Proxes Sport A/S: A Do-It-All Tire for a Do-It-All Mini

By Katie Suddard
Jul 9, 2020 | tires, Proxes Sport, Toyo | Posted in Tires & Wheels | Never miss an article

What do you buy when you want to have fun behind the wheel but only have the budget for one daily driver? For less than 5 grand, we bought an early 2000s Mini Cooper S: a fun little sportster during the week that’s just as capable of hitting the track or the campground when the weekend starts.  

But like any $5000 car, the Mini needed some work. The previous owner chose the car because it was the biggest one that he could fit behind his airplane in his small hanger. 

Good news: That means it was garage-kept its whole life. Bad news: The guy hated it and never drove it. The old tires were so dry-rotted that we fishtailed during the rainy drive home. We needed tires.

We called up our friends at Toyo, letting them know that while this Mini is a daily driver, it may have some light and easy track time in its future. The company had just the thing for a daily driver that’s not boring: the all-new Proxes Sport A/S

The Proxes Sport A/S is an ultra-high-performance all-season tire. Toyo offers sizes to cover 16-to-22-inch rim diameters, and prices start around $100 per tire. 

These tires were designed to be quiet and comfortable while delivering improved braking as well as excellent wet and dry handling. They were just what we needed for our performance daily driver, and Toyo had it in a 205/40R17 for our Mini. Perfect.

Once the tires arrived, we loaded them into the back of the Mini and drove over to the shop. Miata may be the answer, but can a Miata fit four of its tires in the trunk? Our friends at Ormond Auto Clinic got the new Toyos mounted and balanced.

While driving home from the shop, the weather was clear and sunny. The following day, we welcomed an absolute monsoon.

These performance-oriented all-seasons inspire confidence more than anything else. In the dry, they offer progressive breakaway with enough road manners to be a great touring tire. In the wet, they evacuate water very efficiently to keep braking distances low. This car went from hairy to poised. 

The average driver won't find the limits of grip on these tires—certainly not while following road rules. With their help, our Mini can now outmaneuver regular vehicles in traffic while keeping the ride quiet and confident.


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View comments on the GRM forums
mistanfo UltraDork
7/9/20 10:33 a.m.

Assume Service Position One?

Nice car, I've had my eye on one for some time...

WheelPowerracing New Reader
7/26/20 3:55 p.m.


I bought a 2003 same British Racing Green, black top , no stripes for $1000 off Ebay. Owner listed a few minor issues, & the major issue is won't stay in  5th gear.  "I use it as a 4 speed" she said. Went and picked it up and drove it the 2.5 hours home. No issues other than 5th, & I really liked it. My wife swore she would never want a manual car again,  even though I taught her to drive one when we were 1st dating. She took the Mini for a test drive when I got it home. I was thinking it broke down on her and was getting ready to go looking when she called and said the test drive had been "extended", everything was ok. She arrived back at the house with a huge smile and said "I want it". I was shocked. her wanting a manual gearbox. It has the midlands 5 speed, research shows they are terribly unreliable & expensive, and a 6 speed swap isn't just a transmission, axles, & linkage. That means I need to pull it apart and see if its fixable. Dont wish you guys any bad luck, but hope you do some transmission articles

350z247 New Reader
10/7/20 5:07 p.m.

I'm running Federal ST1's on my R53, and I love them. Cheap, quiet, good looking, great in the rain, and handle track duty no problem.

350z247 New Reader
10/7/20 5:12 p.m.

In reply to WheelPowerracing :

The S uses a completely different 6 speed manual transmission; the 05/06 cars use a Getrag. I'm unsure who makes the tranny for the pre-facelift R53s. Best of luck with the 5 speed.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/7/20 6:00 p.m.

I have been eyeing these for a while. 

keithedwards Reader
10/7/20 7:29 p.m.
350z247 said:

In reply to WheelPowerracing :

The S uses a completely different 6 speed manual transmission; the 05/06 cars use a Getrag. I'm unsure who makes the tranny for the pre-facelift R53s. Best of luck with the 5 speed.

The '02-'04 5-speed transmission was a Midlands. Originally a PSA (Peugoet-Citroen) design according to

We own 2 '03s and 1 '04 non-S MINIs.


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