Extreme Tires Too Extreme for Fiesta ST?

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Wheel and Tire Upgrades' started by rcl4668, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. rcl4668

    rcl4668 Active Member

    I will be buying a dedicated set of rims for summer tires and keeping the stock Rado rims for winter/ice tires.

    Considering summer tires, I am looking at a rim--the Motegi Racing MR125--that is 7.5 x 17 and weighs about 6 lbs less per rim than the stock Rado rim. I wanted to go for something a bit wider for tires (215/40/17) and some tire options are the Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08R or the Dunlop Direzza ZII, both of which are rated by Tire Rack as "Extreme Performance Summer Tires." This would seem like a no-brainer as both tires are well-rated and would have higher dry grip than the stock Bridgestone Potenza RE050A while having at least decent wet weather handling.

    However, then I read an article in a recent (April 2014?) issue of Road & Track comparing the Yokohama ADO8R (Extreme Performance) to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport ("just" a Max Performance Summer tire). The article concluded that the less aggressive Michelin retained the inherent handling of the E46 M3 test car whereas the Yokohama's enhanced grip hightened the M3's tendency to understeer, making the driving experience less enjoyable.

    (I tried posting the link to the R&T article but this website responded that my like to post ration was too low which I must say is the first time I have seen this requirement on an enthusiast website. But oh well.)

    Any thoughts on mounting a less aggressive tire to retain the Fiesta's inherent handling characteristics and overall fun factor as opposed to a supoer grippy tire that may undermine the balance and overall tossability of the car? One thought is that from all of the reviews, while the Fiesta does have slight understeer characteristics dialed in from the factory, the car is inherently "neutral" in terms of handling and turn-in characteristics. Thus, increasing the grip at all four wheels would not seem to alter the character of the car whic was neutral to begin with. Then again, what do I know?

    Your feedback is much appreciated. Thanks.
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  3. Pedro

    Pedro Active Member

    The michelin PSS are also rated as the number 1 performance summer tire. I have heard nothing but great things about this tire. They are also less expensive then the Yokohama's. I am still up in the air of what tire will replace the stock REO50's. I like the PSS or the SO4 pole position from bridgestone. I am leaning more towards the PSS one for handling characteristics and two because the weigh less. But it will probly come down to price for which is less when it comes down to it.
  4. rcl4668

    rcl4668 Active Member

    I agree that the PSS is a great all around tire and one I would order as well. I have a set mounted on my wife's MNI Cooper S and they are fantastic in the dry and wet. The only issue is that the PSS does not appear to be available in the stock 205/40/17 or the 215/40/17 sizes.
  5. Pedro

    Pedro Active Member

    I dont plan on lowering my car and with my sparco wheels the wheel stick out a tad more. So I am going to try and get the 225/45/17 on the car without rubbing. At least that is the goal. It would be nice to know if anyone else has gone with this size.
  6. rcl4668

    rcl4668 Active Member

    I recall other posts about the 225 size but I can't recall if rubbing was an issue or not. 225 is a bit wide for me as I want to stay relatively close to the stock width. I also recall seeing some Fiesta-based race-prepped cars (Ken Block's rally car, SCCA Group-B cars etc.) that are succesfully running the 215/40/17 size.
  7. eRic

    eRic Active Member

    Fiesta ST at ST Octane Academy had 205/40-17 BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 tires on OE wheels. They had less grip than the OE Bridgestone Potenza RE050A but may last longer since the COMP-2 have a treadwear of 340 vs. the 140 treadwear RE050A. This allowed the Fiesta ST to slide around more on the urbanX course.
    Smokin likes this.
  8. rcl4668

    rcl4668 Active Member

    Good point; having a tire that is actually lower on grip can make the car a lot of fun (for example, the tires that come on the Subaru/Scion BRZ-FRS) because you get more audible feedback when the tires start losing traction and, well, the car just slides more easily which is entertaining in and of itself. In fact, the R&T article I mentioned also included an all-season tire as a third comparison point. Predictably, they did not favor that option as the all season just gave up too much grip compared with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Likewise, I was hoping for something that was at least as good in terms of grip as the stock Bridgestones, perhaps better without going beyond what the engineers at Ford envisioned when they designed the handling characteristics of the FiST.
  9. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I see no way to get a P225/45 17 tire to package. I tried a P215/45 17 on an European spec Fiesta and found that is barely cleared the front bumper cover and fender liner when the wheel was turned. It also looked horrible with that much sidewall on the car. I use a P215/40 17 and find it to be a good size for both looks, handling, and pot hole protection of the wheel. Protecting the wheel being a priority. A 225 wide tire in a 15" or 16" size would work if the aspect ratio was low enough to keep the same diameter as stock or at least no greater than 215/40 17.

