My experience is with the 99, not the 9000 turbo, but I have found
Pirelli P-3s to be quite serviceable. Even without rotation, they
lasted 40k miles on the drive wheels. My only failure was from running
into a curb at 20mph at a 45 degree angle (evasive maneuver). That
blew out the sidewall.
They are not high performance; it is easy make them plow ahead in a
turn, and I get some oversteer when they recover. But for a utility
vehicle, and in the snow, they have worked well for me. (I abuse my
car by carring 500# on the roof, 1000# inside, towing trailers, driving
for serious high performance, I find that the better T/A tires
from Goodrich match a saab nicely -- the Comps and the Euro-radials, with
excellent wet/dry and adequate snow/loose behaviour. Certainly the
Comps are far preferable to P6s and A008s on non-dry surfaces (I hear
the Top-of-the-line bridgestones are good but have no personal experience
for a more conventional approach, there is one interesting and
little known option that I push a lot these days (and I'm quite
sure everyone whose heard this more than once is getting quite
tired of it) -- the Finnish brand Nokkia. They make a competent
inexpensive wet/dry tire called the Rollster, an h-rated
wet/dry tire called the Rollster HT, a very fine ice/light snow
tire called the M+S 111, and the very finest deep snow tire I have
ever had the pleasure to encounter, the Hakkapolita NR-09. Nokkiaa
are relatively cheap, and perform well. The sidewalls on the NR-09s
on my alfa have better stiffness than the sidewalls that were on the
stock Michelin MXVs (a high performance v-rated and overrated tire
that I never care to put on a car again)
anyway -- you may want to check out nokkias.
richard welty 518-387-6346, GE R&D, K1-5C39, Niskayuna, New York
Regarding the following message, I thought I'd add some input based on
reading and experience. The Continental CH/CV51's have repeatedly scored
very high on the CD tire performance tests. I have a set (185/65-15) on
my 900 and am extremely pleased. We recently moved from New England which
required all weather performance and the CH's were the best 'all-season'
tire I've experienced. Further, the price is quite attractive for a
high-performance tire - approx. $78 at Euro-tire, etc.
The only downside I've noticed is somewhat higher noise level generated
by the tread pattern. Due to the nice sound insulation in the 9000, this
is probably no issue.
i agree on the MXL; it has a particularly bad tread design
for wet weather. the HP41s are supposed to be pretty good.
since you're talking about MXLs and P8s, you may want to look
at Nokia Rollster series tires; they make a T-rated tire which
is highly regarded for wet/dry usage, and it goes for under $60
per tire. their H-rated tire, the Rollster HT, goes for about
$80 a tire; i'm running them on my Alfa Milano and they are
definitely superior to the Michelin MXVs that were stock on
Nahh, go with BFGoodrich Comp T/A HRs! Great tire, not too pricey. You
might be able to run them year-round unless you like to go over the
passes in January (I ski so I can appreciate this...) For someone here in
the not-too-snowy-lately northeast, I'd recommend them for any season...
I'll let you know how they hold up at The Glen this spring...a friend is
trying to get me to go to a PCA (open to all cars) event to learn my 900
at speed. M. Siriota and others on rec.autos.sport.etc have said they may
shed chunks of tread after while, but this shouldn't have ANY bearing on
99.99% of the driving public.....
Now QUIT LAUGHING out there! I may just watch, but then temptation may
the better of me......
I probably paid too much and bought them locally for about $90 each for
-Jon Saulsgiver again....
Good thinking. The P8 is a truly awful tire, and I've never been too
happy with the reliability of *any* Pirelli tire. But, the good news is
that there are lots of very good tires in your price range. You
mention the MXL's and HP41's. Both are very decent tires for a
reasonable (even cheap) price and will blow away the P8's in every
way, except rolling resistance. I've seen both for around $66/tire
mail order. I'd definitely give the edge to the Bridgestone in wet
Comp T/A All Season- 195/60HR15 $77 (great tire for the money)
Yokohama AVS Intermediate 195/60VR15 $101 (if you want the ultimate)
Yokohama AVS A+4 All Season 195/60VR15 $103 (ditto)
Michelin MXV 195/60/HR15 $93 (not really worth it, but a very decent tire)
Dunlop GT Qualifier 195/60HR15 $53 (a decent budget all season)
Dunlop D60/M2 195/60HR15 $63 (very good buy for a performance tire)
I also have learned the hard way that the $5.00 kit for plugging tires
is not the correct way to repair a steel belted radial.
However, I have different experience to report with P8's.
We got more than 60K miles out of the first set, without incident and
decided to replace them with same. (They weren't all that expensive,
either.) The second set is approaching 20K miles, also without any
There was still some tread left at 60K, but there was a flat spot due
to the belt working itself loose in a spot. (Might have been
precipitated by a plug.)
