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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m not happy with the Pirelli P Zero PZ tyres that were fitted from the factory. I’ve only done 3k miles but I’m seriously considering changing them as I’m finding the fidgety ride and road noise on some surfaces pretty annoying. This is no doubt compounded by the condition of the roads near me being really awful.

My car has the 19” alloys and sports suspension, so I was aware that the ride would be stiffer and there would be more interior noise than my previous Portfolio that ran on 18” alloys and non-sports suspension. However, I did have an hours test drive of a ‘Reims Edition’ which had the more sporty set up, and the comfort seemed to be fine (I was specifically looking for the comfort level). The Reims edition had the same tyres as mine.

I won’t be taking my car on track and don’t think I’ll be taking the car anywhere near its limits on the road. I’ve done a lot of research over the past couple of weeks and have come up with the following options for the tyres:

1. Switch to all season tyres which tend to have a softer construction and can have lower noise. I would prefer the excellent Michelin CrossClimate 2’s which are the latest version, but they aren’t yet available for the rear tyre size. Michelin can’t tell me when they will be produced in that size so I would have to have CrossClimate + on the back and 2’s on the front. Not ideal.

2. As far as summer tyres are concerned, the latest reviews suggests that the Michelin PS4 is now getting a bit left behind (its 5 years old apparently). They have just announced the PS5, but tests don’t seem to be available, let alone tyres being available at suppliers. However, the latest tyre group test from ‘Tyre Reviews’ suggest that the Nankang Sportnex AS2 Plus is a good all round sports tyre, if you don’t want the ultimate in road holding, and it has a good comfort balance. This is therefore a possible (good value) option.

3. I could buy a set of 18” staggered alloys (either Jaguar or after market) and fit them with CrossClimates. This would be extremely expensive if I bought them new, or I could go down the eBay route and take a chance. I think this would be the safest route to go if I want a smoother drive, but it’s clearly the most expensive option. Also, I like the way the car looks on the 19” wheels and I would need to store the old wheels and tyres to safeguard the car’s residual values.

Before I make a decision, I’d really appreciate views from anyone with the 19” wheels who is running Michelin CrossClimates, or has first hand experience of changing the Pirelli’s for a more comfortable and quieter tyre.
 

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Cabby,
I have a MY19 P300 R-Sport with 19-inch Venoms and swapped from Pirelli to Continental ExtremeContact DWS-06 Plus (ExtremeContact™ DWS06 Plus) as the best All-Season that were available in my staggered front/back sizes last year. Since I am in the USA market, this Continental style may be called something else in the UK. Like them. Grippy like mad even in wet. Reasonable road noise noting that lower profile tyres will almost always be noisier. Do a search on Continental in this XE Forum and you'll find my commentary in detail.
 

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The difference between the Portfolio and the R Sport is definitely slightly noisier on the R Sport. Whenever I was loaned a portfolio it always seemed to have less road noise. That bit extra wall size on the smaller wheel must be critical to noise. I am now on my 2nd set of Pirellis and find them fine in all areas, except, in very cold weather until they warm up that bit from driving. They are certainly noisier and also a bit less "grippy" under 1C until they get that bit of heat in them. I think that you will have to wait a day or so to get the answer that you want. Beware of tyre tests in mags as they only test on one car. The same tyre on another car may be horrendous. I have been there and know.
 

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Have you had all the wheel geometry checked as I'm running the 20's with Pirelli tyres and they are quieter than the 19" Dunlops on my previous 240 R-Sport, and there are no problems with the cars behaviour on the roads despite the state of them in my area.
 
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Cabby,
One other thought before you go swapping out tyres. Check your cold tyre pressures against the pressures listed on the tyre pressure placard for front and rear that correspond to your rim size. If they are like mine, you'll find two sets - one for light load and one for normal load with the latter being the higher numbers. I did find both my former OEM Pirellis as well as my current Continentals run quieter on the higher normal load pressures. If you're set for one, maybe try the other listed pressures to see if that makes a difference before you go to the expense of buying new tyres.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for the considered replies.

First Jag - I'm a little nervous about the Continentals as I strongly suspect that yours will be North America specific. The only all season Continental in my sizes here are the Allseasoncontacts which have a very different tread pattern from the link you kindly provided.
Regarding the tyre pressures, I've played around a little with pressures (even to the stage of the tyre pressure warning being lit). However, I haven't tried the maximum settings as I thought it would cause ride issues. It's got to be worth a try though, so many thanks for the suggestion.

