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Discussion Starter #1
It's time for a new set of tires for me. While the tires I have look fine they are old. Just wondering what the current recommendation is for the V-8's. As we all know most manufacturers no longer make the same model in the different sizes our cars require. We can "mix and match" or change the widths to make them fit but I would prefer to stay with what was originally designed to fit. I was on Tire Rack and they sell a set of Sumitomas that are the correct sizes and they are inexpensive at $550 for all 4 AND FREE SHIPPING! Very tempting. Does anyone have any experience with them? Does anyone have a better recommendation?
David Teitelbaum
 

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Scott M
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I'm at 3 years and ~6,500 miles on a set of Nitto-05s I bought from Discount Tire Direct. As I knew of zero enthusiasts personally on any Sumitomo, I figured the Nittos (respected among drag racers at least) were worth a try and were just a bit more expensive than the Sumitomo choice.

My Nittos are OE sizes, grip well in dry, grip OK in the wet, and are about typical in terms of wear for my driving style on summer rubber (should last ~10k) which would probably be described as "aggressive." They feel inferior to the Michelin Pilot Super Sports on my Focus RS and the PS4s on my Z4M. I think they felt about as responsive and grippy as the Michelin Pilot Sports which I had on the Z4M for ~6 years- at least when they were not yet hard as a rock.

My next set for the V8 (I think) is going to be Michelin PS4. IIRC, the front size is *slightly* wider than OE, but maybe it was the rears. My sense is the Michelin is the more common choice for V8 owners who want a "step up" from the alternatives. Haven't read about any issues on LT going a tad wider, and I feel I've been paying attention to such conversations.

EDIT:
Unless the road noise is brutal, I never really notice tire differences there. I generally trust tirerack reviews as though it's gospel because the collective experience reported there has always matched mine (when I too own the tire). I'm not an expert, but do typically purchase ~3 sets of tires each year so at least I am unlikely to be full of sh1t. ;-)
 

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Dave, I have the V-8 OZ Novas on my S4. I have the Sumitomo HTR Z III 285-35-18 on the rear and Nitto NT05 235-40-17 on the front. I didn't want to commit to all Nittos because they're a soft tire and I wanted to see how they wear. I'm very happy with all the tires. No road noise or tram-lining unlike my old Firestones. They're very grippy on the dry roads, I don't have much experience in the wet but I've heard the Nittos can get a bit slippery. I've got about 5000 miles on them and the wear is better than expected. Just my two cents...
 

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Tread design/brand does not need to match F vs. R. Road noise not a problem. General handling is smooth. Performance at speed Daytona infield strong. No doubts when on the high banks at 110+. F=Dunlop Direzza 235/40R17, R=Michelin Pilot Super Sport 285/35ZR18. Tread design fronts remind me of the intermediates I ran on the Formula Ford
 

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Integrator
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It's time for a new set of tires for me. While the tires I have look fine they are old. Just wondering what the current recommendation is for the V-8's. As we all know most manufacturers no longer make the same model in the different sizes our cars require. We can "mix and match" or change the widths to make them fit but I would prefer to stay with what was originally designed to fit. I was on Tire Rack and they sell a set of Sumitomas that are the correct sizes and they are inexpensive at $550 for all 4 AND FREE SHIPPING! Very tempting. Does anyone have any experience with them? Does anyone have a better recommendation?
David Teitelbaum
I have Sumitomos on both of my cars. They exhibit a nice ride, good even wear and are very grippy.
 

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IMHO at sane road speeds any modern performance tire in good condition will be fine. If you are exceeding the limits of even a cheap modern performance tire on the street - especially on a car that has extremely high handling limits like an esprit - you are going to have bigger problems and really need to consider taking it to the track. (not pointed at the OP).

FWIW I have Federal 595 SS tires on my car now. Super cheap. Seem good. Not sure if they make the sizes you need.

Have you seen the BAT auction for the V8 that recently ended? The seller had newly installed Lion Heart (i think) tires. Cheapies for sure. He got some grief for that choice.

I suspect that a new Lion Heart probably handles better than the best most $$$$ Pirelli or Michelin from 10 years ago?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
From the replies I am reading, the consensus is that the Sumo's aren't the best tire but they are not the worst either. Since I won't be tracking the car regularly and they will probably age out before they wear out I guess it is going to be the Sumo's.
Thanks for the replies.
David Teitelbaum
 

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I'm baffled that some of you like Sumitomo tires. My V8 had a set when I bought it and the grip was very poor. I couldn't corner like my S4s nor could I brake well, which was a surprise with the car having AP Racing brakes all around. So I tossed practically new Sumitomos and put on my favorite Dunlop Direzza ZII Star Spec. I had them on my S4s and not only was the grip great on a track day, that grey area between stuck and gone was quite wide. When they began to complain you could just push them harder. I could get in trouble quickly with the Sumitomos, but not the Dunlop Direzzas.

Within a mile I could affirm waaay better braking on my V8 and the next track day confirmed how sweet they handle.
I did have to move up one size on the rear.
 

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Galactic Hitchhiker
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Just FYI for you V8/S4 drivers looking to run stock 235/40/17 + 285/35/18 .. Toyo now has a "Proxes Sport" max performance summer tire in those sizes. Tire Rack will special order them for you if you can't find them locally. I was able to get some for a customer through my national tire warehouse in 3 days.

Nice to finally have a reasonably sticky street option other than the NT05's!
 

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I'm on my third set of Toyo Proxes Sport in standard sizes, 235/40-17 and 285/35-18 rear as described above, and they perform really well on dry road. Very sweet handling and braking. Okay on wet roads. Wear is not like a normal car... Will recommend them.
I also use them on the fron of my S4s (euro size) wheels and with the wider 10,75" rear rim, I use a Pirelli PZero Rosso Assimetrico in 315/30-18 size. Works very well that combo. Grip is really high. Steering is really good. Also recommendable if need be. No wear after 1 season.
PLease be aware, taht there are several different Toyo tires with nearly the same name. They are not the same, adn they don't perform the same. Some are cheap ones that skid around dry or wet. I know, as I unfortunately ordered the wrong set for my Corrado G60 and it's dangerous now to drive fast, adn even in the mildest form of a damp road, they skid around. Of course, it may look impressive for the passing pedestrian that I skid over all 4 wheels our of a round about, but it's actually not the intention. So off they go, and on with a fresh set of propper Proxes. These are a small 205/40-17 and as I said, another model.
Just be carefull when ordering.
Just my 2 cent.
Redfox
 

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I love round-abouts.....because in the final analysis all they are (if you're not going off to the right or left direction on the intersecting road) is a 3 cone slalom... the most fundamental move taught in driving schools
 

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FWIW I am running the stock-sized Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires on my 2003 that were on the car when I bought it in July 2019 Generally I would say they are adequate all around, wet/dry grip OK, highway noise not bad, and tread wear seems reasonable. Believe they are summer-only. I have felt the tail want to come out a bit quick when pushing probably a little too fast through a sharp turn.

That said, when I was shopping for a V8 car the standout experience as far as tires was a 2001 with stock-sized (same sizes as the 03) Nitto NT05's. Those were noticeably more precise in handling although I did not explore the limits very far when test driving the car for potential purchase ;). Believe they are summer-only, and the tread pattern doesn't look like it would channel out water very well. But it was enough for me to consider trying them when I eventually do need to replace the Bridgestones.
 
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