I think that part of your problem with maximizing tire mileage may is
that the rubber on your summer tires is deteriorating over time, even
when snow tires are in use.
I've been using P8's all year round, and have never gotten stuck (had
to drive real slow at times).
Jonathan Freidin firstname.lastname@example.org
I am having pretty good luck with Yokohama (aka "yo momma") tires on my
83 900 turbo. A008's I think. They seem pretty sticky on dry pavement
and good in the rain. And the little radio-controlled car I got with
them is pretty cool, too!
The A008's are passable in light rain, but be warned that are
specifically *dry weather* tires, and should not be put on any car in
an area where it rains a lot, like where the original poster lives. I
currently have A008's on my 900, and they are absotively fantastic
tires on dry roads. But, on the few days during the summer when it
rains here (Colorado), I have to be exceedingly careful, as the car
will hydroplane at fairly low speeds (~45mph) if there is any standing
water on the roads. Just take a look at the tread pattern on the A008:
There are *no* grooves running across the tread to channel water away,
only grooves running around the circumference of the tire. And the
outer 25% of the width of the tire has no grooves at all- that part of
the tire is essentially a racing slick!
This is why I suggested the Yokohama AVS Intermediate and/or the
AVS A+4 All season in my previous posting, instead of the A008.
I've posted this to the group before but will repeat that both the rating
in the CD annual tire test (now FWD based) as well as 50k miles in all sorts
of weather allows me to recommend the Continental CH/CV51 series of tires.
I'm running 185/70 (65?) 15's and have had great success with them. They are
marked 'all season' though extreme snow/ice is something that requires
'dedicated' tires. I believe that I paid about $75 for them from Eurotire or
equivalent and couldn't be more pleased.
Oh and by the way, please, for the sake of your health and your family's
well being, stay away from Pirelli's. The sidewall's gave out on the
Saab's originals at 29K (conservative driving); my old Porsche had sidewall
problems to supplement the unacceptable wet weather performance...
Well, for a good, reasonably priced tire, try Falkens. I use
their H rated 195/60H15 tire, and it works well on my 99.
i concur. my girlfriend had A008's on her Alfa GTV-6, and
during heavy rainstorms, the car would come loose from the
pavement with practically no provocation. A008's are NOT
good rain tires.
Now, I don't know what Rich considers conservative but the original P8s
on our '84 900 lasted five years and 64,000 miles. I replaced them due to
treadwear, pure and simple. The Saab is our family hack and those were
mostly freeway miles, but many of them were quite brisk (70-80 range).
On my Alfa I took a chance in 1984 with a new all season tire from Pirelli,
the P77. These took me 83,000 miles before I replaced them with another set
last year. In all that time the spare had never been on the car. These were
a wear-out replacement also but I could have eked out another 10k or so if
I'd crossed rotated them since it was the left side that wore out first
(too many enthusiastic freeway ramps :-)
I admit that these are compromise tires. The P8s are made to be cheap and
have low rolling resistance, but I've never had any concerns over saftey.
The P77 is an all weather, dual tread design that is a mediocre performer
at best. But here in the Bay Area where the seasonal extremes are minimal,
an awful lot of Alfa Club (ARA) members' cars are riding around on P77s
since they're a good all-around match for driving conditions when your
"fun car" is also your daily driver.
Jack Hagerty, Robotic Midwives, Ltd.
In thinking about the recent flurry of e-talk about tires, I wondered
how much of the cost of owning/operating a car actually goes into tires?
To get a fix on this, I worked up a spreadsheet using the following
Car purchased new for $20,000; owned 8 years; driven 100,000 miles;
gas purchased as needed at $1 per gallon; car gets 30 miles per gallon;
tires purchased at $75 each; tires last 20,000 miles on average;
insurance is $500 per year; maintenance (parts plus labor) averages $300
I recognize that these figures will not exactly fit with any one person's
experiences, but they might represent something close to the average.
Anyway, if you add it all up, those 8 years of owning the car will cost
you $31,200. That is 31.2 cents per mile, by the way, which sounds
reasonable to me.
Tires work out to 4.8% of the total cost of owning the car. The biggest
bite is the capital cost of the car (64%). Gas is 11%, insurance is 13%,
and maintenance is 8% (I rounded off, so those add to over 100%).
One conclusion I draw is that you probably should not worry overly much
about the price of tires: buy the best. It will hardly make any difference
in the overall cost picture!
I would welcome comments about my pricing model. It might be interesting
to get a consensus (is that possible!?) from this group about a pricing
model (or several of them, as some of us are urban commuters and some
are probably sales people who do lots of inter-city driving).
Then at least we could have a discussion of costs which centered around
a common understanding.
