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F07 Gran Turismo (2010 - Current)
The 5 Series Gran Turismo -- now available in the USA as a 535i, 550i and 550i xDrive model.

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  #1  
Old 08-03-2011, 10:53 AM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Snow Tire Choices in ROF

Where I live, with a steep, long driveway, I always preferred snow tires for the added grip and control in the winter months. Since the GT doesn't have room for a spare, and I don't want to also carry around a jack and tools, I'm looking for ROF snows and wheels. I've found four ROF snows: Michelin, Dunlop, Pirelli, and Nokian. I'm leaning towards the Michelin or Pirelli. Anyone have any experiences with the PA2 or the Sottozero they care to share?

The Nokian is probably the best in deep snow, but that isn't my concern. Some people have reported the Dunlop is noisey, and that is a concern. I've owned PA2's before, and they worked well, but have no (recent anyway) experience with anything Pirelli.
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2011, 11:55 AM
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Capobranco Capobranco is offline
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You are lucky you have a choice of four runflats. If I stay with my 20" wheels. I have a choice of one - Pirelli Winter 240 Sottozero -a set of four is about $2K...ouch! Although the Pirellis have very favorable reviews - some drivers have reported mediocre tread life. The attached review posted on Tirerack gives me pause - like I have a choice...

"April 21, 2011
WOW! These excellent Tires WORE OUT in under 9,000 Miles! I've never had performance tires come close to wearing out so very quickly, in so few miles. I did not drive crazy, did not do anything to justify this craziness. The Tires were excellent Snow Tires for my All Wheel Drive BMW and I was very impressed, BUT they are hugely expensive (Over $2,000 mounted and balanced) and ought to last a LOT longer than one Winter Season! I literally had them put on as soon as I purchased the car because it was already a snowy week; then this past week, April 14, I had Summer/Original Tires put back on and have just over 9,000 miles on the car and the Tires are Worn Out! I had to dispose of them after driving on them less than a full Winter Season. As you can tell, I am hugely disappointed about this great waste of money - and they are the ONLY Winter Tire available for my car! Please - if you have squeezed more miles out of these tires, post it here in case my situation was a Fluke..."
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:01 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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20" snow tires are a very dangerous situation on any vehicle, and you'd be much better off with switching to 18" versions for the wintertime - higher sidewalls, so both the tire and wheel have a chance of surviving a pothole (well, not a huge one!) that would ruin a 20" version. If you drive your snows like you do the summer tires, especially with the 550 engine, and, if the winter has some warmer days, I can see them wearing out in a season. On my last car (an Infiniti), a set of Michelin PA2s are still (barely) useful after probably close to 25K miles (hard to tell exactly without looking over records, which I no longer have). What seemed interesting on the Pirelli was the low rolling resistance construction, which, especially on a softer tread compound, should help keep the mileage up.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:37 AM
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Capobranco Capobranco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
20" snow tires are a very dangerous situation on any vehicle, and you'd be much better off with switching to 18" versions for the wintertime - higher sidewalls, so both the tire and wheel have a chance of surviving a pothole (well, not a huge one!) that would ruin a 20" version. If you drive your snows like you do the summer tires, especially with the 550 engine, and, if the winter has some warmer days, I can see them wearing out in a season. On my last car (an Infiniti), a set of Michelin PA2s are still (barely) useful after probably close to 25K miles (hard to tell exactly without looking over records, which I no longer have). What seemed interesting on the Pirelli was the low rolling resistance construction, which, especially on a softer tread compound, should help keep the mileage up.
I agree - indeed, if I lived in New Hampshire, I would consider four wheel drive to be mandatory and would specify smaller diameter wheels. I live about 20 miles west of DC and our winters are always a casino - from mild to wild. The last two winters have definitely been challenging. Last fall I purchased my 550i GT and runflat winter tires were not available and I played the lottery. I have vacillated switching out the wheels and even ditching the runflats - as many have recommended. I am not a fan of runflats but several winters ago a sinkhole sized pothole swallowed my 335i vert while driving 60 MPH and destroyed all four tires - the good news - I survived - and I was able to limp to safety. The runflats worked as advertised.

I really enjoy exercising my 550i GT - I take frequent 200 - 400 mile weekend trips to the WV and MD mountains and the GT is just magical - mountain switchbacks - fast two lane country state roads are effortlessly consumed. Bottom line - I really relish my GT's power and handling. I am not going to use my GT to mush through heavy snow - I am looking for a compromise that provides increased safety for below freezing wet and slushy roads or light snow. I have resigned myself to the idea that all solutions are either expensive or very expensive.
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Last edited by Capobranco; 08-04-2011 at 08:47 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2011, 04:32 PM
*dima* *dima* is offline
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I am looking into getting snow tires for the next winter, too. Reviews that I saw suggest that Michelin is a better choice than Pirelli for snow tires.

By the way, has anyone had experience downsizing from the stock 19" tires on the Sport package to an 18" set of snow tires?? I am considering that, but am concerned about the fit and the effect on handling...
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2011, 06:09 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Unless the rotors are larger on the sport package, the 18" wheels should fit. Best to verify with the dealer, though. I'm leaning towards the Michelin, and was going to try to get the rebate Tirerack was offering, but it expires before they can get any new ones in stock. Michelin runs various promotions periodically, so hopefully, a new one will start before I have to buy the stuff.

No snowtire will handle as well as a good all-season or summer tire, but my feelings on the Michelin PA2s on my old car was that they were not much worse than the stock tires...noticeable, but not huge (I also downsized from the stock wheels and tires when I installed those snows). Generally, you should take it a little easier in the winter anyway, so it isn't a huge deal. In the lousy weather, they'll corner and stop much better than the stock tires. Depends on how much of that you get verses clear roads how much you'd notice.
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