Performance Tire choices for OEM 15s - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2018, 07:28 Thread Starter
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Performance Tire choices for OEM 15s

Ive been out of the car scene for a few years. Have been searching and looking around for tires without much luck. The staggered stock MR2 sizes seem to be hard to get a tire for these days. I've read a bunch of threads but they are from more than a few years ago and a lot of companies have either discontinued good tires or just don't seem them in US/CAN. I have 225/50/15 in the back and 205/55/15s in the front and want to avoid the 195s in the front.

Would appreciate any recommendations and if possible, any deals out there at the moment. Looking for a day or two on track for the summer and daily driver for the rest. And of course, My budget is $700.
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2018, 09:33
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Are you driving the car summer only? You don't tell us whether you are looking for summer or all-season tires. Also, some of the options in that size range are extreme summer, and they have to be kept indoors over the winter.
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2018, 09:39 Thread Starter
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Yup, It'll be summer only. I have a set of winters on steelies but will likely just store the car over the winter again. I don't mind bringing tires indoors over the winter. Here in Toronto, we do get thunder storms in the summer and it does pour hard. I'd like to avoid the risk of hydroplaning.

A local tire shop said Too Proxy 6s are available but I don't know which tire that is specifically.
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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2018, 10:02
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For a summer only tire, Continantal Extreme Contact Sports are available in 205/50/15. I run those on my Alltrac.

ExtremeContact Sport - 205/50ZR15 86W Tire | Continental

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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2018, 10:14 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zaluss View Post
For a summer only tire, Continantal Extreme Contact Sports are available in 205/50/15. I run those on my Alltrac.

ExtremeContact Sport - 205/50ZR15 86W Tire | Continental


Just looked on their site and tirerack. They don't come in 225/50/15s. I'm going to avoid using different tires front and back. Thanks.
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2018, 10:32
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If you are willing to reduce the diameter slightly, there are a few good 225/45-15 options out there. Match that with a 205/50-15 for the front instead of the OEM 205/55-15.


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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2018, 13:37
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So knowing I'd run into this problem, I recently picked up a set of OEM 15" wheels for my 91T. I used the following thread on the other forum to help inform my tire decision (there's also a very similar one here, but I just happened to bookmark the other one):

Original MR2 Wheel Tire Sizes That Work??

Basically, I currently have a 17" set of wheels, but decided I wanted to go OEM, despite the tire challenge. Because I'm planning to keep that 17" set for possible track use, and because of Colorado weather and road conditions I will normally drive my MR2 in, I wanted something of a more performance-oriented all-season type tire. The best I could come up with is the Kumho combination mentioned in the thread I linked to:

Front Kumho Ecsta 4X II 195/55R15
Rear Kumho Ecsta AST 225/50R15

Still waiting to get those tires through Discount Tire, so I don't have firsthand feedback on using them yet.

That said, since you want to avoid mixing tread types and 195s up front, another option I was considering was the Kumho Ecsta V720s, "extreme summer performance" category, with the following sizes:

Front: 205/50R15
Rear: 225/45R15

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...omCompare1=yes
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...omCompare1=yes

That set would get you matching tread patterns and looks like the price dropped a bit since I last looked. Seems like a good deal and tire for the MR2.

Last edited by sinistar; May 25th, 2018 at 13:43.
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2018, 09:08 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alex W View Post
If you are willing to reduce the diameter slightly, there are a few good 225/45-15 options out there. Match that with a 205/50-15 for the front instead of the OEM 205/55-15.


I looked up that setup (R:225/45/15 F:205/50/15) here:
https://www.tacomaworld.com/tirecalc...0r15-225-45r15




They are nearly the same diameter tire. Don't know how that affects the handling characteristics. There's roughly 0.8" difference in width which is about 10% so it will be staggered. And the benefit of more tire options without having to go with different compounds/threads front to back.

Last edited by darlix; May 26th, 2018 at 09:10.
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2018, 09:15 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sinistar View Post
So knowing I'd run into this problem, I recently picked up a set of OEM 15" wheels for my 91T. I used the following thread on the other forum to help inform my tire decision (there's also a very similar one here, but I just happened to bookmark the other one):

Original MR2 Wheel Tire Sizes That Work??

Basically, I currently have a 17" set of wheels, but decided I wanted to go OEM, despite the tire challenge. Because I'm planning to keep that 17" set for possible track use, and because of Colorado weather and road conditions I will normally drive my MR2 in, I wanted something of a more performance-oriented all-season type tire. The best I could come up with is the Kumho combination mentioned in the thread I linked to:

Front Kumho Ecsta 4X II 195/55R15
Rear Kumho Ecsta AST 225/50R15

Still waiting to get those tires through Discount Tire, so I don't have firsthand feedback on using them yet.