Good line of thinking. Just two points:
1) Let's modify your numbers for CA. "Car purchased new for $21,000; owned
16 years; driven 180,000 miles; gas purchased as needed at $1 per gallon;
car gets 28 miles per gallon due to high speed driving alternated with
stop-and-go; tires purchased at $75 each; tires last 65,000 miles on
average; insurance is $900 per year; smog and maintenance (parts and labor)
average $400 per year."
2) Your conclusion could then be applied to virtually any accessory on the
car. The stereo, fog lamps, bike rack... The best point you make is,
tires are important to safety and fundamental operation, and you are not
splurging even if you get the best.
Thanks to everyone that has offered advice on tires. Here's my chance
to give something back. The Nov '89 issue of Car and Driver reported
on a comparison test of 60 series all-season performance tires.
There's a lot of info in the test; they tested wet/dry and snow
performance. One M+S tire was included for comparison. Here's the
overall results (700 points possible):
Michelin XGT H4 686 points
Goodyear GT+4 682
Goodrich Comp T/A HR 676
Goodyear Eagle M+S 676
Kelly Charger HR Radial 671
General XP2000 AS 670
Yokohama AVS A Plus 4 670
Bridgestone Potenza HP41 637
Riken STX60 633
The points don't tell the whole story. They really disliked the
Bridgestone but rather thought the Riken an acceptable tire. (The
Bridgestone did pretty badly in the wet tests.) But they clearly liked
the XGT H4 and GT+4 very much. The GT+4 is a somewhat better dry tire
and the XGT a better wet tire.
Unfortunately, the XGT is not available in a size that fits a SAAB 900,
and the GT+4 costs as much as RE71's!
Well, the place I like to buy tires (since they have Tire Rack prices,
good service and are only 4 blocks away from home!) carries Goodyear,
Michelin and Bridgestone, so I'm thinking of getting the GT+4's.
(Thanks to Dana Cartwright's cost model, I now realize I won't miss
the extra $100!) ;-)
% Andy Cassino %
I upgraded to P600's on my 9000 when the orig. equip. P6's gave out.
I also upgraded the size to the 205/55 from the 195/65's which were stock
on the '86. (The factory did this same upgrade for '87 and later.)
When those crapped out, I went to 205/65 (!!--3" larger diameter!) to
correct the fact that the speedo was running 8.5% too slow. Fixed the
speedo but made chaining it almost impossible, plus the front end stood
up too high. BTW, all the above occured only on the fronts--I don't
believe in rotation, so the rears are the stock 195/65 P6's.
At 101,000 I now need to replace the rears. Yup, one has a soft spot
in the sidewall (sound familiar?). These are the same rubber that I
did my best to scrub off at Seattle Int'l Raceway two summers ago, plus
all my considerable high-speed, wet-weather driving for 100k. I don't
have any complaints...
I have only *noticed* hydroplaning on the P600's at speeds above 80 mph.
I consider them to be excellent wet performance tires, and you know that
I push things pretty hard, wet or dry. Wear is only OK, although these
bigger ones (which will now go on the rear) have done quite well. Most
of what I've read leads me to believe the P600's are as good a choice as
any for Seattle's weather.
Bob Neel / HP Lake Stevens
O.k. here's a not so realistic analysis of the back 100 kmiles:
You made your last car payment so long ago, you don't even remember it
(zero capital cost).
Gas will be $1.2 on average.
Compression isn't so hot, maybe mileage is only 27 mpg.
Tires $85 each/50 kmiles.
Car is worth little, insurance only $350 (projected).
Maintenance is $300 (parts only).
/8 years /year /mile % of total
Capital $ 0 $ 0 $ 0 0.0%
Gas $ 4444 $ 555 $0.044 43.0%
Insurance $ 2800 $ 350 $0.028 27.1%
Maintenance $ 2400 $ 300 $0.024 23.2%
Tires $ 680 $ 85 $0.006 06.5%
Total $10324 $1290 $0.103 100.0%
See, tires are actually 6.5% of the marginal cost, and I'm using 50
kmiles/tire. Saving $5-$10/tire won't make too much difference, but
buying a tire that will last 50 kmiles, instead of 20 kmiles might?
Jonathan Freidin email@example.com
Thanks to all who offered their tire recomendations. After reviewing the
tire tests sent by Rob Gardner (Thanks again) and other tests and recommend-
ations I made a decision, taking into account the wet conditionsin the
Seattle area, on Bridgestone RE71's. Cost was not an issue but availability
was as "No Studs" day was rapidly approaching.
What I wanted was 195/60VR15's which were not easy to find. The Tire Rack
was empty and Eurotire was no help. Teletire had 12 in stock for $133 each +
$40 shipping. What I recieved 7 days later was 195/60R15 87H's, even if the
packing slip said 195/60VR15. After consulting Tires Plus (a Bridgestone
retailer near work) I decided to have them mounted anyway. They claimed I
would get a little more mileage out of the H rated tire and they also
offered the same tires at the same price as Teletire. And since I don't
plan to race the 9000t or autocross it until the lease is up, the H's will
be sufficient. I called Teletire to explain the problem and asked for an
adjustment on the bill. Much to my delight they were very appologetic and
credited my Visa for the difference which was $28 a tire ($105 each).
