Tires for our 240SX

David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the Nissan 240SX project car
Jul 1, 2013

Guess what? That size isn’t so popular any more.

Our car needed tires, as the ones it came wearing were simply aged-out. Back in the day, finding sporty tires for a car like our 1991 Nissan 240SX was easy: You simply ordered a 225/50R15, a suitable upgrade from the original 195/60R15 size.

Guess what? That size isn’t so popular any more. Sure, you can find full-on, DOT-approved race tires in that size, but the current extreme and ultra-high performance models skip that size since it has simply fallen from favor.

We wanted one tire that could do it all, and today’s extreme performance tires can do that—nice manners on the street plus the ability to do a track day. So, what size?

We initially mounted some 205/50R15 Nitto NT-01 race tires on our stock 15x6-inch wheels. We happened to have the tires on hand, and we have run many track events on this model. It provides lots of stable, consistent laps.

While the gearing boost is nice, this setup was a little too buzzy on the highway for us. The 225/45R15 would be no different since they share outside diameters.

The wheels also presented a challenge. The 240SX basically uses a rear-drive bolt pattern (4x114.3mm) teamed with a high offset, like that found on many front-drivers. We needed a real solution, so we called John Rastetter at the Tire Rack. John has been in the tire business since before many of us were born and just knows the entire scene.

We looked at 16s, but our options for an extreme performance tire were either too tall or too short. Plus we preferred to keep the period-correct, 15-inch wheels. Moving to a 17-inch wheel makes things easier, but we’d like to keep this one subtle—at least for now.

John found a solution for us: 15x7-inch Enkei92 wheels wrapped with the Yokohama ADVAN A048 in a 205/60R15 size. That was the optional tire size for our car, so while it’s a touch taller than our original rubber, we’re still pretty darn close. The Enkei92 is one of the classic wheels recently reissued by the manufacturer—we love the old-school looks.

But isn’t that a race tire? Yes and no. Thanks to its OE use on the Lotus Elise and Exige, Tire Rack calls it a streetable track and competition tire—basically something even more extreme than an extreme tire.

Did we go too extreme for the street? We just got them mounted, so we’ll report back soon.

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