Wednesday, April 30, 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.

Yokohama Parada Spec-X Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2007 Ford F150 FX2 Super Cab 2wd
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Miles driven on tires: 43,500
Location: Surrey, BC
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 43,500 Miles on Tires
April 20, 2014

Installed on my 2007 F-150 FX2; very nice tire and best bang for the $ in an area like ours [British Columbia by the coast] where rain and snow or ice and dry weather are all unpredictable and can be encountered all during the same day of driving; even in June! Sometimes they will thump for the 1st km or so but are fine when they warm up.
I went over the Coquihala Pass in a January snow storm and passed several vehicles with snow tires that were stuck [not that the
Spec-X are a winter tire but I was happily surprised]. They tracked well [excellently!] through icy ruts even though the 275/55s are wider than most other vehicle tires on the road [so like they were a tad wider than the ruts]. 200 lbs of sand in the back of the empty truck box keeps them working in snow & icy conditions.
In the rain [and we get lots here]; they are superb; no kidding; you'd think you were on dry pavement; hit a big puddle at 120 km/hr and they haven't ever hydroplaned yet.
Cornering: I think the truck would roll over before they would lose traction; I had to learn that the Spec-Xs were better than my vehicle & its suspension and my driving capabilities.
Noise: they are on a truck not a Lincoln Town Car; what can one expect? Having said that: they do not differ with the original tires.
I have a reprogramming chip [and some other mods] and set the maximum vehicle speed to 120 m/hr; I am happily here to report the Spec-X's just cruise along and track well at high speeds; again tire performance & quality exceeds the vehicle's aerodynamics.
Would have liked to see 60K out of them but they have worked well and lasted twice as long as the original Pirelli's our F-150 came with.
I am looking for another set soon; will likely buy the 305/50R20s instead of the 275/55R20s I now have.
Compared to other tires; the Spec-X out rotates other tires in traction, wear and comfort in all settings and I'd agree with that rating.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S

Monday, April 21, 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.

Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.3
 
 

2006 Honda Ridgeline
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Eugene, OR
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
February 22, 2008

I've had them long enough to have driven in almost every condition on road, including deep snow, ice, heavy rain, dry highway, secondary roads with tight turns, and some highway cruising. I don't have any meaningful off-road experience to report.



These tires transformed the ride and tire noise levels to those of near car tires in our 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL. We had low-profile Toyo Proxes ST, and while the dry handling was great, that was the only joy I got from them.



The Geolander AT-S, the replacement for the AT-2's,is far better for typical driving (I've had the AT-2's), with the extra sidewall casing belt. It steers very well, and generally does what is asked of it. In my case that's a lot. The Ridgeline puts 'sports' into a truck: it has precise steering, high spring and shock rates, and a fully independent suspension. It drives like a quality sedan. Tires have no where to hide with this vehicle and any flaw or characteristic is made apparent.



I'm mostly amazed at the ride quality, and the near absence any noise. These tires soak up most road imperfections extremely well, especially on expansion joints going over bridges. Yokohama has done a great job balancing everything one needs in a AT rated tire, while giving you (me really, until you buy your own!) what you're hoping for.



I drive pretty briskly, and the handling is just great. I've bought performance tires for nearly 20 years (usually the best of the best) and these remind me of how they handle in the wet. Matter of fact I've yet to slide this truck in either wet or dry condition, and haved provoked them, but never unsettled them yet.



For those that are big on tire wear (it's not a selling feature for me at all), I'm happy to report uniform, but hardly perceptible wear. I don't think most people could even see it. Oh yes, one other thing, these tires do seem to balance quite well, too.



Overall Yokohama makes a great tire for the money. I can't see how a ti

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Friday, April 18, 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: 9.40
 
 

2001 Audi TT Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
April 06, 2014

Took off the nitto v2 and went from 235/40/18 to 245/35/18 car is lowered andhas spacers tires are flush looks pretty sick, but the performance so far is definitely improved and on every level it is amazing response is instant like what your thinking just happens with no effort, acually so fast that I found my self early in the turn at first, handles so well it makes me smile, as I pull away from from a 1100 cc racing/street bike who was completely laid out on a tight banked turn to the left that is marked 45mph, looking back for a split second in my mirror fourth gear exiting at 100++pulling out on that rider and having him come up next to me as I'm acknowledging his turn he is nodding and showing me acknowledgement that I was faster than him in and out of the tturn that I regularly hit at about 10mph slower with the feel of maxing out the nitto's, my new ssports could have handled more easly ! Tires are the most important component in a complete suspension after market or stock Its worth the extra $$ for the best and I truly believe these michelin tires are the best I've ever run from bfg to perrelli and just about any other tire you can think of I've tried in the last 25 yrs overall already a ten will update after summer. Thanks tire rack......

