now that the smoke has cleared...
181hp can we get that?
dream garage...part 1
Dunlop z3...third times a charm
I told you guys I had a set on the way....well here they are! 225/45/17 dunlop direzza z3. First a little back story, I had a set of 2011 production pirelli trofeos that worked pretty well on track. They took a lap to heat up and then they would handle business. On street they would never get up to temp and pretty much had no grip everywhere. I guess thats how you get a set of $800 tires for $400 on closeout. Needless to say they didnt last long and were killed off by some unnecessary tire murderers.....nails. I'm somewhat of a tire whore and always look forward to trying the latest and greatest. The freshest tire out now is the z3 so of course I grabbed a set and put them to the test!
I had these tires on the street for two days before I took them on track. There were smooth and quiet like the z2 but unlike the z2 they have loads of grip. I'm more than impressed with the amount of grip these tires offer. If mountain runs and back roads are your past time , I don't see how you could be unsatisfied with the z3. like most tires in this 200tw category they do run a little wide which is great for contact patch and that "beefy" look. I haven't had a chance yet to drive in the rain with these but the tread pattern hasn't changed much. If anything it looks more like the re71. So you had the z2, then the RE71 came around looking like a knockoff z2, and now you have the z3, so knockoff re71 maybe? Obviously this pattern is proven, so I can only assume they should be pretty decent dispersing water. The sidewalls like most dunlops are a little soft, which translates into laggy turn in response. Nothing new, the z2 were the same but it does offer a slightly more comfortable ride than the re71.
On track these tires are "da beez neez"! There is tons of grip on deck and all the communication you could possibly ask for. Breakaway is progressive, no surprises. Reaching the limit is cake as they love to talk to you. This is one characteristic I don't really care for. Tire squeal is a bit annoying to me, and makes it hard to pull off incognito hoonage on the street. No one does that anyways though, because it's illegal so I suppose thats irrelevant. I started the day out raw, no pressure adjustment just hit the track to cop a feel. Came in after my first session and my hot pressures were near 39psi. A little high but I was already half a second faster than my previous visit at amp. I took 2psi out and managed to drop over a second from my last personal best. These tires a very responsive to pressure. I took another two psi out of the front to induce some oversteer and they reacted just as expected. Honestly these are the most responsive street tire I've ever driven on. Even when hot and tireD everything is still progressive, you can feel wHATS COMING BEFORE THE EXPLOSIVE SURPRISE, KINDA LIKE WHEN.....NVM. eVEN THOUGH THE SIDEWALLS ARE A BIT ON THE SOFT SIDE THE SIDEWALLS SHOW NO WEAKNESS. tIRE ROLL OVER WAS NEVER AN ISSUE AND THAT LITTLE BIT OF SIDEWALL FLEX LET YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THE TIRE WAS DOING.
tHE PHOTOS ABOVE HAVE THREE THIRTY MINUTE SESSIONS ON THEM. fOR THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW AMP IS MOSTLY ALL LEFT HANDERS AND CAN BE HELL ON RF TIRES. tWO PICTURES ABOVE IS THE RF TIRE WHICH HAS WORN VERY WELL CONSIDERING THE BEATING IT TOOK TODAY. mY LAST SET WERE BRAND NEW AS WELL A MONTH AGO AT AMP AND i CAN ASSURE YOU THE RF TIRE WAS TRASHED. i THINK i'LL BE ABLE TO GET A DECENT AMOUNT OF WEAR OUT OF THESE. i DON'T THINK THEY ARE RINGER TIRES LIKE THE RE71 AND RIVAL S. iF i HAD TO COMPARE THEM TO ANYTHING IT WOULD BE THE hANKOOK rs4. tHE DUNLOPS HAVE A HAIR BIT MORE GRIP BUT THE HANKOOKS WOULD PROBABLY LAST A HAIR BIT LONGER. oVERAll I'm sold, this is my new favorite street tire! Try it for yourself, if you do not like them please send like new tires to the address on the home page!
Location: Atlanta motorsports park
temp: mid 70s
Vehicle: 2013 FRs..H&R springs, rear sway bar delete, stock wheels
New rubber for 2018!