So far it hasn't rained this week and the RE71's stick much better than
the P6's in the dry. I'll keep you informed of my opinion of wet perform-
Phil Landresse (Alias: Fildirt)
I don't think that the issue is that Pirelli tires are *always* a bad
bet... I've heard of a few people that actually like them (a FEW).
I think that the point being made here is that for the cost of Pirellis,
you can choose other brands that are a better buy - better tires.
From personal experience, I consider Pirellis trash. The P8s on
our 82 900T became so cupped (warped tread?) that they actually
mangled a shock bushing (causing rear shock replacement = $65) and
then the belts started to show through the sidewall. Not the kind
of thing that inspires confidence at highway speeds. Another P8
dry-rotted nicely and needed to be replaced (at least I chose to
get it off of my car).
I friend of mine took delivery of a 1989 BMW 325is with stock
P6 Pirellis. One of them began to leak within two week and needed
replacement (at least it was warranty).
Two SAAB 9000 pilots I know both swear that the singlemost improvement
made to the hadling of the 9000 turbo is to remove the Pirelli P600s.
I could go on and on... It's not worth it. I would never waste
my money on these things.
It might be justifiable if the Pirellis gave good traction (i.e.
Yokohama etc.) , But the traction isn't even that great. Ugh.
I'll stick with my Dunlop D40s. They cost a little more but at
least I won't pile into a ditch when the sidewall explodes or
mess up my shocks and alignment... Sometimes saving a few bucks
is not really saving at all.
When snooping around a local SAAB dealer, I asked them why all of the
new 9000 cars had different types of tires. The guy said that the
9000 has been coming from the factory with either Pirelli P600,
Goodyear NCT, or Michellin MXV rubber. He went on to say that
most customers have had the most good things to say and the least
complaints about the Michellins.
I also noticed a 900 turbo convertible with 185/65 HR 15 Michellin
all season tires. I figured it should have 195s on it. Strange.
I got 195/60HR15 Goodyear Eagle GT+4's installed last Saturday.
Absolutely the first thing I noticed was the ride. These tires ride
_hard_. You really know when you drive over an expansion joint. I
surmise this is due to the stiff sidewalls. (Note, my '88 900S has the
Turbo suspension, including shortened springs and sway bars, so it
rides hard anyway.)
Second thing I noticed is also attributable to the sidewall stiffness.
The steering seems much more precise. The car seems like it is on
tracks or something, and you get to steer the tracks anyplace you want
them! I've always felt the SAAB was superb in this regard - now it's
Third thing I noticed is that the dry handling is dynamite. I'm still
not sure where the limits are, but I was surprised the other day as I
made a 90 degree turn and found myself sliding into the door. I
remember doing that once with the P8's, but that involved quite a bit
of sliding and squealing; with the GT's I was on track and nary a
Fourth thing, the braking performance is better. With both the P8's
and my Gislaved snow tires I've always felt it a struggle to keep a
front wheel from locking prematurely (even on dry road). I've even had
the dealer look into this once (no trouble found). Well, the GT's
solve this problem and I am amazed at how fast I can get stopped from
Of course, it hasn't rained since I got the new tires, so I am waiting
to see what the wet performance is like. So far, I'm very happy.
BTW, the treadwear rating on the GT's is 200. That is higher than the
average performance tire - and higher than the 180 rating the P8 sports.
% Andy Cassino %
Also, I was talking to a tire salesman about those "treadwear ratings" and
he said that there is no standard way that the number is determined...
If that's true, so much for comparisons, eh? Anyone know what the facts
are? Richard? Got your Bosch Autmotive Handbook handy?
don't need it. the numbers are only useful in comparing tires from
a single company; there is no reason to believe that they are comparable
from one manufacturer to another. they are not a DIN or SAE standard,
either, so the Bosch book isn't the right place to go for information
about them. i don't pay much attention to treadwear ratings in any
case; you can use the speed symbol (e.g. S, T, H, V) to get a rough
idea -- the higher the rated speed, the faster the tire wears is a
useful general rule (there are exceptions, and these aren't necessarily
comparable between manufacturers either. Michelin's V rated MXV lasts
far longer than than BF Goodrich's V rated Comp T/A, for example (it
also doesn't stick nearly as well, either.))
Does anyone have any experience with trying to mount 15 inch tires on
the TRX rims that came with my '80 Saab?
i'm going to do something i rarely do on the net; use all caps
DON'T DO THIS. IT'S DANGEROUS.