Fighterpilot - I suspect one of the culprits with the road noise on the R Sport will be the staggered set up. The rear tyres are wider and with a lower profile than the front. I have had an R Sport courtesy car when my Portfolio was in for servicing, and noticed the slight increase in road noise, but thought that the ride was pretty good. I'm not sure what tyres that was on though.
I meant to say in my original post that I believe Pirelli's are very temperature sensitive. I changed the Pirelli tyres on my Boxster when only half worn as you could feel that car become way more 'fluid' and progressive over 20 deg C, and whilst that may be great in Italy, it meant that the car was only optimised for 3 months a year here in the UK! The replacement Goodyears are a much better tyre and operate well at a way lower temperature. Both of these tyres were to Porsche N spec.

147daytona - I was planning on having a full geometry check when the tyres are changed. It seems to be tracking straight and there is no sign of premature tyre wear, although it has only done 3k miles. I suspect your car has adaptive dynamics and I just wish I had ticked that box!

Thanks again guys.
 

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Have you had all the wheel geometry checked as I'm running the 20's with Pirelli tyres and they are quieter than the 19" Dunlops on my previous 240 R-Sport, and there are no problems with the cars behaviour on the roads despite the state of them in my area.
That's probably not a bad idea, and if it was me, I would do it on the current tyres. The closest 4-wheel laser alignment place to me is just along the road from a clutch of Mercerdes, Audi, Honda, Volvo, VW dealerships and he claims to do plenty of cars that were supposedly correct when leaving the factory.

I would eliminate this possibility before splashing out on new tyres. If that fails, at least you will know that the car is set-up correctly if you end up changing the tyres.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Been meaning to update this thread - sorry for the delay!

Following the suggestion from First Jag (thanks!), I increased the tyre pressures and the car was definitely smoother and a little quieter. Not a night and day difference but definitely better. Since then I've been playing with the pressures and have reduced them slightly from the max load setting which seems to have again made the ride slightly better. I've done this over the past few months and the weather here has been getting warmer so its difficult to say which has had the most effect. My view is still that the side walls of the Pirelli's seem to go rock hard when its cold.

A few weeks ago, I also had a proper 4 wheel alignment done by an outfit that also do race cars. The handling is now much better but I'm not sure the ride has improved. The alignment wasn't far out of spec and the technician hadn't done an XE before, but after I'd test driven the car to feel any differences, we agreed that the XE must be quite sensitive to its settings. He offered to do some more tinkering, but I was more than happy with what he'd done.

So that just leaves the tyres. I would say that the ride is now acceptable, but whether I'll still feel this way when the temperature cools down is anyones guess. After a lot of research I've narrowed the field down to either the Michelin PS5 or Cross Climate 2. Interestingly both seem to have a higher noise rating then their predecessors, so I'll be waiting for more reviews before I make any decision to change. The front size is not yet available on the CC2's anyway.

I'm not a prefessional driver, but I do enjoy driving, so I hope others may find the above useful.
 
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Just as info, I was reading an article somewhere, recently, that suggested changing tyres from the makers spec would affect fuel consumption. Whether that is by much or not is not stated. I doubt if it's worth bothering about unless it's 3-5mpg, then it would soon add up meaning in the XE approximately 33-55 miles less per tank. Possibly peanuts in general terms, but could soon add up for a tight budget.
 

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you should consider good year eagle f1's - best tyre i've used. absolutely superb in dry and not far of in wet. it was like train on tracks in my xf, same in xe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
you should consider good year eagle f1's - best tyre i've used. absolutely superb in dry and not far of in wet. it was like train on tracks in my xf, same in xe.
I'm a big fan of Goodyear tyres - I put the manufacturer approved F1 Asymmetric 2's on my Boxster. However, the Asymmetric 5's have had some criticism for higher wear and a little more noise than previous models and the new Asymmetric 6's aren't available in my size yet. If the 6's become available they will certainly be on the short list.
 
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I'm a big fan of the MPSS4's although they might be getting superseded now. I had them fitted to my last car which was putting out 475bhp at the rear and always had good confidence, feed back and predictability from them I felt. Not the best for pushing on in the rain but I prefer to keep my spirited drives for dry days
 
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