Dunlop...did we really have to wait this long? Dunlop was on fire with the star spec z1 and z2! There really wasn't much to complain about with the star spec lineup. They were sticky, predictable, decent in the rain, and lasted longer than the competition. Unfortunately the z2 fell behind as the bridgestone RE71 and bfg rival s took over the 200tw tire category. For over a year now the star spec has become more or less forgotten. You may have seen a year ago the z3 was released over seas but not in the states...until now.
dunlop secretly...ok it wasn't a secret but there was definitely no hype or press for the long awaited z3. The z3 is now on sale and to be completely honest i had completely forgotten about the tire. i feel like for two years we have been teased with the z3 and when it was released over seas and not here i had officially given up hope. There hasn't been much talk of how much better the z3 has or will be. I can imagine the same formula will follow for an overall solid tire that performs on the track as well as the street. Pricing looks to be spot on for the z3, so like the rest they are pretty affordable. sIZING IS VERY SIMILAR TO PREVIOUS GENERATIONS, SO THOSE HOPING FOR 225 OR 245 15IN OPTIONS....LOOK ELSE WHERE. i WISH i KNEW MORE ABOUT THE Z3, BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS i HAVE A SET ON THE WAY! i WILL BE SURE TO GIVE A FULL REVIEW ONCE INSTALLED, MAYBE ITS TIME FOR A NEW PERSONAL BEST AT AMP! iN THE MEANTIME CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL FALKEN TO GIVE US A NEW AZENIS ALREADY!!!!
Goodbye Mx5 Hello Mr2
Most of you that follow me closely know that the miata has been replaced with a third gen MR2. But since it's a convertible the hardcore MR2 guys wont allow me to call it that. So technically its the MR-S, or MR2 Spyder, maybe MR Spyder? What ever, I call it the MR2. I sold the blue car back in March and ever since I have been through a slew of cars....another miata, subaru legacy, rsx, wrx, just take a long scroll back on my instagram. I've had the MR2 for a few months now and it is one of the few that I really liked, despite putting it up for sale a time or two.
The MR2 is a rare gem within the Japanese car scene. When you mention AW11 or SW20 most already know the first and second gen MR2 chassis codes, ZZW30...not so much. In 2000 Toyota decided to resurrect the MR2 to compete directly with the Mazda Miata. The third gen MR2, coded ZZW30, took a step back to the compact lightweight AW11, but set itself apart by being a full on convertible. The ZZW30 was only offered naturally aspirated unlike its big brothers that were offered with a supercharger or a turbo. The ZZW30 focused on lightweight paired with razor sharp handling. It packed 138hp, 5spd manual transmission, and of course a midship platform. There was also a sequential "style" gearbox offered but it was garbage!
Why did you get the MR2? Is it better than the miata? These are the questions that I hear the most. I bought the MR2 because it is a car I have always wanted. I always thought it was a little more car than the miata but prices were always too high. After I had sold my wrx I was cruising craigslist looking for a ride. The price was a deal I couldn't pass up, on a car that I always wanted.
Is it better?....Yes and no. The MR2 is a completely different animal. In stock form the tiny wheels and tires were more than sketch. The shitty tires were probably a lot of it, but either way oversteer was just a turn away. After installing 15x9s and 225s it was very predictable with loads of grip. Snap oversteer was completely eliminated! Fast forward to now and you can see I've made some aero and suspension changes. The car now has BC Racing coilovers. That is the only suspension mod that has changed. I recently removed the rear sway bar and made some coilover adjustments which have allowed loads more grip, front and rear.
My fastest time at my local track in the miata was a 1:36.5. My MR2 with significantly less mods fully loaded turned a 1:36.8. Now before I say the MR2 is just as fast stock, had my miata been on the same tires it would have been faster. Either way that is pretty impressive for a mostly stock car compared to a very similar car highly modified.
The most shocking thing about the MR2.....BRAKES! My first two track events at Road Atlanta and Atlanta Motorsports Park I was on stock brakes! Road Atlanta I had no issues, AMP I began to feel some fade but still very manageable. This was absolutely amazing to me! The last miata I drove on track with stock brakes lasted about a lap and a half tops. I thought the miata had really good turn but the MR2 took that to another level. Turn in is so sharp and steering feel is just as good if not better than a miata. There is plenty of grip out back, especially considering the engine is back there, but tight corners allow the open diff to show itself. That my friends, is the biggest drawback. To my knowledge all ZZW30 MR2s were open diff. With the engine in the back its very easy to deal with unlike a miata, but not nearly as easy to fix. The miata you swap the pumpkin and roll out. Since the MR2 is more or less a fwd car in the back, you either need to open the trans or find one that has an lsd and swap the transmission.
The truth is its hard to say one is better than the other. The MR2 is a one trick pony, its very good at being a sports car. In a world of all out performance the MR2 gets the edge. Its slightly faster, ligher, better brakes, less body roll, its just a little better in all performance categories. The problem is that's all its good at. It is a terrible daily, and although the cabin is more roomy than a miata, the storage space is utterly useless. Although the miata may not have the performance edge it does have huge aftermarket support to fulfill any short comings. The miata is so playful and it always gives back a big smile even if it is slower. You can drive it with your eyes closed, slide it at will, and toss it into nearly any corner and it will never bite back. Its just a joy to drive! That doesn't mean the MR2 isn't fun to drive, it just doesn't have that same playful nature. At times I miss the miata, but the ZZW30 is slowly but surely becoming a favorite!