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Old 06-04-2014, 01:12 PM   #1
brt3
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Z/28: Let's Talk Tires!

I thought it might be time to start a single thread devoted to tire choices -- both for street/light track usage, and for dedicated track purposes. I started a discussion around tires for street and/or track usage in cool/damp weather, where the Trofeo Rs are not happy: SEE THAT HERE.

Here's my attempt at a discussion of alternative tire choices for both Street and Track usage.

STREET CONTENDERS -- ALSO FOR OCCASIONAL TRACK USE

1. Michelin Pilot Super Sports: Excellent (though ubiquitous). Kinda like the Class President in that they are good everywhere with no glaring flaws.

2. Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 R: a.k.a "The Dark Horse" -- which won't match the PSS in the wet but might just be the Track Champ for a street tire. Massive dry grip, which may make them well-suited to a car designed around the Trofeo R, but new enough that there are very few reviews available.
EDIT on 07/16/14: Just installed a set on my OEM wheels. Just a few miles so far, but they seem to be a good middle-ground between Trofeos and the S-04 on the street. No tramlining on irregular surfaces, very responsive feel on the street, but they are firmer (slightly harsher ride) and noisier than the S-04. Will report back after trying them under more aggressive cornering...

3. Bridgestone Potenza RE-11: Highly regarded and seem to offer good AutoX and track performance. NOTE: The RE-11A is coming soon!

4. Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position: This well-reviewed all-rounder usually finishes second to the Michelin PSS. I had to scramble to mount more street-oriented tires for a drive from TX to CA, and ended up with Bridgestone S-04 Pole Positions because the others weren't available. Wonderful on the street, but the Z/28 simply overpowers them on-track. Despite playing around with tire pressures, I could NOT get these to the point where they were anything but frustrating on-track. This was at Sears Point in moderate temperatures (highs never exceeded 80 degrees). Using a grading system based on my needs, I have to give these a FAIL.

TRACK CONTENDERS -- MAX PERFORMANCE

1. Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R: good enough that Team Z/28 designed the car around them. Outstanding on-track, but how long will they live?

2. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2: Will these be close enough to the Trofeo R's on track that their longer life makes them the Holy Grail I'm looking for? Standard equipment on the SLS AMG Black Series, Porsche 918, and Ferrari 458 Speciale. Somebody needs to try these, and soon...
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:30 PM   #2
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Thank you for your work and time invested in this post.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:01 PM   #3
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Thank you for your work and time invested in this post.
x2. This is a very impressive explanation... For what it's worth, my dad has been raving about the Pilot Super Sports he just put on his Mercedes, especially when he puts it on a track. They are definitely good in all scenarios.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:05 PM   #4
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Also for what it's worth, I'm a Costco fan and they sell Bridgestone and Michelin.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:14 PM   #5
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yep got my bridgestone pole position set with nitrogen at costco great price and excellent care taken.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:58 PM   #6
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yep got my bridgestone pole position set with nitrogen at costco great price and excellent care taken.
The S-04s are fantastic on the street. I didn't like them on-track, but they made a HUGE difference in how the car felt on the street. Much more pleasurable to drive, with zero hunting and very low road noise...
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:54 PM   #7
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Speaking of Bridgestone S-04s...

I noticed, when comparing the tires mentioned above, that when you select the group and then "compare all", the Trofeo Rs have what looks like a significant tread width advantage. This is described in their product literature as well.

To be honest, I never really thought much about that until today. A long time ago I ordered a set of Trofeo Rs to have on hand when the OEM set is worn out, and today they showed up. Our garage has started to look like Crazy Ray's House of Discount Tires, so I got to work stacking tires on moving dollies.

Lo and behold, here are some shots of the S-04s -- on the right, mounted to the OEM wheels and inflated -- next to the recently arrived stack of Trofeo Rs, on the left. Yes -- the garage floor is even and the dollies are exactly the same height.







Funny thing is, when I changed out the Bridgestone S-04s for the OEM Trofeo Rs, the first thing I noticed was that they seem to stick out of the wheel wells a touch more. I attributed that to my tired state over the weekend, but I guess it's true...
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:03 PM   #8
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What the heck do all the numbers on the tire wall mean if the contact patch to the ground varies like that?
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:08 PM   #9
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What the heck do all the numbers on the tire wall mean if the contact patch to the ground varies like that?
I would like to know too.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:23 PM   #10
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What the heck do all the numbers on the tire wall mean if the contact patch to the ground varies like that?
I do know from experience that Michelin Pilot Super Sports run notoriously wide. I agree -- dimensions should be exact and not "sweetened" in any way.

I'm not sure all of this is "cheating", at least in the case of the Trofeo Rs. They are very "square" and the sidewalls do not seem to bulge or round as much as the S-04s.

After going from memory I decided to go back to TireRack; here's a chart for comparison. Damn; guess Michelin is really stretching those Pilot Super Sports!

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Old 06-04-2014, 08:44 PM   #11
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Thanks. I note overall diameter 26.3", but blank for Trofeo.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:50 PM   #12
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....My $.02....all those sizes are only accurate if the tire is put on the correct width of rim for which they were made....Yes, there is a "range" of rim width the tires can be put on, but the over-all diameter, tread patch, side-wall height, etc., all is different from what is specified, if not put on the "optimal" width rim....
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:23 PM   #13
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You'd have to look at them on the same rims.

DOH! I posted that over an hour ago.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:25 AM   #14
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Here are identical 285/35-19 Michelin PS2's, one set mounted, one set unmounted.
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