There’s a wide variety of designs, sizes and compounds out there which can make it tough to choose the right tires for your modified car, so we asked Toyo Tires to talk us through its catalogue.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of tires. They’re the only bit of the car that’s actually in contact with the road, so it’s an area where you really don’t want to scrimp. A few basic car maintenance checks will tell you what sort of state your rubber is in, and it’s not just a case of checking whether you have a legal level of tread and that it’s wearing evenly. Tears, cracks, missing chunks, perishing due to age, these are all things that suggest you need to replace your tires.
When it comes to choosing a new set of tires for your modified car, it’s crucial to make sure you get the right ones for you. Don’t just buy the cheapest set to get you legal again, because low-quality rubber from a brand you’ve never heard of could be a false economy. Furthermore, each big-name manufacturer offers a full range of tires tailored for specific purposes, as we’re about to learn thanks to the experts at Toyo Tires. We’ve taken seven case studies to represent seven types of user, and combed through the catalogue to see which Toyo offering suits each one in order to help you choose the right tires for your modified car.
What if I don’t want Toyo Tires?
While we’re only focusing on the popular Toyo Tires range, you can apply similar knowledge to other tire manufacturers. For example, a Nankang AR-1 is similar to a Proxes R888R, albeit slightly more track-focused. Fan of Michelin? Your high performance options on track are the Cup 2 or the Cup 2 R. A Pilot Sport 5 will offer maximum performance both in the dry and wet, and is more suited to road-going cars. Goodyear’s Eagle F1 SuperSport tire is a match for the regular Michelin Cup 2. While the regular Eagle F1 Asymmetric range goes head to head with Michelin’s Pilot Sport 5. There are plenty of options available for modifiers out there. Be sure to check out our tires advice, tips and tricks guide for more info.
without further ado, he’s our guide to choosing the right tires for your modified car.
I’ve got a lowered Ford Fiesta ST Mk6 and use it daily for commuting. I do enjoy a spirited weekend blast, what are the right tires for my modified car?
In the case of this Ford Fiesta ST Mk6, we’re looking at the Toyo Proxes TR1. Replacing the popular T1-R, the tread pattern design of TR1 blends form with function to provide outstanding performance for this sort of everyday driving with occasional fast-road use. This new design features innovative wear indicators, allowing enthusiastic drivers to take advantage of exceptional handling and grip throughout the life of the tire, while also enhancing the environmental impact of reducing waste. They also boast various design tricks – zig-zags, taper grooves, wide grooves and slant grooves – to make them effective at displacing water, making them great in the wet.
Although it’s not my main car, I use my Ford Focus RS regularly throughout the year, and occasionally take it on track at shows like Ford Fair and TRAX. What are the right tires for me?
For this sort of usage in the Ford Focus RS, the new Proxes Sport 2 tire is a very strong choice. This ultra-high performance tire allows drivers to maximize their enjoyment of power in safety, with its precise handling and exceptional wet grip. These tires have a high-stiffness outer rib which provides firm grip and stability under high-speed cornering, while the traction groove edge and lateral grooves offer real benefits when it comes to braking performance. Optimized for high-torque powertrains, Proxes Sport 2 enhances the pleasure for all sporting drivers on challenging, wet or twisting roads.
My second car is a BMW M3 track toy; I rarely use it on the road but I need to drive it to and from track days. Which tires are right for limited road use?
Toyo Proxes R888R is the tool for the job here. You can see from the aggressively sparse tread pattern that this is a tire which majors on circuit performance, and there’s an army of track day enthusiasts, grass roots motor racing championships and the likes of Ken Block, Ahmad Daham, and Mad Mike singing its praises. Fully road-legal and thus able to get you to and from the track, the R888R offers supreme dry handling with enhanced steering feel and response, combined with higher stability on the throttle, allowing drivers to carry higher speeds through corners for quicker laps. Faster cornering, longer lasting and more consistent, Proxes R888R translates power into lap times.
The family car is an Audi A6 40 TDI Quattro. The only modification is a remap, which has increased the torque massively. The other half drives the car too, so although I want more grip, I don’t want to sacrifice the ride quality. What are the right tires for my modified car?
This is prime territory for the Proxes Sport 2. Available in 18” and above, this is specifically designed for high performance applications in regular road use, it’s got the toughness to cope with high torque loads while also offering superlative grip in high-speed use. The handling characteristics offer precision and the wet grip is rated at the highest possible level, giving real peace of mind when it comes to keeping your family safe. And when you find yourself exploring the rev range on challenging twisty roads, this tire has the right stuff to deliver.
What are the right tires for my daily driver? I use it for the school run, shopping, and motorway commuting. I cover on average around 20,000 miles a year, so it needs to have a good balance of comfort, performance and longevity.
There are a few options here. Proxes Comfort is the ideal all-rounder for this sort of usage, developed to provide premium levels of stability and comfort for relaxed and enjoyable everyday driving. The new tread compound and internal structure of Proxes Comfort give the tire enhanced stability at speed, along with confident handling and excellent braking. If your daily driver is more powerful and gets driven more spiritedly, Proxes Sport adds in an extra dimension of high-speed handling and wet grip, thanks to its Nano Balance Technology compound. And the next step up is the Proxes Sport 2. Which leads us on to…
I’ve sold all my project cars and chucked all my money at modifying my VW T6 camper van. I’ve got a set of aftermarket alloys and enjoy going to shows, so I need a tyre that looks the part while parked up but doesn’t suffer from road noise while travelling up and down the country.
There are two great options here, depending on the size of those aftermarket wheels. The Toyo Nanoenergy Van is a tire available in sizes from 13”-17”, designed for light commercial vehicles and offering low rolling resistance and high rib stiffness. For larger wheels, the Proxes Sport SUV comes in diameters from 17”-22”, prioritizing superior handling and wet grip – and their low levels of noise emission mean they won’t be a headache on the motorway.
My pride and joy is my R34 Skyline GT-R. I only use it in the summer months as it’s locked away during the winter. It’s got loads of tuning goodies under the hood and has over 700bhp, so traction can be a problem. I never drive it in the rain.
Given that the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 is a big-power machine that gets used solely in the dry, the clear answer has to be the Toyo Proxes R888R. If traction problems can be an issue with such power, you want a tire that’s specifically designed to optimize grip in high-performance applications. The GG compound has a fast warm-up time, the wide center rib gives precise steering response, and the large tread blocks on the outer area enhance cornering on the limit: it’s a tire that’s as seriously focused as your tuned performance car.
When it comes to choosing the right tires for your modified car, there’s never a catch-all answer as there are so many variables involved. For example, an everyday city runabout might be wearing 19” wheels, while a motorway-mile-munching Jaguar might be on 16”s, so there will always be options specific to your car and the way you use it.