Tires are one of the single most important upgrades on your G30, but often times the are not prioritized as highly as they should be. This is understandable as tires wear out and need replacing more often than other parts on your vehicle, but no other part has the same direct impact on performance. When choosing tires it is important to determine what kind of wear you’ll be putting on them and if your budget allows for replacement as frequently as they’ll wear out. Max Performance Summer tires are great but if you’re buying tires for your daily driver it may be prudent to buy tires with a higher treadwear rating. Contrarily, if you’re buying tires for your weekend warrior or only for summer you may want to spring for stickier tires so you can get maximum enjoyment out of your G30 on the days you let it out to play before it goes back into hibernation.
As a quick aside let’s talk a bit about why you’d want to ditch your stock tires and get a new set. The G30, like most new cars, comes with run-flat tires from the factory. For the average driver that’s not so bad, run-flat tires give you a little buffer to get to the shop or your BMW dealership if you have a puncture. To enthusiasts though? They are the realization of all that is evil in this world and an affront to every value we uphold. They are, in a word, terrible. In several words they are: only useful in the rare scenario where you have a flat tire, more expensive to replace, give a harsher ride, and are much heavier than their normal counterparts which hampers performance significantly.
Since we care most about performance let’s focus mainly on that last bit. Now, what do we mean when we say they hamper performance? Basically, weight is the enemy. More specifically, extra rotating mass is our absolute nemesis. When you have heavy wheels and heavy tires that means that not only does your engine have to work harder to accelerate, your brakes have to work harder to stop you. This is due to a phenomenon called angular momentum. An object that is rolling will have both linear momentum and angular momentum, so to stop it or to speed it up the force exerted upon it needs to deal with both. Put more simply, the less weight you have further out on your wheels, the better. Losing a pound at the edge of the wheel can equate to a loss of anywhere from 3-5 pounds on the car itself. Given that run-flat tires on average are roughly 4-5 pounds heavier than a traditional tire, that is an approximate weight savings of anywhere from 45-100 pounds when converted to sprung weight. And that is without even mentioning the benefits you’ll feel from having a stickier tire compound!
Summer Performance Tires:
For the enthusiast who values only the best in handling performance and is willing to sacrifice a bit of durability in order to ensure a more thrilling drive. This class of tires is going to be the best performance you can get while still maintaining a reasonable amount of daily drivability (track tires will perform better but wear out quickly and can be pretty noisy). If you’ve got the cash to replace tires relatively frequently and love the thrill of taking corners at speeds that you know you shouldn’t, these are going to be your best choice.
Michelin PS4S – UTQG: 300 AA A
We can’t talk about tires without talking about the PS4S. These tires just have so much going for them. For our full rundown on the tire including third party testing against other Max Performance Summer Tires see our PS4S blog article. Put simply, these tires just straight up don’t care what weather you’re driving in short of a monsoon or a snowstorm. Their inner “wet” compound and deep grooves give them superb stability on damp roads while the outer “dry” compound gives you high grip in the corners on those beautiful days where you just want to have a bit of fun. The “wet” compound also has the added benefit of giving the PS4S very impressive treadwear because it is a harder compound. These tires even work decently well at the track if you want to occasionally run a few laps. Keep in mind that this is ultimately a street tire and you will do much better on the track if you use something along the lines of a Pilot Sport Cup 2. Furthermore these tires were designed with a little stronger focus on comfort than some would like and as a result they have a relatively soft sidewall than some other tires in their performance category. While not hugely concerning to most this can be a deal breaker for some so definitely take it into consideration when picking out tires.
Nitto NT05 – UTQG: 200 AA A
The Nitto NT05s are tires that we haven’t really discussed on our blog, but they no doubt deserve a mention. They are not quite the all-rounders that the PS4S are but they makes up for that with the insane performance and confidence they inspire. The NT05s are constantly praised by users impressed by the sheer grip that nearly rivals some dedicated track tires. The wet performance is also nothing to scoff at, the NT05s have two thick center ribs and directional treads to help channel water away. This performance does come at a cost however. The NT05s have a 200 UTQG treadwear rating, which while not unheard of in this segment it does look a bit bad compared to the PS4S’s 300 rating. Don’t worry though, the NT05 is about 25-35% cheaper than the PS4S, so it actually balances out pretty fairly. Granted most people won’t be tracking their G30s so this may be overkill for most, but sometimes you just want the overkill option and logic be damned!