THis doesn't seem like very much to
me. Is there some other difference, like they have different shaped
the bead (mating surface) is shaped distinctly differently;
you can make 15" tires fit, but they could either peel off
the rim in hard cornering or else blow up from stress and heat
like i said
DON'T DO THIS
I doubt you'll get any response to your question "Does anyone have any
experience..." because they've probably evolved out of the species. :-)
Seriously, 15" wheels are also known as '380 mm' wheels where people use
sensible measuring systems. The TRX rims are 390 mm in diameter (at the
tire bead.) You would be asking for serious trouble if you streched a
tire bead by 31.5 millimeters (that's 10*pi.) So, my recommendation (and
the recommendation of several tire experts I've read -- sorry no names
come to mind) is DON'T DO IT, ITS NOT WORTH THE RISK.
Gary Zaidenweber (508)256-6600 x5972
I've certainly enjoyed the Goodyear GT+4 tires I put on my '88 900S
last spring. Yes, they are all season tires, but I believe that's why
they do very well in the wet. If the all season rating compromises dry
handling, I can't tell it. On clean, dry pavement they stick like the
dickens. I think it would be easier to roll the car than slide.
(At any rate, I have a set of snows and still expect to use them
despite the all season rating of the GT+4's.)
The GT+4's don't come in the 185/65 size for 15" wheels. I got the
190/60's. I think that my speedometer and odometer are about 2% slow
now as a result. The 195/60 does have a slightly smaller outside
diameter than a 185/65 on the same wheel (per Euro-Tire's catalog) but
I guess this surprised me a bit. Maybe it was this way before and I
The GT+4's ride harder than the stock P8's. I don't know why; could it
be the lower profile of the GT's?
Re: wear. The treadwear rating on the GT+4 is 200, if that means
anything. Treadwear so far is 20% down on the rear and 30% down on the
front with 11K miles. They are wearing perfectly even, unlike the P8's
I had before (and with no front end alignment either). With rotation,
30K is in the bag and maybe 40K, since my experience is that tires
wear faster when new than when they've been in service for awhile.
Anyone else notice this?
Re: wheel sizes. As far as I know, the 900S and Turbo have been coming
with 6" wide wheels for a few years now while the 9000 has a 6 1/2"
wheel. I know for sure I have a 6" wheel, at any rate! SAAB has a
kit for the rear suspension of a 900 to allow the use of a 6 1/2"
wheel. I think it is just some stops to limit suspension travel and
prevent the tire from hitting stuff in the wheel well.
% Andy Cassino %
I've been through several different types and brands of tires on my two
1. Had some Goodyear NCTs on my 78 99GLE. They stuck great, and were good
in the wet, but wore out in 30K (hard driving though!). I ran 185/65HR15
on my EMS type alloys (probably 5" alloys).
2. Had some Firestone S660's on my 83 turbo (they came with it). All I can
say is - don't waste your money! I've got two in my garage, because my
front end bushings ate the front pair. I replaced all four with...
3. Yokohama Y352's, these are an HR rated tire that was cheap ($65) for the
195/60/HR15 size on my turbo. They were okay, but mediocre in the wet, and
kinda "hard" in the dry - they slid too easily for my taste. These lasted
about 25K (hard driving too!).
4. My current tires on the turbo are new Yokohama A509's, which are directional
and asymmetrical. These are great tires! Smooth ride (for an HR rated 60
series tire), great in the dry, and (though we haven't had much rain here
in Santa Barbara!) good in the wet. I would recommend these tires as s
superior alternative in the mid-priced range (I paid $80 per tire, mail order
from the Tire Rack, who I have bought probably six or seven sets of tires
from. I also put A509's on my wife's 87 VW Golf - what an improvement!).
Anyway, I've also used (on an 83 Honda Prelude) the Yokohama A008's. These
were probably the ultimate in the dry, but terrifying in the wet. They'd
hydroplane in 1/4" of water at 50mph. I'd never recommend these for the
street, but they were killer on the track.
Good luck! I think the yokohamas are a good deal because they don't seem to
have a good dealer network. They seem to price their tires around $20/tire
less than an equivalent Pirelli, Goodyear, Michelin, etc.
P.S. I'm also totally unimpressed with every instance of the Pirelli
P6/600, and the Michelin MXL. These are okay if you want to just tool
around, but are unsuitable for any kind of sporty driving. In my opinion,
Richard L. Siegel
I changed my Pirellis for Goodyear NCT's (V-rated). Even better in
than the P's in dry, and much better in wet. I went with 195/65 (a
tad large in diameter, but not significant). Don't know how much
they'll cost you - I got them at a steep discount for $95 each.
Some turbos have come factory-equipped with Michelin MXVs rather than
Pirelli P6s or P600s. They're similar, perhaps a bit better in the wet,
and should last a little longer. Goodyear Eagle GT+4s are a good answer
for wet and dry. They may not be quite as crisp as the Pirellis in the dry,
but you may not notice it and certainly far superior in the wet. Since
neither the P6s or MXVs are all-weather H-rated, this is to be expected.
