Turbine GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/11/24 11:26 a.m.

Like the title says, I'm looking for a fun summer tire for my Audi once I get it back on the road. I've currently got a set of 17x8 OZ Ultraleggera's that I'm planning to put these on, so I'm thinking a 235/45/17 is probably the size to go with. I'm not 100% sure that I'll be sticking with these wheels forever, so I'm a little hesitant to shell out for some Conti ECSs or PS4S. Ideally I'd like something with decent life and wet performance because I want to drive this car semi regularly during the warmer months. No track time, just spirited backroad driving and stuff like that. My main options are:

1) Firestone Firehawk Indy 500. I know GRM tends to love these and it's the direction I'm currently leaning, especially with the rebate. Slightly concerned about wet weather performance, so I'd like to hear some feedback in that regard.

2) Falken Azenis FK510. These were my top choice before the Firestones went on sale. Seem to have slightly better wet performance based on reviews, but don't have the cult following that the Indys do. They also look kinda boring lol

3) General G-MAX RS. These are interesting. The most recent Tire Rack review has these over the Indys, and the price is VERY nice. They're directional though, and wear seems to be an issue, which is kind of a bummer.

Also, here's two wildcards that I could be talked into

4) Conti ECS02. I'd had the original version of these on a past car and loved them, but I didn't realize how expensive they'd gotten! within $100 of the PS4S. Are they worth the price premium over the Indys? Kinda doubt it, but again, I can be convinced otherwise.

5) Alright, so I admit this is dumb, but I do love the 615k+. I'd have to go down to a 225/45/17, and wet weather performance isn't the best but just had to throw these in there for laughs, and because I can't get this out of my head.


Any advice or review is appreciated!

BA5 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/11/24 11:32 a.m.

I loved the Firehawks.  I had 205/50-16's on an old Honda Prelude.  Even did some autocrossing and track events on them.  They weren't setting the track on fire, but no complaints wet or dry.

Driven5 PowerDork
3/11/24 12:22 p.m.

I can't directly compare them to anything else there, but I was quite happy with the performance characteristics of the G-Max RS on my 128i. Definitely a good bang for the buck performance tire.

84FSP UberDork
3/11/24 12:32 p.m.

You can hunt around a bit and find the Kumho V730 really affordably and they are way up the list of fast tires.  The Federal 595's are spoken of really highly on the budget high performance list.  I really liked the Firehawk's as a daily as well.

camopaint0707 HalfDork
3/11/24 1:10 p.m.

If you aren't concerned about track times honestly just go for the cheapest tire you picked.  Its unlikely you'll feel a difference at road speeds.

Coniglio Rampante
Coniglio Rampante Reader
3/11/24 1:44 p.m.
camopaint0707 said:

If you aren't concerned about track times honestly just go for the cheapest tire you picked.  Its unlikely you'll feel a difference at road speeds.

Heck, I "know" a guy on another forum who uses UHP all season tires (Michelin PSAS4's) on his Ferrari since they are better than the OE Michelin XWX or TRX's that were used back in the day.

One of the main automotive publishers had an article on tires that ended with something like "but these all seasons are better than what the iconic e30 M3 came with from the factory."  Or something very similar to that.

That's a lot of meandering words to say "for the stated use, get what you want from those you listed."

Peabody MegaDork
3/11/24 1:56 p.m.

I heard complaints about the 500's in the rain but wasn't able to find anything in any of the test that mentioned that, and for me, they were great in the rain. But I only got a year out of them. Great tires, but I wouldn't buy them again for a commuter 

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
3/11/24 2:29 p.m.

Based on Patrick's recommendation (he runs them on his skyline), I went with the very cool looking kenda kaiser.

They are cheap.  Seem to grip well and wear well.  Only had them on for a year and probably about 1 k miles.


Edit.  Looks like it's called the kenda vezda max now.

fidelity101 UberDork
3/11/24 2:32 p.m.

I like this non 200tw category as it works great for daily drivers or spirited drivers that may or may not see occasional performance driving events. good balance of everything, cost/performance. 

I had the firehawks on my rx8 and enjoyed them and the contis were on my mazda6 wagon - those tires were outstanding in the wet, the general tire version of it looks to be listed above and I think that the FK510s look too much like a budget tire based on that tread I would skip it. 

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/11/24 5:50 p.m.

Indy 500s would be fine in the rain. ECS02s would be even better, but I don't know if that's worth the price premium to you.

Edit: Misread that you were considering Conti ECFs, nvm...

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/11/24 7:02 p.m.

If I keep this car long enough to wear out another set of ECSs then I'll probably try the Firestones. 

I bought my second set of ECSs in that size for $160 each on closeout when the 02s came out.  So I have two or three years to see what happens.


I still think that the gForce Sport Comp2s were much better in standing water.  The ECSs definitely hydroplane, but I fondly recall being able to comfortably drive at 90mph in a torrential rainstorm with the BFGs, at which point the wipers could no longer keep up.  The ECSs get sketchy over 60 in puddles.  But they also last longer and work when it is 30F instead of glassing over at 40F, and should I really be driving that fast anyway?

Snrub Dork
3/11/24 7:39 p.m.

I have/had your # 1 and 2 choices. I like them both have only good things to say. If you cross reference all the tire rack tests, the FK510 might be the better choice. My Indy 500s did wear out pretty quickly and I didn't have the FK510s for long enough to judge wear.

The Indy 500s are my current summer tires on my FiST. I'm planning to buy the Conti ECS 02 shortly to replace them. I'm curious what this class of tire is like and I can't help but wonder if my overall costs will be lower due to better wear. In this frozen tundra of a country there doesn't seem to be much summer tire stock yet. The price difference between the Indy 500 and ECS 02 are a bit smaller too. I could order from tire rack, but it would be hundreds more expensive.

Welly New Reader
3/11/24 7:58 p.m.

Have put these on a couple of cars with no complaints.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/11/24 9:05 p.m.

I'm on my second set of the Indy 500s. Had a set on the 944 but barely drove it. Now I have them on the Mustang, I put probably 1000 miles on them last summer and they were fine. No performance driving yet, but hopefully that will change soon.

buzzboy UltraDork
3/11/24 10:04 p.m.

I use that size on my E36 and I went with the Nankang NS-II. It's plenty grippy dry and wet in spirited street driving. 

I miss the gForce Sport Comp2. That's was the grippiest non 200tw I've tried. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/11/24 10:30 p.m.

I've had two sets of the Firehawks on my Ralliart wagon. I have been pleased with them enough to buy a second set. Rain traction is quite good as long as they're not too worn. I finished second on a new set in H Street at the state autocross championship in 2021, in cold and wet conditions.


fidelity101 UberDork
3/12/24 11:11 a.m.

In reply to Welly :

that looks too all seasony for me, especially if OP has dedicated summer tires/winter tires setup already

Turbine GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/12/24 11:53 a.m.

In reply to fidelity101 :

Yeah, the DWS06 are great all seasons (I've got them on my DD), but I'm looking for something more performance oriented for this car

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