    I would also not suggest looking at the MSport prepped GRC or anything higher prepped than the R2 rally cars for tire fitment. Block's Rally America and GRC car are only a shell of a Fiesta. The OlsbergsMSE are even less of a Fiesta as nothing forward of the firewall is kept. Their suspensions are vastly different than anything found on a production car. The MS1, R1, and R2 rally cars are much closer since they at least maintain the stock pick up points and most suspension components.
    Smokin, rcl4668 and jimclark like this.
  10. rcl4668

    rcl4668 Active Member

    Thanks for the feedback BRG. Looks like my choice of 215/40/17 is still appropriate from a function and looks perspective. The only real question remaining is whether to go with the Extreme Performance category of tire (Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08R or the Dunlop Direzza ZII for example) or go with something slightly less aggressive to retain the FiST's inherent handling characteristics.
  11. RDgolfer

    RDgolfer Active Member

    I am ready to purchase wheels...I am having the mountune springs installed...that lowers the car about an inch...what are the widest wheels available without the rubbing?...7.5"?
  12. rcl4668

    rcl4668 Active Member

    Not sure about widest possible but from prior posts 7.5 x 17 inch sizing seems to be fairly safe/conservative for the FiST.
  13. WScottCross

    WScottCross Well-Known Member

    I have 16 x 7.5 with the BC coilovers lowered almost an inch and I have no issues.

    Edit: That's with 225/45R16 Dunlop Direzza ZII's
  14. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    You can't really make a blanket statement that X is the widest that will fit. Wheel width, wheel offset, tire width, and tire height all play a role.

    Using specific examples like WScottCross and good judgment, plus trial and error are the only way to know for sure.
    Dyn085, reddog99 and rcl4668 like this.
  15. ISO100

    ISO100 Member

    I have identical wheels as rcl and don't like the stretch look of the 205 width tires on 7.5" wheels. I can't justify new tires though at only 2500 miles so going to 215s will have to wait.

    When I looked at tire options online I was shocked to find so few options. There were no all season options at all on Tire Rack and Discount Tire Direct.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
    rcl4668 likes this.
  16. rcl4668

    rcl4668 Active Member

    ISO -- I agree, I was also quite surprised by the limited tire options in both the stock 205/40/17 and the optional 215/40/17 sizes although the ADO8R and the Direzza ZII are certainly nothing to sneeze at. If they offered the Michelin Pilot Super Sport in either size I would probably jump on it given its capabilities and its widespread adoption as the "go to " tire choice for many high performance sedans, sports cars etc. Hopefully tire options will expand over the next few months.
  17. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    I have Mich PS AS/3 205/45/17 on 17x7 wheels and the tires are pretty wide for a 205 and would work and look fine on a 7.5" wide wheel, probably not bad on an 8" wheel.

    I went to the highest rated AS made and they are as fast as many summer only tires yet will give me great cold weather and rain grip on track when I cannot run my DOT race tires, 225/45/15 Toyo RA1 on 13lb 15x9" wheels. I bought the higher rated version of the AS/3 as well to help handle track heat if it gets warm while out there, etc.....I do not pussy foot around on track and my car will be far quicker than stock.

    I wanted to make a set of 225/45/15 Hoosier R6 tires I had fit but they are over 20mm wider than the Toyo which is wider than most 225's.

    That said, the numbers on the sidewall are not the only thing to look at, go to Tirerack and look at the actual specs.
  18. reddog99

    reddog99 Active Member

    I don't know how Tire Rack handles it, but If you visit a Discount Tire store in person, you'll find that they can order just about anything made, including sizes not shown on-line. I got my Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3's from them (not shown on-line) and it only took two days for the order.
  19. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    The Tire Rack test of the heavy M3 on those tires does not really mean much if anything to our particular car, far to many differences so I would only use it as a minor issue when making the final choice.

    The Michelins are going to last much longer, at least very highly likely, if you take care of them matters as well but the same abuse is hard on all tires, the softer tires will go away sooner than expected in many cases as well.

    Michelin specs posted just to give an idea of rim to tire fitment as my experience with the AS/3 being a bit wider than most 205's, quite a bit wider than the stock tires. Section width will change with rim width.

    Specs weight rim range tested on section width tread width diameter
    PS3 215/45/17 22lbs 7-8" 7" 8.4" 7.7" 24.7"
    PS AS/3 205/45/17 21lbs 6.5-7.5" 7" 8.1" 7.5" 24.3"

    The AS/3 above fits and looks great on a 7" rim but would look and perform a bit better on a 7.5" and would be a bit stretched more than I would want for my use of them on an 8" but they would work.

    The 215/45/17 PS3 is pretty wide for a 215 as is the 205 AS/3, the rest of the specs look great, low weight, diameter is OK to run, etc.....

    I would highly recommend at least an 8" wide rim for them to handle the best and look the best, they would be fine on an 8.5" as well.

    Whatever wheels, get them low in weight, as you already know about:)
  20. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    I have bought dozens, if not over 100, sets of tires and a bunch of wheels from Discount Tire, I like getting service anywhere, great service, great prices.
  21. Joe Schmoe

    Joe Schmoe Member

    The big question is exactly how the torque vectoring is programmed and what impact the change in grip (higher or lower) will have on it's behavior. And.....only Ford engineers can truly say.
    rcl4668 likes this.

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