Both Pirelli and Michelin have recently come out with new all-weather
H-rated tires. I have not heard anything about the Pirellis. The
Michelins were rated tops by Car & Driver but are essentially unavailable
and aren't made in a size that would fit a 900 Turbo.
I have an 86 900 T with about 65K miles. I replaced my original P6s at
about 24K miles with Eagle GTs. The GT+4s at that time were more expensive
than the GTs with a shorter life and dubious advantage. However, they have
improved and Goodyear appears to be phasing out the GTs. I replaced the
GTs at about 56K with the new Dunlop all-weather H-rated tire. They appear
to be very close to the GT+4s but at about half the price. So far, I have
been very happy with their wet and dry performance, and the gas mileage is
up a little.
A friend of mine replaced his original P6s on an 86 9000 T with Bridgestone
Comp T/As. They were cheaper than replacing with the P6s and had superior
wear and wet weather handling, but definitely inferior dry handling. When
those wore out he then went to the new Goodyear Eagle GA (standard on the
Lexus LS-400 and Audi 200). He was very pleased with their all-around
perfor- mance. However, they are even more expensive than the GT+4s.
I hope this information helps, although it doesn't answer your questions
There were P600's on my 9000T when I bought it used. They were somewhat
worn but still above the tread bars all around. I found them to be a
truely awful tire. In dry conditions they had high adhesion but their
transition was abrupt and without warning. They made drop-throttle
oversteer a frightening proposition. In rain they turned what is
inherently a stable platform into a roller skate. I never had them in snow
as I bought new tires before winter arrived! I'm currently using Potenza
41's (an all season tire) and find them to be a good compromise for a
"family sports sedan". They have done very well in all conditions of dry,
wet, snow. The car is very stable and predictable. Yes, I know that R&T
gave the 41's a bad review, but remember they were testing using a 944,
which is so different as to be meaningless. My "hot rod" is an alfa gtv6
which I run Yoko AVS intermediates on. Those tires are outstanding in dry,
and acceptable in wet. I avoid snow with that car.
Nokia makes a decent cheap summer tire called the Rollster HT
i run these on my Alfa during the summer (and put on Hakkas
in the winter.) the P600 is an ok tire, but not a really great
one; you can get better rubber for less.
also, the current generation Yokohama A509 is a really decent
wet & dry tire (i've autocrossed on a friend's set once or twice,
on his FWD dodge daytona, and found them to give plenty of warning
at the limit and very controllable.)
I run P600's on my 9000turbo, and live in Seattle where it is wet
most of the time. They seem to stick fine, and did quite well the
one day I spent on the track.
Bob Neel / HP Lake Stevens / (206) 335-2212 / firstname.lastname@example.org
My '88 9000T has P600's on it; I don't have any complaints about them...
Although I haven't pushed these tires in the rain, my car has never had
to ABS nor have I lost control while driving in the wet. The P600 is
an improvement on the P6, and I believe one of the major goals for both
of these designs is for a "water sweeping" effect -- the P600 has a spiral-
like tread design to push away water at high speeds.
In the dry, these tires don't sqeual very easily and are pretty quiet.
Pirelli recently changed the design of the shoulder of the P600 to help
improve handling in rutted and grooved highways. When all my tires
were of the original design, I never noticed any tendency for them to
follow grooves and ruts, however. (Where? Possibly the worst roads in
the country -- metro NY: Long Island Expressway, Brooklyn Queens Expwy,
Cross Bronx Expwy, etc.)
I recently bought new P600's of the new design on the front; there are
no side effects of having both the previous and the new design on the
car at the same time.
Wear seems to be good, especially the way I enjoy on-ramps :) ...
I don't know if these are stiff tires, because the suspension on my car
is stiff in general, the size on my car are 205/55 (small sidewall) and
I've never had a different brand on my car.
If I'm not mistaken, the new BMW 3-series and the new Mercedes SL
convertibles wear these tires.
For an SPG, particularly if you enjoy "sprightly" driving, I'd recommend
either GoodYear VR's in 196/60 VR 15, or Bridgestone RE-71, same size. The
GoodYears in that size are sometimes hard to come by, but the Bridgestones
are fairly easy to get. I live near Euro-Tire in north Jersey, so I have
all my tire work done there (until I can afford the machines themselves
). One good way to extend the life of radials, particularly directional
tires like I mentioned. Every second front to rear rotation, have the tires
"flipped" on the rims, and put them on the opposite side of the car. The
tires are still rolling in the same direction, but now the wear gets evened
Yes, look for a tire place with the european style tire changers. They
clamp the wheel at the rim, and pneumatic pressure is not used to break the
beads. You can tell them by a long arm which pivots over the wheel.
