Grip is not handling people, and too much of it for me takes the enjoyment out of driving the car.
The cars we drive are mostly used on the road where you cannot explore the limits of handling at anything approaching safe speed.
Toyota(and Subaru) tried to make a point of this by equipping the GT86 with the same tyres as a Prius, this made the car light on its feet, and a the rear end a bit loose (all the better to get your drift on…).
So it’s benign handling could be enjoyed at lower speed.
Quickly punters started complaining about a lack of grip, and how changing the tyres for something grippier transformed the car.
So where did Toyota go wrong?
In my opinions it was with the tyres they chose. Using a ‘green’ tire (205/55/16 or 215/45/17) for a sportscar was bound to fail.
A Gt86 will be used differently that a Prius, so the tires will be too.
A better choice would have been a sporty tire in a smaller size, which would have added the sharpness and focus of a sportstire to the car, something the ‘green’tire cannot do because it wasn’t designed to.
The end result is a overgrippy car that has lost its ‘playfulness’ through becoming over grippy
I myself have been guilty of overgripping a car.
As you will have noticed in the headerpicture I drive a Clio RS, a classic hot hatch which after a few mods has about 170 hp at the wheels.
It originally came with Michelin Pilot Exalto’s, and after they became unavailable I changed them for the Pilot Sport 3.
Loveley tires both, good grip in the dry and wet, and if used sensibly will even do well on the occasional trackday.
So when the time came to change this set I wanted something different, My idea was to lose a little performance in the wet for a little gain in the dry.
What did I choose?
I went with Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R, a UHP tire. Dit this change work out as planned?
steering feel is much improved because of a much stiffer sidewall, and the grip is out of this world….but…
Of course there is a but…
The grip has increased so much that all I have done is increase the car’s limits, so when I want to go there I have to drive faster to get there.
for a trackday that would be great, for the road not so much.
where I used to be able to take a roundabout, lift off the throttle and feel the rear step out, now it just grips and grips and grips. (this does make me appreciate the racing bucket though…)
How will I remedy this situation?
I’m already thinking of my next set of tires….
– less grip than the yoko’s
– same steering feel as the yoko’s
maybe a narrower version of the Yoko’s will do the trick?
Another tire I have my eye on is the Brand new Michelin Pilot Sport 4(and I will have to do my best to stay away from the 4S, since that moves closer to the Yoko’s again)
but is is not available in my size (205/45/16) yet, and frankly I’m worried if it ever will be.
not a big set of changes, but they will hopefully bring some of the playfullness back to my car.
If you have any recommendations let me know in the comments!