Best tires for sw20 3sgte

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Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by jdm_sw20_rhd »

I am looking for the best tires for grip and fitment on my 1994 Mr2 sw20 turbo with a 17 inch wheel. Any suggestions?



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Re: Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by nick »

I went for Hancock v12 evo and am well pleased. See my posting in wheels and tyres
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Re: Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by peteV6R5 »

nick wrote: 16/12/19 8:07 I went for Hancock v12 evo and am well pleased. See my posting in wheels and tyres
+1 as I recommended these to Nick.
Also worth considering are Goodyear Eagle F1 asymmetrics 3s, thought would give them a try and yep as good as hankooks.

I trust these are for road use ? if track running there are different options which are more suitable
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Re: Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by shinny »

Tyres are not worth skimping on, especially with an MR2:

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jdm_sw20_rhd wrote: I am looking for the best tires for grip
How do you use your car? Do you need grip in the dry, wet, snow, a summer balance or a winter balance? Because they have very, very different answers! :confused1:

Something like an Advan AD08R would give more dry grip than any "normal" road tyre, but is borderline a track tyre. That's what I run on my summer toy, given it's not expected to go out in rain. If you've never driven a sticky tyre before you'll find it an eye-opening experience and, on turbo cars, lesser tyres tend to spin up if you want to get going quickly from stationary.

On my milder MR2 I run Continental SportContact to give a balance between wet and dry grip, leaning towards wet grip in case I end up driving it in the wet.

On my daily drive BMW I Continental PremiumContact because it is predominantly used in the rain. For winter I switch to Continental WinterContact which is probably overkill going by the youtube below. Probably can't get the latter in MR2 friendly sizes either.

This is an interesting video if you're interested in tyres that perform in the winter:

jdm_sw20_rhd wrote: 16/12/19 6:32 and fitment... with a 17 inch wheel
Tyre availability on the rears is what's key in your choice... and you've not told us what width your wheels are! ;)

If you've got 8J or wider rears then search for 235/40/17, 245/35/17 or 245/40/17 and see what pops out.

If you've got 7J at the rear (I'd guess as a square setup rather than staggered) they I would suggest 215/40/17 at the rear which will open up many more options, as 225/40/17 is basically impossible to find in the UK and 235/40/17 visibly bulges and is not what I'd consider a good fit. That's a pretty sub-optimal setup on a powerful car though and I'd consider different wheels.
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Re: Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by MR2DI4 »

Also depends on whether your bothered with how fast they wear out. I run with Toyo R888's semi-slicks on the stock 15inch rims on the MR2 Turbo and they "feel" and handle the same way as quality 17inch road tyres.

Unfortunately the really extensive range of performance tyres now appears to be in the 18inch and 19inch range.

Will probably go Bridgestone RE003 on the Subaru when the cheap Kingforest tyres wear out. Its amazing how you can get away with cheaper tyres in 18inch on a 4WD car however, the lower profile really makes a huge difference.
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Re: Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by shinny »

MR2DI4 wrote: 16/12/19 20:21 Also depends on whether your bothered with how fast they wear out. I run with Toyo R888's semi-slicks on the stock 15inch rims on the MR2 Turbo and they "feel" and handle the same way as quality 17inch road tyres.
I guess I see what you're saying about feel and handling, however the performance envelope of the R888s is significantly bigger than a standard road tyre. I'm yet to meet a "standard" road tyre in 17" that would get near the grip of my 15" R888s. I suspect the entire MR2 championship field would be interested if you've found a mass market tyre that gives similar grip.
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Re: Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by MR2DI4 »

Yes fair enough, thats why I said "Feel" as from a road use standpoint your not pushing them, or should I say shouldn't be pushing them as hard on the public road as you are on the track. Just general ride, steering response etc and general handeling they feel the same to the driver as 17's. If you were put in the MR2 blindfolded so you had no idea what tyres were on the car and then took the car for a drive, preferably now with the blindfold off it would feel like standard 17inch road tyres if you had to make an educated guess.

Its possible they exceed the dry grip levels of even some 18inch tyres as there is some real cheap "censored" on the market now, however they simply don't feel as sharp as 18inch tyres so you wouldn't try and make a case that they are better all round than 18's just saying.
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Re: Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by shinny »

MR2DI4 wrote: 17/12/19 20:13 or should I say shouldn't be pushing them as hard on the public road as you are on the track.
Totally with you there! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Yup, I prefer not to run R888s on the road as it tempts me to take road feature a bit faster than I really should :blush:
MR2DI4 wrote: 17/12/19 20:13 Its possible they exceed the dry grip levels of even some 18inch tyres as there is some real cheap "censored" on the market now, however they simply don't feel as sharp as 18inch tyres so you wouldn't try and make a case that they are better all round than 18's just saying.
You seem to think that the diameter of the wheel is more significant to dry, mechanical grip than rubber compound or block size. My experience is vastly different. My 15" R888s or 16" AD08Rs are simply lightyears ahead of any of the various "normal" 17"s (or 15"s) I've tried on SW20s over the last 13 years. I fail to believe that flips at 18" diameter :no:

You're completely right that the difference in sidewall changes the feel, and you may well prefer the directness of a larger wheel with a smaller sidewall :th:
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Re: Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by MR2DI4 »

Yeah it recon it flips at 18inch, but of course you then need to start being specific about the actual tyres your comparing with one another.

