You’ve read it countless times, but you still don’t take it very seriously. Heck, before I started taking performance driving lessons and participating in lapping events, I’d never thought twice about what kept my car and I well and alive, if you will.
It wasn’t until I bought some new performance tires some 20 years ago that I realized they make all the difference in the world. Braking, steering, handling, acceleration, all are directly affected by the quality of the rubber you put on your car. This also has a direct impact on overall safety. Think about it.
As the years went by, I went through a number of sets, always trying to get the best out of my car and I usually hit the mark with the right tires. Nowadays, my needs have evolved but thankfully, so has tire technology, and by leaps and bounds.
All in one
Today, I still want to go fast on a track, but the car I use is also a daily for my pregnant girlfriend. This poses quite a problem, if you will, as I want maximum dry and wet grip and handling, while the tire needs to be reasonably quiet – once the baby boy arrives, loud tires will simply not do.
Through my research, I found Yokohama’s ADVAN Sport V105. Two of the principal specs immediately caught my eye: “Variable pitch tread reduces pattern noise offering a quiet and comfortable ride.” And: “The increased groove area on the inner portion maximizes wet performance.” I was sold. Trick tire ply and resistance to wear technologies also got my juices flowing. On paper, or screen I should say, these tires seemed like the best compromise, without having to really make any sacrifices.
Upon initial inspection, the large tread blocks on the outer shoulders worry me somewhat as my previous tires sported a similar design and were extremely prone to tramlining. They were also loud; however, they never made the promise of being quiet.
My tire size is P225/45ZR17, a fairly common size on midsize sedans and some compact sporty cars. They are Y speed-rated, meaning they’re good up to 300 km/h. Doubt I’ll find out if it’s true or not…
New tires, and new wheels
With the new rubber, I figured I should get them mounted on a fresh set of Fast Wheels’ (local Greater Montreal area wheel company) latest FC04 wheels. To be honest, although the design doesn’t fit my personal criteria, I was assured and can confirm that they are very light which will improve ride quality and handling by keeping unsprung weight in check. Once installed, I did change my mind; they look great! Be that as it may, and depending on how I fell, I may or may not plasti-dip them matte black in the near future, you know, to add a personal touch. We’ll see…
The wheels and tires are mounted on my 2003 Subaru Impreza WRX Spec R1 wagon (rare bird, look it up) and it serves as the do-anything-go-anywhere-haul-it-all family truckster. It also likes to go fast on a track.
Stay tuned for updates on how the tires hold up to all kinds of abuse, and none whatsoever…