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My Nitto experience, part 1.

Posted 01-31-2009 at 08:33 AM by guionM
I was given an offer I couldn't refuse. In early December, I was contacted with an offer to try out a new set of tires. These were tires that were likely to be on the new Camaro. Although I was probably not the 1st choice (probably more like the 10th or 20th), living in California during the middle of winter does have it's advantages... and living in the Bay Area has few. As long as you don't live in any mountains, you aren't likely to have snow on the ground. If you live on the coast, icy roads simply don't exist.

The choices I was given required me to change the wheels on my Camaro. I have been running the stock (and stealthy) 16" rims, whith a set of Goodrich Copm T/A radials. I have found them to be the best tires sticking with stock size. They have hig grip, handle the rain extremely well, and although the ride isn't the softest, they do very well compared to some of the other rolling granite out there on the market. I've done some crazy things on those tires. The fact that both the car and myself is still in one piece is a testament to how good these tires are. But I'm open to change.

The tires I recieved were not-on-the-market-yet Nitto NT05s, size 275/40-17s. These are W rated tires, with a relatively soft compound rubber. When they were first delivered, at first glance I felt that using these tires during California's rainy season might not be the smartest idea I've had this year (the tread design makes my Comp T/As look like all weather tires), but I've been wrong before. These meats had some good sized shoes to fill.

I rounded up a set of Corvette 17" 5 spoke wheel to put them on. Went for grey painted over chrome because I'm more into function than "Bling". But also because I feel they look far better on a Polar White 2002 Camaro than a set of Chrome wheels.

I recieved quite a few questions at the tire shop, since they never saw this type of Nitto before. I pointed out that these tires would likely be on a version of the upcoming Camaro. One person there wanted me to let him know how the tires performed. Told him he could find my updates on CamaroZ28.com since I intend to post regular updates there more frequently than I would be in the neighborhood, let alone be in to rotate the tires.

First impressions.

Quite a few expectations have been shattered.

As big high performance tires, I expected the ride to be fairly harsh. It wasn't. Although the tires are firmer than the Comp TAs I had, it also is a paradox in that it feels smoother as well. My guess is that the softer compound and the width (I went from 245 to 275 width) countered any additional stiffness. But I would guess that the larger wheel size would counter that. Nice surprize.

Second expectation shattered was rain performance. Admittedly, I don't purposely try to take my car around courners sideways on public roads in the rain, but the NT05s do a very good job. Not perfect mind you. I went to a wet, deserted mall parking lot after work one night and toyed around for a few minutes (didn't want to run afoul of Security or San Brunos finest). The tires do have wet road limits that are abit lower than the Comps, but it's nowhere near what one would expect looking at that broad, wide, smooth center ridge on the tread. At freeway speeds, I didn't notice any difference.... yet.

Part 2 next week.
Total Comments 3


jg95z28's Avatar
Guy, are you running the 275s on all four corners, or just the rears? My '95 Z28 needs new shoes as well and I may be upsizing to 17s as well. Also where did you get the vette 5-spokes if you don't mind me asking.

I'm looking forward to reading how these perform for you.

Posted 02-02-2009 at 11:42 AM by jg95z28 jg95z28 is offline
mudbone's Avatar
Where's part two?
Posted 02-17-2009 at 02:45 PM by mudbone mudbone is offline
ws6transam's Avatar
I just layed out the $$$, just before you wrote this, for a new set of ultra-high performance 275-40-17's. Ecsta XS.

What I'm going to be interested in hearing is how they perform at the autocross & road course track. Are you going to take them out & do a few laps? I want to see what kinds of mileage you get out of those NT05's when you combine it with daily driving and road course work.
Posted 02-21-2009 at 03:56 PM by ws6transam ws6transam is offline
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