You cannot tell me for example your AD08R's in 16inch are better than ADR08R's in 18inch, simply not going to happen.

As a generalization there will be more road tyres available in 18inch compared to 17inch that are better than my R888's in 15inch.

In case anyone has not noticed, the stock 15inch tyres are significantly smaller in outside diameter and the 50 profile is really alot closer to a 45 profile in a 17inch to start with.

I did measure it once, the distance from the rim to the ground was only like 12mm more than a 45 profile 17inch not the 25mm you may be assuming is the case.

I'm sure readers here can do their own research but there are clear advantages moving to 18inch and now more commonly even 19inch wheels. Everything else being equal the larger the diameter and the lower the profile the better in terms of handling and grip levels.

The 18inch tyres have a more precise and lighter, quicker response to turn in. It does depend on speed but the steering is pretty heavy with R888's in 15inch but then I may be better going back to the 195/55 front instead of the 205/50 front.

Its the sidewall construction as well as the rubber compound that makes the R888's in 15's so good compared to a normal road tyre of the same size. For me it was a one way trip, once you have tried the R888's on the road there is no going back to the T1R's.

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Re: Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by Wheelnut »

Another one for the Yoko AD0R8's, got them on my S2000 far better than the Bridgestones that were on it.
Will be on my MR2 when finished.
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Re: Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by shinny »

If anyone wants to watch some more interesting videos:



Comparing the effect of wheel diameter alone - summary is that larger diameter is slightly faster on a dry track (1.1s in 1m35 lap) and slower on a wet track, plus other real-world downsides of the largest diameter tested (rough roads, comfort, noise). Bear in mind it's a different car and different size range than that discussed, but shows the trade-offs.

It also concludes that what make/model you're buying is more significant than wheel diameter differences.



Compares coilovers vs performance tyres. (RE003, which aren't quite in the same class as AD08Rs or R888s) The like-for-like numbers gave a 2.5s improvement on a 52s dry lap. They did push for the worst tyres to compare the RE003s against though.

Ultimately, tyres can be very subjective and very few of us get anywhere near true to back-to-back experiences, even those of us with multiple cars.

The OP started asking about 17" tyres and my recommendation would still be to see what you can get hold in SW20 appropriate size pairs. I'd still avoid budget brands like Kuhmo or Nankang (bar the NS-2R... the R is vital). "My Tyres" tends to be able to get a wide range of options with a few days' delivery to your local tyre place: https://www.mytyres.co.uk/
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Re: Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by MR2DI4 »

Pretty good video the top one but sadly they missed mentioning, let alone testing the biggest variable which is tyre pressure. The difference between wet/dry performance can simply come down to a change in tyre pressure.

On the track you would change the tyre pressure in the wet but of course its ludicrous to suggest when it starts raining on the road your going to pull into the nearest gas station to change the tyre pressure :laughing

Also saying 1.1seconds in not worth worrying about depends on whether your on the track or the road. 1.1sec on a track per lap is HUGE. The way the tyres make the car feel also has a big effect on your confidence levels to push it to the limits. The way the 15inch Toyo T1R's "Move" sideways as you enter a fast corner is unnerving, sure they are gripping and hanging on but it freaks you out.

Second the modern cars have the factory size tyres on them for a reason, the whole package has been designed for that size tyre. Yes I would say that older car benefit from tyre upgrades simply because the better sizes didn't even exist when the car was made, case in point the SW20 MR2 with the 14inch wheels, something definitely went wrong in the rears and it should have had a 225 and never the 205 out of the factory but the 225 never existed in a performance 14inch tyre and was never made to fit the stock rim.

Over here with have a WOF (warrant of fitness)which is the same as you MOT and you can only deviate in vehicle wheel size by 1inch over the factory. Pretty sure going from 15inch on the MR2 to 17inch over here would require the vehicle to get a special certification. They are also clamping down on the boy racers who "Stretch" the hell out of tyres on oversize rim widths for the "Look" and don't even get me started about that excessive negative camber. Of course its the wild west out here and the early days saw people "lowering" their cars by simply taking an angle grinder and cutting the factory springs down in height, I mean thats a performance upgrade if ever I saw one.
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Re: Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by jdm_sw20_rhd »

Aye! Awesome suggestions so far thanks a ton! I live in a very dry and hot environment so don't have to worry about snow ever and only rains couple times a year. Really liking the Toyo Proxie R1 and Advan AD08R. Currently I am running 205/40/17 in the front on an 8in wheel and 215/40/17 rear on a 9in wheel but I want them to fill out a bit so I like the idea of moving up to 215/40/17 front and 230/40/17 or something. Really appreciate all the info keep em coming!
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Re: Best tires for sw20 3sgte

Post by peteV6R5 »

9 on rear suggest 245/35/17 or 245/40/17 depends which tyre you go (availability)

running 215/40 on 17x8 front and 245/40 on 17x9 rears.
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