ALWAYS get inside and outside weights. this will provide a much better
balance than getting them on only one side. If you have standard SPG
wheels, get the clamp-on weights. Not as cool as the stick-ons, but they
stay in place better. A place like euro-tire, which caters to european
sport sedans carries a clamp-on weight which looks pretty good.
Goodyear no longer makes their TRX equivalent. Avon does, as far
as i know, but Avons are hard to get. K T Motorsports used to be
able to get Avons, but i don't know if they still can (518-765-2206
if you want to give them a call and ask.) the avon is generally
considered a very good rain tire and acceptable dry pavement tire.
I have always used Dunlap 168R15 tires on my 1979 99 GL and they work
> After 2+ years my '80 900 Turbo is finally back on the street. I'm
> looking for some suggestions on a good all weather/performance tire (I'm
> sort of looking at the Yoko A378s).
I am running four of them on my '85 900 turbo right now. I'm pretty happy
with them. They were cheap (~$58 each from one of the mail order tire
places that advertise in the car rags) and seem to be wearing slowly and
evenly. Treadwear rating is 220, for whatever that's worth. They drive
well in the rain; I haven't felt any hydroplaning even at ~65 MPH in hard
rainstorms. I've even driven them in the snow, but I didn't really like
it. I'm getting snows this year (I live in Boston, MA).
I haven't really pushed them to the limit, but you get plenty of warning as
you approach the edge of the cornering envelope. You can hear them start
to slide, and the onset of understeer is very gradual. I'm sure if my car
had swaybars I'd get much better cornering, but I don't drive it that hard
The A509s probably have better handling, though they are a little more
expensive, and I'd bet that they would wear a bit faster. Richard Welty,
who has been known to post here, likes them for autocrossing.
Andrew Evans (email@example.com) - Infinity Development Systems - Waltham, MA
an exhaustive search and a strong resolve never to buy another Pirelli tire, we
settled on BF Goodrich Comp T/A's. They make a series 65 tire, which we mail
ordered for about $80 apiece. Their wet and dry traction are far better than the
Pirellis. Their snow traction is also better, but I refuse to let a set of Hakka's
go to waste. It's been a snowy winter in Maine.
I've had both the Michelin XGT+4 HR and Goodyear GT+4's on my 900 in
Seattle. They were ranked the top two high-performance M+S tires by Car &
Driver about 4 years ago. I can recommend either one. The Goodyear has a
significant edge in dry handling but the Michelin makes it up by being a
better snow and wet tire. (I still put my Gislaveds on when the going gets
thick, however. Neither tire is as good as a real snow tire).
I use the 195/60-15 size. The 205/60-15 is not a proper fitment, the
outside diameter is too large. The 205/55-15 would be OK if there is
clearance (I don't think there is on the rear unless you block the springs
to limit travel). Keep in mind you may someday need to put chains on your
% Andy Cassino %
I've heard some good things about Pirelli's P500s from
discussions with Pirelli folks while I've been testing
their latest P6s. They are worth looking into further.
You don't say what size rims you have. 205/60 fit well on a 6" rim, but
not well on a 5.5". The 185/60 fits much better on these, and a 195/60
will work, but it's a bit too big for the rims.
In message #1362, Matt asks for suggestions.
firstname.lastname@example.org replied in favor of the
BFG Comp T/A. I have these as well (HR4s). I bought
the standard profile to compromise between dry
performance and can-get-by winter use.
They are bad in the snow. That's my feeling after
having Nokia Hakka NR09s for my previous car, a Volvo
The BFGs are great in dry weather and pretty good
when it's wet. I don't have a lot of Saab experience,
but I'm pretty satisfied with the BFGs.
The most important plus to be said about the BFGs is
that when they do lose their grip on a turn, they are
very graceful and predictable. There's no sudden loss.
I don't mind a tire that gives way, but if it breaks
loose suddenly, then you're looking for trouble.
--Chuck email@example.com '89 Saab 900 5sp 3dr 60k
I recently purchased tires for my 84 900T from the
Tire Rack. It is a mail order house in Nevado: 800 445-0179. The tires
arrived in two days on my porch wrapped in
pretty blue plastic. Between the cost of the tires,
the mounting, disposal, etc., I feel like I saved about
$80 over purchasing them in town. (I would have bought
from the Speed Merchant because of their competitive prices and excellent
The best reason the clerk at the Speed Merchant could come up with for
buying tires locally is the fact that if you
have problems with the tires, the local shop can do something about it
immediately. They are reluctant to take care
of problems if you did not purchase the tires from them.
Oh, I bought Goodrich Comp T/As for no particular SAAB-related reason.