Nitto iNVO – UTQG: 260 AA A
The Nitto iNVO tires are made to be a little more of a balanced tire like the PS4S, just in a lower performance category (Ultra High Performance Summer vs Max Performance Summer). They are a summer tire that maintains the smooth and quiet ride of your luxury vehicle. The tread design and compound were formulated to keep road noise to a minimum while still offering solid handling capabilities. The multi-wave sipes and wide center grooves are also designed for respectable water channeling to maintain grip in the wet. Overall if you want solid performance but want to keep things smooth and quiet most of the time these are a solid choice for you.
Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 – UTQG: 320 AA A
Now we’re getting into the slightly more budget oriented options. The Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 are Max Performance Summer tires much like the Michelin PS4S and the Nitto NT05, but even within performance categories there can be a certain degree of variance. The Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 are an excellent choice if you want great dry performance, good wet performance, sharp steering response, and decent tread life without breaking the bank. Sure you won’t be getting the intense grip of the NT05 or the versatility of the PS4S but you will be getting superb value for your money and for some people they’ll be more than enough. There’s a reason this is one of the most popular tires on our site.
General G-Max RS – UTQG: 360 A A
Along the same lines, we have the General G-Max RS. Like the Evo2, the G-Max RS are a budget friendly option that sill lets you have a little fun. They fall into the Ultra High Performance Summer category so you shouldn’t be looking to track on these tires, but you’ll be able to have some good fun while retaining a fair amount of tread life. The G-Max RS are a relatively new offering from General, but anyone familiar with the old fan favorite General Exclaim UHP tires should know the sort of value you can get out of General performance summer tires.
All Season Tires:
For the enthusiast who is a bit more focused on the aesthetic of their car rather than the handling capabilities. Sometimes you just don’t care about taking a corner at 60+ MPH, your priorities are more along the lines of long tread life and fuel economy. If that is the case then a nice set of All Season Tires would suit your needs much better than a set of Summer Performance Tires. Just make sure that if you live in a climate where it snows heavily during the winter that you are still getting your usual winter tires, all seasons can handle a little bit of light snow but they should not be relied upon in severe conditions.
Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 – UTQG: 560 AA A
The Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 are always our top pick for high performance all season tires. They feature truly impressive road holding capabilities and steering feedback while also providing an insane 560 treadwear rating. This means that these tires will last you a very long time by any standard. Furthermore, with these tires you get Continental’s “Total Confidence Plan” so you can be 100% confident in your purchase. Basically, what the Total Confidence Plan is a 60 day trial, 1 year of road hazard coverage, 3 years of roadside assistance, and a 6 year/50,000 mile limited warranty (25,000 on staggered setups). They’re pretty much a no-brainer to at least try if you’re in the market for some all season tires.
General G-Max AS-05 – UTQG: 500 AA A
If the ExtremeContact DWS06 is still a bit out of your budget worry not, the General G-Max AS-05 are your answer. They are significantly cheaper than the Continentals, and still pretty good in their own right. For your money you get a solid 500 treadwear rating, solid performance for the price point, and a very generous 45,000 mile warranty. If you mainly want a light improvement over OEM performance and the benefit of shedding the weight of those heavy run-flat tires, these are your best bet.
Understanding UTQG Treadwear, Traction, and Temperature Ratings
Treadwear – A standardized test of how quickly a tire wears down over 7200 miles (with tire rotations, alignment checks, and pressure checks every 400 miles). The tire is tested against a standardized “Course Monitoring Tire” and its grade is assigned based on the relative wear. 100 would indicate it would last as long as the test tire, while 200 would indicate that it would last twice as long as the Course Monitoring Tire. This still only tells us so much because we don’t know exactly how long the “Course Monitoring Tire” lasts. Also, treadwear is subject to some interpretation as the wear experienced on the tire being tested is open to interpretation by the manufacturer. In general though, the higher the number, the longer it will last.
Traction – UTQG traction tests do not evaluate traction in relation to dry braking, dry cornering, wet cornering, or high speed hydroplaning resistance. The test is simply a representation of the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement as the tire skids. So this test really only applies to those without ABS in wet conditions.
Temperature – The temperature grades are a scale that indicates a tire’s ability to resist the heat buildup produced by speed. A is good enough for speeds over 115 mph, B is between 100-115 mph, and C is between 85-100 mph.
No matter what tire you decide to buy, we recommend not letting the UTQG Rating have much influence on your purchase.