That said, since you want to avoid mixing tread types and 195s up front, another option I was considering was the Kumho Ecsta V720s, "extreme summer performance" category, with the following sizes:

Front: 205/50R15
Rear: 225/45R15

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...omCompare1=yes
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...omCompare1=yes

That set would get you matching tread patterns and looks like the price dropped a bit since I last looked. Seems like a good deal and tire for the MR2.

Thank you for the reference thread and tire links @sinistar
That looks like the best option to go with and the prices on the V720s are pretty good too. Hmmm. Else go with the setup you are waiting for. wonder how similar the compounds are with the Ecsta 4X II and AST.
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2018, 17:25
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I ordered a set so we'll see soon!
My tire choices are limited, esp since I'm on an island. And of course shipping was killer but I need tires...
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post #11 of 56 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2018, 19:48
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We ought to start a letter writing campaign to get Kumho to produce a run of Ecsta ASTs in 205x15 sizes. It's a shame they only produce the 225's now.

A while ago I replaced my rears because they had low tread, but I did so knowing that once the fronts are worn, I won't be able to build a matching set.


That said, given that our wheels are asymmetric to begin with, I wonder how big a deal it is to go with the Ecsta 4X II and AST combination. On cars with same sized wheels front and back the handling is optimized for similar grip front and rear, but the reason our cars have staggered wheel/tires is because the rear-mid engined layout requires more grip on the rear wheels.
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post #12 of 56 (permalink) Old May 27th, 2018, 13:01
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You says track days too? BFG Rival-S comes in those sizes and a 245/40-15. In 225,I don't there there is a faster tire. Pick up the latest Grassroots Motorsports Magazine. They tested a few 200 treadwear 15's autoX and laps.
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post #13 of 56 (permalink) Old May 27th, 2018, 20:10 Thread Starter
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@x96283 can't wait to see what you find with the new tires. Can you also confirm which option did you picked for the set? Shipping must be brutal.

@dsf3g
I think you're right about looking at it purely from a difference in traction front to back. If we are to say that tire compound is a factor in determining grip and the size of the tire contact patch is also a factor, then theoretically, either one can be adjusted to achieve a desired front to back grip bias. The part that I can't get over is the fact that grip characteristics is a variable over time and is not a clean grip/no-grip result which leads to describing gripping behavior. My unsubstantiated feeling is that compound characteristics front to back would make for schitzo behavior. Tire sidewall rigidity is also another factor.
It really sucks that the right tire sizes have gone extinct.
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post #14 of 56 (permalink) Old May 28th, 2018, 09:30 Thread Starter
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Thanks @Clifton. I'll find a copy of the Grassroots Motorsports Magazine.

Going with the 245/40-15s would be give you more of a stagger but at a smaller diameter compared to the front which might look funny:

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post #15 of 56 (permalink) Old May 28th, 2018, 09:33 Thread Starter
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A local tire dealer recommended Proxes 4s. I have read a bunch of reviews. Not all good. Wondering if anyone has had any experience with them. Apparently they heat up on track and are not good once they do. For me, I am hoping to take it to track one or two days. Nothing too competitive other than having fun. Majority will be summer driving.
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post #16 of 56 (permalink) Old May 28th, 2018, 11:59
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IMO, asking for decent track as well as summer driving in 15" tires is asking a lot. Every 15" tire choice I've seen for our cars (save for racing tires) are not nearly as good as the various models coming in 17s.

The word here is compromise, either that or you probably have to capitulate & upsize like everyone else.
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post #17 of 56 (permalink) Old May 28th, 2018, 12:04 Thread Starter
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You're right @RePete. I'm going to have to give up on anything decent for track days. I have to accept that it's a daily driver. Perhaps it's time I look for...gulp..an all-season tire.

Last edited by darlix; May 28th, 2018 at 13:52.
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post #18 of 56 (permalink) Old May 28th, 2018, 13:23
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15's are just as good as the larger 17+ tires of the same brand/model. GRM compared this too. The Miata guys have to run 15's for clearance so there are plenty of options. Poke around here for the newest 15" performance tire talk. Mostly track guys but some autoX. One of the Grassroots writers posts on there too. https://www.miataturbo.net/wheels-tires-78/

If you want a pic of 245 r /205 f to compare sidewall, let me know although I think 225/205 would be better on an MR2.
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post #19 of 56 (permalink) Old May 28th, 2018, 20:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darlix View Post
You're right @RePete. I'm going to have to give up on anything decent for track days. I have to accept that it's a daily driver. Perhaps it's time I look for...gulp..an all-season tire.
Unfortunately, if you want an all-season tire, your only choice is going to be to go with a 195F 205R 15" setup. Even if you were to put 17's on the car I don't think you can find an all season tire with a low-enough profile to fit.
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post #20 of 56 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2018, 12:13
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Here's another option from Hankook I kinda wish I'd discovered before ordering my mixed Kumho combo:


VENTUS R-S4 - SIZE: 195/50R15
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...32XL&tab=Sizes

VENTUS R-S4 - SIZE: 225/45ZR15
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...Z232&tab=Sizes
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