Tag Archives: tires

Cooper Tire RS3-G1 installed on an E46 ZHP

As you might recall, after spending a couple days in Florida trying out Cooper’s new tire, the Cooper Tire RS3-G1 (Doesn’t roll off the tongue the best still, I would’ve preferred it being called the G-nado), I was quite impressed. So when my E46 ZHP, manual of course, wore down its old shoes to the wear bars, I was in need of some new stick. Lo and behold, my ZHP, aptly named Nigel, is now wearing Cooper Tire’s latest around its curb rashed 18″ alloys.

The Performance Package code names ZHP in the US was available for sedans from model years 2003 to 2005, and available for coupes and convertibles from 2004 to 2006. It included various aesthetic changes over the regular 3 series, as well as functional and mechanical enhancements. The ZHP was equipped with sportier cam shafts and more aggressive engine tuning to increase power from 225 hp to 235 hp. Suspension was modified over the standard suspension with firmer springs and dampers, larger anti-roll bars, stronger front control arm ball joints, a lower ride height, and slightly more negative camber.

What are they like day to day now after a few weeks? Terrific! The first drive home with them fitted I was in complete shock. For months now I have been thinking either an alignment or a suspension overhaul was needed to cure Nigel’s wayward tendencies over road imperfections. I never quite understood tramlining until I bought Nigel the ZHP. I feel a first-time driver would have crashed poor Nigel within the first week. Me though, I always thought it made the car more, er, entertaining and involving. It is widely understood that the basic ZHP suspension geometry and wheel sizes do tramline more than other models, but it seemed a little excessive.

However, first drive home with the new RS3-G1s and…it’s a revelation. Sure, it still does follow the asphalt more than a new 3 does by a fair bit, but it’s such an improvement. The end result being increased driver comfort since I no longer have to work the wheel as much. Ride quality seems slightly less harsh on impacts, though it is still ZHP firm. I have not had time for a real spirited drive yet, but so far grip seems impressive. This being evidenced by screaming through an intersection on a left turn arrow that had  just turned yellow on approach. Being in a BMW, of course I’m not stopping for it.

So, so far so good. As the miles roll along, updates will as well. Stay tuned for more.

The DEFINITIVE guide for selecting and sizing TIRES for PERFORMANCE

After years of testing and compiling data, user Stuntman finally condensed everything he has learned down into one article on How to PROPERLY select and size TIRES for PERFORMANCE.

“The most important part of your car is not the engine, suspension, or brakes. It’s the TIRES!!! This is because your car can only perform as well as the capability of its tires. I’m often asked which tire is best and what size to buy. In this article I discuss my methods for choosing and properly sizing the right tires. I’m not into the “hella-flush” or “stance” scenes so this article is focused towards those who care about the PERFORMANCE of their car, whether on the street or on the track.”

His article disproves a lot of common misconceptions (actually, almost every aspect of the tire from the UTQG and temperature to the labeled width of the tire) and challenges the typical thought process of how people look for new tires and gives a better alternative that will make sizing wheels and tires much easier in the future with less trial and error. The information  applies both for street cars as well as dedicated track cars.