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Old 05-15-2009, 02:53 AM   #1
macker
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Default another "which summer tire" thread...

Short version: Looking for summer tires for an '05 WRX with mild suspension mods, that will be better than the T1-R's that previously wrapped the 18x8's. 225x40x18, diameter is non-negotiable, little/no rain. Driving hard in the twisties, maybe some HPDE or track days, on the weekends... hard on the on/off-ramps during the week. 1-2 seconds off the lap time isn't worth $50/corner (yet). ~3500 miles/year on the summer tires, would like to see two summers out of them. price target is $125-200/tire shipped (not inc mount/balance). noise level is a trailing consideration, as it wet traction.


current suspension mods: STi takeoff springs, group n engine/trans/strut tophat mounts, trans crossmember bushing, rear diff and outrigger bushings, and short shifter/bushings. front/rear swaybar and endlinks will be in the near future.

car is a DD with "spirited" driving... going into the twisties. will probably see some HPDE events and/or track days this year

previous summer rubber was toyo t1-r's in 225/40/18, and I don't see anyone talking about these anymore. they were very nice, and leagues ahead of the current all-season rubber (running on a separate set of 17x7.5 wheels), but would make some noise during hard cornering in the twisties

goal is to see two summers out of these tires, with about 10k miles per year (probably ~3500 of those miles being during summer). have a dedicated set of all-seasons for non-summer use, which can include snow.

the current candidates seem to range from Uncle Scotty's Federal 595 RS-R's, to Luke's Dunlop Stars. I'm open to other possibilities as well, with the RE-11's being at the high end of the price range. (Would prefer to stay under $200/ea shipped.)

desired traits are as much or more grip than the T1-R's, capable of running in the rain at moderate speeds (not nt-01's), some warning when pushed towards their limits (not on/off grip), and ~7500 miles of tread wear with mostly daily driving (and weekend twisties/track use)

reasonable road noise levels (stock exhaust) would be nice, but there's always the stereo.

overall, I think this should be a really easy set of requirements to meet, so part of my question is... will the Federals really do everything I want, at a budget price, will the Stars give me that much more that I don't want to go back, or is there other options I should seriously consider (e.g. Ecsta XS, AD08, HTR Z III, etc.).

suggestions?
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:11 AM   #2
yzer
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-Look at "The New Tires Which Ones are Best" best tires sticky at the top of this Tire and Wheel forum.

Yes, consider the new Ecsta XS very seriously. I've owned MXs too but the XS is incredible for dry grip and handling and is very well priced. I'm liking the tires more all of the time. Kumho extreme performance summers and track tires have a respected reputation.

Don't pay too much attention to tire wear figures. They are most useful for comparing tire wear within a particular brand and do not provide a reliable measurement of available grip. Manufactuers can run a soft-looking rating when the tire is new and bump it up later.

Also on the top of this forum I wrote a more detailed review of the XS in the NASIOC Specific Tire Review sticky. It's on the last page.

Check the weight of the RS-Rs. I read that they may be heavy.

Last edited by yzer; 05-15-2009 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:28 PM   #3
macker
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Thanks for the suggestions, will read your review of the Kumho's. The stickied "Which Ones are Best" was where I started, but since TireRack doesn't offer Toyo (or Federal), it's making comparisons a bit more difficult for me, and I don't want to exclude something good because it's not popular.

The current top picks seems to be the Sumitomo HTR Z III's, the Federal's, and the Star Spec's, with an outside flyer of the Hankook Ventus S1's (on closeout).

Time to give Luke a call, now that the sun is up... any other suggestions or comments are welcome, I'll likely be ordering something this afternoon.
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Old 05-15-2009, 02:16 PM   #4
viper74656
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Of the 4 you just mentioned, the Federals and the Star Specs are going to be far grippier than the Hankooks (I'm guessing you mean the S2s, which are currently being replaced by the S3) and Sumitomos. Keep that in mind when thinking about price. Not all performance summer tires are created equal.
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Old 05-15-2009, 02:48 PM   #5
macker
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Actually, I do mean the S1's... TireRack has a few of these left in stock, but I'm guessing they're several years old tech. (They're also under $100/tire.)

Absolutely agreed in terms of performance differing, which is why I'm soliciting feedback. For me, the question is, will the extra $30-50-70-100 per tire be worth the enjoyment of pushing it that much harder in the corners?

If I was doing autox events competitively, then absolutely... since I'm not, a couple tenths off a lap isn't necessarily worth it.
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Old 05-15-2009, 04:18 PM   #6
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with everthing you have said .... the Dunlop Star Spec and the Ecsta XS are the leaders and the $143 price tag of the Ecsta XS makes it the winner in my opinion.

Last edited by Luke@tirerack; 05-15-2009 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 05-30-2009, 04:44 PM   #7
macker
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So thought I'd post a small update... short version: big thumbs up for around town, will test in the twisties, but I believe they'll continue to perform well. Will go with dedicated track wheel/tire setup.

I came to the acceptance that my solution is two or three sets of wheels. That is, one set for summer - but with acceptable "wet-weather" performance, one set for track, and one set for snow or other adverse conditions. Since I have two sets of wheels, picking up a set of stockers for snow is an easy choice.

So, the 18" Prodrives are shod in Sumitomo, and the 17" Rota's will likely be Kumho XS, unless I find a smoking deal on Star Specs or the like.

Had the alignment set at Auto Innovations, dialed in a moderate amount of negative camber, and resigned ~50 miles or so to scrubbing the tires.

Current impressions are strictly "street" driving, with freeway... very little road noise, can't really hear the tires over anything else. (Auto Innovations also put on a new APS axle-back, sounds sweet, and can't hear the tires over it.) Grip, thus far, is superb.

Haven't really pushed the tires yet, and not really able to get some heat in them, but I think this is a fair representation of "around town" driving... on that count, with this setup, they're capable of far more grip than should be exercised.

Since I'm no longer expecting these to serve track duty, that's not a concern.

The only real question remaining, on my mind, is whether they're bad enough in the wet that I would consider going to all-season or winter tires at that time. (Having driven on T1-R's in the snow, albeit uncomfortably, I think these will be fine in the rain.)
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:40 PM   #8
SleepyWeasel
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I did what I consider to be a LOT of online research and settled on Bridgestone Potenza RE050A Pole Position. Mine are on stock wrx wheels, so they are only 205/55, but as far as I am concerned they grip very well. I can only compare them (on this car) to my winter Blizzak WS60 tires, and a set of somewhat cupped Eagle F1 A/S.

I am inexperienced at driving fast and the thought of creaming someone or wrecking the car keeps me from flinging it around at high speed, but I do corner very hard at low speed (by seeking out sharp turns) and these tires handle very well dry and almost as well when wet.

Do note that they are NOT the same as the RE050 tires, nor the RE050A tires. Tire Rack's rating puts them in league with other very competent summer tires, such as the BFGoodrich KDW, and almost up to the Direzza Star specs and RE11s.

As a final note, they are fantastic against hydroplaning, but like most summer tires DO NOT like sand.
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