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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wheels and Tires Forum Sponsored by The Tire Rack > V rated vs W rated tires. Kinda technical question



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      07-20-2012, 08:34 PM   #1
bavarianboar
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V rated vs W rated tires. Kinda technical question

This is perhaps beaten to death in the past. I searched quite extensively, but could not find much relevant information here.

Is there a difference in the V rated vs W rated tires in terms of grip, handling, and tread life? Technically, it seems the ratings only point to maximum speeds. Is that really the only difference, say for the same make/model size of the tire.

Some google results point to differences in handling - suspensions and tire combination, optimized based on the car and manufacturer's recommendation. Some even seem to say the side walls are of different stiffness for V and W rated tires. Any truth in these claims?

I am trying to educate myself on this topic, maybe there isnt too much to know. lol

My E90 has V rated RE050A run flats, I have seen some E90 without sports package with H rated all season tires. (I am getting a little too observant about the cars I see parked )

Any wisdom on this topic would be nice.
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      07-20-2012, 10:20 PM   #2
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Varies between brand and even models. Most OEM fitments are W or Y rated. Some V tires are good value, most a crap. Look at tirerack reviews, they are pretty thorough. Ignore the V,W,Y rating, you'll find that most well regarded tires are Y rated, some are W, almost no V appear.
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      07-21-2012, 12:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeni
Varies between brand and even models. Most OEM fitments are W or Y rated. Some V tires are good value, most a crap. Look at tirerack reviews, they are pretty thorough. Ignore the V,W,Y rating, you'll find that most well regarded tires are Y rated, some are W, almost no V appear.
Thanks Meeni, but I m not taking my car to track, I am talking about daily driving, highway and city like. I wonder what makes you say V rated tires are crap.


Gary, I am hoping you can chip in with some great info and insight. Thanks!
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      07-21-2012, 01:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bavarianboar View Post
. I wonder what makes you say V rated tires are crap.
I was wondering the same thing as I've used them as well as W, Y & Z rated tires with no problems.

Perhaps he read it on the internet...

Also, many BMWs without the sport package come equipped with OEM H rated all-seasons since they are limited to 130 mph top speed.

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      07-21-2012, 11:31 PM   #5
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If you read me carefully I'm not saying that all V rated tires are crap. I'm saying that way before V,W,Y rating, manufacturer and even more importantly tire model is more important. There is no one single metric that can tell you a tire is good or bad.

Are all V tires crap? no. Are all Y tires good, hell no. Some V tires a very decent, even for performance driving. However, if you are looking at the high performance end of the scale, as our cars are performance cars, you'll find that most performance tires are rated Y, and very seldom, A V rated tire is an adequate fitment for performance (street) driving. Sure, a V tire (from a decent brand and non-defective model) will make it for your minivan.

Funny story, I had very bad Michelin tires (Energy, back in the 90's). Everybody will agree that Michelin makes the best street tires, still, some models are bad. If I remember correctly these were rated Y, but were A/S mpg boosters. Similarly, I had V A/S tires that might have been adequate for a minivan, but were clearly out of their league on a sport car. Even if you drive nice, the car still has ~300hp that have to go to the ground, many V tires are not able to do it (not because they are V rated, which is irrelevant, but because most performance tires that can take it are Y rated, for other reasons).

So, V, W, Y, whatever, go read the reviews, that's the only thing that matters. No numbers capture a tire.

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      07-22-2012, 09:20 AM   #6
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Road and Track has a good article on tires this month. More informational than a reference for comparing tires and brands. It starts by discussing the conflicting goals of a tire, rolling resistance, comfort, noise, wear, dry grip, wet grip, and I'll add break-away feel, speed rating, and cost. A Prius owner is concerned with different criteria than a Ferarri owner. In the past the compromises were huge. Today, not so much but differences are still there. My point being you can't have a tire that does it all, but today some come close.

Now to the OPs question, speed rating does not rate how good a tire is overall but in my opinion, can have a direct correlation. To handle the speed, the tire construction must be top notch, and the tires ability to deal with heat and not deform, loose grip, or blow out, must also be top notch. Therefore designing in the speed rating designs in other qualities for performance, etc.

Now to a thought. One might think the only benefit of a top performance tire is that last few MPH of grip at the limit. However there is a big safety reason too. A tire that has better wet and dry grip has better safety. It would have better braking, accident avoidance handling, and hydroplane resistance. Plus the confidence it gives you in those situations. So to me, a top performance tire is worth the cost.
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      07-22-2012, 04:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard in NC View Post
Road and Track has a good article on tires this month. More informational than a reference for comparing tires and brands. It starts by discussing the conflicting goals of a tire, rolling resistance, comfort, noise, wear, dry grip, wet grip, and I'll add break-away feel, speed rating, and cost. A Prius owner is concerned with different criteria than a Ferarri owner. In the past the compromises were huge. Today, not so much but differences are still there. My point being you can't have a tire that does it all, but today some come close.

Now to the OPs question, speed rating does not rate how good a tire is overall but in my opinion, can have a direct correlation. To handle the speed, the tire construction must be top notch, and the tires ability to deal with heat and not deform, loose grip, or blow out, must also be top notch. Therefore designing in the speed rating designs in other qualities for performance, etc.

Now to a thought. One might think the only benefit of a top performance tire is that last few MPH of grip at the limit. However there is a big safety reason too. A tire that has better wet and dry grip has better safety. It would have better braking, accident avoidance handling, and hydroplane resistance. Plus the confidence it gives you in those situations. So to me, a top performance tire is worth the cost.
Thanks Richard. Can you please share the link to the article in Road and Track?

Although, I do not understand fully what top notch, top performance and better handling/safety terms mean in this particular context, it is all so relative. I am hoping for a more specific info (more technical perhaps?), as I have read pretty much the same things all over the internet. Most of the talk is extremely generic.

Perhaps this is a tough question for the car manufacturers too when they are picking up an OEM set for say an E90, E60, F10 or an F30. In my limited understanding, they would rely on real world tests and track tests with specified test conditions, and collect all the data they can.


As an example, how do the same tire compares with different speed ratings. Generally, how does a buyer decide which one to pick. Theoretically, H-rated tires are more than enough based only on max speed.

Last week I ordered ContiSport Contact 2 SSR. I am not really making a decision here.

The links are just examples of tires which come in many different ratings.

Contisport Contact 3 SSR, 225/45R17 available in V,W and Y rating.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....tContact+3+SSR (see specs)

Pirelli P zero, so many options:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....reModel=P+Zero
(see specs)



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      07-24-2012, 01:31 AM   #8
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a gentle bump.

Gary, can you please share some wisdom here?

Thanks!
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