MX-5 tire choices

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724
Location
MA, USA
IMHO OE tires are so expensive because car manufacturers get them as cheap as possible.
Individuals who want the same experience and performance are sponsoring the car manufacturer.

According to CR ECS are 40K tire with excellent noise characteristic, G-MAX RS are 45K tires (apparently UTQG difference that CapriRacer mentions is meaningful) that is noisier than its "big brother" and less sporty (worse handling score). Both have the same wet breaking and hydroplaning scores (but not necessary results as they are not published). Both share 75 overall score.

We have G-Max RS on 2011 Volvo S40 and they are decent summer tires.

Krzyś
 

JRed

Site Donor 2021
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2,513
Location
Virginia
Please avoid the Conti DWS06. I had a set on my WRX and they absolutely ruined the car. At best those tires are a touring tire masquerading as a high performance all-season.

Conti ExtremeContact Sports were better in every conceivable way besides treadlife.
Why in the world are the OEM tires (Potenza S001) so freakin' expensive?
I've always wondered this as well. That's the case with a lot of cars. The OEM Potenzas my WRX came with were terrible all season tires and a bit over $180 each.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
8,640
Location
Indianapolis, IN
IMHO OE tires are so expensive because car manufacturers get them as cheap as possible.
Individuals who want the same experience and performance are sponsoring the car manufacturer.

According to CR ECS are 40K tire with excellent noise characteristic, G-MAX RS are 45K tires (apparently UTQG difference that CapriRacer mentions is meaningful) that is noisier than its "big brother" and less sporty (worse handling score). Both have the same wet breaking and hydroplaning scores (but not necessary results as they are not published). Both share 75 overall score.

We have G-Max RS on 2011 Volvo S40 and they are decent summer tires.

Krzyś
very helpful; thanks!

If I got the ECSports before the end of June, I can get the $70 discount. That would bring the pricing down to within $13 of the Gmax RS (per tire). Probably worth the extra little money to "upgrade" given your input. I might see if I can get an agreement with the tire dealer for me to buy the tires and pay for them, but delay the installation until I need them perhaps in July or August. That way I can get the receipt for the Conti's in June and get the rebate.
 
Messages
9,830
Location
Ontario, Canada
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S are the gold standard, anything else is a compromise. Nothing else even comes close to the combination of grip (both dry and wet) ride quality and longevity. The ride quality is the surprising part, and that is why I continue to use them on our 1er that is a weekend getaway car.
I think you are saying the 4S is the best street use compromise for you. Other street tires grip better in the dry and wet, but aren't as nice to live with, and may not last as many miles. Depends what your goals and uses are, as always there is a best tire for a particular use or condition, and its never the same tire for more than one condition. That said, I think the only people that really regret using a 4S, is those who kill them on a track in a day believing they excel in every condition.
 
Messages
2,209
Location
Ontario, Canada
I think you are saying the 4S is the best street use compromise for you. Other street tires grip better in the dry and wet, but aren't as nice to live with, and may not last as many miles. Depends what your goals and uses are, as always there is a best tire for a particular use or condition, and its never the same tire for more than one condition. That said, I think the only people that really regret using a 4S, is those who kill them on a track in a day believing they excel in every condition.
Yes, there are tires that have a little more grip, but they have significantly worse ride and longevity. And we are only talking street tires here. Track tires are a whole different issue.
 
Messages
2,209
Location
Ontario, Canada
Not that they are "poor" per sey ... Just that summer tires often have a fairly broad tread profile with not a lot of siping for water to escape. I'm not as concerned about wet "grip" as I am trying to avoid hydroplaning.

We may be 1500 miles from home and having to trek on a highway or interstate to make it back, and may get caught in sudden storms that we can't avoid. I simply don't want to end up with the car lifting off the pavement when I transition over some pooling of water as I hit it at 60 or 70 mph.

As I said before, dry weather handling and wet weather safety are my top priorities. I'm wiling to accept some noise, higher wear rates, etc, to gain the characteristics I seek.

I'm pretty hard on tires when the roads are right. I've got 13k miles on the car, and I'm already looking for tires before summer ends. I'll drive aggressively (cornering and braking, not so much "speed") to enjoy the abilities of the car. If I go through tires every 15k-17k miles, it makes sense to find reasonably priced, high grip tires. It's a toy; I understand there's no logical sense of buring up tires that quick - it's a passion and not a necessity. But if a tire costing $109 will get the job done, why'd I want to spend $200 on a tire that really doesn't gain me much in terms of ROI?

If the General Gmax RS will meet my needs, it's by far the most cost effective choice. If not, then I'm leaning towards the Conti EC Sports.



Related question ... Why in the world are the OEM tires (Potenza S001) so freakin' expensive? $200 seems like a lot for a tire that really doesn't seem to offer more than other choices, which cost far less. That's crazy money for such a small tire (205-45/17). Are the Potenza S001s somehow supposed to be superior in some manner? They've been decent tires, but I don't sense anything special that makes them worthy of 50%-90% increased cost over many other good alternatives.
We see the same thing here. Star spec runflat S001 can be around $800/tire. Not worth it IMHO.
 
Messages
9,830
Location
Ontario, Canada
Yes, there are tires that have a little more grip, but they have significantly worse ride and longevity. And we are only talking street tires here. Track tires are a whole different issue.
I think tires are these days are more of a continuum with the 200TW autocross tires blurring the lines between what you can run on the track and street. Depends on your relative usage I guess, lots of guys just leave their autocross tires on all summer as their amount of street usage isn't going to wear them enough to matter. What is impressive is that the Extreme Contacts can beat the 200tw autocross specials in the wet, Pilot sports are great street tires but they aren't doing that.
 
Messages
2,209
Location
Ontario, Canada
I think tires are these days are more of a continuum with the 200TW autocross tires blurring the lines between what you can run on the track and street. Depends on your relative usage I guess, lots of guys just leave their autocross tires on all summer as their amount of street usage isn't going to wear them enough to matter. What is impressive is that the Extreme Contacts can beat the 200tw autocross specials in the wet, Pilot sports are great street tires but they aren't doing that.
Well, I was trying to keep with OP’s requirements. I still think the MP4S is by far his best choice.
 
Messages
345
Location
Michigan
Did you consider the Extreme Contact Sports? (summer only). Or were you specifically interested in an all season tire? I'm a bit concerned about the Sports not having the wet weather abilities, but I'm attracted to their more focused performance characteristics.

I'm considering the General AS-05s (very price effective for what you get, but perhaps not the better in overall abilities)

Also considering the BStone Potenza P-S04, or perhaps the Potenza Sports.
I was specifically interested in an all season tire. Although I don't plan on driving in winter an unexpected breakdown of my daily driver might necessitate driving in cold conditions.
 
Messages
40,964
Location
Great Lakes
I've had Conti ECS on my 530i for a few years now. I like them. Good balance of comfort and performance, good treadlife (for a summer tire), no problems in the wet.
 
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