Project BMW M3: Dipping Into the Yokohama Catalog for Some Sticky Street Tires

David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the BMW M3 project car
Jun 26, 2020

Our 2004 BMW M3 now had wheels—lightweight, strong forged alloys from Titan 7.

Now we needed to wrap them with something. Ideally something sticky. And black. And round. 

Our tire size was easy: 265/35R18 all around, a known quantity for this chassis. And it’s a fairly popular size, too, with Tire Rack offering 49 difference choices. 

Now to zero in a bit. Winter performance doesn’t matter, so that allowed us to cut any all-season models. 

The big question: Is this a street car that will see some track use or a track car that will see some street use? Today’s market offers plenty of tires that can play in both camps.

Two of Yokohama’s latest offerings caught our eye. Its new ADVAN A052 quickly became a go-to model for today’s 200-treadwear street-tire classes, cleaning up at last year’s Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships. This is an extreme performance tire. What exactly does that mean? From the Tire Rack website: “Hyper-focused on extreme dry grip, but gives up wet traction, comfort and tread life to get it.”

At the SEMA Show, we were introduced to the Yokohama ADVAN Apex V601. Its 280 AA A UTQG rating and "max-performance summer" classification hint that it might be a little more civil than the A052 yet still game for some track use. Here’s what Tire Rack has to say about max-performance summer tires: “Designed to deliver the highest combination of dry and wet traction along with reasonable ride and treadwear. Not for winter conditions.”

Which model would be better suited for our E46-chassis BMW M3? We queried Tire Rack’s Woody Rogers. Not only is he a nationally competitive driver, but he has been very involved in Tire Rack’s in-house testing. (And he’s nice.)

You have to decide what side of which fence you are truly standing on: road manner reality or survive/perform when at the track,” he replies. “There is overlapping gray in between, but either way you choose you will have to live with the selection when doing the activity on the other side of the fence.”

Then he dug deeper: “In real terms, side by side, the Apex will ride noticeably better than the A052. The A052 is good among its peer group, but that’s a relatively low hurdle considering how firmly all extreme performance tires ride—probably close to, but maybe not quite as supple as, the 615K+.

If it’s fun track days, then I’d enjoy the drive on the other 364 days in the year and go with Apex. If you want to run down the rabbit hole like J.G.'s C5, then stick A052s on it and rip around every corner you can apex, track or otherwise.”

After a bit of soul searching—okay, maybe this is a street car that will see the occasional track day—we ordered a set of the ADVAN Apex V601 tires. The available sizes range from 225/45R17 to 305/35R20, including our desired size of 265/35R18. 

Retail price from Tire Rack is not quite $190 each. That’s less than max-performance summer tires from brands like Continental, Bridgestone and Michelin. 

Do tire cosmetics matter to you? If not, skip this paragraph. If they do, the ADVAN Apex V601 does look beefy, sporting a tread and squared-off shoulder similar to the ADVAN A052. The family resemblance is there. The ADVAN Apex V601 also features a rim protector. 

The tires just arrived, and we’ll report back soon. First, though, we should talk more about those spacers and studs. 


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View comments on the GRM forums
CyberEric Dork
6/24/20 1:29 p.m.

Huh, didn’t know about these. Glad there are more options in the less than “goes to 11” street performance tire range.

Let us know how you feel about them.

mr2s2000elise SuperDork
6/24/20 1:51 p.m.

Great thread! I have been running Yokos since 2006, 


Started with Yoko AD07, then Yoko AD08.

Then moved to Yoko A048.

I am putting about 12,000 miles a year on various cars with these tires.

I have 2 sets of Yoko A052 in the stable that I just added, and love them to death.

The AD08R recently on my grocery getter beater has been a special favorite of mine in recent time. 

I haven't been able to try the ADVAN Apex V601 that you went with, due to size constraints. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/25/20 4:27 p.m.

In reply to CyberEric :

Happy to share something new with our crew.

Look for a video feature on these tires really soon. I'll share the link once it goes live. 

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