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season

Friday, April 18, 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.

Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.89
 
 

2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
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Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Miller Place, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
April 08, 2014

I'm very pleased with my purchase, both the tires and TireRack service. I really haven't put the tires through the ringer yet, but I can tell you the following.

The ride is comfortable.
Dry traction on on turns are great, keep on pushing but haven't found the limit yet.
Straight acceleration the tires let go, but that could be the suspension, I'm putting in coilovers now so I can do some tuning.

I'm going to be making some trips between NY and FL so I will be able to tell you more about highway driving.

Can't comment on wear, but the tires still look brand new.

All in all, great tires, great company, as long as TireRack is around they will be my single source of road rubber.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11

Tuesday, April 15, 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.

Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.25
 
 

2003 Mazda Miata LS
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Knoxville, TN
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
April 01, 2014

This set replaced a set of RE01R's. I drive them very aggressively in the east Tenn/NC mountains. Incredible traction off the line and in the corners. Have been caught out in deluges without problem. After sitting for a while they do need a few miles to even out. I've pretty much worn them down to slicks after 5000 miles but I expect that with my driving style with these tires. I am ordering another set. I do have a set of more "reasonable " all season tires for daily/off season driving. My car is supercharged with moderate suspension upgrades.

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.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated)

Wednesday, March 26, 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 Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.25
 
 

2008 Mini Cooper S
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Warwick, RI
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
March 22, 2014

Decided to replace my 50% used Continental Extreme Contact DWS tires with a set of these A/S 3's, along with new wheels. I upgraded from the OEM size 205/50/ZR 16 to a set of 205/45/ZR 17's on Sparco Tarmacs. Both the Continentals and the Michelins were W speed rated. While I understand upgrading to larger wheels with smaller aspect ratio tires improves handling, I only reduced the aspect ration by 5%. I say that because the difference between the Continental's and the Michelin's is night and day.

2 weeks prior I upgraded my suspension with the H&R Touring Cup Kit. While it was a significant upgrade over stock, I felt it was still missing something. There was still some roll in hard corners and the steering was a tad mushy. I simply couldn't believe the difference as soon as I bolted up the new wheels with the Michelin A/S 3's! The Conti's have a very soft sidewall that makes the suspension feel mushier than it needs to be. Turn in on the Michelins is simply outstanding. Crisp and precise. Prodigious grip in corners and very predictable at the limit. High speed stability is light years ahead of the Continentals, which were excellent in there own right. Ride quality is actually a tad better than the DWS's as well. I would recommend these to anyone looking for a truly no compromise all-season tire.

Raise Ride Height and Go Big with Traxda Lift and Level Kits

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

"How big of a tire can I install on my truck?" This question is one I receive on almost a daily basis. While each truck is different and some can occasionally accept taller tires with the factory suspension in place, the easiest way to insure proper fitment of a taller or wider tire is to increase the amount of travel between the top of the tire and fender well.

Leveling kits increase the amount of clearance on the front axles between one and three inches on average and will often enable the owner to increase tire size without rubbing issues. Most trucks tend to have a rake from the factory that causes the front of the truck to sit lower in the front when the bed is unloaded. With a leveling kit, this rake can be corrected and clearances improved.

Traxda Lift and Level Kits relocate the mounting point of the spring that holds the truck up without changing the location of the stock suspension arms. Installation of this kit allows for use of up to 35" tall tires (17"-26" rims, stock offset, depending on application) without rubbing. Most kits are a direct bolt-on style, simple and easy to install with nothing more than common hand tools and require no modifications to your vehicle. The kits retain stock ride quality.

Lift and Level Kit Features:

  • Precision laser cut solid steel technology engineered to exact tolerances
  • Does not change preload
  • Maintains stock ride quality on most vehicles
  • Requires no disassembly of the strut
  • Depending on application, stock shocks or stock-length aftermarket shocks can be used
  • Shock brackets included where applicable
  • Alignment specs provided
  • Truck can be returned to stock when required
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Search by vehicle to find a Traxda Lift and Level Kit for your truck.

