Audi S5 - Winter Tire/Rim Recommendation From Dealer - Opinions/Advice?

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Hello all -

Our friends' son has a late-model (2022?) Audi S5, an absolutely outstanding car.

He is thinking of trading up to a 2023 Audi RS5, but will have the S5 through this coming winter, and wants to have a good set of winter tires on dedicated rims that will also work on the the RS5 in the future.

The S5 is presently running Continental 265/30R20 96V 3-season tires.

The Audi dealership is offering him a very good deal (close to free, on the condition that he proceeds with upgrading to the RS) on a set of four Pirelli W240 Sottozero 2 tires, sized 235/40R19 96V, on 19" alloy rims. The retail price, including mounting, balancing, TPMS, and installation would normally be c. C$5K.

Of course TANSTAAFL*, and in this case it's hard to separate out the value of the tire/wheel combination from the cost of the total transaction, but on the face of it, it appears to be a good deal.

So, leaving the financial side of it alone, I have technical questions:

1. Is the Pirelli W240 Sottozero 2 considered to be a good tire? Is Pirelli generally considered a good match for high-end German cars?​
2. What do you think about going to a narrower (265 mm down to 235 mm) tire? I think the narrower width will be an advantage, overall - less likely to float on top of the snow. I don't think the reduced width would noticeably compromise handling.​
3. How about the profile? I like the idea of going from a 30- to a 40-profile tire, especially for winter. Our roads can get quite bad by spring, and the extra cushioning should help protect the suspension. Again, there's likely a theoretical reduction in handling capability that's probably not noticeable in real life.​
4. What about the alloy rims? I prefer steelies for the winter, as they are much less likely to leak, don't degrade as badly due to road salt, and less likely to experience loose lug nuts due to steel having a much lower thermal coefficient of expansion.​
And yet, it is common to see cars here, particularly high-end German ones, running alloys in the winter.​
Is there any reason that alloys would be a better choice? I wonder whether steel wheels are simply not capable of matching the characterists of 96V tires. (Of course alloys reduce the unsprung weight and rotating mass, so there's that.)​

Thanks all for your input. I don't know a lot about tires, and am hoping to both learn and pass on some good advice to the Audi pilot.

* There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, typically attributed to the great SF writer Robert Heinlein.
 
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The Sottozero 2 is an old model, introduced about 9 years ago and currently replaced by the Sottozero 3. There have been significant improvements in winter tire tech over the last 9 years.


Pirelli knows how to build a decent winter tire, and the Sottozero 2 should be OK as long as you don't do much driving on ice.

How old are the tires the dealer is offering?
 
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Not sure about that specific combo but I had a 2013 S5 and ran alloys with Blizzaks from Tirerack and it was a snow beast. My wife sent me out for sushi during blizzards where the front airdam was plowing snow and nothing stoppped it.
 

Astro14

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For genuine Audi wheels, and new tires, that fit that car, that’s a good price.

While newer design Pirellis might be better, those older models are light years ahead of all season tires.

I would jump on this, because a newer set of Pirellis, on a different set of wheels, would cost a great deal more, and the ROI just isn’t there.
 

Number_35

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For genuine Audi wheels, and new tires, that fit that car, that’s a good price.

While newer design Pirellis might be better, those older models are light years ahead of all season tires.

I would jump on this, because a newer set of Pirellis, on a different set of wheels, would cost a great deal more, and the ROI just isn’t there.

The part number (with the RS5 in it) leads me to believe these are actual Audi wheels. The "W" suffix makes me wonder whether they're hardened (i.e. rust-resistant and/or perhaps forged to minimize cold-temperature brittleness) for winter conditions. Prices are in C$.

IMG_20220818_135031~2 (2).jpg
 
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It comes down to his use case. If he drives in bad conditions often (unplowed snow and/or ice), then I would be looking at the Michelin X-Ice Snow or Xi3. If he only occasionally drives in bad conditions, and/or mostly drives when the roads are cleared, then the Pirelli should be fine and will feel sportier. There is a good reason it is an OEM winter tire on so many brands. Yeah it's the older version, but still decent.

Personally I would go with alloys for the winter as they look better and there's no fear of rust. My guess is they don't make steel wheels with the correct diameter, width, and offset for a car that heavy...not enough demand.
 
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The part number (with the RS5 in it) leads me to believe these are actual Audi wheels. The "W" suffix makes me wonder whether they're hardened (i.e. rust-resistant and/or perhaps forged to minimize cold-temperature brittleness) for winter conditions. Prices are in C$.

View attachment 113199
That's not a Audi part number.

8W0601025DF is a 10-spoke 19x8.5" ET32 wheel.

and costs $947 a wheel.

It's more likely a wheel from the Audi winter wheel/tire program.

See:

1660958325969.jpg
 
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Tires have (AO) Audi OE markings.
All bets are of if they are using older or newer technology.

They should be decent performance winter tires.

Krzys
 

Number_35

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That's not a Audi part number.

8W0601025DF is a 10-spoke 19x8.5" ET32 wheel.

and costs $947 a wheel.

It's more likely a wheel from the Audi winter wheel/tire program.

See:

View attachment 113269
Do you know who the manufacturer is? If so, do they make a good alloy rim?
 
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I'm wary of a dealer telling me I'm getting a great deal on wheels and tires through them.

My go-to for winter setups is always craigslist/facebook/offerup for a used set of oem alloys and then add the winter tire I want. Frequently you can find a set of wheels with winter tires already installed and you can get a season or two out of them for extremely cheap and then replace the tires with whatever you desire.
 
