Winter Tires Or All Season Tires For My Focus Svt? Which Would Be The Better Choice For Handling?

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i need to switch my summer tires to either all winter or all season tires. i like the handling that i get from my eagle f1's, they impress me more all the time. i would like to get the same performance and handling as the summer tires, but i realize that i am probably dreaming. if i could get some sweet handling all season tires, i would stay with them and not switch back. any suggestions, the size i need are 215 45 17's speed rated above h.

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4 Responses to Winter Tires Or All Season Tires For My Focus Svt? Which Would Be The Better Choice For Handling?

  1. tomjohn2 says:

    Your SVT probably came with Continental Sport Contacts originally in a 215/45ZR17 87Y – same summer tires I have and similar to your current Eagle’s in terms of performance. As you probably know they can not be used in snow or ice. They don’t even like cold dry pavement very much.
    On my Sentra SE-R Spec V I still have the original Conti’s for use from April to October, a set of P195/60R15 87Q Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50’s for November through March and a set of Kuhmo Ecsta V700’s in 225/45R17 91W for track days and autocross – everything on its own wheels. Optimum traction for every condition in which I use the car.
    So-called “all-season” or “M+S” rated tires are not designed for serious winter, only “light snow” and they are mostly hopeless on ice. The reason is their rubber compounds lose elasticity at cold temperatures, just like your Eagle F1’s but at somewhat lower temps.
    Probably the best high-performance all-season out there in my experience (and I have tried almost all of them) is the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position. On dry pavement and in the rain it gives up little to the better summer-only tires and is better than any other high-performance all-season tire in snow, but it is still an all-season and not a winter tire. The other option would be the Continental Extreme Contact which is a good snow performer for a UHP all-season and much cheaper than the Bridgestone but doesn’t wear very well, nor does it handle or grip as nicely.
    My suggestion would be to not comprimise and get one tire that does a lot of things sort of well. Keep your summer only tires that give you the best possible performance in warm conditions and get a set of dedicated winter-only tires on their own wheels to get maximum performance when the weather is at its worst. Tires are the #1 piece of safety equipment on the car after all.
    Narrower is better in snow and ice so I would suggest a -1 sizing of P205/50R16 87. The Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50 would be the best snow and ice tire in this size but tend to be squirmy when pushed hard and were recently discontinued. Still plenty of supply though and this means you can get some good deals on them. The other best option is the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 which won’t be quite as good in snow and ice (no multicell compound) as the WS-50 but has a higher speed rating and will handle better when there is no snow – closer to an all-season tire that way. The Michelin X-Ice would be the next best choice and falls somewhere in between the WS-50 and LM-25 in performance and price.

  2. Mark F says:

    Goodyear Fortera Triple treads are great handling tires and almost as good in the snow and ice as dedicated snow tires. They ain’t cheap, but the best never is.

  3. Nomadd says:

    Go with koma….

  4. db667089 says:

    get all season tires, unless you live in an area that gets tons of snow and ice