Sumitomo HTR+ Review on a Mazda RX8
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Sumitomo HTR+ Review on a Mazda RX8
I was forced to start looking at potential replacements for the stock Bridgestone Potenza RE040 (225/45/18) slightly after hitting 25,000 miles on them. I was hard pressed by economic reasons to find the cheapest possible tires that would offer a similar or higher tread life (higher was better) and a decent level of performance on dry surfaces, as well as wet. I eliminated a few candidates before settling for the Sumitomo HTRs, namely:
  • Fuzion ZRi: Funky looking tread pattern. In other words, all-show-no-go.
  • Yokohama AVS ES100: Pretty decent reviews overall, but...heck! ended up over budget!
  • Dunlop SP Sport FM901: Had mixed feelings about these, and some pointed to another flavor of Fuzion 'philosophy.'
  • Nitto NT555: These tires received good reviews overall from the quarter mile crowd, which didn't quite say much about the tire ability to, discarded.
  • Sumitomo HTR Z II: Out of stock!
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  So after a brief discussion with a TireRack sales guy, he recommended the Sumitomo HTR+. First I was hesitant to go for an all-season tire. I thought to myself "All seasons on the 8? No way! But slowly I realized that I didn't have much of a choice in the price range I was shopping in. And so I ended up shelling out my credit card to purchase a set of 4 Sumitomo HTR+ in 245/40/18. The rolling stock ends up being something close to 1% bigger than the stock Potenzas. In other words, no big deal. My first impressions I got the tires installed and the suspension checked and aligned at Christensen Tire, here in Richardson. In all, the entire install took the a couple hours. I immediately jumped back in the car and drove off. The first thing I noticed was the engine and exhaust note -I am running on a completely stock Mazda RX8. And I could actually appreciate the engine reving up and down over the tire noise. Let me take that back: What tire noise? So, the first impression was a nice one. However, happiness only lasted one corner. The first time I had to turn, I noticed a tremendous mushiness(sp) on the steering. On my way home, I kept praying for the tire pressure to be extremely low, therefore giving that soft feeling. Well, tire pressure was not it, I checked all 4 cornerns and all 4 were pinned @ 39psi. The tires were actually over-inflated from recommended pressure. The responsible was obviously a very soft and tall sidewall. There is a superimposed photo of the Sumitomos and the Potenzas below. You can see that both tires have similar "total" height when mounted; however, the Potenzas had a slightly rounded sidewall, and a much better lip to protect the wheels. On the other hand, the Sumitomos have a straighter(sp) sidewall, which apparently robs it from stifness

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