Applicable to '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter
Pirelli PZero Asimmetrico Max Performance Tires
After driving on Dunlop D40M2's, Yokohama A-509's and Yokohama AVS-I's, these are absolutely the best high performance tires I have ever owned. I am an aggressive street and track driver (at times) and love to push the edge of the tires. The Dunlops have left me in a tire smoking 270 trying to make a relatively low speed corner, but I have never felt out of control with the Pirelli's. When / if they do let go, there tends to be a slight oversteer, but they drift very nicely.
Ride quality was as good as expected considering the other suspension , and I did not notice any great difference from the other tires. They felt very stable at all times. Milage was about the same as my other tires at about 8,000 for rear and 12,000 for front (although I'm not sure on the Dunlop's because I took them off as soon as I could afford to). Price was very inexpensive (I think $84 per tire!).
The downside is that the 205/50 15's have been discontinued. Solution one (which has since been rejected) was to sell the Miata and buy a Z3 or Boxter. Solution two is to buy all new suspension and wheels to accomodate the available 16" tires (205/50 15's fit, 205/55 15's rubbed the wheel well, 16" won't fit at all). Not exactly cheap, but worth it to get another set of these tires.
Note My bad experiences with the Dunlop's may not be the same as yours. I know several Miata owners who have owned them and had no problems with them. I bought them on the high recommendation of a good friend (more agressive driver than me) who had them on a Eagle Talon TSi AWD and loved them.
Background 1995 Miata (PEP package), Eibach Pro Kit Springs, Tokico HP shocks, Jackson Racing tubular sway bars, 15" BBS Moda M1 wheels, and aggressive suspension settings.
Under 30 minutes to remove completely
I recently changed the tires on my 95 Miata M Edition from the Bridgestone Potenza RE010 195/50/15 to Pirelli P Zero's 205/50/15. Both sets of tires are maintained @ 35 lbs. pressure. The Potenza's always had a very aggressive grip on dry pavement in medium to hard cornering. The sidewall flex felt non existent and they were very controllable. Last week I bought a set of Pirelli P Zero Assimetrico's 205/50/15 ZR for my Miata. The tires give the impression of much more flex in the sidewalls during hard cornering. Almost as if the contact patch was stable but the wheel and chassis had moved outward during the cornering stress. Am I making any sense? Bottom line is that the car and tires have a less firm feeling in cornering and the tire will slide slowly when at its maximum grip level then snap back, if throttle is not applied hard out of the corner. For some reason the tires just don't generate the confidence level that the Bridegestones did. I did opt for the P Zero's based on their high profile in the high performance car world e.g., Ferrari, Lambo, Porsche. Are the Bridgestones really that good of a competitor?
Without practicle application of any new tire, I would stick with the Bridgestones that came from the factory on my 95 M Edition. These seem to set a very high standard for other tires.
Since putting several hundred miles on the P Zeros as well as inflating tires to 40 lbs. the tires have taken on a new improved personality. Sidewalls are now much stiffer and the tire compound is now in synch with the pavement. More tire pressure and a few hundred miles of "scrubbing" seems to have put a new lease on my Miata's life!!
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