What are the best tires for Audi and Porsche vehicles?
What are the best tires for my car? That’s certainly a question every Porsche and Audi owner should ask themselves. In fact, it’s a question that the owner of any vehicle should ask themselves.
Of course, there’s no single answer to this question. When selecting what type of tires to purchase for your vehicle, you’ll want to consider your style of driving, the weather and road conditions in your region, as well as the class of your automobile. All of these factors will determine what tires are the best fit for you.
If you live in Denver or along the Front Range, deciding what type of tires you need depends upon all the aforementioned factors. For example, if most of your driving occurs in downtown Denver, you might be fine with a pair of all-season tires. But if you regularly head up to the mountains during ski season, it might be beneficial to purchase a set of winter tires. Ultimately, though, if you own a high-performance vehicle such as a Porsche or Audi, your best interests will be served if you purchase separate summer and winter tires, as opposed to their all-season counterparts.
Below you will find an overview of some options available to you when it comes time to purchasing your next set of tires.
Summer tires for your Audi or Porsche:
Summer tires perform best in dry and wet conditions. They hold a performance edge under these conditions due to the type of tread and rubber compound they use.
Most summer tires have circumferential treads, which, as the name suggests, run parallel to the circumference of the tires. Likewise, the tread voids (i.e. the empty space between treads) are more shallow. This style of tread serves two major functions. First, it allows for more surface to come in contact with the road. As such, summer tires are more responsive and handle better in dry conditions. Second, the longitudinally aligned tread voids cut through and evacuate water more effectively than other patterns. To this end, summer tires also perform better than their counterparts in wet conditions. Finally, the treads on summer tires offer low rolling resistance for faster acceleration, resistance to cupping (i.e. uneven wear), and a quiet, smooth ride.
The rubber compound that summer tires are composed of tend to be softer than all-season tires. This has two important effects. During warmer temperatures, the compound used in summer tires allows them to mold more readily to the surface of the road. Conversely, the rubber compound turns extremely solid during colder temperatures, making them less effective (if not dangerous) during the winter months.
Winter tires for your Audi or Porsche:
Winter tires, as the name suggests, perform best in snow and on ice. Similar to their summer counterparts, the reason for this advantage relates to both their tread type and rubber compound.
In contrast to the circumferential tread patterns on summer tires, winter tires employ radial tread patterns. Radial patterns are block-shaped and create tread voids that run perpendicular to the circumference of the tire. The tread voids also tend to be much deeper. To this end, radial treads allow for more traction and stability. Furtermore, the treads on winter tires contain sipes. Sipes are small grooves or channels cut into the tread themselves. As the tire rolls over the road, the sipes spread open, providing better traction when making surface-to-surface contact in snow and on ice. Finally, the edges of winter tires are frequently squared, as opposed to rounded, which prevents lateral slippage.
Winter tires use a rubber compound made of a softer material with a makeup much different than that used in summer tires. Whereas a summer tire becomes too hard in cold temperatures, winter tires remain soft in freezing conditions. Conversely, in warmer temperatures, winter tires become too soft and, thus, have poor responsiveness and lower acceleration rates.
If you decide to change your tires seasonally, try to adhere to the following rule of thumb: winter tires typically should be removed once the average daily temperature consistently exceeds forty degrees. Conversely, you should change from summer to winter tires at the first prediction of snowfall.
All-Season tires for your Audi or Porsche:
Nowadays, most new cars come equipped with all-season tires. The reason for this is simple: manufacturers cannot predict who will be purchasing their vehicles, where those vehicles will be driven, nor what the prevailing weather conditions will be in the areas where owners live. To this end, all-season tires serve as an adequate solution by combining characteristics of both summer and winter tires. These composite traits provide hybrid functionality. Although they do not offer high performance in any one condition, they are serviceable in all of them.
While substandard to summer tires in wet and dry conditions, and considerably less effective than winter tires in snow and one ice, all-season tires save car owners time and money by eliminating the need to change tires seasonally. As such, it’s important to consider what type of weather conditions you’ll experience when making a tire purchase. If you live in a region with variable weather patterns and don’t have the inclination to change your tires each season, then an all-season model might be the right choice for you.
Furthermore, all-season tires use a firm rubber compound, which means that they experience less wear than summer or winter tires. As such, their life lasts considerably longer than their counterparts.
Performance tires for your Audi or Porsche:
Performance tires, basically, are high-end summer tires. But just because the tread patterns and rubber compounds are similar, doesn’t mean that the differences between one tire and the next are minimal. In fact, choosing a high-performance tire over a standard, summer tire will have a noticeable effect on how a vehicle handles, corners, accelerates, stops, as well as how the tires wear.
Speed Ratings designate the performance level of a particular tire. The rating system for performance tires is as follows:
S = 112mph, T = 118mph, H = 130mph, V= 149mph, W = 169mph, and Y = 186mph
[A rating of Z will include both W and Y ratings]
The Speed Rating, ostensibly, indicates the top speed at which one can safely drive a vehicle on a particular set of tires. This is not to say that a vehicle cannot accelerate, let’s say, above 130mph on a tire with an H rating; but it would not be a wise decision to travel over that speed for any considerable amount of time. A tire with a higher Speed Rating will corner and stop better; conversely, tires with a higher rating will cost more and wear out more quickly.
If you’re interested in purchasing a performance tire, you might also consider a low-profile version. The profile of a tire refers to the size of a tire’s sidewall. Since low-profile tires have a smaller sidewalls, the wheels themselves are much larger; thus, manufacturers can place larger brakes inside the wheels. Additionally, thin sidewalls are much stiffer than traditionally-sized sidewalls; therefore, they offer better cornering and handling.
Best tires for Audi and Porsche vehicles – putting it all together:
So what are the best tires for Audi or Porsche vehicles? Well that really depends on you. Consider each of these tire categories, as well as when, where, how, and what you drive. Once you think about each of these elements, match your specific needs with the characteristics the various types of tires provide.
After you’ve made a decision as to what type of tires are best for you, contact a Prestige Imports Service Advisor or Parts Representative – (888)466-4994 – to find the exact brand, model, and size that you need for your specific vehicle. Your Service Advisor will also be able to schedule an appointment to have a Porsche or Audi certified technician get your new tires mounted, balanced, and installed on your vehicle.
Image by Kristen Caston, courtesy of Creative Commons