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S02 Pole Positions Update (archive)

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Posted by kwillmorth on August 02, 2000 at 18:43:22:

So far, these tires are phenominal! I took them to Buttonwillow with just 200 miles on them to scuff them up a little. Since then I have put 1700 miles on them, mostly on twisty mountain roads here in the deserts and mountains of So. Cal. The tires just get better and better as they get miles on them. I am very happy with them and happier with the car as a whole.

They are very smooth in cornering transitions. They make virtually no noise, even when really pushed to the limit. Had the fronts make a little squeal twice, both times when I screwed up a corner entry and just over-drove the whole car. Turn-in is perfect for me, the whole twitchiness gig is gone! You can late brake like a madman with these things and the rear end stays put. Getting the car to rotate by braking very hard, and late, then feeding in steering as you ease off the brake, then ease onto the gas was once a hairy proposition, now it's a gas! Had a few stomach turners last weekend, where I entered a corner that had a hump in the middle I was unaware of. Thought for sure I was going to go around, but.... nope, just planted the throttle and went for the ride!

Then we had the really scary turn. Was blasting along and entered a hard left, then right hander, then down a little hill into a decreasing radius right hander that was totally blind. It was just as we entered the corner when we irrigation ditch was overflowing across the road, maybe an 1/8" to 1/4" of flowing water through the whole corner. The wife grabbed the dash. I was going too fast (ASC off of course) to do anything but keep my foot in it and hope like hell it didn't smack a fence when it came around... then... we just drove through it. Nothing, not even a little wiggle. Very cool indeed! Wife made the funniest little laugh-gafaw noise. Meant I could have carried more speed in that corner too!

Wear is fine, too early to tell though. No scaloping so far on the angled treads, but a tiny bit at the seams along the tread blocks on the fronts. Very minor and only after a solid 2 day run of fun. After really running them hard, they get scuffed evenly across the tread face, front and rear. Seems less proned to the outer-edge wear on the fronts than the Dunlops exhibited. They smell great when heated up good, and the tread face gets seriously sticky.

Definitely a good choice for this car! Even my wife has noticed that the car seems stuck better, not moving around as much. Some of that is me getting smoother as a driver, some is the tires. Much more confident with the car right now. The co-pilot has begun to get on me about driving too fast, which I hadn't actually noticed.

Gripes? sure, nothing is perfect:

1.) The ride is harsher than I expected. I expected the tires to be softer than the Dunlops, because of construction and the fact that they are bigger (235/45 x 265/40). This isn't really all that bad, just a surprise. They are quiet, but do thump a bit on broken surfaces.

2.) Too much rear end grip on occasion. I'm having some problems (on occasion) throttle steering, because the rears are just plain grabbing for all they are worth. Takes a LOT more energy in a corner than the Dunlops to get the rear to move around. Will have to find out where the limits are at the next driver school. Speeds are too high to mess with on public roads.

3.) ASC is very unhappy right now. It's best left off. In almost any corner, especially if you are on the gas around town, the things goes off at least twice as often as before. I could care less, it has become a habit to stab the button when I start the car anymore, just a little annoyance. I don't understand this at all. The fronts and rears are the same size now, the old ones were only .15" different in rolling radius. Maybe I'm just pushing the car harder.

If you are still on the stock Dunlop 8080E's, get thee to a tire dealer and buy that bad-toy some new shoes! It is the single biggest improvement you will make to this car!

This weekend is another rally, then a drive with friends in the hillS. I could get used to having this much fun!

Have also decided that I probably won't be messing around with track and street tire duplication. I'll see what happens at the September school, but it appears the S02's are up for anything I can throw at them.

BTW, no rubbing at either end with the 235/45 or 265/40's. If they were going to, I would have discovered it by now, I promise that.

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