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 X-Ice Xi3

Tuesday, March 11, 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 X-Ice Xi3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.45
 
 

2008 Cadillac STS V6 AWD
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
February 17, 2014

The tires I ordered have a wide profile. The Cadillac came with even wider tires as standard equipment, which is not good on snow & ice. It was suggested by Tire Rack when I ordered new wheels to get a narrower tire than what this hard riding Cadillac came with. I did order slightly narrower tires than what comes standard on this car. I wish I would have ordered even narrower tires. I do feel much more secure with these ice/snow tires than the balloon tires that were on the car. The tires that were on the car were nearly new with deep hard tread. Still not good in this Wisconsin winter. The Michelin X-Ice Xi3 are as quiet as regular tires and seem to handle corners like regular tires. They are great compared to other winter tires I have had while driving on dry roads & at freeway speeds. I've had snow tires for winter driving continuously since 1987 or perhaps before. However, in deep snow I think a wider lug pattern would be better. I am not concerned about getting stuck as this is an AWD car. Stopping and cornering in the crappy weather we have still concerns me. The traction control still kicks in more than it should on bad roads and at times there is sideways slipping. I have not noticed wear yet on the tires and only estimated my actual miles driven; it may be higher. If I had to choose tires again I may have gone with cheaper ones with wider lugs. I've had Dunlap Graspics and Blizzak tires for years on prior vehicles. In deep snow I think the other tires are better. Hard to say about handling on ice as this Cadillac has too wide of a tire. A previous Cadillac and my Avalon did well with narrower winter tires that seemed to have softer tread & wider grooves. That is a Cadillac thing that the STS has too wide of a tire requirement. Maybe an engineer in Detroit can think about tire profiles for winter driving and that most people don't need to have rock hard suspension.

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.

What Makes Your Track Car Stop?

Friday, February 28, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Race season is near and you've bought a fresh set of competition tires, lightweight wheels and sport suspension, but what about your braking system? Hawk Performance offers a wide selection of performance friction material for your autocross or road race car. Take a look at the following options from Hawk and see if one is right for your vehicle. 

HP Plus Plus Race Brake Pads

Hawk Performance's HP Plus disc brake pads are designed for sports cars, coupes and sedans for driving in autocross, Solo II and many “track day” applications. Also, the Hawk Performance HP Plus Ferro-Carbon compound can take the heat at the track and get you home safely without having to change your brake pads in and out. This compound was designed for the serious street and autocross enthusiast.

Black Track Only Pads

Black Track Only Pads feature an all-purpose competition compound for use on lower temp and torque applications. They're commonly used on the rear axle of vehicles when using Blue 9012 compounds on the front axle. These pads are also recommended for dirt circle track and driving school/lapping days.

Blue 9012 Track Only Pads

Hawk's most popular Motorsport Compound offers excellent modulation and braking power for a wide variety of applications. A strong initial bite combines with exceptional pedal feel to give drivers confidence during road racing and stage rally events. Blue 9012 Track Only Pads are popular with experienced lapping day and driving school participants.

HT-10 Track Only Pads

This pad is for road racing or pavement circle track use that requires more torque than the Blue 9012.

HT-14 Track Only Pads

HT-14 Track Only Pads are designed for vehicles that achieve high top speeds and require repeated high deceleration rates during road race competition. Drivers of Sports Car/GT and higher horsepower, open wheel applications will consider this pad.


Hawk HP Plus Race

Hawk Black Track Only Pads

Hawk DTC-60 Track Only Pads


DTC-60 Track Only Pads

Hawk's latest formulation for excellent torque control and modulation for wheel-to-wheel competition. DTC-60 pads can be combined with the DTC-70 when less torque is desired on the rear axle. Road race and asphalt circle track cars will benefit from using these pads from Hawk.

DTC-70 Track Only Pads

A higher torque version of the DTC-60, this compound is designed for vehicles with high top speeds that require repeated high deceleration rates. It can be used on the front or rear axle or combined with the DTC-60 if split friction between the front and rear axles is desired.

Search by vehicle to see all brake options available for your application.

Free Shipping at Tire Rack on Parts and Accessories Orders Over $50

Thursday, February 20, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Starting this week, we've made some changes in regards to the way we handle our shipping charges. Free shipping is now offered on all products in the parts and accessories categories (shown below). Eligible products purchased must total $50 or more (not including taxes) to qualify for free shipping.

Accessory items that qualify for free shipping include:

Free shipping offer does not apply to tire and wheel purchases. This offer is valid only to retail customers in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.