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View Full Version : Pilot Sport vs. S-03 (opinions please)


ARCHER
01-08-2003, 10:53 AM
I am having a tough time deciding as the price difference is too small to be a factor. Can anyone who has experience with both give me any insight?

TIA. :banghead:

Mr. The Edge
01-08-2003, 10:56 AM
Is the price difference really that small? I found the Pilots to be much more expensive than S-03s, at least in M3 sizes. $50 more each for fronts and $100 more each for rears!

Mr. The Edge
01-08-2003, 10:57 AM
and even if they were priced the same, I think the consensus is that the S-03s are the ones to get.

I'm ordering a set today.

ARCHER
01-08-2003, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by atyclb
Is the price difference really that small? I found the Pilots to be much more expensive than S-03s, at least in M3 sizes. $50 more each for fronts and $100 more each for rears!

At Tire Rack, I am looking at two dollars difference for the rears and thirteen dollars difference for fronts.

Why is the S-03 getting the nod over the Pilot?

WAM
01-08-2003, 11:26 AM
It seems as if the Pilots have a little more rubber in the contact patch, so I would lean for those, if the price is almost the same.

One other thing, Michelin are supposed to have a promotion on Jan 20 of $15 off each tire. I am not sure if this will apply universally, since the costco tire guy told me this, but its worth waiting a few days.

JST
01-08-2003, 11:27 AM
Originally posted by ARCHER
At Tire Rack, I am looking at two dollars difference for the rears and thirteen dollars difference for fronts.

Why is the S-03 getting the nod over the Pilot?

It supposedly provides better dry traction, much better wet traction, and equivalent tire wear. I don't know anyone who has bought Pilot Sports over S-03s.

OTOH, the differences may not be that noticeable in everyday driving. The Sumitomo HTRZ-IIs that I replaced my Pilot Sports with are quite literally just as good in everyday driving (my out-of-round experience aside); I couldn't really tell the difference. They also saved me about $200 over the S-03s/Pilot Sports. YMMV.

The HACK
01-08-2003, 12:00 PM
I've run Pilot Sports and S-03s, albeit on different chasis (Pilot Sports went on the Z3).

All I can say is the S-03 grip in dry AND wet is phenominal. Wet handling S-03 hands down, the best tire I've ever driven on (B-stone Turanza, Pilot Sports, Pirelli P7000, ContiSC II, ContiTouring, B-Stone S-03). Dry traction is just down right amazing once the tires worn in, but now I'm finding when you get to the secondary compound near the end of tread life it tends to lose a lot of the grip it used to have.

Get the S-03. You won't regret it.

Jetfire
01-08-2003, 12:02 PM
I'm still a ways off from replacing my tires, but I think I'm going to replace my Pilot Sports with something else. They are pretty good performance tires but I've heard that there are much quieter models to be had without making any performance sacrifices.

I've heard great things about S-03s, but I've also heard stellar reviews (on other cars) for Toyo Proxes T-1 and Nitto Extreme 555s. Not sure which set to get; I might try one that no one else around me has, just so we can do some driving comparisons.

Pinecone
01-08-2003, 01:14 PM
If he doesn't jump in here, hit the Z section and ask Randy Forbes.

He and Sue were at an Evolution autocross school. He was able to run the same car on Hoosiers, Pilots, and SO-3s. His times on the SO-3s in the wet were faster than his times in the dry on Pilot Sports. :)

SO-3s for sure.

Maybe Michelin Pilot Cup Sports if you are truly looking for the BEST performing tire.

The HACK
01-08-2003, 01:20 PM
If you're looking for any sort of ride comfort thought, FORGET the S-03s. They're loud enough I can't hear my engine below 3,000 RPM. They're loud enough to drown out casual conversation.

Also the sidewall is so stiff you'd swear you're going over potholes the size of Grand Canyon by just going over seams on the freeway.

Definitely not for the casual commuter.

Akakubi
01-08-2003, 02:23 PM
Also the sidewall is so stiff you'd swear you're going over potholes the size of Grand Canyon by just going over seams on the freeway.

Definitely not for the casual commuter.



Yep, they are pretty stiff. Even when running lower pressure (32~34 all around) they still feel bumpy. And they do get louder with wear.

But if you want an ultimate grip street tyre, this is the one to get.

I was able to ge to JIO's E46 M3 in every corner at PIR (he was on Pilots) with relative ease (he smoked me bad on the straights :D) I could see that my car would stop sliding way before him on the same line.

I got 8 track days, 2 AutoX's and 9000 road miles on mine and still have about 50% tread left...

S0-3 all the way! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

ARCHER
01-08-2003, 02:27 PM
Thanks for all the feedback, guys. Looks like the 330 gets S-03s.:thumbup:

Jetfire
01-08-2003, 02:32 PM
Ah, the noise factor. Are the S-03s actually LOUDER than the Pilot Sports? That can't be possible.

The HACK
01-08-2003, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by Jetfire
Ah, the noise factor. Are the S-03s actually LOUDER than the Pilot Sports? That can't be possible.

Yes. These are the loudest tires I've ever owned.

pdz
01-08-2003, 03:29 PM
can't speak for the street and ultimate levels of adhesion, but S03's hold up far better than pilot sports in dry weather.

very nice track tire. not as ultimate grip as BFG KD's but pretty darn good. that said, for the street, i do not think they are a quantum leap better than the pilot sports, sp9000s, or any decent, high quality v-tread rain tire/summer tire.

pdz
01-08-2003, 04:16 PM
i have no idea why, but over at the rennlist board, S03s are just hated.

people over there prefer pirellis, pilot sport cups, and BFG KD's.

guess they drive a lot in the inclement weather....NOT.

Ty Vil
01-08-2003, 07:34 PM
I just recieved my SO-3's today, paid 164 each shipped for 225/40/18's

I can't wait to put them to the test.

SilverBmw
01-09-2003, 01:35 AM
I just got a set of S03's a week ago. These tires stick to the road like glue. Go for the S03's!!

:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

-SilverBmw

Greg Mierz
01-12-2003, 02:10 PM
[FONT=arial]:thumbup: I'll jump in on the SO3's bandwagon. Up here in Seattle there are the tires to have. Great dry grip, unbeatable wet performance , decent ride (205/50-16) and for me they are quiet . MANY Puget Sound BMW Clubers are very happy with them.

Greg Mierz
01-12-2003, 02:14 PM
test for sig file, please ignore

jrubens
01-12-2003, 02:53 PM
I don't know how they fare for the 3 (I have an older 3 and ride on ContiSports, which I am happy with as a compromise between comfort and grip), but my parents both have Toro tires on their cars (740il and 528i) and they are great tires!

Jspeed
01-12-2003, 03:15 PM
In case you're not bent on having either of the two, you should also take a good look at the Kumho Ecsta MX.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Kumho&tireModel=Ecsta+MX&vehicleSearch=false&partnum=245YR7EMX

Be sure to check out the comparison test.