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      03-07-2012, 07:28 PM   #9
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Drives: 1M, X1 M Sport, E46 325ic
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Originally Posted by Pete_vB View Post
So, I would have agreed with this once, but I'm planning to get a set of 18s to test with street rubber (PSS). I'll probably convert the 19s to Hoosiers for A stock.

What changed my mind was the following article written by Steve Sutcliffe of CAR magazine- he's got a long term test 1M. BTW, Steve's not your ordinary hack. He's the guy that went within a half second of a pro driver in his first outing in an F1 car, much respect:

Anyway, he wrote the article below, which made me re-think and want to test the 18s on my car. Yes most suggest you give up on looks, but... I'm looking for a good set of 18s to find out.

Winter tyres: not just great in winter

Took the precaution of having some winter tyres fitted to the BMW 1M just before Christmas, and although I was somewhat disappointed to discover how puny the car looked what with the new 18in rims and 235 tyres not even half filling its huge wheelarches I was nothing short of amazed at how different it felt to drive; by how much better it felt on the road.

And the biggest difference of all was the ride. On the original equipment 19in tyres the 1Ms ride was at best hard, at worst pretty awful, and even when I switched to a set of Pilot Supersports the situation was improved but hardly eradicated.

On its new 18in winter rubber, however, the 1Ms ride has improved beyond recognition. And its steering has got lighter and sweeter, too. The whole car feels as if its been unlocked somehow, and now that the secrets out Im not sure Im ever going back (to 19in tyres and the bouncy-bouncy ride that goes with them).

As to whether the winter tyres are actually any better at performing their primary role ie providing better traction, grip and braking performance when the temperatures drop into low single digit degrees Ive got absolutely no idea, Im afraid, because down south where I live the conditions have been rather peachy of late. Which does make something of a mockery of the whole do we really need winter tyres in the UK debate.

Fair enough, if you are heroic enough to live in the Outer Hebrides then a 4x4 fitted with chains and winches and flagons of anti-freeze (to drink) are entirely appropriate. But for the rest of us this winter has proved, thus far, that winter tyres are actually a bit of a ruse. Which makes the discovery of how much better a 1M behaves on thinner, taller profile, smaller, but less sexy-looking rubber merely an ironic side issue overall.

It does prove once and for all, however, that style now rules over function when it to comes to car design because no sane BMW engineer would ever agree to sign off a 1M on 19in tyres when it drives so much better on 18ins. Unless the designers and the marketing people insisted upon it, of course, which is exactly how it happens nowadays. Even at BMW GmbH."

Hmmm.. this really could be an issue of switching from Michelins to Brand X. I would not be surprised to find that Michelin Supersports and the OE PS2 have a similar ride...

I would be a little more convinced if he had used another brand of 19s on the car.. or even experience with another set of 18s.

Keep us apprised on your decision and opinions..... I actually may be able to tell you myself... thinking of replacing my contis with a dedicated autocross tire.. just not sure which I would rather a-x with.. 18s or 19s .
Lone Star BMW CCA Chapter Ex-president (retired 2017) , Chief Driving Instructor - LIFETIME Member # 119366
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Past: 1991 BMW E30 M3 street car ; 1988 BMW E30 M3 track car -