>I have a 91-900S. What's the best recommended tire for high
>speed driving ?
ahh, such a simple question with such a complex answer.
are you talking high speed in a straight line (e.g., highway
cruising)? if so, then most anything H-rated or better should
cover your needs. if you need rain performance, then something
on the order of a Bridgestone RE71 or a Yokohama A509 works (i
really like the A509 as a reasonably priced, wet/dry tire, but it
sucks in snow.) by comparison the old Michelin MXV/MXL pair
were mediocre rain performers under the best of conditions, and
probably more useless for mud/snow than most tires.
if you want handling, then you need to decide just how much
handling you want to pay for. the intermediate price Michelins
are not outstanding; the expensive Michelins work well but are
rather overpriced. Pirelli brings few good tires to the US market
at this time (they have some very fine tires in europe that they've
not bothered to bring over.)
in my book, Goodyears are overrated; there are some decent tires
from the company, but a lot of them (like the old Eagle GT) are not
up to snuff. Goodyear doesn't update their tires as quickly as
Yokohama and BFG.
the two companies that have gone the furthest the fastest for extreme
high performance in street legal tires lately have been BFG and Yokohama;
they are the two that are going toe-to-toe in SCCA road racing classes
where street legal tires are required such as Showroom Stock. Toyo is
starting to attack this market seriously; their street legal race tires
appear to be the equal of the current Yoko A008RS tire; but their regular
line of street tires aren't up to BFG or Yoko's level. while the race
tires in question are street legal, i'd not recommend them unless you
want to hydroplane at the drop of a hat and replace them every 5 to
6 thousand miles, but the top street tires from BFG (the non-R Comp
T/A) and Yokohama (the AVS-Intermediate) are excellent performance tires
that can take heat well and go round corners beautifully, which is
what you want.
Our '83T 4door came with 185/65 Pirelli P8s. Good ride, fair handling
in dry and wet. No experience in snow. Quite quiet. Had 68K miles on
the set with substantial tread left when one shredded and provided an
excuse for upgrading.
Second set was 195/60 Michelin MXVs. Good ride, good handling in dry and
wet, no experience in snow. We had two sets of these and got between
45K and 50K miles on each. Much of that is my wife in straight freeway
driving, only periodically me scrubbing tread on country roads. The
other tire I considered when I bought the Michelins was the Pirelli P6,
but they were more expensive and had a reputation for faster wear.
Current car ('93S 4door) has 185/65 Pirelli 2000s. I'm looking for an
excuse to change them, but they've only got 15K miles. Characteristics
similar to the OEM P8s on my old car, but better handling.
The latest Road & Track has a tire comparison that shows the P4000
Supertouring performing virtually identically with the P600 (on a
BMW 525). Mailorder ads from the same issue show the P4000 to be
$25 per tire cheaper than P600s. But there was a note on the net
awhile ago that said the Supertouring in the US was not the same
tire as the European version. Can anyone confirm that, or has
anyone had experience with them?
Make/size Ride Dry Wet Snow Wear Noise again?
195/60VR15 poor good avg poor avg avg no (OEM tire)
205/55VR15 avg good good awful good avg no
The Pirellis had a tendency to flat spot when cold.
The Goodyears are the European Gatorbacks. One of them is slightly
out of round, which is noticeable when its on the front, but not
when its on a rear wheel. I really wanted Dunlop D40M2s, but couldn't
find any where I was at the time. I have them on my Miata now, and
they are great tires, though not quiet or especially good riding.
Maybe I'll try the successor to them next time.
Milton Horst Seattle, WA '86 9000T
Ride -- firm
very good; only H rated street tire i've encountered that can stand
the abuse of track events
splendid rain tire; one of the best
Handling in snow
30-40 thousand miles, depending on driving style
Would buy again?
this is a good budget performance tire choice
Ride -- firm
one of the best street tires i've ever encountered
very good, but not as good as the A509
Handling in snow
don't try it
haven't had long enough
Would buy again?
this is an excellent premium street tire
Handling in snow
Would buy again?
nope. awfully expensive for a merely adequate tire.
Nokia Rollster HT
Handling in snow
not nearly as good as a nokia snow tire
Would buy again?
probably not. similar price to A509, and not quite as good a tire.
decent for a snow tire
decent for a snow tire
Handling in snow
loud, like a snow tire
Would buy again?
the Nokia NR10 may be a better snow tire; i've no serious time in on
excellent wet pavement stick; very prone to hydroplaning.
Handling in snow
don't try it unless you have a death wish
6,000 miles tops on the street; this is a serious race/autocross tire.
Would buy again?
I believe the 900's alloy wheels are 15 x 5.5, probably the widest you
could probably put on there would be 205.
The 9000 I believe has a 15 x 6 wheel, and comes with 205/55 and the widest
you can put is 215.
Of course, later years have 16" (drool)
Actually, referencing NINES, the SAAB club newsletter, on page 26, issue
no 218, Dean Dirian of Griffin Motorsports (Mt Gretna, PA) gives a
rim width max tire section
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