09+ Lancer Ralliart General Discuss any generalized technical factory turbocharged Ralliart related topics that may not fit into the other forums.

Winter and YOU!!!

Old Dec 15, 2010, 09:19 AM
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Winter and YOU!!!

Winter time isn't just quickly approaching; it's here. Time to think about winter tire/rim options. Tire choice and tire size are important to having a safe and fun winter.

Heed our warning! Every year we see the same threads here. You have seen them too. "I crashed my Evo..." the Staff here is looking out for you!

NOTE: Tires do not make you invincible! Respect the road conditions! Over driving any condition can lead to deadly mistakes.

Tire Choice

First off, extreme performance summer tires - do not run them. The tire compounds in many extreme summer, often a mixture of carbon black and silica based specialized compounds (A046, A13C, Z1*, RE11, NT05, RT615K, etc), are not designed to perform in sub 50 degree weather. The compounds are well out of their usable range. It is dangerous to drive them in temperatures below that. You will have instant traction loss without any warning (dry pavement).

Now, to use all-seasons or to use dedicated winters - that is the question. The answer, well, that's up to you.

There are plenty of great all-season tires. And for many, they will be more than enough for colder temperatures, rain, and light snow. Generally, all-season will have increase tread depths, different compounds, and construction that will give them plenty of usable life for the driver in the winter months.

For consistent colder temperatures, icy conditions, and heavier snow - dedicated snow tires may be right for you. Tread patterns will be different, compounds often different, constructions as well. Treads will have extra sipping in their design to help grip in icy conditions. And patterns are often claw like to give some extra grip in snow. And general rule of thumb, when snow tires are below 50% of life -- time to replace. You are relying on the extra tread depth. Once that is worn, they are back in the all-seasons performance range.

Tire Size

Remember this mantra: narrow and taller for winter - wider and lower for summer. Say that to yourself over and over.

Narrower means more weight on contact patch will give the better results for general winter driving. Why? Wide tire example: 100 lbs on a 10 inch square area is 10 lbs/in2, right? Narrow tire example: 100 lbs on a 5 inch square area is 20 lbs/in2. You have more weight on a narrower tire. That is going to give you better braking and weather traction. Why do you think semi-trucks can truck though heavy snow storms when cars are screwed? Weight per contact patch is high given their relatively narrow tires to the size of the truck.

Why not wider? 255/245/235 v. 225 or narrower -- wide tires will act like a snowboard over snow. You also will push up more snow under the tire. Not helpful in bad weather.

Originally Posted by
A wide, low profile or large tire has to "plow" a wide path through snow which causes more resistance. The narrower the tire, the easier you can get through snow.
Taller: you will want some flex v. no flex. Why? No flex means you will have instant traction loss. The weight of the car will cause the sheering of the contact patch quicker than the flexible sidewall, which is going to take some of the weight transfer before sheering. Note: both will sheer, just a matter of how fast.


If you can fit them. Smaller rims means cheaper tire costs. With the Brembos, the Evo is fairly limited to rim changes.


Evo 8/9 crowd - the OEM 17 inch rims with 215/50R17 or 225/50R17 would be a good snow size. Evo X crowd - OEM 18 inch rims with 235/45R18. Lancer RA/GTS crowd - 205/50R18 or going down to a 16 inch rim with 205/55R16.

**these are just general recommendations. You will need to confirm if they will rub given your suspension setup.

Drive Safely,

SmikeEvo (resident tire expert) and the Staff

Last edited by Smike; Dec 21, 2010 at 02:13 PM.
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