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It comes down to his use case. If he drives in bad conditions often (unplowed snow and/or ice), then I would be looking at the Michelin X-Ice Snow or Xi3. If he only occasionally drives in bad conditions, and/or mostly drives when the roads are cleared, then the Pirelli should be fine and will feel sportier. There is a good reason it is an OEM winter tire on so many brands. Yeah it's the older version, but still decent.

Personally I would go with alloys for the winter as they look better and there's no fear of rust. My guess is they don't make steel wheels with the correct diameter, width, and offset for a car that heavy...not enough demand.
It will be good in both snow and ice. It is winter tire. Xi3 wasn’t that good in deep snow and slush and it is discontinued.
One thing to consider here is that suspension on RS is going to overwhelm easily tires like Xi Snow or Blizzak WS90 even if they are made in that size.
 
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narrower is always better in snow + OE wheels are crazy OVERPRICED IMO. buying already mounted tires on aftermarket wheels from discount tire or others can save $$$$, shop + save unless you got very deep pockets!!
 

Pew

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1. Is the Pirelli W240 Sottozero 2 considered to be a good tire? Is Pirelli generally considered a good match for high-end German cars?
2. What do you think about going to a narrower (265 mm down to 235 mm) tire? I think the narrower width will be an advantage, overall - less likely to float on top of the snow. I don't think the reduced width would noticeably compromise handling.​
3. How about the profile? I like the idea of going from a 30- to a 40-profile tire, especially for winter. Our roads can get quite bad by spring, and the extra cushioning should help protect the suspension. Again, there's likely a theoretical reduction in handling capability that's probably not noticeable in real life.​
4. What about the alloy rims? I prefer steelies for the winter, as they are much less likely to leak, don't degrade as badly due to road salt, and less likely to experience loose lug nuts due to steel having a much lower thermal coefficient of expansion.​
And yet, it is common to see cars here, particularly high-end German ones, running alloys in the winter.​
Is there any reason that alloys would be a better choice? I wonder whether steel wheels are simply not capable of matching the characterists of 96V tires. (Of course alloys reduce the unsprung weight and rotating mass, so there's that.)​

1.) I've only know one person that's ran Pirelli snows but generally nothing bad to say about it. General consensus seems to be Pirelli are decent but way overpriced.

2-3.) I'd agree on going narrow also but 30mm is a big jump in tire width. Add in snow tires and more sidewall, he should notice a significant difference in dry grip (trading for snow grip.) He may like how lighter the steering will be though.

4.) I can't see a reason between steelies vs alloys for winter, but it just doesn't feel right putting steelies on anything Audi compared to say, a Ford focus. I ran steelies on my focus for the winter but I don't think I'll be using steelies for the CX5.

I've had great success with the Michelin Alpins if the dealership allows you to change tires. These trade off deep snow and ice performance for light/slush/dry characteristics.
 
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1.) I've only know one person that's ran Pirelli snows but generally nothing bad to say about it. General consensus seems to be Pirelli are decent but way overpriced.

2-3.) I'd agree on going narrow also but 30mm is a big jump in tire width. Add in snow tires and more sidewall, he should notice a significant difference in dry grip (trading for snow grip.) He may like how lighter the steering will be though.

4.) I can't see a reason between steelies vs alloys for winter, but it just doesn't feel right putting steelies on anything Audi compared to say, a Ford focus. I ran steelies on my focus for the winter but I don't think I'll be using steelies for the CX5.

I've had great success with the Michelin Alpins if the dealership allows you to change tires. These trade off deep snow and ice performance for light/slush/dry characteristics.
The closed design makes it harder for snow to pack on the wheel and with that throws the wheel out of balance.
Also, it is softer, which means if you hit curb etc. it won't necessarily crack or transfer as much force on other parts of the suspension.
 
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1.) I've only know one person that's ran Pirelli snows but generally nothing bad to say about it. General consensus seems to be Pirelli are decent but way overpriced.

2-3.) I'd agree on going narrow also but 30mm is a big jump in tire width. Add in snow tires and more sidewall, he should notice a significant difference in dry grip (trading for snow grip.) He may like how lighter the steering will be though.

4.) I can't see a reason between steelies vs alloys for winter, but it just doesn't feel right putting steelies on anything Audi compared to say, a Ford focus. I ran steelies on my focus for the winter but I don't think I'll be using steelies for the CX5.

I've had great success with the Michelin Alpins if the dealership allows you to change tires. These trade off deep snow and ice performance for light/slush/dry characteristics.
Have fun trying to find steelies for the S5 to begin with. Even if you do find a steelie, then you have to buy another set of lug bolts and risk vibrations with centering rings.
 
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The closed design makes it harder for snow to pack on the wheel and with that throws the wheel out of balance.
Also, it is softer, which means if you hit curb etc. it won't necessarily crack or transfer as much force on other parts of the suspension.
There's a huge open area on the other side of the wheel, where snow packs in there. Even with steelies, snow/ice will throw off the balance, when it gets packed behind the wheels face.
 
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There's a huge open area on the other side of the wheel, where snow packs in there. Even with steelies, snow/ice will throw off the balance, when it gets packed behind the wheels face.
Not that huge. You have rotor, caliper, dust shield. Plus, if vehicle is low enough it will clear snow underneath that collects from inside.
It will collect less. Not that it won’t at all.
 

Pew

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Not that huge. You have rotor, caliper, dust shield. Plus, if vehicle is low enough it will clear snow underneath that collects from inside.
It will collect less. Not that it won’t at all.

On normal wheels on the evo, they did become filled with snow and ice faster but they were much easier to clean because I can fit my hand and snow brush through the spokes. When I had the steelies on the focus, it did take deeper snow and longer time before the wheels became unbalanced. The issue after that was trying to clean the barrels of any built up snow/ice as there's no way for me to fit my hand, brush, etc behind the wheels. That probably won't be an issue though with a car with a larger wheel gap.
 
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