Flatspot
Flatspot None
Aug. 16, 2009 4:39 p.m.

It is time to replace my Ecsta 615's on my 1997 M3. This car is relegated mostly to HPDE days run by the various clubs in my area. The car has had some suspension and engine upgrades, but is still driven to and from events. I prefer tires that are streetable, and am trying to keep the cost down - prefer to use the money for entry fees. I do not plan to have wet weather tires - one set must do it all.

Stock size is 235/40-17. I have a number of options, including some alternate sizes. given that all the tires are within $75 total delivered, the question is which tire brand size is best for me. Here are the choices:

Kumho XS - 215/45 - $492; Kumho MX 215/45 - $492; Dunlop Direzza Z1 - 235/40 - $568 ( leaning toward this choice); Falken 615 - 235/40 - $524; Nitto NT-05 - 235/40 - $556; Nitto NT- 235/40 - $652 (I beleive these are R compound); Hankook Ventus RS2 - 235/40 - $461 (closeout price); Hankook Ventus RS3 - 225/45 - $586 ( aspect ratio issues);

the next step up in tires (RE-11) is $822, Advan Neova AD08 is $801. I expect to get one or two seasons max, and these are nearly twice the price of the lowest option

Please share your experience with any of these. Keep in mind the car weigh 3,200 lbs and i do not plan to do any autocrossing, just track days. My goal is a tire with great feedback and good grip - I am not trying to set track records, just improve my skills. If the $800 + options are dramatically better I woud buy them, but is it worth it?

Tommy Suddard SonDork
Aug. 16, 2009 5:52 p.m.

As I've said before, my dad and I have been real happy with the XS's.

Hasbro HalfDork
Aug. 16, 2009 6:10 p.m.

I love my XSs. Really sticky but very comfortable, even at 51 psi on the street. Winner of GRM's Street Tire Test and lightest in my size by 2-4 lbs. They are a little slippery when cold I have read. Not a problem in the desert here.

Flatspot
Flatspot New Reader
Aug. 16, 2009 6:25 p.m.

In reply to Tommy Suddard: Any thoughts on the tradeoff of giving up some contact patch relative to the stock size? Tire width is about 3/4 " narrower for the XS vs other options.

BTW all my track time is in New England - temps from 60's to 90's.

MCarp22 Reader
Aug. 16, 2009 6:36 p.m.

If you do events in the wet at all, the Kumhos have gotten fairly poor marks for wet performance. Other than that, they're awesome bang for the buck.

On the other hand though, given that you can get a wider tire in the dunlop Z1, I would reccomend those over the smaller sized XS. The Z1s should have similar grip to the XS in the dry, but won't ruin your weekend if it rains.

Tommy Suddard SonDork
Aug. 16, 2009 7:03 p.m.
Flatspot wrote: In reply to Tommy Suddard: Any thoughts on the tradeoff of giving up some contact patch relative to the stock size? Tire width is about 3/4 " narrower for the XS vs other options.

I couldn't say how much that would matter. Per might know.

Feedyurhed Reader
Aug. 16, 2009 8:45 p.m.

I just recently purchased the Hankook Ventus at the close out price and have been very happy so far. High grip and very quiet at speed. I can't comment on wet grip yet but otherwise I am satisfied.

z31maniac
z31maniac Dork
Aug. 17, 2009 7:07 a.m.
Flatspot wrote: In reply to Tommy Suddard: Any thoughts on the tradeoff of giving up some contact patch relative to the stock size? Tire width is about 3/4 " narrower for the XS vs other options. BTW all my track time is in New England - temps from 60's to 90's.

You're in luck, there is no 235 XS, just stuff some 245/40/17 XS on the wheels.

I'll be following this thread. 235/40 or 245/40 is the same size going on my '88 332is.

billy3esq Dork
Aug. 17, 2009 1:28 p.m.

NT01s are good, but a little noisy on the street. I don't mind driving them to/from the track, but I wouldn't want to run around town in them. If your car is truly just a DE machine, they'd be great.

Falken RT-615s may get greasy on you. I've had them get that way on me on a Miata in Texas in June. I realize you're going to have substantially cooler temperatures, but you're also talking another 1000lbs.

I've got the Z1s on my street/casual track day RX-8, but I haven't taken them to the track yet.

The Toyo RA1 is absent from your list, but would probably be a good choice.

Tom Heath Production Editor
Aug. 17, 2009 1:52 p.m.

I would recommend the Kumho XS without reservation. If you're trying to find one tire to do it all without spending too much money, they're really hard to beat. Dunlop Z1s aren't a bad choice either. 20mm of width isn't nothing, but I wouldn't mind giving it up for a "better" tire or to save some money.

That said, my turbo Miata wears Nitto NT-01s every day. As B3esq said, they are noisy. I consider the Toyo RA-1 to be almost the same tire. Neither would be my choice if I had a longer commute, and unless you're competing with them they're probably overkill. Sure they offer more grip, but you're talking a few seconds a lap. There's no reward for being fastest in your HPDE group; first place and last place get paid the same.

IMHO, you're better off with a "real" street tire that will last longer, especially on a heavier car.

Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
Aug. 17, 2009 2:06 p.m.
Flatspot wrote: In reply to Tommy Suddard: Any thoughts on the tradeoff of giving up some contact patch relative to the stock size? Tire width is about 3/4 " narrower for the XS vs other options. BTW all my track time is in New England - temps from 60's to 90's.

Tire section width or tread width? A Kumho 245 is usually right on the money for a 245, if not a little fatter in terms of treadwidth.

Flatspot
Flatspot New Reader
Aug. 17, 2009 9:54 p.m.

In reply to Per Schroeder:

Can you clarify your comment? Are you recommending the Kumho XS in 245/40?

Flatspot
Flatspot New Reader
Aug. 22, 2009 7:44 p.m.

In reply to Per Schroeder:

I spoke with Tire Rack today wuo said the 245 Kumho will scrub my fender wells on turn in. He was pushing the Direzza Z1, saying it performed better than the Kumho XS in their tests.

Any last thoughts on my choices before I order up a new set?

KATYB HalfDork
July 22, 2011 9:09 a.m.

i never trust tire rack in telling me what will fit my car. they told me 245's would not fit. i have run a 265 40 17 before and i may again. but guy at tire rack said 235's were as far as i could be with my car being lowered 2.2 inches.

mad_machine SuperDork
July 22, 2011 9:15 a.m.
Flatspot wrote: In reply to Per Schroeder: I spoke with Tire Rack today wuo said the 245 Kumho will scrub my fender wells on turn in. He was pushing the Direzza Z1, saying it performed better than the Kumho XS in their tests. Any last thoughts on my choices before I order up a new set?

My Ti runs the same sizes you do.. and it is lowered. I run the Star Specs on her.. and quite simply, on the street, I have yet to find these tyre's limits.. and I am talking about passing M3s and M5s on two lane on and off ramps.

They stick so much, that even on coilovers, lowered, and with swaybars.. I can tuck the outside rear tyre enough in a corner that it rubs (which must mean the car is a couple of inches at most from touching the ground) and they just STICK

ReverendDexter SuperDork
July 22, 2011 9:43 a.m.

In reply to billy3esq: I'll 2nd the RA1 as a track day tire. I've had mine for 2 AX seasons and a few track days... they just don't die.

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