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      11-21-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
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Drives: 11 E90 M3
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Redmond, WA

iTrader: (0)

Track Comparison: M3 w/AD08, RE11, PSS; Cayman S w/NT01, HTRZIII

I put this here in the Track section because this is mainly a comparison of track performance, but some notes about street usage is included since all of these tires can be used as a daily driver tire.

Normally, I drive a dedicated track car with Nitto NT-01s which have been my track tire since 2006 for over 200 track days. For 2012 I had no track car so replaced our family 2008 335i with a 2011 E90 M3 with DCT. In order to force myself to not go down the oft-repeated slippery slope of turning a perfectly good daily driver into a hardcore track weapon, I decided to only use street tires on the M3 until my new track car is ready, which now will be in Spring 2013 (it's a Palatov D2;

The only actual mods on the car are camber plates (-2.2) and Cantrell cooling ducts in order to save the front tires and get the max out of the stock brakes. Pads are Pagid Yellows and wheels are Apex ARC-8 18x10 wheels. I chose a square wheel/tire setup in order to improve front end grip (reduce understeer) and to allow for tire rotation which I did after 2 track days.

During the year I've had the following tires on the M3:

- Bridgestone RE-11 265/40-18
- Yokohama AD-08 265/35-18
- Michelin Pilot Super Sports 265/35-18

Last year's track car was a 2006 Cayman S with PSS9 suspension, Guard LSD, camber plates, Pagid Yellows and NT-01s. I also drove on track with Sumitomo HTRZ-III tires for a couple of track days. I'll use this setup for some impressions compared to the other tires on the M3.


For the M3 I selected tires that provide a good balance between dry/wet grip on and off the track and lowest possible noise on the freeway. The latter is import because some of the track are up to 1000 miles away; I've driven with NT01s on the freeway and it gets very old quickly!


Excellent tire that met all my needs. Gives up very little to the NT01 in terms of grip in the dry. They do squeal a lot on the track; I prefer less squeal. I've heard, but did not get to experience, that they get greasy on hot days and loose their grip on cold days.


Slightly better dry grip than the RE11. Superb in cold (as low as 35F!) and wet. The only "issue" I experience is some light chunking at Pacific Raceways which I attribute to the fact there is no grip in several corners so the back end wiggled a lot more than at the other tracks.

After 7 track days the AD08's probably have 2 more left in them.


My experience is that they can get greasy under hard use after about 15 minutes. At Laguna, when pushed to my best times of around 1:47, they got very slippery after 15 minutes. By slowing down to 1:50s they lasted a full 25 minute session. At Thunderhill, however, a friend had no issues when I was chasing him with the RE11s. I attribute this difference to the fact that Laguna is considerably tighter so the tires did not cool off nearly as much.

I've only done 2 days on the PSS tires but would expect them to last at least 8 days simply based on the tread wear rating; but obviously, I have not data.


Superb track tires. Good in the rain with full tread. Depending on size and wear, they can be very noisy.


Dry grip was good but after two days at Pacific Raceways they chunked quite badly.
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Last edited by sleepless; 11-21-2012 at 08:25 PM.