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      06-15-2011, 11:44 AM   #1
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2009 M3  [4.20]
Now that I've got a few hundred miles and 16 autocross laps on my 18" Dunlop Direzza/APEC ARC-8 18x10" square package, I thought that I'd report some preliminary results.

The new tire/wheel setup replaces my factory forged 19" wheels with staggard Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s. The car is lowered slightly on Dinan springs, with just under 2-degrees of negative camber front and back. I got around 8,000 miles out of the Michelins, with around 100 AX laps. I have no complaints about the PS2 as a street tire. They're smooth riding, quiet and wore well and evenly. They kept perfect balance through their life and never got harsh in day to day driving. I ran them at 35-psi on street and 35-F and 30-B for AX.

For AX the PS2 were a compromise, particularly in back, sacraficing a lot of acceleration traction and a bit of cornering traction. The 19" forged BMW wheels are also heavy.

Too bad I couldn't do back-to-back AX comparisons to "prove" a performance gain, but the Dunlops were considerably more secure in acceleration, really digging in nicely. Under cornering, the turn-in bite was still excellent (I was a little worried that the wider tire up front would soften the turn-in, but it didn't) and the steady-state corning feels really solid and less slippery than the PS2s. Unfortunately, the near-stock E46 cars that I compete against didn't show up last weekend at the AX, so I don't know if I picked up the 2 to 5-tenths that I needed to beat them or not. The two cars in front of me are lightened and have turbos. No E92s showed up this time (but I've always beaten them).

Anyway, I'm very, very pleased with what I felt at this AX. The car is easily controllable. I had a noob co-driver, that was only 2-seconds behind me and he had no trouble at all adjusting to the car. (He had MotoX experience. Hence, he'll be pushing me befor the summer is out if he keeps co-driving. He's hooked.) Oh, I ran the pressures at 34-F and 29-B, cold. Next outing I may drop the rears another pound or two to see if I gain even more acceleration traction.

On the street, this is as good a combo as the factory 19" forged wheel/PS2 combo. The balance is perfect, the ride is smooth and quiet. I have no rubbing under any circumstances. The PS2 would actually hit the front liners under extreme front dive when I trail-braked on the AX course, but there's no such annoyance with this 18" setup.

Here's the look:

M3 with new wheels and tires by dcstep, on Flickr

and the tire:

IMG_0267_DxO7D by dcstep, on Flickr

To sum up, the Dunlop Direzza is a great ultra performance tire with absolutely no compromise as a daily-driven street tire. Too bad they don't have some 19" sizes. For those interested in 18" setups, I highly recommend them and the APEX wheels.


Last edited by dcstep; 06-15-2011 at 12:23 PM. Reason: spell
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      06-15-2011, 05:02 PM   #2
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Glad you had better luck with these tires.
I could not get them to balance and had a wicked pull. Dunlop even replaced them for me a few times.

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      06-15-2011, 05:07 PM   #3
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Had these on my Evo X MR. Almost as good as the stockers but lasted waaaay longer. I'd consider getting these again for my M3.

Thanks for the review!
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      06-15-2011, 05:08 PM   #4
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Fan of Star Specs, had them on my E36. Bang for the buck is hard to beat. And surprisingly good wet performance for such a low void area.
I have accepted a new position at Tire Rack and am no longer in the sales department. is available to assist with M3 questions.
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      06-15-2011, 05:09 PM   #5
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i had that as well on my s2000 love it...
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